I have a love hate relationship with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. From a business perspective, its always been a really big money maker for me and of course, it’s nice to make money. One of the key ways that bloggers earn a living is affiliate revenue. (Most of the links on my site are affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase via my blog I will earn a small commission. This is paid to me by the retailer, NOT you, kind of like a finders fee). Most of the time the commission is pretty small, but it all adds up. Affiliate links are awesome because in theory, you can write about whatever you want – things you already buy and love, and earn a commission from purchases your readers make… never being beholden to specific advertisers or retailers.
What I mentioned above is affiliate marketing in it’s purest form. It doesn’t always go that way and in the past I’ve fallen prey to buying items of clothing just because they’ll do well on the blog and get a lot of clicks (I’m thinking of those under $50 sweaters that come in a million colors). Affiliate marketing goes wrong when you’re just linking as much stuff as possible to make a bunch of money… or worse: doing what I mentioned above – buying things because you know they’ll get a lot of clicks. Reader trust is eroded, everyone gets “link fatigue,” and it’s just… too much.
Besides that, I don’t ever want you guys to come here and think that you *need* something. Or to feel stressed and have anxiety about the sale. (I’ve gotten DMs saying that’s the case, and it shouldn’t be – IT’S JUST A SALE!!!) I’ve pivoted my content quite a bit over the past couple years and have gotten very fussy about what I feature here but at the end of the day, I’m providing recommendations and things that I have and like. None of these products are going to change your life. It’s just fashion and beauty.
Outside of running my blog, I am a big Nordstrom shopper. They carry most of the brands I love and it’s awesome that you can buy things now at a discount and have prices go back up in the Fall. My favorite camel coat (above!) from Vince was a NSale purchase a few years ago. Same with this Topshop coat. And the green midi dress from this post is still one of my all time favorite dresses. And you can’t beat the beauty deals or stocking up on things you need (workout gear! underwear! bras! etc.)
I am personally not shopping the sale this year. Maybe I will end up buying something when the sale opens to the public (this leopard skirt is cute). I’m not doing this because I’m suddenly a minimalist (I’m not, trust me… I just bought two Reformation dresses). I have a lot of clothes and I am proud of my wardrobe. I’m just a little bored. I have what I need. I don’t want the $50 sweater that comes in 10 colors. I’ve gone through way too many under $100 dresses that fall apart after a season or two. And in all honesty I can’t really think about Fall clothes right now, let alone imagine going outside to shoot them. It’s too HOT.
So today I’m just going to share a few things that I’ve bought over the years, still have, still love, etc. Do with it what you like, but these are all things I can really stand behind! I got a lot of requests for home items but didn’t include them because I don’t really shop at Nordstrom for home stuff. But I took a peek and there are some cute things. Maybe I will do a home roundup of things I like/are in line with my decor aesthetic when the sale opens to the public… let me know if that is something that would be interesting to you.
My 2019 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks.
A Great Coat
I have bought two great camel coats during the Nordstrom Sale. The first is my Vince camel coat that I bought several sales ago, and the second is the inexpensive Topshop one that I bought last year. I love them both. I was pretty underwhelmed by the coat selection this year which is a bummer because coats are expensive and this is a great time to buy a designer one for hundreds of dollars less. The one coat that really caught my eye is this one from Theory – literally it’s the only coat that I was truly like, “OOH that is GORGEOUS.” I tend to favor camel and cognac colored coats but this black coat from Eileen Fisher is also really beautiful (the alpaca blend is the same as my Eileen Fisher camel coat which is heavenly soft). And for something more affordable, this Topshop coat is pretty similar to the one I got last year. This leopard coat also looks very fun.
The Beachwaver is my favorite curling iron. Why? Because of the buttons on the side that direct the curling iron (if left to my own devices I always screw this up). I use it every day and can’t recommend it enough. I talk about it more in this post (with video). It RULES and was also my top selling product from last year’s sale. At $133 vs. $199, it’s a great deal.
