My past Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchases + what I might buy this year

It’s that time of year again… The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (NAS) is underway for cardholders only, and the sale opens to the public this Friday, July 19th. In my nearly six years of blogging, I haven’t written a post about the sale until now, and I didn’t even know the sale was a thing until I started following bloggers myself. I’m not a huge fan of reading what all the full-time bloggers are buying (and returning, let’s be honest) and hope that if you want to shop the sale that seeing what a “normal” person actually buys and wears/uses is helpful!

I went through all of my NAS purchases since I started buying during the sale five years ago, and I’m quite surprised at how many things I did buy during the sale and how many of those things I’m still wearing/using. So, that’s a good thing! Back in 2014, which was the first year I shopped the sale, I remember being so angry that the items I bought were on greater sale at the end of August and vowed to never shop the sale again. That obviously didn’t pan out. ;) I noticed that I was a little too shop-happy the past couple of years and plan to tone it down this year. There are some good deals to be had, but there are also some not-so-great deals, and lots of items will, as it turns out, be marked down even greater less than a month after the NAS ends.

Below, I listed every item I ordered and kept from the past NAS sales, fit information, and how well it’s working for me/if I still own the item. The items in each year are listed from what I deem my best to my worst purchase of that year’s sale (it’s all relative!). I also threw in the items I added to my wish list from this year’s sale at the end…but of course, we’ll see what’s left after early access ends!


2014 PURCHASES

Halogen Leather Crossbody Bag • This black crossbody bag has been a staple in my wardrobe since I bought it five years ago. According to Stylebook, I’ve worn it 190 times! It’s probably my single best sartorial NAS purchase in terms of cost per wear. There’s a flap pocket version by Nordstrom as well as another similar option by Treasure & Bond in this year’s sale.

Kate Spade ‘One in a Million’ Initial Pendant Necklace • Not surprisingly, I’ve worn this necklace 99 times since I got it, and it’s also one of my best NAS purchases. I love it! It’s simple and goes with everything. (I purchased it in gold.) Here’s this year’s version, which has a slightly different pendant.

Chelsea28 Cabled Crop Sweater • I impulse bought this because I loved the cable knit and cropped shape—perfect to wear with all my high-rise bottoms! It looks slightly more rough after wearing it for a few years, but it’s hard to tell in photos. I took size XS after trying both that and size small. I did have it listed for a while on Poshmark last year before pulling it off to wear with the skirt in the outfit above (I think it’s the only item I’ve pulled off of Poshmark to wear again). Here are the Chelsea28 sweaters included in this year’s sale, and here is the selection of cropped sweaters.


2015 PURCHASES

Zella ‘Live In’ High Waist Leggings • After reading the rave reviews, I purchased my first pair of Zella ‘Live in’ leggings in black. I purchased size XS, and they fit really well, albeit slightly long. I haven’t had any quality issues with mine. I hang them to dry except one time I accidentally dried them in the dryer, and luckily they don’t seem worse for wear. I wear these the most often when doing yoga, riding bikes, or at our community gym.

Zella ‘Live In’ Capris • I also purchased the shorter capri length black Zella leggings which hit just under my knees. I don’t wear these as much as the regular length leggings, but I like having the option for the warmer months. I wear these a lot bike riding! I took size XS in these, too. The Studio Crop Lite Leggings are similar to these, and there are ‘Live In’ High Waist Crop Leggings not included in the sale.

Leith Floppy Felt Hat • I purchased this hat in burgundy. It’s a favorite during the fall and winter, but the felt is looking a little well-loved now (pilling), mostly due to running the lint roller over it to remove cat hair. This Panama hat by Halogen is the most similar version this year.

Kendra Scott ‘Dani’ Stone Drop Earrings • I tried ordering the ‘Elle’ drop earrings the year prior, but my order was cancelled, so I was thrilled to see an even better version in the 2015 sale. I absolutely love to look at these earrings. The emerald/gold colorway I got is gorgeous! The problem is that I rarely wear them. I would have them listed on Poshmark by now if I could find the dang dust bag… Here is the selection of sale Kendra Scott earrings.

