My mom and I were so excited to get to the Nordstrom in Novi — the one closest to Ann Arbor, where my surgery & recovery will be happening (starting tomorrow). There’s nothing like a fun, mother-daughter shopping day to distract from a looming brain surgery.
Sexy Dresses, Cute Loungewear & The Best Fall Outfit Inspo In Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021
Despite the timing, we had a ton of fun and found a few gems: the best denim, the best leather jacket, the best dress, the best sweater and the most comfortable sweatpants of all time. Most of the items on my wish list weren’t actually in the store, which ended up being a blessing in disguise–I found some really great pieces I never would have looked at twice online.
We also ended up spending about half our money on our favorite beauty deals — they were SO good this year! I put a list of the beauty items I bought at the end of this post here.
None of the pieces that came home with me were on my wish list (I’ll have to order those, I guess!), but they still fit my general style aesthetic of comfy and a bit sexy. And unlike last year, we can actually leave our house this fall, so I’ll finally have places to wear these cute outfits!
1. My 3 Favorite Outfits In #NSale 2021
My number one, favorite piece in the sale is this ALLSAINTS jacket that Laura loves. I was able to try on different sizes in the store (size 6 was perfect) and OMG I LOVE it. The leather is SO soft, and the fit is great.
A. An Office-to-Dinner Outfit Idea: All Saints Leather Jacket, The Cutest Cardigan, & Comfy Pencil Skirt
This ALLSAINTS jacket is as good as Laura has promised — I knew it was coming home with me the second I felt it. SO insanely soft and I can actually zip it up if I want.(Laura loves the green.) The cardigan is from Club Monaco and is 100% cashmere — soft, so no shirt underneath is required. It’s comfortable and fits really well. This Vince Camuto skirt is a new favorite (more on that later), and these Steve Madden boots are perfect to wear with all of the dresses and skirts (I couldn’t decide which color I liked better — the black or the brown).
B. For Fall Weekends: Vince Sweater, Wit & Wisdom Jeans, Tory Burch Boots
This VINCE sweater–I LOVE this sweater. I have a habit of buying cheap, mostly acrylic sweaters that last maybe one season (sometimes one wear if I wash it and it pills badly). Shana has been trying to get me to see the value of cost-per-wear and this sweater is a great example. She has VINCE sweaters that have lasted years and still look good. I’m wearing it here with the Wit & Wisdom jeans (that also came home with me) that help to flatten out the tummy area and are super comfy. These will be the jeans I wear with longer sweaters because the fly doesn’t stick out and add extra bulk!
Lastly, these Tory Burch boots — 😍 I love the heel and the color, and all the things about them.
C. A Dress To Wear Right Now: Vince’s Maxi Dress
This dress is perfection. It’s not skintight but it still shows off curves — the sash tie is genius…it camouflages my C-Section pooch but still defines my waist. It’s 100% pima cotton, so it’s soft, breathable and super-comfy.
2. More Ways To Wear My Favorite Fall Sweaters
Those two amazing sweaters I mentioned above? The cashmere cardigan from Club Monaco and the Merino Wool sweater from VINCE? They will be my go-tos this year for everything. They’re super high-quality, soft, comfy and go with all the things.
A. Club Monaco’s Cardigan: 2 Outfit Ideas
This cardigan from Club Monaco is 100% cashmere so it can be worn on its own, right next to the skin without scratching. Dress it down with jeans (these PAIGE jeans are my favorites from the sale) or up with a pencil skirt and over-the-knee boots.
B. Vince’s Cable Knit Sweater: 2 Outfit Ideas
I like layering sweaters over dresses (skirts tend to ride up on me) and love the way the bottom of this sweater falls over them. And these VINCE pants look so much better in person. They’re obviously a bit too long on me (I’m only 5’4″) but they were insanely comfortable, and I love the subtle sheen (strangely, they look matte online).
3. Cute Jeans & Tops For The Daily
You know I’ve never met a slouchy off-the-shoulder top I didn’t like, and this one from Treasure & Bond is soft and comfy. I like that it’s a bit shorter than the ones I have and pairs well with high-rise jeans. (They didn’t have the off the shoulder dress from Treasure & Bond in store, so I’ll have to order that one!)