Full disclosure – I’m not currently using this, but it’s only bc I got lazy. For longer lashes, nothing is better than Neulash. I wrote this review of Neulash back in 2015 and stand behind every word I wrote. The sale always has a GREAT deal… you cannot beat the price ($95 for a $190 value).
Bras and Underwear
I love the Natori Feathers Bra so much. It’s lightweight, supportive, and just very pretty! I also always buy a few more of these Hanky Panky thongs – just good for everyday… so comfy and they come in great colors. I am a little confused bc two readers messaged me to tell me that the Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless bra (my FAVORITE strapless bra) is a part of the sale but I didn’t see it anywhere. Let me know if I missed something and I will update the post. It’s the best strapless bra, I’d be so excited if it is included.
If you follow my outfit diaries you know how much I LOVE my Vince Warren Sneakers. They’re the best. I’m not really a sneakers girl but feel so good in these. They’re a little dressier than a lace-up sneaker and I like that they give me a little height. I bought the grey 3 years ago and the navy 2 years ago and still wear both constantly. There’s a new style which is part of the sale. It’s called the Ward Sneaker and it’s very chic – I really like the leather band. I would 1,000% buy these if I didn’t already have two pairs of the Warren.
The Barefoot Dreams Cardigan
This cozy cardigan is like wearing a hug. It’s super soft. Honestly (this might sound bad) I don’t really wear this out of the house (I don’t find it to be particularly stylish – SORRY but I am just being honest) but I wear it at my desk most days as it’s cozy and snuggly. More stylish than a robe / acceptable if my intern is over working or I have to step out and run errands). It’s just so soft. Last year I also bought Barefoot Dreams socks, which are perfect for snuggling up in at home or taking on long flights.
My “Model” Leggings
I always buy a new pair of Spanx faux leather leggings as they are the BEST. They make your legs look amazing and I like that they’re extra long so bunch around your ankles a little. Mine are in fine shape from last year so I won’t be buying a new pair but I highly recommend them. They come in plus + petite now as well!
The perfect easy t-shirt
I have a few of these (usually $25) t-shirts from the Something Navy collection. They’re perfect – just long enough, soft, not too sheer, a nice drape… you can knot them pretty easily if you like. They’re only $16 during the sale which is a VERY good deal. I find Ariel’s collection generally runs pretty big; I am usually a small or medium in t-shirts and the small is loose on me.
Pillowtalk Lipstick Kit
I have 3 tubes of Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk so that I’m never without it. It’s my favorite lipstick bc it looks like my own lip color but better. It’s so wearable and looks great on everyone who wears it; regardless of skin tone. This set is a great value and it contains the lipstick, gloss, and pencil.
Also, (lol) whatever you do: do not get the Diptyque mini candles set. It was the biggest letdown last year – the candles are tiny; you can go through one in just a few hours! I am still not over it… I AM MAD.
photo by Lydia Hudgens.
I really appreciate this post! I get why bloggers try to link as much as possible, but a post like this is so much more helpful. I lean towards minimalism but I still need/like clothes so usually I stop shopping for a couple months and use the sale as a way to stock up on things to add to my pseudo-“capsule”. That means I’m looking for just a few items like these that are actually worth buying.
Also, lol, totally agree that the Barefoot Dreams cardigan isn’t very stylish. I’ve watched a lot of videos, read blog posts on this sale and have been wondering that myself but you’re the only one that has said it.
With that said, I wouldn’t mind if you shared a list of things that you would consider getting if you were shopping the sale.
Hahhaha right? It’s the best because it’s SO soft but I wouldn’t wear it out. 😉
Thanks for your reviews! I picked up the candle set but I’ll be returning it. 🙂
Other than that, I got the bra and cardigan. Do you recommend sizing up in the bra?
the bra is true to size!
Definitely need to pick up a nice coat! Great post! ❤️✨
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
The Nsale has become entirely too much. This year I am looking specifically for one thing (a camel coat, the more classic the more expensive and they become harder to find in different sizes when people start shopping for coats).