Halogen Black Zip Flared Ponte Skirt • I used to wear fit-and-flare skirts all of the time, and this was a great staple to have in my closet. I wasn’t a huge fan of its length (being a touch too long), and it also didn’t have pockets, so I ended up selling it on Poshmark last year. The black mini skirts in this year’s sale are made of faux leather.


2016 PURCHASES

Trouvé V-Neck Mixed Media Tank • This tank was an impulse purchase, but it ended up being a good one. It’s a great basic with a twist, as it features a split back with a sheer panel. The first time I washed it, it shrunk, but the length suits me much better now. I took size XS, and its v-neck is the deepest I feel comfortable wearing (especially to work). Here are all the black tanks included in the sale.

Natori ‘Feathers’ Underwire Contour Bra • This bra came highly recommend, so I knew I should try it when it came up in the sale. I ordered it in black in a cup size up from my usual since it runs a little small. Since it has the lace detail, I love wearing it under my Trouvé tank! The lace on the cups does show through slightly under thin tops.

Kennebunk Home ‘Bliss’ Plush Throw • This blanket is now under the “Nordstrom At Home” brand. The reviews absolutely do not lie: this blanket is amazing! I purchased it in a bright sky blue for Korri (but really for me since I live with him now, ha!). I’ve washed this blanket multiple times and it still comes out so soft every time. (My cats love it too, as you can imagine.)

Halogen ‘Owen’ Pointy Toe Ghillie Flat • Another impulse purchase (that’s the thing about this sale…most purchases are impulse purchases, lol), and it was a less versatile option that some of my other impulse purchases. These shoes are definitely fun! It took a couple of wears until they were broken in, but now they’re pretty comfortable. I took my usual size 7, which fits well even with the pointy toe. The ties did crack near the end (where I tie them), but they’re still holding together. Here are the Halogen flats included this year, and here are all the pointy toe flats.

Phase 3 Whipstitch Wool Floppy Hat • I was drawn to the rust-colored hat and the fun leather whipstitch on the brim. It’s perfect for fall and winter! It’s also adjustable on the inside, which is not something I see often with these less expensive hats. The smaller size fit great on my head! Here are all the hats included this year.

Madewell Ex-Boyfriend Flannel Shirt in Barlow Plaid • I missed this shirt when it was offered by Madewell, so I was thrilled to see it in the sale! I love the black and green plaid. I bought my usual size XS, but after it shrunk in the wash, I sold my XS and bought a size small secondhand. I don’t wear this flannel shirt as much as my others because it’s on the thinner side. Here are all the Madewell button-up shirts included in this year’s sale.

Linum Home Textiles ‘Fun in the Sun’ Turkish Pestemal Towel • I didn’t read the dimensions very closely because I was expecting to receive a large lightweight blanket, but it really is a towel meant for one person. This exact towel appears to no longer be available at Nordstrom, but here are the towels that are available (none in the sale). I did find my exact towel at Amazon. I purchased the navy/white striped colorway in the NAS and the turquoise/white striped colorway from Amazon. It’s great to have for beach/pool/outside lounge days, and it washes well.


2017 PURCHASES

Marc Fisher LTD ‘Yommi’ Chelsea Bootie • I originally ordered a pair of Treasure & Bond patent black booties to compare to these (these were more expensive) and loved these boots so much more that I opted to hold onto them. I went up a half size to a 7.5, but I didn’t try my true size to compare. They are plenty roomy in the toe. Luckily, they don’t make my feet look huge, either. Love, love! These aren’t back this year, but here are the Marc Fisher boots included in the sale, and these waterproof boots by Blondo are very similar (the black is currently sold out but check back for returns).

