Fashion Magazine

What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and What I Considered Buying)

By Wardrobeoxygen @wardrobe_oxygen
What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)

Yesterday the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opened up to cardholders who do not spend a lot on their Nordstrom cards every year. While I have had a Nordstrom credit card since 1998, there is no balance on it and I rarely use it anymore, except for sales like this. Last week, the sale opened to those who use their Nordstrom card more often, and they bought a lot of the awesome stuff that was available. Yet, I was still able to score some of the things I saved on my Wish List from the sale preview. Below I share what I bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, as well as what I considered buying and why I chose not to buy it.

What I Bought at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Honestly, I don't need anything... but there were some items that I really liked and hope when they arrive I find they are a smart choice for this new normal to add style, comfort, and fill holes in my closet. Luckily with Nordstrom, each purchase has free shipping and free returns so if items are a miss I can pack them up and my postal worker can pick it up from my residence the next day.

What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)

I have owned sweaters like this off and on for decades. I love a wrap style, I love how I can wear it alone and have a sexy cozy look with leggings and boots, add a cami for a more casual look with more coverage, how they often work well thrown over dresses, and it gets a completely different effect over a lightweight turtleneck. I have bought sweaters from Frame before and find them high quality, and also to fit true to size. Knowing Frame and also because it's in a classic color that transcends trends (and changes in my personal style aesthetic), I was more accepting of the price (just under $200). I got it in size Large.

What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)

I have worn Ray-Ban 62mm aviator sunglasses for almost two decades. I will occasionally buy a trendy pair from QUAY or another reputable lower-priced brand but I always go back to my Ray-Bans. Something about this square style and the blue gradient lenses called to me. I liked the idea of a lesser-tinted pair of sunglasses to wear with a mask, and liked the idea of the square shape against a mask, adding some geometry. I don't know if I'll like these, they're smaller than I'm used to but I'm willing to try at this discounted price (just under $115).

What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)

I've changed my sheets, I've changed my pillow, I've changed my pajamas, I've changed the temperature of the room, added fans, and I still wake up many nights in a pool of sweat. I figured I'd try this, I knew many of you would also be curious if it works. We shall see...

What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)

All my leggings are wrong for my current fitness routine. They're stretched out, my body shape has changed, and most of them are too thick and bulky for the Peloton bike. I liked the print of these, I've bought Zella before and liked them, and I liked that they are described as incredibly lightweight and moisture-wicking. I ordered a Medium; I don't know if I am a medium now but I do know all my Zella leggings in Large are now sliding down during bike rides.

What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)

Same as above, I am looking to update my activewear with some lightweight leggings that won't slide down mid-workout. I also liked this print, I think it will be pretty with pastels and highlighter brights as well as black.

What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)

I saw this sweater jacket around midnight Sunday night when finishing up my Nordstrom sale post and thought it was a really good choice this fall and winter and into spring for working from home. I like that it has more structure than a cardigan, which can veer into loungewear territory, but is still soft and cozy. It has pockets, it would look cute with joggers, but could also dress up if it leaves the house with a graphic tee and jeans, with a black lightweight turtleneck and tweed trousers, with black ankle pants and a black and white striped tee... with a lot of things. It also comes in camo (and black but that's sold out right now) but you know me, I find leopard to be a neutral! I got it in Large.

What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)

This was the first item I put on my sale wishlist, but now looking at it I worry it may be the first thing I return. I love the concept, I think it's chic but also perfect for working from home... but knowing me I fear those sleeves will be falling in my coffee and soup. I hope I am wrong because I think it will look great with jeans and boots if I leave the house, and over a t-shirt or lightweight turtleneck with leggings or joggers when working from home. It looks like the kind of cardigan I'd also love for travel.

What I Considered Buying from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

There were many things in the sale that I loved, but couldn't justify buying because of the price, or the lack of need in my current life. These are them, with the reason that they didn't make the cut:

Coats and Jackets

Let's be honest, I have coats that will get me through whatever weather Mother Nature has in store for us the next three seasons. Snow, rain, wind... I have it. I may not like it, it may not be in pristine condition, it may not fit perfectly, but I know I don't have to work outside the home and I don't have plans for any social occasions where a nice new coat is desired so I am going to work with what I have. However, these coats were making me drool:

What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)

The first row are raincoats. I got a trench from Universal Standard a while ago (you can see it in this post) but it's not water-resistant at all, it was a bit big for me than and with my lifestyle changes it's now way too big. I have this water-repellent jacket, I've had it for a while (seen here and here) and honestly... it's fine. I stopped wearing it because it got too snug in the shoulders and arms to wear anything heavyweight under it, but now it fits better. But if I didn't have it and didn't psych myself into embracing what I have, I would have tried either this red trench from Pendleton that's usually $245 and on sale for $149.90 (omg the color and I am such a sucker for Pendleton), this hooded longer trench from Lauren Ralph Lauren on sale for $149.90 when it's usually $240 (I've always had luck with RLR for outerwear and have bought it during the NSale before), or this windproof and water-resistant insulated raincoat from Bernardo that's regularly $195 but on sale for $116.90 (I love Bernardo and find the fit and quality always stellar).

