Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nordstrom #nsale: To buy or not buy

I was going to continue my recap of our vacation, but I felt silly talking about vacation since I will be shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale as of 8am this morning! The sale does not open for cardholders until tomorrow, July 13th, however, level 4 peeps get to shop it today, and I was lucky enough to be able to get behind the scenes a little bit early. Since the #nsale is so top of mind at the moment, I will have to postpone my vacation recap for a future post.

Vince Camuto "Kathleen" bootie
from the 2016 Anniversary Sale

Yes, I know, I'm sure you're already annoyed by all of the coverage. This is my 4th year covering the sale, and it's just as much of a time-suck to shop/write/outfit-plan/post about it than it is to read about it, trust me! With so many people sharing their opinions about their must-have pieces, all I can do is be myself and share my honest opinions about what I like. For this post, I decided to look back at all of my purchases and assess which were good life choices and which, looking back in hindsight, I could have really done without. I'm hoping this analysis will help me make better choices this year! Let's get started!

To buy: the perfect fall bootie

Vince Camuto "Kathleen" bootie
from the 2016 Anniversary Sale
(Purchase price $99.90, after sale price $149.95)

These booties are clearly one of my most-worn Anniversary Sale purchases, and I've only had them for a year! I think what makes them so ideal for me is that I really didn't have to wait until fall to wear them. The cut out and peep toe make them a good transitional piece from summer to fall and from winter to spring. The stacked heel makes them comfortable to walk in, and, well, I think booties in general are going to be around for awhile. The style isn't 100% classic, but it also has enough oomph to keep them interesting without being overly trendy. And since I know and love the Vince Camuto brand, $50 off is a good deal for the quality, current-season-style, non-clearance Vince shoe! Naturally, I had to share some ways I've styled them over the last few months.

What not to buy: things you never wear

Naya 'Tiber' oxford
from the 2015 Anniversary Sale
(Purchased price $89.90, after sale $128.95)

Left: Halogen "Olson" Pointy Toe Studded T-Strap Flat
(Purchased price $59.90 After sale price $89.85)
Right: Louise et Cie "Barry" Ankle Strap Flat
(Purchased price $89.90 After sale $138.95)
both from the 2015 Anniversary Sale

I'm not telling you to not buy flats, that's silly. Buy all the flats if you love the flats. But what I wouldn't do is invest in pieces that you know don't fit your style or that you know you will never wear. Don't use this sale to buy a cocktail dress if you have no event planned that you actually NEED to wear it to. Don't use this sale to try out a new trend. If you know you NEVER wear maxi dresses, don't buy a maxi dress despite how cute you think it looks on you! Same thing with heels. If you know you will never put on heels because you are constantly chasing your 2-year old, then maybe find a great pair of flats or sneakers instead!

I realize this is common sense, but I felt compelled to say this and be honest about my choices. Out of the three pairs of flat shoes above that I've purchased from previous anniversary sales, I've only kept the leopard pair, the other two have been sold or donated. And the leopard pair, I haven't worn in I-don't-know-how-long, but I've hung onto them just because the print is so good, and what if I change my mind about flats sometime? I don't know. Either way, I should have passed on these pieces because I know that my heart belongs to heels and I have a job that doesn't require a lot of walking, so I never actually crave flats.

To buy: classic prints in a classic fit

Halogen floral print sweater
from the 2014 Anniversary Sale
(purchase price: $57.90, After sale $88)

This sweater is one of my favorite anniversary sale purchases because it's super easy to throw on thanks to its relaxed, but not baggy fit. The saturation of color in the floral print is easonless and I never tire of it! It's lightweight enough to wear in the summer with the sleeves pushed up, but works well as a base layer. Basically, it's versatile, versatile, versatile and doesn't need much to finish it off into an outfit.