BlankNYC ‘Life Changer’ Moto Jacket • I already had a leather jacket, but it was a little big so I wanted to give this one a try. I really liked the pebbled faux leather and gold hardware. I took size small after trying that and size XS. This jacket is no longer available but this one by BlankNYC is similar.

Kennebunk Home ‘Bliss’ Plush Throw • I bought another one of these blankets but in a lovely medium grey, which matches our decor better (can you blame me?). I’m tempted to add another to our collection this year…or maybe stock up and give them as gifts?

Natori ‘Feathers’ Underwire Contour Bra • I ordered a second bra in light beige in the same size as my black bra. These are excellent basic bras!

Zella ‘Impulse’ Sports Bra • I don’t have very many sports bras, so I figured it was a good idea to add another one to the collection. I purchased this bra in black, size XS to go with my leggings. It features a fun strappy back, and it’s unfortunately no longer available but here are the Zella sports bras included in the sale this year.

Two by Vince Camuto Waffle Stitch Vest • This was an impulse purchase…and not my best impulse purchase. I never really liked the idea of sleeveless sweaters, and it turns out that I don’t know how to wear them, haha. I’ve only worn this a couple of times and now it’s listed on Poshmark. I’m also not a huge fan of cowl neck sweaters (I can’t ever get them to lay right and I fuss with them nonstop). I ordered a size XS petite so it wasn’t super long on me. I don’t see any similar sleeveless sweaters in this year’s sale, but here are the cowl neck sweaters.


2018 PURCHASES

Le Specs ‘Air Heart’ 51mm Cat Eye Sunglasses • I saw these on another blogger I follow and fell in love! I’m a huge fan of oversized, subtle cat eye sunglasses, so I pounced on these. As you can probably tell by how much they appear in outfit posts, they’re one of my favorite pairs to wear right now. Le Specs isn’t in the sale this year, but here are all the cat eye sunglasses included.

Smartwool Hide & Seek 2-Pack No-Show Socks • These are my favorite no-show socks. They stay on the best of any no-show socks I’ve tried. I purchased them in all three available colorways last year (black, heather grey, and beige), and sadly these exact socks are not available in this year’s sale even though they are called the same name (sneaky). Here’s this year’s version, which do not have great reviews and don’t look like they’d stay in place as well. I found my exact socks at Amazon in black and beige (natural)—be careful, as some of the color options show the newer, not as good version. These Nike socks in the sale are very similar.

Madewell High Waist Skinny Jeans in Weathered Olive • I saw these and knew I had to add them to my wardrobe. I love them! Olive is a favorite of mine in the fall and winter, so these are basically staple jeans. I tried both size 25 (my usual in Madewell) and 26 and kept the 25. This is a very similar style but in bright red, and here are all the Madewell jeans in the sale.

Thread & Supply Wubby Fleece Pullover • This is a blogger favorite, and I fell into the trap last year and ordered it. I ordered a size small because I never saw XS as an option (not sure if it was offered), so it’s huge! I love it, though. It’s so cozy for the winter. I do wish it wasn’t dry clean only. It doesn’t feel nearly as soft after being dry cleaned. :( My exact colorway isn’t available anymore but there are a few new options to choose from this year.

Zella ‘Live In’ High Waist Leggings • I love my black pair so much that I ordered a second pair in navy. I’m not sure that I’ve worn them yet… (Yikes!) But if I start working out again more regularly when it cools off (that’s the key, haha), these will be nice to have.


MY 2019 WISH LIST

2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale wish list — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Everlane reviews: Air ruched blouse, cotton twill shorts, straight leg crops

I’ve added some new spring/summer Everlane items to my wardrobe recently (including two items that were gifted to me—a dream come true!), so I figured it was time for some new reviews! This batch features an airy blouse, a pair of non-denim shorts, and work-appropriate pants. If you're new to Everlane and sign up for an account with my referral link, I'll earn a credit when you place your first purchase and be forever grateful for your support!

