How to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - une femme d'un certain âge

How to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and a sneak peek!)

How to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and Susan's picks...

So…it’s just about that time again. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is back to its usual mid-July-to-early-August timeframe. With things opening back up, it’s a good time think about to updating or refreshing your wardrobe for the months ahead.

above: trench | skincare | sandals | bag | sweater

While this sale can be over-hyped, I do think it’s worth checking out. It includes new styles for Fall, so it’s not the same stuff we’ve all been looking at for the last few months. The selection and range of styles can vary from year to year, but there are always a few good finds in the mix if you know what to look for. If I come away with 1-3 “keepers,” I consider that a success. And aside from clothing and accessories, there are usually opportunities to replenish lingerie, hosiery, and beauty favorites at reduced prices.

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How to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The sale preview is already online. If you are a Nordstrom cardholder, you’ll be able to shop the sale first, as early as July 12 depending on your Nordy Club status. (Check your account information for your status and access date.) The “All Skate” access (everyone else) is July 28.

The good news is, you have some time to go through the preview. If you have a Nordstrom account you can save favorites to your Wish List, and easily add them to your cart when you have access to shop. (First impression: styles for some brands are limited, there’s beaucoup d’activewear and sneakers again this year, saw a lot of shoes I liked.)

Here’s the strategy I use to get the most from this sale:

👉 Make a list. Are there items you need to replace or refresh? Gaps in your wardrobe? You can use the filters on the Nordstrom product pages to refine your search by item type.

If you’re planning to shop this sale, what types of items will you be looking for? Let me know and I’ll be on the lookout.

👉 Then, search by your favorite brands. Some of the brands I usually check for first are:

👉 Next, I’ll have a list of any specific items I might be looking to replace or update, and will search by category. For example:

Finally, I may wait a day or so to clear my head, then I’ll do what I call a “stream of consciousness” lap, just scrolling through broad categories (e.g. Clothing, Shoes, Beauty, Accessories) to see what catches my eye that I might have overlooked. (I’ve actually found some of my best Anniversary Sale purchases this way.)

And I’ll also take a pass through the store early in the sale, to see if anything jumps out at me.

👉 Don’t get discouraged…inventory may be tight on some items, but if something you wanted is sold out in your size or preferred color, bookmark it or keep on your wish list and check back periodically. Returns and restocks happen throughout the sale period. With the shift toward shopping more online rather than in stores, there will be more tendency for people to order multiple sizes and return what doesn’t fit.

I’ve added more of my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks to my SHOP page, and will be updating throughout the sale, so do check back regularly.

What’s on my wish list (so far)…

Lafayette 148 NY Mercer jeans in brown.

Brown is one of my neutrals, but it’s not easy to find in styles I usually wear. I’m hoping these jeans from Lafayette 148 NY will work for home and travel. (I’ll probably need to have them shortened…)

Cason lug soled loafer in Dijon, one of Susan's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks.

Lug-soled boots and loafers are looking to be a big trend for fall, and I’m here for it! This loafer is offered in several colors, but I really love the “Dijon.”

Gorjana fleur freshwater pearl double hoop earrings

These little freshwater pearl earrings are budget-friendly!

I thought you’d like these…

Mephisto Lissandra wedge sandals, black & reptile

I was REALLY excited to see that my favorite Mephisto sandals were included in the sale, in several colors! I’ve worn these walking in Paris for hours, and they are both comfortable and very stable. Both the ankle and toe straps are adjustable (velcro). I’m seriously considering adding another color…

Vince Camuto rumpled satin v-neck blouse ivory.

This Vince Camuto blouse is the same style I’ve been wearing a lot lately. Ivory and Black are included in the sale.

Longchamp le pliage expandable travel tote plum.

This Longchamp expandable tote is great for travel! It’s lightweight and folds up when not in use. We usually stash one in our suitcase in case we need extra space on the way home. They’re offered in 4 colors this year. (These usually sell out, so don’t wait for the end of the sale…)

Dyson V11 Torque hand vacuum, one of Susan's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks.

Yes, a vacuum cleaner. We have a very similar model and LOVE it…

Don’t forget to check out my SHOP page for more of my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks HERE

And I’ll be updating throughout the sale, so do check back!

Stay in touch.

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  1. Susan
    July 7, 2021 / 4:09 am

    Excellent advice on shopping the Anniversary Sale, Susan. In prior years, it was “impulse sale pallozza” for me, which is an abuse of time, money, and the environment. This year, I am ready to shop for my retired lifestyle and for the life I live, not aspire to live. I no longer need to dress for work five days a week supplemented by weekend and special occasion clothes. In June, I made a pie chart of clothing occasions through the end of the year- travel, special occasions, and routine. For example, I estimate that three times a week I will have casual social occasions, ( e.g. outings, lunches, book club, etc). Made a list of the possible outfit combinations in my current “inventory” and tried them on. It took at lot of time and more work than I expected. The good result is that I have a workable plan known as my “fall team.” I will not be as vulnerable to “buy it just in case,” and can splurge on a few items to fill gaps. And, a local charity will get fall clothing donations.