The second row are for cold weather. I bought a Bernardo coat during an NSale a few years ago (see it on me here and here) and I love it. But it is at least four years old and after all the washings the pockets have gotten weird and sticky/plasticky and it's looking a little worn. I also would love to switch from black to a color, but still a color that won't look grody after a day dealing with slush and rain and such. Also my coat only has a thin hood that packs into the collar. This one also from Bernardo would be a fantastic replacement. Good color, proper hood, the same strategic seaming to work with one's figure, plus it's made with bluesign®-approved fabric and other sustainably produced components. Regularly $225, it's on sale for $134.90, and considering how my last Bernardo has held up and also kept me warm and dry on the grossest winter days and nights, I know it would be a good value. But I am going to try to get one more winter in with my current Bernardo and if it craps out on me in any way, I have a really old dingy orange Lands' End Squall (seen in this post saying I got it in 2005) that I use for shoveling and winter chores that will get the job done. And as for the giraffe-print car coat... I think it's a chic coat. It reminds me of my old Via Spiga coat, and a dark green leopard print car coat I got eons ago from Arden B. And I believe I still have that Via Spiga coat deep in the recesses of our office closet so I am going to pull that out. And honestly, I'm not likely going anywhere nice this winter so I have my US bomber and my US Kanda to be an alternative to my Bernardo.


What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)

I didn't buy any shoes during the sale because I had to be honest with myself that I don't need them now and can foresee that they won't be needed through 2021. I was seeing them through my 2019 lens, not the one of this new normal. And because I did a recent closet edit and made a recent boot purchase, they aren't as needed as I thought.

  • I think Sperry Saltwaters are a good multifunction boot. Like the L.L. Bean duck boot, it's one that works for snow, for rain, for mud, and everything in between. And honestly, I do own the equivalent, a pair of BOGS. Thing is, the BOGS are a bit uncomfortable when worn for long spans of time, and the shaft is so high they are hard to get on and off. I was using this to justify buying the Saltwaters, but since I just bought these waterproof hiking boots for times when I will do a lot of walking, if I need such a boot as these I can take the time to wiggle on the BOGS.
  • Below them are Blondo waterproof booties that I suggested in my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks post. I think they look cool, I love they can be pulled on easily, and I adore that they are waterproof. They seem so practical yet stylish! But Alison, do you have a need for them? You have these expensive La Canadienne boots you bought last year. They are also waterproof and easy to put on thanks to the side zipper. Alison, you've worn these boots with leggings, with joggers, with jeans, and everything you'd wear with these Blondo boots. Sure the Blondos are taupe and will lighten up your wardrobe and look chic with athleisure, but that's not enough to warrant the purchase, especially when your white Adidas Superstar sneakers are still bright and crisp and will achieve the same thing on non-wet days.
  • Okay, so these weird Sorel sneakers I suggested in yesterday's post. They are so weird I adore them. I love the pops of orange/coral, I'd love them with some leggings and my bomber jacket. I'd love them with a t-shirt dress and a leather moto jacket. I'd love them with faux leather leggings and a black slouchy cashmere sweater tunic. But I really truly do not need these. I have my white Adidas Superstar sneakers. I have my workout sneakers. I even have a pair of black low-cut Chucks collecting dust in my closet. And oh yeah, I also have my Cariumas.
  • I have been looking at these really weird shoes from Ilse Jacobson for months. They come in a bunch of colors, I think I like the orange best. I think they're such a fun alternative to slip-on sneakers and would be nice and breezy in the summer. I could wear them with sundresses to the farmers market and they'd be a great pop of color with white linen pants and striped tees. I'd love them at the beach, to throw on with denim shorts and a linen shirt for walking the Boardwalk and... let's be honest I'm not going anywhere this summer where I can't wear what I already own. I decided I'll hold off on any more summer shoes so I will have the money to buy them next summer.
  • If this was normal life, I'd be right at the point where I need to replace my gym sneakers. And I have been intrigued by On Running for a while. And I like this blush/low-contrast color as I think they'd also look cool with athleisure in neutrals like the cream zipper hoodie I'm wearing today and the cabi joggers this season in green. But I am not going to the gym, so my sneakers are still in decent condition and will likely last the rest of the year. And if I am wearing my cream zipper hoodie and a pair of olive joggers, it's likely in my home where I will be sporting cozy socks and/or Birkenstocks. And if I do leave the house, I can do it in my Adidas Superstars.


I realize that buying clothing in 2020 is either because this new normal has created a hole in my closet that I need to fill, or because I am so over wearing the same black joggers and t-shirts I want newness to feel some sort of positive boost for my everyday. This sale got me off track and I started adding to my wishlist items that are great... but they aren't great for my current existence.