For sizing reference, I am typically a size XS/0 at J.Crew, Madewell, LOFT, Anthropologie, Gap, and Banana Republic. I wear a size 4-6 in H&M and its sister stores (depending on the item). For stores that use juniors sizing, such as Forever 21 and ModCloth, I am usually a size small. My Uniqlo size is either XS or small (again, depending on the item). Everlane includes garment measurements for each item, which I find incredibly helpful when it comes to determining the right size to buy. You can find all of my previous Everlane reviews at the end of the post. You can browse all of my clothing reviews here (mostly Everlane and Grana).

Everlane The Air Ruched Blouse in white multi stripe — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

The Air Ruched Blouse c/o (white multi stripe, size 00)

Everlane reached out to me regarding a partnership last month, and I selected this blouse as part of that partnership. It was on my to-buy list anyway so I was excited to give it a try and thought it would be perfect in the warm weather. The fabric and the fit make it truly airy—the cotton is very lightweight (slightly sheer, as you can see in the photo above of it untucked) and the fit is quite oversized, even in a size down from my usual size. I originally tried it in size 0 but it just felt like too much fabric all around and the collar was almost falling off of my broad shoulders. The top is a little long for me to wear it untucked, but I love how it looks all bunched when tucked. One thing to note is that the wristbands are tight and restrict my arm movement slightly (only when I reach). The stripes are a blend of two greys, but they can sometimes appear blue in different light.

How I wore it: with a denim mini skirt

Everlane The Cotton Twill Short in bone — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

The Cotton Twill Short (bone, size 0)

I have a pair of white denim shorts that are a few years old, but they stretch out every time I wear them so I was on the hunt for a new pair. I ordered both this pair and another pair of the denim shorts to try (my other pair of denim shorts was reviewed here) and found these to be way more comfortable! (Plus, the pockets are not super noticeable through the fabric whereas they were with the denim shorts.) I took my usual size 0. I was surprised by how comfortable they are considering the high rise! I prefer these pockets to the pockets on the patch pocket shorts. If I were to be picky, I wish the inseam was maybe slightly longer because sometimes it feels like my butt is hanging out the bottom, lol. I do love how wide the leg opening is, though; I can sit in them without feeling like my legs are being cut off!

How I wore it: with a tonal summer sweater

Everlane The Straight Leg Crop in surplus — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

The Straight Leg Crop c/o (surplus, size 0 short)

I also selected these pants as part of my partnership with Everlane. (Don’t you think the blouse and pants would make an excellent outfit?) I chose these because I’m a huge fan of my wide leg crop pants (reviewed here) and these pants are the same style but with a straight leg. The surplus green color is one of my favorites right now; it’s a great neutral for any time of year. I took my usual size 0 even though lots of reviews suggested sizing down. I wouldn’t recommend it if you are prone to bloating like I am! I didn’t find them to loosen that much with wear; in fact, I think my wide leg crops are looser around the midsection. I have the “short” inseam, which I wasn’t expecting to look so short on me. My wide leg crops have the same inseam but look a little bit longer. The short inseam limits the versatility for the cooler months. I’m curious to see if the regular length would look right on me…

How I wore it: with navy stripes

If you found these reviews helpful and are new to Everlane, please consider making an account with my referral link. I would appreciate it so much! :)

More Everlane reviews:

Cotton-linen crew, denim short, authentic stretch high-rise skinny jean button fly
Soft cotton square crew, cashmere rib round crew, wide leg crop pant
Authentic stretch denim vs. the original denim
Slim classic French terry crew, kick crop jeans, modern boyfriend jeans
Cashmere crew, waffle knit cashmere square crew, midrise skinny jeans (ankle)
Linen tees, cotton poplin skirt, cotton box-cut tee dress
Box-cut tee, cotton v-neck tee, silk pocket, crew sweatshirt
Seed stitch u-neck, cashmere cropped crew, cashmere crew, chunky knit cardigan

