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

In my cart: Madewell's new arrivals for spring

In my cart: Madewell spring summer 2019 — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

After not shopping much in January and February, I’m feeling a little bit of a shopping itch…and I’m in the mood to try some things for spring/summer! When it comes to my closet, I’m not as crazy about the clothes I wear in spring and summer and improving that section of my wardrobe is something I plan to focus on again this year.

I have some Madewell gift cards burning a hole in my proverbial pocket so I rounded up my favorite pieces from their most recent spring releases. It just so happens that they’re currently running the Insiders Event promo where you get 15% off your entire purchase if you’re a Madewell Insider! This even includes denim and their leather bag collection, which I honestly rarely see. (Madewell Stars receive 20% off, and I assume that Madewell Icons receive 25% off. I’m a Star, which means I spent $500+ at Madewell last year. Gulp!)

After consulting my wardrobe plan, I placed an order for the drapey paperbag pants, which would be perfect pants to wear to work in the spring and summer if they fit correctly. I also ordered the cutoff denim shorts because I’m not thrilled with my shorts situation right now; why is it so hard to find shorts that fit comfortably in the waist AND in the legs? They’re either too loose in the waist and fine in the legs or too tight in the legs and fine in the waist. AGH! I also added the tie-front bikini top and high-waisted bikini bottom to my order because it’s part of their “second wave” line which uses recycled plastic in the fabrics. I also really want to try a high-waist bikini bottom!

Other items that caught my eye: a ruffle-wrap dress (I’m not typically one for ruffles, but I love the colors and it looks super fun to wear), a chambray button-front midi skirt (never ordered the chambray version released last year but might go for it this year), a simple belt bag (I can’t decide if this would be useful to have for concerts/bike rides/other hands-free occasions or annoying to deal with like when going through security and needing to remove it…), an eyelet tier-sleeve tee (such a fun twist on a basic tee), high-rise skinny jeans made with tencel (because my beloved legging jeans are sadly on their last legs—pun intended), and a candle (smelled these in store and was quite impressed; can you ever have too many candles?).

Did anything at Madewell catch your eye recently? Let me know if I missed anything good!

An ethical & sustainable spring wish list

Ethical and sustainable clothing, shoes, and accessories from Amour Vert — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Amour Vert 'Ella' Short-Sleeve Top / Levi's 'Empire' Skinny / Veja 'Esplar' Sneaker / Leslie Francesca Druzy Studs / Angela Roi Crossbody Bag

In my style resolutions for 2017 and beyond, I noted that when it came to adding new pieces to my wardrobe, I wanted to buy as many ethically- and sustainably-made pieces as financially possible. I currently have about a mile-long wish list of things from Amour Vert, my favorite reasonably-priced ethical and sustainable clothing company. (Use this link for $25 off your first purchase! I think there might be something in it for me, too, but I'm not sure.) The unfortunate aspect for me and my limited budget is the fact that most things are priced a bit higher than I would normally spend on a given item—but that's because the prices of non-ethically or -sustainably made items are so much lower (due to the lack of ethics and/or sustainability).

Regardless, I'm planning to splurge on a few items from Amour Vert (I already picked up a necklace last month). I mean, can you blame me? Not only is everything adorable and so my style but I love that so many of their products are produced right here in the US, and if they aren't, they're made ethically/ sustainably elsewhere. They also plant one tree for every tee sold, which I love! I've currently got my eye on everything in the collage above, but mostly the tee, earrings, shoes, and bag (I really don't need another pair of jeans right now...not that I need any of the other things either, haha). There's so much more I'd love to add to my wardrobe if money wasn't an object. Maybe I'll treat myself when I'm gainfully employed! (Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.)

Shop more Amour Vert favorites in the widget below, and don't forget: use this link for $25 off your first purchase directly from the site (there are LOTS more items available direct)!

Please note that this post wasn't sponsored in any way; I'm just a huge fan of the company!