Reconnaissance Report: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

detail: style blogger Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age wears Rebecca Minkoff ankle boots from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

What I Tried, What I Bought…

My local Nordstrom store is on the smaller side, but they still had most items in stock that I’d wanted to examine up close. I hit the shoe department first, and hit the jackpot there. First, the ankle boots above from Rebecca Minkoff. I hadn’t really earmarked these to try, but loved them when I spotted on the shelf. Online they look a lot more pink; IRL they’re more of a dusty mauve. I think they work as a neutral. They’re comfortable as heck. At just under $100 on sale, I thought they were a good value. Keepers, for sure.

style blogger Susan B. tries on leopard print shoes from Cole Haan and Halogen at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I tried on both of these leopard print shoes. The mules on the right were on my shortlist from reviewing the catalog. I spotted the skimmers on the left in the store and loved the angled vamp and the low heel. A very Audrey Hepburn vibe. Both came home with me, and I’m still deciding which I’ll keep. I find both are comfortable, and run true-to-size. For those who need a true comfort shoe with good arch support, these leopard ghillie flats are worth trying.

Though I didn’t get a photo, I also came home with these Aquatalia dark grey suede ankle boots. I’ve always had great luck with Aquatalia, both for comfort and style. I was happy to find something I liked that wasn’t black and that had a nice buckle detail. They’re weatherproof too, so good for cool-season travel.

Dressing Room Confidential…

style blogger Susan B. tries on an Eileen Fisher merino wool sweater from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

First my apologies for the photo quality. The light in most dressing rooms really sucks for taking photos, and I did my best with editing to try to get the colors right. Above, this little merino wool sweater from Eileen Fisher was one that hadn’t looked like much online, but I really liked it in person. I’m wearing a Misses XS here in the “balsam” color which I love. It has set in sleeves (!!!!) for a less boxy and more flattering fit. The hem dips down in the back and it’s a nice shape and fabric. Winner! The Claret color also looks nice.

Vince long cashmere cardigan from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I loved the color and feel (SO soft!) of this Vince cashmere cardigan, but ultimately decided it was just the wrong length for me. Great piece for someone taller though! You may notice the Eileen Fisher asymmetrical sweater on the hanger on the rack…I’d had high hopes for that one but it ran very large and my store doesn’t stock EF petites. Didn’t like it enough to order in Petites.

In case you’re wondering about the lip color, I’m wearing Trish McEvoy Lip Veil in “Tea Rose” with just a little bit of the Ultra-Wear Lip Gloss in “Berry” over the top.

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age tries on an Equipment embroidered tunic during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I tried this striped embroidered cotton tunic from Equipment, but the only size they’d received was the XS and it was too small through the bust. I kind of like it though, and have ordered the next size up to try. Will update. If it works, it’s a piece I don’t have to wait until fall to wear as it’s very lightweight.

style blogger Susan B. tries on a Rails embroidered shirt from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It was the embroidery here that caught my eye. Though it’s marketed as a shirt, this top could also be worn open as a lightweight utility jacket. Didn’t buy it as I don’t really need another utility jacket/shirt at this point.

Susan B. of une femme d'un certain age tries on a Halogen coat from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

I’m not in the market for another coat either, but this coat was so cute on the hanger I wanted to try it on to show you. Alas, too big. Though it’s available online in Petites, my store did not get it in stock.

I didn’t see any jewelry or bags that called my name this year, through there are some nice items included. If I’d been looking for a watch, I did see a few that would have been contenders.

I always stock up on my Kiehl’s Creme de Corps during the sale. As well as this Lingerie Wash. (A couple of bottles of this will last me the entire year. I use it for both lingerie and silk pieces.)

We may go further afield to visit a larger Nordstrom over the weekend, and if I find anything worth mentioning, I’ll update next week. Otherwise, I’ll continue to refresh my Sale page periodically, so check there for updates. And remember, if something you like is out of stock in your size or color, bookmark it and keep checking back. Restocks happen regularly during the sale, and some things may become available again.

More of the good stuff:

Don’t forget, I’m also running a giveaway for one of Sharon Santoni’s “My Stylish French Box” subscription boxes! Go HERE for details and to enter the giveaway.

Oh, and wishing my French friends a nice quatorze julliet! 

Bon weekend!

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  1. Although I love VINCE clothing I find their clothing is usually too long/over sized for my 5’2″ height. I wish they’d make petites. Sweaters and shirts always have to be cuffed or tailored. At the price point of VINCE it’s not worth it. I really have to love a piece to make the effort. I find their tees very expensive and still eventually develop those tiny annoying holes. I agree that sweater was too long. Either commit to a maxi length or something knee length. Good choice to pass.

  2. How do you wear the longer sweaters with a coat? Most of my coats /rain wear are shorter than the longer sweaters.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I generally don’t wear longer sweaters with a coat. I wear them as a top layer only. If it’s raining or cold enough to warrant a coat, I’ll choose a shorter sweater that fits closer to the body.

  3. Ordered the EF sweater in Claret. I am also in So Cal and, sadly, my store’s Petite section is dwindling. My sales associate told me that my store was actually one of the better stocked ones 🙁
    Thank you for the great photos and feedback.