July Style Sudoku

July 2019 style sudoku — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

After taking a break from style challenges for a year, I’m back at it again and have challenged myself to do a style sudoku in each season this year. I put together my winter version in January, my spring version in April, and now I’m back with my summer version! Style sudokus are my favorite type of wardrobe remixes. They’re fun for me to put together (I’m a huge sudoku nerd) and also fun to wear. I usually end up with a new favorite outfit combination…and I also usually discover a combination that I don’t like so much, but it’s all part of the fun of it. The goal is to play around with what’s already in my closet (and try to curb unnecessary spending).

A style (or wardrobe) sudoku is exactly what it sounds like if you’re familiar with sudoku the puzzle. Basically, you choose four tops, four bottoms, four pairs of shoes, and four other items (accessories, jewelry, outerwear, etc.) and arrange them in a 4x4 grid so each row, column, and corner makes a complete outfit. (You can also make outfits out of the diagonals and the inner “squares” of the two middle rows if you’re so inclined!) In my past style sudoku challenges, I shared the diagonal outfits, too, even though diagonals aren’t technically included in a real sudoku. This gives me 14 outfits total.

Light summer palette with denim, cotton, linen, knits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

To the surprise of no one, this sudoku is heavy on the lighter colors, since it’s summer and all. ;) I did keep navy around as a base in addition to tan/beige and added in accents of white, light wash denim, and surplus green. Most of the items are solid colors but I did include two striped items—a blouse and a skirt. I included two items from my spring sudoku; can you tell which ones they are?

Because I will be working for 10 of the 14 days, I specifically picked bottoms that I could wear to work: a striped midi skirt, straight leg crop pants, and boyfriend jeans. I’ll save the shorts outfits for the hot weekend days. I tried to pick the lightest fabrics I could—lots of linen and cotton—and I also selected three pairs of sandals. When picking specific items, I asked myself what I would typically reach for, so mostly everything is something I wear over and over again (though there are a few new items). It was most difficult deciding what “accessories” to select since layering is not something I enjoy doing in the summer, but luckily my office is cool enough that a blazer and light cardigan will get use. I try not to select jewelry because it feels like the easy way out, but I let myself do it here because it’s summer and I don’t really feel like accessorizing most days!

As I did back in April and January, I’ll be breaking down what I wear into three different blog posts over the next two weeks and detail what I did on each day, how the outfit worked for those activities, and the weather. As of right now, we don’t have precipitation in the forecast. Yippee! However, I will be traveling for work for the second half of my sudoku, so hopefully everything I picked will work out for that trip (and hopefully we won’t see crazy weather!).

Below the sudoku, you can find the details of all 16 items. I’ll be sharing a daily photo of my outfit over on Instagram stories (check out my “Style Sudoku” highlight) and then posting them here after a few days have passed.

July Style Sudoku: 16 items, 14+ outfits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

FIRST ROW

Everlane linen scoopneck tee / exact style or similar by Treasure & Bond

ModCloth high-rise button fly denim shorts / exact

Earthies ‘Morolo’ wedge sandals / no longer available; similar by Earth

ABLE hammered circle earrings / exact

SECOND ROW

Old Navy floppy straw sun hat / exact

Everlane day crossover sandals / exact

Everlane modern boyfriend jeans / no longer available; similar by Old Navy

Everlane air ruched blouse / exact

THIRD ROW

J.Crew Factory striped cotton-linen midi skirt / exact

Grana pima cotton v-neck tee / exact style or similar by Target

J.Crew Factory linen blazer / no longer available; similar by J.Crew

Earth ‘Bellwether’ flats / exact style (limited sizes) or similar by Frye

FOURTH ROW

Salt Water sandals / exact from Zappos

American Eagle knit open front cardigan / no longer available; similar by Express

Madewell sleeveless chambray shirt / no longer available; similar by Velvet Heart

Everlane straight leg crops / exact