I love Nordstrom, so I really like their Anniversary sale. Sometimes there’s a lot of frenzy surrounding it, and while I’m not crazy about that, I get it. Brand new fall pieces with super sale prices? That’s cool. I get how that creates a frenzy.
But these days, I prefer to tune out the frenzy completely, and take the opportunity to create my own experience instead. Something relaxing and light and special.
First, I reframe my expectations (and let go of any pressure I might put on myself).
I don’t see this sale as something to conquer. I don’t attempt to do all (or any) of my Christmas shopping. I don’t stock up on everything I might need for the fall and winter.
I let all that go. (And it feels good to let go.)
Instead, I go in with the mindset of buying maybe just one or two special things that speak to me and fill a need in my wardrobe.
Second, I set a soothing tone.
The best part about shopping online? The store doesn’t set the tone — you set the tone.
I like to make it into a soothing experience and maybe even turn it into a self-care night. I’ll light a candle, turn down the lights in the house, maybe pour a glass of wine, turn on a relaxing, uplifting playlist (I just recently made this playlist for a self-care night in), and snuggle into the couch with my laptop.
The moment I notice I’m feeling anything other than calm, I close the laptop and focus on something that feels better. Because it’s just a sale — not anything worth getting stressed about.
Then I’ll end the evening with a face mask or a bath or a cup of freshly brewed sleepy time tea.
No stress, no frenzy. Just a nice, relaxing night.
Third, I keep my wardrobe planner close at hand.
I always enjoy loosely filling out a few pages of my wardrobe planner if I know I may be doing some shopping soon. Then I’ve got all that valuable information — my color palette, uniform ideas, wish list, and notes about what I like and don’t like — to keep me on track so I can avoid impulse purchases.
(And hey — you can get your own wardrobe planner too. Download it here.)
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Here are a few of my favorite things I found while perusing the sale. Some items may say they are out of stock, however they usually come back in a day or two. See something you like? You can shop it and support Unfancy at the same time by using the affiliate links below.
Floral dress $35.90 ($55 after sale ends) // also available in rose // This dress has a vibe that’s similar to Christy Dawn (my favorite dress designer), but it’s incredibly affordable. I’d pair it with white sneakers and Ray Bans and a backpack — yep, pretty much everything on this board.
A few other Christy Dawn-esque dresses:
Short sleeve short dress in black with floral/star print ($152.90 / $229 after sale ends
Long sleeve midi wrap dress in black with floral print ($42.90 / $64.95 after sale ends)
Prairie style long sleeve short dress in navy or red floral ($52.90 / $79 after sale ends)
Adidas Gazelle Sneakers $67.90 ($90.00 after sale ends) / also available in blush // I was excited to see this classic sneaker style on sale. My white sneaks are a wardrobe workhorse — I wear them with everything from jeans to yoga leggings to dresses.
Ray-Ban Round Sunglasses $135.90 ($203 after sale ends) // I’ve gotten so many questions about my sunglasses this year — and here they are, on sale! I have them in gold, but to me, the black color is subtle and classic, while the silver color is unexpected and cool.
Vegan Leather Backpack $64.90 ($98 after sale ends) / also available in black and cranberry
Open Knit Sweater $39.90 ($59.95 after sale ends) // I ordered this one myself! That warm neutral color and the ease of an open knit — heart eyes. Thinking of pairing it with denim shorts and sneakers, or throwing it over my shorter floral dresses to help them transition to fall.
Silk Bandana $25.90 ($39.00 after sale ends) / also available in forest and red // Marigold is my color these days. I’d tie this guy around my purse handle or wrap it around my hair in a bun.
Madewell Transport Crossbody $109.90 ($168.00 after sale ends) / also available in a darker brown // I’ve had a Mini Transport bag for several years and, while it’s excellent for everyday use, it’s exceptionally great for traveling. Not too big, not too small, zips up for peace of mind, and hugs close to the body. It’s a winner.
Slouchy Cardigan $58.90 ($89.00 after sale ends) / Looks like this particular color is sold out right now, but there’s a good chance it’ll come back in stock. In the meantime, it’s also available in light blue, grey, and navy.
Madewell Bootie $129.90 ($198.00 after sale ends) Also available in white and dark brown // I have last years version and I can’t say enough good things about them. They’ve got a 2 inch heel that’s friendly for a day of walking, while the pointy toe elongates the ol’ legs. Favorite boot to wear with mini and midi dresses.