What I Bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (and what I considered buying)
  • Nordstrom Signature is fantastic cashmere - thick and lofty and lasts. I have Nordstrom Signature cashmere over a decade old so I was super drawn to this cozy blue turtleneck tunic. How lovely would it be to be enveloped in it on a cold winter day, paired with some ponte leggings and fuzzy socks. And it would be lovely, but I cannot justify that pricetag when I have a fuzzy cozy hot pink oversized J. Crew sweater I got this year, and a Nordstrom Signature cashmere sweater dress that I have worn with leggings that could achieve a similar feeling though a different silhouette. So I didn't get it, but I still love it.
  • I wear my cabi cropped cardigan all the time. I like that it's thick but not stiff, it's easy to throw over a t-shirt, but it's more polished than a hoodie. So I was super drawn to this sweater, which I thought would be a great alternative as the temps drop. Rails makes super thick and soft and lovely sweaters. But then I thought... I've washed my cabi cardigan maybe a dozen times since the pandemic started. I love it because I can wash it and throw it over a curtain rod overnight and the next day it's like new ready to be worn and stained again. And this cardigan, as beautiful as it is, should not be attempted to be machine washed on gentle. And right now I'm not in a place where I'm up for taking work at home clothes to the dry cleaners. So I didn't get it, but that doesn't mean I don't adore it.
  • Another company that makes amazing sweaters is Vince. I've owned some over the years, all bought during sales like this, and they are soft and well made and hold up and look so cool. And this blue v-neck looked so cool. Front tuck it into some joggers, wear with black faux leather leggings, pair with faded distressed denim, wear with white jeans... I could go on and on. But just like the cashmere turtleneck above... I don't really need it. And it's not a color or a style that blows me away so much I know it will "spark joy." So I didn't get it, but I do still want it!
  • If you wear it, you will manifest it? I can't say I wasn't drawn to this shirt hoping it would make it come true. And I liked that it was a slouchy cut. But I've decided if I'm buying any graphic t-shirts this year, a portion has to go to some cause. There is so much going on right now, if I am going to proclaim something on my chest I need to back it up with support of some kind.
  • This is totally the kind of shirt I love. Wacky print, mixed media, slouchy style. But it's for Alison 2019, not Alison 2020. Alison 2019 would wear it with skinny high-waisted jeans and boots and a bunch of gold jewelry for dinner at a restaurant or drinks with girl friends. It would be comfy yet cool, I wouldn't mind if it fell off a shoulder and showed my simple black bra strap, I'd wear it to a concert with cutoff denim shorts. But 2020 Alison would spill marinara on it and even though it says machine wash and tumble dry she knows from past experience with FreePeople tops that it still will shrink a bit and not be quite as great as it was before and after three spills of marinara the top would be in the bag to take to GreenDrop.
  • I have a Levi's denim jacket. I have a Soma denim jacket. As I type this there is a box in my front hall that just arrived from Chico's that has a denim jacket in it. But for the same reason that I mention all these three denim jackets is why I was drawn to this one from Madewell. It's not the same silhouette or the same wash, and I just love me some denim jackets! I wear them all the time - I throw them on for errands, I love them for travel, I even wear them to the gym knowing they won't stick to sweaty skin and can easily be washed. But here's the thing Alison... you aren't running errands, you aren't traveling, and you're not even going to the gym. So I didn't get it.
  • I love my Athleta jeans, but due to being worn and washed at least weekly and my body changing they don't fit as well as they used to. These jeans from rag & bone looked like a good alternative and I liked the gray color. But what makes my Athleta jeans so great and worn so often is that they are as stretchy and comfy as my joggers. And while these have 2% stretch, I had a feeling they would not be nearly as stretchy or comfy. And since I'm not going anywhere, there's no need to have variety from my faded beloved "mom jean" pair until they fall apart. And by then, my body may be different once more. So I passed, but I do like these very much.
  • For years, I used the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale to indulge in my love of leather clothing. Each year I'd get a leather skirt or dress or jacket or whatever. Halogen makes nice, soft leather at an amazing price and I saw this skirt and thought graphic tee and sneakers. Turtleneck and tall boots. Slouchy sweater and flats. The Rails cardigan above... all of the ideas so cool and so for an Alison who heads to Georgetown to work a day at The Wing and meets a friend for lunch and a brand for coffee and then goes to a blogger event where she takes selfies with her friends while clinking glasses of Prosecco and heads home in an Uber head down towards her phone, sharing the day on Instagram Stories. And there is no place where I can rock a leather skirt like this anytime soon. I'd rather save my money and splurge on something completely badass when I am able to go back to such an existence.
  • I saw this jumpsuit from Maggy London and fell in love. So pretty, so me. But I'd totally have to take it to the tailor to take up the shoulders and cut off some off the hem. And then, in a theme from all these bullets... I have nowhere to wear it anytime soon. But gosh it is beautiful!

Once my purchases arrive, I will do a follow-up post letting you know what are hits and misses. And I want to continue to hear from you! What did you get or are planning to get at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Let's help one another with honest reviews so we can be sure we're making purchases that are beneficial for our style, our sanity, and our new normal!

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