The True Gems of The 2022 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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I was chatting about the latest Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in the comments section on a recent post. We were discussing how some brands *appear* to be making pieces specifically for this sale, and there was some concern over the resulting quality. And if you’ve been shopping the NSale as long as I have, you likely remember the days of Burberry Trench Coats and piles of 100% cashmere, so…yeah.  

I get it.

The reality is that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has both grown and changed over the years. And while I can lament with the best of them, there are a lot more people shopping the sale these days. So I suspect that many brands — brands that once routinely included 100% cashmere sweaters in the NSale (*cough* Vince *cough*) — have now switched to mostly fabric blends.

“Nothing makes sense anymore!” reader Samantha commented, “I would love a post on the ‘true finds’ of the sale.”

Oooo…YES.

I love Samantha’s idea because, year after year, there definitely are “true finds” in the NSale. Plenty of them! While I may still regret not snapping up that Burberry Trench Coat of yesteryear, when I look at the most-worn pieces in my closet, many of them are from the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sales — including in recent years. That fact has not changed. (And if you’re interested in my best NSale buys of all time…this article.)

So, how does one find the true gems of the NSale? 

First, I’d argue that The Mom Edit looks for these pieces every year! But, for the purposes of this discussion, let’s be realllllly intentional about the process. And strict! Strictly speaking, what makes a “true gem”?

Worth It: What To Buy In The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2022

In my completely 100% biased opinion, I’m defining a “true gem” as a piece that is not only beautiful, but also useful, versatile, and incredibly well-made. We’re talking zero compromises on quality. Fabric composition matters, with extra points for natural fibers (cashmere, cotton, linen, silk or wool). I’m also considering historical performance — which brands routinely include high-quality pieces in this sale? And which brands have disappointed?

Shop the Look

1. Long Wool Coats

My best NSale tip, based on years of shopping? Look. At. The. Coats. Looking through this year's preview, the long wool coats are ridiculously good.
photo credit: Nordstrom

Reiss Longline Coat

My biggest and best NSale tip, based on years of shopping? Look. At. The. Coats. And, after looking through this year’s preview…the long wool coats (aka longline, maxi, or midi) are ridiculously good. These will likely be the very first thing I order this year.


2. Puffer Jackets & Raincoats

photo credit: Nordstrom

Save the Duck Longline Puffer Jacket

I’ve had my eye on this exact black puffer jacket from Save The Duck for years. While a mid-length black puffer may not be the most exciting piece, it sure is something I’ll wear the heck out of. And, if done right — with a flattering silhouette, matte black zippers, cool collar — it can even look…chic.

This year’s sale has a very exciting selection of puffer coats – Save the Duck, The North Face – as well as really fun raincoats from Pendleton, Barbour and, again, The North Face.


3. Designer Jeans (Especially Bootcut, Flare, & Straight Leg)

I'm all about the bootcuts & flare jeans in the NSale this year, as well as the straight-leg jeans I've even worn with winter boots.
photo credit: Nordstrom

Jeans

I recently said that the NSale is not usually where I find exciting jeans…and then this year’s preview proved me, well, not wrong, per se, but almost. This year’s preview has a ton of styles I’m definitely interested in (in washes I love), as well as some exact brands/styles I already own and swear by. I’m all about the bootcuts and flares in the NSale this year, as well as the straight-leg jeans I’ve even worn with winter boots (they’re that cute).

The jeans below are the pairs I have experience with, and can personally vouch for:


4. The Blazers (& Lightweight Jackets)

This Vince cropped women's blazer is made from a cotton & linen blend. It's the perfect fall coat to wear with high-rise jeans. The selection in this sale -- L'Agence, Veronica Beard, ALC, Smythe + Cinq a Sept coats -- is  epic.
photo credit: Nordstrom

Black Blazer

This Vince blazer is made from a cotton and linen blend. And it’s the perfect fall coat to wear with high-rise jeans, or to layer over a long, swishy top. Cropped jackets like this are also genius with dresses, and this silhouette feels especially fresh for 2022. Love.

That said, the selection in this sale — L’Agence, Veronica Beard, ALC, Smythe, and omgggg Cinq a Sept coats — is epic. Get ready to scroll…these are just my favorites, BTW. But there’s a bunch!


5. 100% Silk Tops

There are only a few 100% silk tops in the sale, but the one above from ALC is especially pretty and versatile.
photo credit: Nordstrom

ALC Silk Top

There are only a few 100% silk tops in the sale, but the one above (from ALC) is especially pretty and versatile. I love that it could easily be worn to the office or out at night. Frankly, the only other silk top I’d recommend is Vince’s Band Collar Silk Blouse. All of the others, in my totally biased opinion…missed the mark. For example, this FRAME silk tank is gorgeous, but the cost is bizarrely high — over $250, making it one of the most expensive silk tops in the sale (and almost as expensive as ALC’s long-sleeve silk top). In that case, I think I’d be better off with a silk tank from Cami NYC (not on sale).