A. PAIGE Cindy Straight Leg Jeans
This Free People top is perfect for balancing out bigger hips/booties. I love the shoulders and longer sleeve length. And the top on the right is from Club Monaco…another piece I would have totally scrolled by online, but it’s a perfect top for work or when you want to dress up jeans just a bit (and hide cleavage!).
B. AG Ex-Boyfriend Slim Fit Jeans
You guys, these jeans are SO insanely soft. I’m wearing a 29 on the left and a 28 on the right. I love the slouchiness but especially the comfort level of these. I have (and love) the darker pair (which are also part of the sale!) but there’s something about the lived-in feel of this lighter wash. So good, you guys.
4. Because Who Doesn’t Need More Cardigans
I mean, I’ll always love my cardigans. This VINCE cardigan is the perfect layer for cool fall days either over a t-shirt or sweaters when it’s really cold. It also comes in black or camel, and I love that it’s like a coat, but super cozy and comfy.
A. Cute & Cozy Short Cardigans
The Bobble cardigan from Madewell (on the left) is 100% cotton so it’s nice and breathable (I wish it was just a tad softer, TBH). Reviewers say it ran short, but the size small was perfect on me so size up if you want a longer length. (It’s also in black or a pretty sage green.) The VINCE cardigan on the right is 97% wool but so soft and crazy warm, with none of that itchiness you usually get with wool. I love the color and fit. (And I have to shout out this cami for being high enough to hide cleavage but not overly frumpy–and with adjustable straps, this is the perfect undershirt for work!)
B. Long Cardigans
Top Left: Barefoot Dreams Circle Cardigan (m) – I just love this thing. SO freaking soft and comfy — better than a robe (and a lot cuter too!). Reviewers love it just as much as I do, and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is the perfect time to snap this one up (they usually sell out by the end of the sale!).
Top Right: Madewell Colorblock Cardigan (xxs, also in plus sizes) – Love the color-blocking! This one is super-soft and I love the longer length…my mom grabbed it, hence the size, but I’m glad I tried the smaller size because I liked the shrunken fit.
Bottom: Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Lite Long Cardigan (s) – Another super soft and comfy cardigan from Barefoot Dreams. I sized up for a slouchier fit. Although I would probably wear this one mostly at home in lieu of an ugly robe, I wouldn’t mind throwing it on over loungewear to drop the kids off or run a quick errand. (Love the pockets, too.)
5. Dresses To Wear Now
Aside from the Vince Maxi dress I loved, there were two others dresses that are perfect for wearing right now that can also easily be warmed up for fall.
A. Club Monaco’s Little Black Dress
This Club Monaco dress is so fun. There’s not a ton of stretch to it, but I followed the fit chart for sizing and it was perfect. I LOVE the sleeves and square neckline. I layered the VINCE sweater over it (above) and the sleeves didn’t stick out or look weird either.
B. Club Monaco’s T-Shirt Dress
Another sash-tie dress that’s genius for hiding soft bellies! This might be the only horizontal-stripe dress I’ve ever found that’s actually flattering. The ponte knit fabric is soft and stretchy so this one is super comfortable too.
6. Dresses To Wear Later
I’ve gotten used to being really comfortable (hello, Quarantine Loungewear!) and I find that dresses are often just easier to wear. All of these dresses will be perfect for fall!
A. Wrap Dress
This Ted Baker dress would be perfect if I was still teaching! I first tried this in a size 6 (my usual size) and the sales woman informed me that it was European sizes…so I would have probably been about a 2. Good to know, because I wouldn’t have thought twice about keeping this one in the 6 but the 2 was perfectly drapey, stretchy, comfy and did that whole hide-the-pooch thing.
B. Good American Ribbed Sweater Dress
I already knew I loved this dress because I have the sleeveless version for spring and summer, so when I saw the black long-sleeved version for fall, I was sold! The tie-waist is so good for showing off curves without highlighting a pooch and I love the longer sleeves! (The double side slits make for easy movement too.)
C. Vince’s Cozy Maxi Dress
“So chic,” were the exact words of the saleswoman helping us, and I totally agree. I love this VINCE dress — so luxuriously soft. It grazes the body without being skin tight and I love the length of the sleeves, the turtleneck, tie waist and the side slit.