    Regarding your choices, go for the Lafayette 148 denim. It is pricey but truly an investment. I purchased a pair in a taupe color four or five years ago, and they will look nearly new this fall. My experience is that this brand runs large.

    I’ll take you up on your offer to look. I need to replace a navy cardigan. I prefer a style that hits at the hip or perhaps a little longer.

    Finally, the Dyson vacuum gets daily use at our house. It’s another good recommendation.

  2. Eve
    July 7, 2021 / 6:13 am

    Looking for a cashmere sweater in a good neutral like cream. A pretty scarf and maybe a warm sweater vest. Not fitted though. Something interesting for fun.
    I hear it’s the year of the sweater vest and I don’t have a single one,

  3. Victoria D.
    July 7, 2021 / 6:39 am

    It’s kind of depressing that what I chose from the list was – the vacuum! But I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

  4. Thea
    July 7, 2021 / 7:49 am

    I will restock my Kiehl’s body lotion and replace a couple of long sleeve t-shirts. Otherwise, I’m pretty disappointed in the selection. So much black, ripped jeans and leggings. I wear a plus size so the selection is even smaller. I could use a new vacuum…..

  5. Jill Ann
    July 7, 2021 / 8:36 am

    Not super excited by most of the options. The only thing I’ll definitely get is a pair of leggings! Just as an aside, why do so many clothing companies show their items on headless models standing stiff with arms at the side, and full on to the camera? I suppose they’re trying to show the garment details, but they just succeed in making the clothes look lifeless and unappealing (looking at you, Lafayette 148). Eileen Fisher is slightly better but not much.

  6. Kay
    July 7, 2021 / 11:36 am

    This sale gets less fun for me every year. Is it just me? Not much to see this time.

  7. Char
    July 7, 2021 / 12:06 pm

    I agree the selection just doesn’t excite me anymore. So many items aren’t new at all ! Why are they even on this event, you can get them on their sales. If need leggings or sneakers maybe.The Anniversary Sale used to be one where you could really get merchandise not seen before, the selections just aren’t
    what they used to be. Maybe I just don’t need anything! LOL

    • Susan Blakey
      July 7, 2021 / 12:14 pm

      From what I’ve been reading in the business press, a lot of retailers and brands are still having Covid-related supply chain issues, which may be why there are fewer items that seem new.

  8. MaryKay
    July 7, 2021 / 12:40 pm

    I began my “wish list” yesterday and several basic “long” (covering the hips) cardigans (Caslon and Halogen) are on the list. Just added the Mephisto sandle (in a different color). There are tems in my closet (thinking the Longchamp bag and a pair of Paul Green shoes) thanks to Susan’s recommendations in past years. I achieved Ambassador status a couple of years ago (daughter’s wedding dress helped!) and because of Covid, Nordstrom extended it’s Nordy Club levels another year so I plan to stock up on the basics (jeans, shoes, some jewelry) as much as possible because I will never spend up to that level again!

  9. Mary Alice
    July 7, 2021 / 1:04 pm

    Thanks for the guide! I’m creating my wish list and then I’ll pull the trigger when my turn comes up. I saw a tote bag I’ve been coveting and a gorgeous Veronica Beard blazer. In the old days my best friend and I would get to Nordatro when they opened at 7 am and make a day of it! My favorite Nordstrom sale story was the year my daughter was born..her birthday is July 21. I made my way to the sale and was buying baby clothes when I mentioned that I had a new baby girl at home. The clerk asked me how old she was and I said…”2 days!” Now that’s dedication!!!

  10. Mary
    July 7, 2021 / 2:38 pm

    Only 34 clothing items in petite sizes. Looking at the clothing, it seemed as though I was scrolling through the same items over and over with very little variety–black leggings, sameness with tops and sweaters–little flair and not a great deal of color. Very few scarves. This sale used to be where I picked up great scarves. Not anymore. This is at least the third or fourth successive year that Nordstrom’s sale offerings have disappointed me. From reading the comments before me, it is clear I am not the only one who feels this way.

    • Susan Blakey
      July 7, 2021 / 2:43 pm

      Yes, Nordstrom and many other retailers have drastically cut back on their Petite offerings in the last year or so. It’s very frustrating!

  11. LINDA
    July 8, 2021 / 3:27 am

    I love those Mephisto sandals. I bought a pair after you showed them in a post a long time ago and I also found a pair in excellent condition on Poshmark. I don’t need another pair, but it’s very tempting.

  12. MaryInMaryland
    July 8, 2021 / 7:20 am

    Yes to the Mephisto sandals in a second color. A few of the throws for my daughter, perhaps. I also like the Vince Camuto blouse in the 3/4 sleeve version, also included in the sale, same color options. It is all polyester but it is effortless when I have work travel. I don’t like this year’s Paul Green options, and the lack of petite size items frustrates me, also. I have great fondness for many past year sale purchases that were workhorses, great prices and styling in merino wool, silk, cashmere but those days seem to be over.

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