What not to buy: trendy cuts and prints

Bellatrix Print Faux wrap top
from the 2014 Anniversary Sale
(purchased price: $39.90/ After sale: $60)

I loved this top so much that I bought it in two colors. Neither of them are in my closet anymore because I got tired of them pretty quickly. The print wasn't classic enough for me (classic prints to me are your basic florals, stripes, dots, paisley, etc.) These ended up being too geometric for my taste and I just fell out of love with them. On top of that, the fit wasn't very versatile. Yes, I could wear them with pants, and well, that's about it. The way it hangs in the front made it difficult to wear with skirts - the proportions were off untucked with any shaped skirt, and the way it hangs in the front made it bunchy when tuck into skirts. I thought this was a good contrast to the aforementioned floral sweater that I still wear 3 years later.

To buy: foolproof basics

Hinge Woven Hem Tee
from the 2015 Anniversary Sale
(purchased price $44.90 After sale $68)

Halogen Belted Shortsleeve top
from the 2015 Anniversary Sale
(purchased price $49.90 After sale $68)

I consider both of these tops to be "better-than-a-tee" basic. You can throw them on, they're as effortless as a plain old tee shirt, but the ruffle hem in the navy shirt and the folded sleeves and belted waist of the blush top fool your friends into thinking that you actually cared about getting out of bed in the morning. That is what I love about these tops. They are seasonless both in color and wearability.

What not to buy: multiples of basic basics

Halogen Relaxed Slub Knit U-Neck Tee
from the 2015 Anniversary Sale
(purchased price price $15.90 After sale $25)

I definitely have a big, bad habit of finding something I love and buying every color and print that it comes in! I LOVED this tee so so much! The fit was great! But then I lost 20 pounds and guess what tees I am now swimming in?! Cue the violins! I realize that is a good problem to have, but it's sad that I spent $64 on a group of basics that could have bought me another pair of shoes that are not going to get too big on me! (In theory!) Also, you can get a basic tee shirt anywhere and probably even cheaper than the $16 anniversary sale price at places like Gap, JCrew Factory, Old Navy, and Target! This year I want to focus on things that I truly don't think I could easily get anywhere else for the same quality but perhaps even cheaper in price!

To buy: the perfect pumps

Sam Edelman "Darla" pump
from the 2013 Anniversary Sale

Joe's "Ali" pump
from the 2014 Anniversary Sale

Remember how I was saying you should NOT buy things you know you won't ever wear? Well, conversely, definitely buy what you know you already love and will wear incessantly! Clearly my success with the anniversary sales come from my shoe purchases. What these two pairs of pumps have in common are what I love most in my perfect pumps - they aren't slip on, they have an actual strap securing them to my feet which means these babies are never slipping off my heel no matter how much I fast-walk! They are suede which means they are like butta and extra comfy. They are perfectly pointy - I would own all the pointy toed heels if I could! I rarely wear rounded-toed shoes. The colors are both neutral so I can mix and match them with any and all colors. The Joe's pair is definitely more of an investment over the Sam Edelman pair, but if you're going to spend more money on anything for this sale, I would definitely throw them at shoes or bags or even jewelry. Things you can wear season after season and with any or all outfits. These are the outfits that I was able to find scrolling through 4 years of selfies! But I know there are plenty more outfits featuring both pairs of shoes! There's no shame in simply sticking with what you love for the Anniversary Sale!


Not even going to lie. This took me a shameful amount of hours to write, but I hope my reflections on my past purchases were helpful for you to make better choices for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year! If you missed my wishlist post, you can catch yourself up here. And here are the schedule deets:

2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Schedule:
Pre-sale for cardholders starts Thursday, July 13th
(Level 4 card holders get to shop July 12th)
Sale opens to the public July 21st and ends August 6th.

If you are around this morning, you can catch me on my Instagram stories sharing coverage of the sale, including some dressing room photos! Otherwise, I'll share the full recap of everything that came home with me in tomorrow's post, so no worries if you are unable to watch it live as it unfolds! Happy shopping!!! (Is there any other kind of shopping really?)


  1. I'm so jelly you get to shop the sale so early lol but you are so right, I'm going to focus on good quality pieces. Quality over quantity, I already have great basics so I mostly some key items I love on sale and quality shoes and bags.


  2. I really don't shop the sale much myself (buy maybe 1-2 things at most, haven't even looked at the promo stuff yet!) but this was still a really interesting to see what you felt was worth it in the long run!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  3. Really good things to think about Carylee!!! Thanks for the insight!