Madewell Slip-On Loafers $98.90 ($148.00 after sale ends) / Also available in dusty clay suede
Madewell Tie Back Tee $32.90 ($49.50 after sale ends) / Also available in navy
• • •
And there you have it! My approach to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and a few of my favorite things.
And hey, if you’re not in the market for anything right now, enjoy that feeling of letting go. Don’t feel the need to shop just because there’s a sale happening. Instead, go soak up the sunshine and do your thing. :)
Carrie Julius says
I love this so much! I tend to avoid this sale because of all the hype. This is a lovely way to think about it. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for this sensible approach to the mega sale. You are spot on that it usually generates nothing but a frenzy with other bloggers. Shopping with a list in hand, sale or no sale, always is the most economical way to our purchases. Wardrobes and decor…plan the work and work the plan.
Thank you for taking the time for your posts. I appreciate your help with keeping a wardrobe simple.
LaTisha marcum says
I loveee your fresh thoughts on the sale! & those boards you put together! Such a different approach to the sale & I really appreciated the outlook!
Great perspective! I avoided watching any “what to buy from the anniversary sale” videos on YouTube because I knew it would just stress me out and make me overspend. Instead I decided to only purchase a watch because I’ve been wanting to add one to my wardrobe. Buying anything else would have just been buying something because it’s on sale.
The Luxe Strategist says
What a refreshing post! I too didn’t see the need to get crazy over this sale, especially as Nordstrom isn’t the main department store I shop at. And I definitely was not going to sign up for Nordstrom card just to get early access. I did peruse the sale a few days ago on my own time and found a few gems–mostly beauty kits–and if these were brands and products I already use, then I considered it a good deal. For example, I love Sunday Riley, and I was interested in buying the Nordstrom kit. However, it sold out fast. I’ll check every few days to see if they restock!
What a great way of thinking about online shopping. I love the idea of setting the mood and turning it into a self-care event. So often, clothes-shopping is a sort of unconscious effort at self-care (rarely solely an attempt meet raw needs of warmth and decency); makes more sense to acknowledge that and go with it rather than tying yourself into knots trying to squelch it. Sort of like allowing yourself a small dessert and eating it on a pretty china plate with a good cup of coffee, rather than scarfing down KrispyKreme while you shove plates into the dishwasher.
Also, as you pointed out, the sense of urgency–a misdirected “seize the day”–can creep into shopping sales, emphasized by a store’s ONE DAY ONLY and LAST CHANCE headlines. I like that you combat that directly by reframing expectations.
Thanks for sharing this; I’m going to be using it!
Bettye Rainwater says
I so appreciate a post like this. I feel like the entire month of July in blogland has been ALL NORDSTROM ALL THE TIME. I get it, there are beautiful items and bargains to be had, but…can’t we talk about ANYTHING else??
Thank you for sharing a few picks! I love your approach to the sale, and to style in general!
Becca Fay says
I was just getting overwhelmed with the sale! I bought the madewell cream top!!
Thank you so much. This post was such a breath of fresh air after all of the frenzy of the prime day and anniversary sale and who knows what other online sales that I have been bombarded with from other blogs and newsletters. I’m saving this one for the next time I’m feeling overwhelmed.
I have a Nordstrom gift card I’ve been saving, but I looked at the sale merchandise and just wasn’t feeling it. I felt like I’d be buying something I really don’t want or need right now. So I’ll hold onto the gift card a bit longer, until inspiration strikes and I feel good about the purchase.
Upon reading this I felt calm already!! I’m up in Canada so the Nordstrom hype doesn’t affect me as much that said they start promoting like crazy back to school sales in August. I too love to sit at home and “pre-shop”. I down-loaded your planner and have intentions on keeping it with me so that I can use it as an anchor against impulsive purchases.
Hands down the best Nsale post I’ve ever seen. Stylish AND sensible. Lovveeeee your picks and mood boards to go with them.
This was so soothing to read, and the boards are so lovely. Thank you for creating it! I love your little space on the web.
I have a couple of things I need for the fall/winter (my wool-blend coats are both 8-10 years old and ragged from so much wear at this point; I had to ditch my walking-friendly pair of brown boots last year after wearing through them), so I’ve used the Anniversary Sale and some pre-fall mailings to try to patch those holes, instead of using them to try to create a new me. :)
I love that you combine minimalism with shopping! One of my favorite things about living minimally is that reducing the quantity of my possessions allows me to focus on quality. I can buy my clothes at my favorite stores like Nordstrom because I can afford to since I’m buying less clothes of the highest quality. Thank you for sharing!
YUP! love your approach to NSALE. It’s becoming a tradition each year so always nice to find new ways to curate the sale.
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