I could mayyyybe get behind that ALC long-sleeve silk top or this Cinq a Sept’s blouse, but they both have really bold prints that I need to see in person. I’m not totally convinced.


6. Anything From Frank & Eileen

Frank & Eileen first became known for their button-downs, but their sweatsuit collection is where they really shine. They're made in the USA and use natural (or sustainable) fabrics. My review? This is a great buy.
photo credit: Nordstrom

Button-Down

Frank & Eileen is a brand I’ve been wearing for years, but only recently realized that they’re made in the US. My understanding is that they use natural (or sustainable) fabrics, too. Frank & Eileen first became known for their button-downs (my favorite style is the ‘Eileen’, pictured above), but their sweatsuit collection is where they really shine. Happily, both are included in the NSale, and the only difference from their regular line (from what I can tell) is the color. My review: This is a great buy.


7. 100% Cashmere, Cotton, or Wool Sweaters

I'm pretty darn excited about this AllSaints cashmere sweater. The three colors are gorgeous & I love the distressed hem. For 100% cotton sweaters, La Ligne is your best bet.

AllSaints Cashmere Sweater | La Ligne Striped Sweater

There is very little 100% cashmere in this year’s sale. That said, I’m pretty darn excited about this AllSaints cashmere sweater (above, left). The three available colors are absolutely gorgeous, and I love the distressed hem. This sweater is actually 95% cashmere (a mix of both recycled and regular cashmere), and 5% either wool or nylon. After discussing with Jeni (our resident fashion design major), this is likely due to the use of deadstock cashmere (aka recycled) material, wherein maybe a different blend was included somewhere in the past, but you can’t quite tease it out exactly. She has assured me that the 5% won’t make a difference in the feel (or the care).

Also, if you’re looking for 100% cotton sweaters, La Ligne is your best bet. I’m still wearing the heck out of the cotton La Ligne sweaters I snapped up last year. Easy wins.


8. Boots To Wear With Jeans (Especially Taupe or Tan)

photo credit: Nordstrom

Vince Kaye Boots

Ok. OKAY. The boots this year….ARE SO GOOD. (And varied: Chunky soles, sleek heels, hiking boots, cowgirl boots.) Also, I am boring, so take that into account. I’ve been stalking Vince’s Kaye Block-Heel boots (pictured above) for a year now — The high shaft! The almond toe! The perfectly walkable heel! — and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m a taupe girl through and through (see above, re: boring), but they are also available in black.


9. Cute Sneakers

I'd buy Shana sneakers no matter what they look like. Happily, these are freaking amazing. The NSale cute sneaker selection is another area particularly on point this year.
photo credit: Nordstrom

Cute Sneakers

Guess what? AllSaints has named these chic, platform sneakers…after me. Introducing: The Shana Sneakers, a special collaboration between AllSaints and– just kidding. They don’t know I exist. But I am a sucker for good marketing and I’d buy Shana sneakers no matter what they look like. Happily, these are freaking amazing. The NSale sneaker selection is another area particularly on point this year.


10. Kork-Ease Sandals

I have a very similar pair of Kork-Ease platform sandals + I love them. They're not as heavy as most clogs. Nicely cushioned + very walkable.  And they give me SO MUCH HEIGHT.
photo credit: Nordstrom

Kork-Ease Platform Sandals

I have a verrrry similar pair of Kork-Ease sandals, and love them. They’re not as heavy as most clogs, they’re nicely cushioned and very walkable. And they give me SO MUCH HEIGHT. Kork-Ease is on fire this year in general, and I was thrilled to see both this style and the Kork-Ease Darra Sandals (a really chic mule) in the sale this year.


11. Clare V. & A A K S Bags

photo credit: Nordstrom

Clare V. Bag | A A K S Bag

One happy surprise was the inclusion of Black-owned business, A A K S. These straw bags are like little works of art — both Linzi and I have been HUGE fans. I’m definitely going to try and snap this one up.

Also, longtime favorite Clare V. has leather bags in this year’s sale! Historically, the Clare V. bags in the NSale have been in harder-to-clean suede (P.S. I never care), but am thrilled to see leather options, too. And that green is stunning.

Here’s a link to all Clare V. bags in the Nordstrom Sale….as well as all A A K S bags in the Nordstrom sale. You really won’t go wrong with any of them.


12. This Vince Maxi Dress

photo credit: Nordstrom

Maxi Dress

Every year, Vince trots out a 100% pima cotton dress for the NSale and I AM NOT MAD ABOUT IT. These things are freaking amazing — thick, soft, drapey, and gorgeous. Easily one of the best buys every year. A true gem.