But the thing that drives me crazy is the pandemonium about “OMG, you have to get this now before it sells out!” because things wouldn’t sell out nearly as quickly if a bunch of “icons” or whatever weren’t ordering box after box to prance around in their living room in it and then send it back.
And as far as candles go, as much as I love the diptique scents, I’ve never been able to justify the cost. I am however, very intrigued by the ones you mentioned from the membership beauty service you posted about a little while ago (with the retinol hand cream). I’ll have to go look for that post!
I completely agree with you on the pandemonium!!!
And yesss Beautypie! Def check them out! I’m not supposed to say it (in the blog post etc) but the candles are made in the same factory 🙂
Thank you for this post and yes I agree the Theory coat is gorgeous! The color is lovely in person 🙂 I bought the slip pillowcase 2 pack, great deal, a natori bra, and the black rag and bone jeans. Nothing earth shattering oh and I also love gifting people the round 1/2 marble 1/2 wood cutting board they always have so I grabbed a couple. I am soooo boring LOL!!
Great purchases though!!!! I should have included Slip – I love them!
Yes, they had the wacoal strapless bra in one color. It’s already sold out though my order was cancelled but hoping it gets restocked as I was eager to try it after your recommendations.
AH so good to know!!! I was confused!!!
I am so appreciated this! I always appreciate your candor and honesty.
Thank you, I’m so glad!
Just talked about this on Instagram too. It’s just a sale, there’s nothing you NEED! But if you have a little extra money and see something you WANT, then go for it. But don’t stress, there’s plenty of other sales!
Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl
YES exactly!!!!! Couldn’t agree more.
I’m so glad you shared your honest thoughts on this! I was waiting for your post before I purchased! I ended up snagging the Barefoot Dreams cardigan and a pair of Jeffery Campbell shoes that I already own in another color lol. I do have to say that if you have kids though, this sale is great to snag some North Face gear for them at a discount!
PS- I totally wear my Barefoot Dream cardigan in black out in public. Next time I do, I’ll be going out with a complex lol
Aw nooooo! Don’t!!! I feel bad now haha!
Hi! What is your take on some N sale items not being the same quality as normal? I experienced this with the Madewell jeans, and I’ve heard about this from friends regarding other brands. It’s disappointing!
I have heard rumors of that too but it’s never happened to me. I’m so curious if it’s happened to others who read here.
In the past I’ve shopped a lot of Nordstrom’s private label (Halogen, Treasure & Bond, etc) and their quality is always just medium (with the exception of Halogen’s 100% cashmere pieces which I find to be GREAT quality.) I have bought a lot of Vince during the sale and it’s always been great quality, and the Spanx leggings + Good American jeans are in line with the quality of other things I’ve bought from both brands!
I do think that designers definitely make product specifically for the sale. And some of the brands definitely scrimp. But I haven’t been disappointed… yet!!!!!
Yes this happened with the Zella leggings last year!! They were not great quality and so many people complained that Zella sent out a mass email apologizing and offering to trade them out 🙁
UGH wow that’s awful!!!! Sorry that happened to you!
Personally I’ve never understood the need for bloggers to do posts on these type of things. I think the bigger problem is privileged people with money who can’t seem to navigate a sale for themselves! There isn’t much hope for human kind if we are all so clueless we can’t cope with simple tasks like deciding what to buy for ourselves. Feeling a bit jaded today as you can tell.
Thanks for the review about the Diptyque mini candles set. After checking out Nordstrom Sale, then thought about you and your list this year. I was going to make a purchase however after reading your review. Imma pass.
I appreciate your honest feedback. Great post. Thank you!
I just love your recommendations! Thank you so much Grace.❤️
Glad to hear it! Thanks!
I think it’s a nice sale to get us ready for Fall!
I don’t plan on shopping it this year, although I still looked online. My reason is that my Mother and I looked forward to it every year. Sadly, my Mother passed away on 5/20/19. I don’t know how I’ll be able to shop our local Nordstrom any time soon. I’m devastated. Enjoy your Parents everyone!