D. BB Dakota Dress
This BB Dakota by Steve Madden shift dress is so lightweight and easy. It covers cleavage (I mean sometimes you want it and sometimes you definitely don’t) and kind of drapes down nicely without clinging. I would wear this with leggings and a cardigan to teach in or with OTK boots to go out it. Just super comfortable, easy and versatile.
6. Loungewear & 1 Really Cute Workout Set
A. Alo’s Loungewear Set
OK, so after looking at the model and reading the reviews I’m thinking I should have tried a size down in these sweatpants, but either way this is just a cute outfit to lounge in.
B. Cozy Zella & Barefoot Dreams (aka My Hospital Outfit)
From the moment I felt these Zella sweatpants on the hanger, I knew they were coming home with me. They’re made with mostly Tencel, which is one of my favorite fabrics because it’s SO soft and sustainably produced! And most of you guys have heard me drone on at length about Barefoot Dreams cardigans so suffice it to say, this is probably the outfit I’ll be living in for the next few days in the hospital — SO. COMFY. (This photo is blurry because–balance. Hopefully, that will be fixed after surgery!)
C. Natori’s Wireless Bra (aka My Favorite of All-Time)
This Natori bra is my all-time favorite. It’s comfy (wireless!) and is the only bra I can wear under smooth shirts like this without getting a double boob (one of my boobs is bigger so I often have that issue under tops). The saleswoman helping us fits bras, and when she saw me wearing the one I already have gently informed me it didn’t fit right. I was wearing a 34C and after trying on a few different sizes, the 32DD was the one that fit. It makes a huge difference, so order a couple of sizes to see which one is best for you!
C. Nike Winter Warm Tights
Nike, you had me at “winter.” The inside of these leggings are fleece-lined so they’re really soft and the top is super comfortable — not too tight, but it can be tied at the waist with the drawstring to prevent it from falling down (an issue I often have with leggings). The fabric is moisture-wicking, so they’re perfect for running or skiing in the cold, and I love the side pocket to stash my phone.
7. The Most Versatile Skirt: Black Ponte Pencil Skirt
I did NOT go into this sale thinking I needed a pencil skirt. But after trying on the Stretch Knit Midi Tube Skirt and the Ponte Midi Skirt, both from Vince Camuto, I decided I needed that stretch tube skirt. It’s SO soft and comfy, and I love it with OTK boots and sweaters for fall! The Ponte Midi Skirt is just a bit thicker and more substantial. It holds you in more, has a higher rise and longer length. (That one would probably have been my pick if I were still teaching.)
I mean…I’m not faking that smile in the pic! LOL this is SUCH a “me” outfit, I can’t wait to wear it out somewhere. I love that I can actually zip up that ALLSAINTS jacket and when paired with the Vince Camuto skirt, I just feel sexy and a little bit B.A. (Oh and of course — still comfy.)
More Ways To Wear A Black Pencil Skirt
If I were still teaching, these would be my go-to outfits for fall. The Vince Camuto blouses are great for hiding cleavage and come in a ton of colors. Add a pencil skirt and boots or pumps, and you’re good to go. The Free People sweater was too big (I’ll have to order the xs) but you get the idea for a fun fall outfit. (And although I didn’t get that Tory Burch bag, I have to say it was beautiful in person. I love how easy it could go from a crossbody to a hand-held bag, and the green and blush colors were also gorgeous!)
Best Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 Beauty Deals
As promised, all those beauty deals I mentioned above. These are my top picks.
I also wanted to take one more opportunity to thank you guys SO much for all the thoughts/prayers/messages/love and positive vibes. It has been so comforting going into this surgery…I’ll try to keep you up to date as much as possible! 🙏🏼
PS: Once you’re done shopping here, be sure to head back to our #NSale cheat sheet to check out all the posts from the other contributors. If you want ALL THE DEETS, go on over to our ultimate guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which has early access and sale dates, all our articles (including wish lists, capsule wardrobes, and dressing room selfies), and our top picks.
And please remember, if you want to be sure to support us throughout the sale, be sure to click a link from one of our posts before you shop and check out. We realllly appreciate it.