P.S. There’s also a Vince maxi t-shirt dress in the sale (same Pima Cotton fabric)…and FRAME has a muscle tank maxi dress (in brown) that miiiight be good, too.


13. Beauty

If you do nothing else go and get that Le Labo hand soap. If you want to talk about simple pleasures, this is mine. Also, the Tom Ford body oil smells like summer + makes my skin shimmer in the most beautiful way.
photo credit: Nordstrom

Body Oil | Hand Soap

The beauty section of this year’s NSale reads like a list of my favorite things. If you do nothing else – NOTHING!!! – go and get that Le Labo hand soap (above, right). The scent is masculine and beautiful. Mike and I keep it in our master bathroom so we don’t have to share it with anyone else. I’ve literally climbed the three flights of stairs to use it. If you want to talk about simple pleasures, this is mine.

Also, the Tom Ford body oil. Smells like summer, makes my skin shimmer in the most beautiful way. Love this for summer nights.

Scroll around below for more skincare, my go-to lipstick, a gdh straightener, dry shampoo, brow stuff, the infamous Drybar, and on and on.


14. Jewelry

The jewelry might be the most under-rated section of the NSale, whether you're are looking for delicate pieces in real gold, or a fun layered necklace to rock with a white tee.
photo credit: Nordstrom

Hoops

The jewelry might be the most under-rated section of the NSale. It just seems to get better & better, whether you’re are looking for delicate pieces in real gold, or just a fun little layered necklace to rock with a white tee.

That’s it! Those are the pieces that I consider the “true gems” of this year’s sale. I’d love to know which pieces you guys have your eyes on, or if you think I’ve missed any.

xo,

S

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Shana, thanks for this great compilation. I definitely pay attention to TME recommendations! I have a question on the P448 sneaker: I normally take an 8-8 1/2 in shoes and notice the sizing on these is a bit different, i.e. US size 7 1/2-8 is a 38, and then US size 8 1/2-9 is a 39. Do you know if they run on the large or small size? I have the Rag & Bone sneakers on my list, but when you said the cushioning in the P448 is better, I wanted to give those a try as well. Thanks again for all the great coverage of the sale 🙂

    • Yup – that sizing is weird. I’ve found that p448’s Euro sizing is spot on, but their translation of it to US sizes is suspect. I’m solidly a 6.5 US, or a 37 Euro. In this case, I’m wearing a size 37 in P448s, which they list as a size 7.

  2. Almost every item here is made with animal by-products. You so often tout the benefits and importance of veganism, I don’t see why this doesn’t cross over into fashion choices?

    • My (sometimes) veganism is driven by both health and climate concerns, rather than animal welfare (which I care about, sort of, just not nearly as much as climate). And frankly, from that perspective, the entire fashion industry is deeply problematic, animal by-products or no. But that’s a really complicated issue for another day. In short, I just try to do my best, both personally and professionally, and encourage our readers to buy thoughtfully.

  3. I’m going to be real: I thought everyone knew by now that when you shop outlets, items are specifically made for outlets, otherwise they wouldn’t have full size runs or enough quantity to fill their stores in season (yes, some items are sent from full prices stores as well). Merchandise that is sold at Anniversary Sale is usually (not always) done similarly, because it is a specific color or fabric as a Nordstrom exclusive. It doesn’t mean it is lower quality (unless it is a fabric issue, like the cashmere mentioned), just that is is made exclusively for Nordstrom, because Nordstrom wants exclusive merchandise, and other retailers don’t want to have the same merchandise at full price when Nordstrom has it on sale.

  4. Thanks for the response. And you are correct with the fashion industry being deeply problematic on so many levels. Animal welfare is my number one priority and I do hope some day it will matter to you (and the rest of world) as well. As someone who is extremely dedicated to my ideals and ethics I no longer purchase clothing or accessories where an animal had to suffer. Fortunately, there are many likely minded people in the fashion industry now and hopefully we will slowly but surely make a change. For the animals and the environment.

  5. Omg this makes me so happy!!! Not only am I Internet Famous, but this is a super useful list! And Susie Q – totally agree with you! What you describe was behind my original comment to Shana, which prompted this list. The items on this list are *not* (to the best of our knowledge 🙂 ) created especially for the sale. True finds indeed! Those CorkEase sandals may be my new summer shoe!

  6. Shana! I love following TME, and you in particular, because you are the realest of real and I, too, embrace your premises of sustainability, quality, and true wearability. Most of these picks are super pricey, though! In my mind, the truest gems would include more affordable quality and style. Can you do a post on affordable #NSale gems for us? Thank you! Y’all are the best. (Not sure why I said y’all – I’m from Seattle!)

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