  4. Enjoyed your report – I’m going later today with my daughter – making up a list of things that are stocked in my local store. The leopard skimmers are on my list as well as the Longchamp expandable tote, one of the cashmere wraps and Missoni scarf. Unfortunately, the Aquatalia boots are never available locally – go figure for Seattle!

    1. Yes, you just need to click on the color “button” to see the grey ones. There are two colors offered, black and grey.

  5. Loved the leopard skimmers on the left on you so much, that I ran out and purchased a pair straight away. Glad I didn’t order them online as my regular size was a tad too big.
    I did order online the EF Perry bootie in black, the Longchamp travel bag, Joseph Seibel Caspian sneakers in platinum metalic (this color seems to be out of stock in my size right now, so fingers crossed that they’ve already shipped), the BP long sleeve white button up blouse and a cashmere wrap. Let’s see what I keep… and may go back for.
    Always appreciate your style!

  6. I have purchased the EF Perry bootie in grey. I am thrilled that these shoes are cut slightly wide and are so comfortable and good looking.

  7. I am curious about whether anyone has ever tested the premise. Does Nordstrom actually sell these items at higher prices after the sale? I went to Nordstrom Palo Alto yesterday and I was so disappointed in the quality and selection of the sale merchandise. A lot of it seemed to be stuff they had just shipped in to put on sale and a lot of it seemed to be outdated in style or inferior in style and quality. It seems like the whole thing is a lot of empty hype to me.

    1. I also wondered if some of the clothing and handbags are made just for the sale and of lesser quality..would any of our blog friends who perhaps worked at Nordstroms be able to answer this question? Also I thought sale was all new merchandise but i.e. the Munro shoe selection has previously sold items, same with the T. Burch handbags, K. Scott earrings…

      1. According to my Sales Associate, shoes, handbags and accessories are not made just for the sale. Many are this season’s versions (colors/materials) of popular styles. Some of the clothing may be “exclusive” to Nordstrom for the sale. Quality? I think it really depends on the brand and the piece. But in the Vince and Eileen Fisher pieces I looked at, the quality is same as regular line. Same with the shoes. I can’t speak for every item in the sale, FWIW, just what I’ve looked at or tried. That said, not everything will appeal to everyone, which is true of any sale, I think.

      2. I worked at Nordstrom for a while —many of the items are inclusive of Nordstrom. The bags fir the most part are not made for the sale. I’ll either make a purchase if boots or the leather Longchamp tote–last year so purchased the tan tote and this year the navy. I can’t begin to tell you how well-made the Longchamp tote is–Im very brand-loyal to Longchamp and the tote is a great price. As far as clothing –many items end up at Rack

  8. I ordered the Equipment blouse and fingers crossed it will fit over my bust. I love Equipment, but many of the blouses don’t button for me and sizing up throws off the proportions.

    I also ordered those gray Aquatalia boots on late Wednesday night and waiting for them to arrive! Thanks for the tip on stocking up on the lingerie wash. Having first learned about it from you, I love it and wouldn’t have noticed it’s in the sale.


  9. I absolutely LOVE the pale pink booties and ordered both the 6 and the 6.5 to pick up in store. Tried on both before I left. So disappointed! Sadly, neither fit my feet well at all. Both were too long but too tight in the toe are. Actually brought the 6 home and tried with footies and without just walking around the house. Miserable. Back they will go. Happily, the leopard print mules are super comfy so I’ll keep those. Still looking for something similar to those booties, though – a wonderful, pale, neutral color and love the styling.

  10. Beautiful shoes & boots! The EF balsam sweater is pretty, but I think you mean raglan sleeve, not set-in. Set-in sleeves have the armhole seam at the outer edge of the shoulder, raglan sleeves have the seam running from the neckline, slanting down to the bottom of the armhole.

  11. I have no proof but if most of the unsold pieces go to Nordstrom Rack after the sale, they probably are never sold at the so-called full price.

  12. I bought the Longchamp expandable tote in the purple (forgot the name of the color–berry-something?), and I LOVE it! This is my 2nd Longchamp bag, i already have the medium tote in red.

    Also bought some makeup exclusive for the sale–MAC lip set in nude and Butter London nail polish. I think that’s about it for me.

    1. Manyi tems will be restocked; espec on line as returns are sent in and also when the sale opens to the general public.. which I think is 7/21

      1. Nancy is correct. They may very well become available again…just bookmark and keep checking back.

  13. When I lived in CT, I wore Eileen fisher clothes in winter and JJill in summer. Now that I’ve retired to FL, I am partial to JJill. The prices are better for my reduced income, and the colors and fabrics are better suited to the hot weather.

  14. I ordered the Rebecca Minkoff ankle boots in the pink and love them. As you said, the color is more of a dusty rose/neutral and I found my usual size 8 a comfortable fit. I think they’ll look great with jeans and work wear alike. Thanks for steering me to these!

  15. I’M late on this, but I was able to fill in my shoe wardrobe with a pair of Paul green “Nora” water resistant booties, I have a hard time finding booties that work for me, so this style was a nice surprise!