Who doesn’t love a sale?  It’s such a satisfying feeling to get something for less than its original value.  To this day, when I get a steep discount on clothes or accessories, I tell my mom about it as if I found the cure for cancer.  It’s totally thrilling to get a deal.  Yet, there can be a dark side to irresponsibly shopping for sales that we all recognize but often ignore because of that incredibly satisfying feeling that comes with a retail steal.  


I’m always conflicted about sharing my picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because it always feels so gluttonous to do so. For one, I am featuring these items with the sole hope of making commissions off your buys. It’s no different than all the other posts I write with the exception that in all those other posts I always try to provide editorial content in exchange for compensation. Slapping a bunch of arbitrary picks on a post for you to buy so I can make a few bucks in commission just feels irresponsible. This is why as with most of my past Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Posts, I am including tips for shopping the sale along with the picks because, in my mind, it balances things out. Sure, I could be like every other fashion influencer or blogger out there and throw some picks your way, showcase cringeworthy “hauls,” and swoon over fashion that may be nice to look like but has no business in my life, but don’t you get enough of that already?

For the next month, you are going to be bombarded by sale posts trying to get you to spend money so that they in turn can also make money. I’m certainly not trying to take the fun and excitement out of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, nor am I trying to deny anyone the opportunity to make money in return for promoting this sale. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale can be fun to peruse while in the middle of a long stretch of heatwaves and you’re wearing worn out summer clothes you’ve become tired of. All I am suggesting is that you pair a little healthy restraint with your enthusiasm. Take a look below at my picks and tips for shopping the sale below and be sure to check out when you can officially start shopping.  


My first tip has always been to formulate a plan before hitting the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale but I am rethinking this first step. I think the first step should be to browse because sometimes we don’t know what we need or want before we get an overview. This browsing step may jog your memory that, oh right, I need new underwear, but for the most part, this step should be just about browsing, getting inspired, and establishing ideas of where you might want your wardrobe to go this fall. If you don’t know this, unlike most sales, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale isn’t a sale where stragglers that belong in the bargain bin go to die. This sale ushers in new merchandise as an early kickoff to the upcoming season. It’s more of a preview…with prices at a reduced rate, so for this sale, I suggest that you do some browsing before tackling.


I call this taking a macro approach with your wardrobe which means to taking a step back and looking at the overall direction of your wardrobe as it is currently or where you might want it to go. If there is one mistake that I see every one of my clients makes it is a lack of a macro view and and an overall direction in their closets. As a result, I am hired to bring their closets into balance and I do that by taking that macro view with what they already own to look at what might be missing and make the wardrobe more cohesive and whole.


You can read this post I wrote about being strategic when shopping because if there is anything I have seen before it is the strategy of throwing spaghetti against the wall with the hopes that something will stick. You can read this post further or note these bullet points from the post. Ask yourself these questions while potentially putting something in your cart during the sale.

  1. What will I wear with this?
  2. How many different ways can I style this piece with what I already own?
  3. Do I already have pieces in my wardrobe that fill the need that this new piece would?
  4. Does it fit with the colors in my wardrobe?
  5. Does this replace something in my closet that is starting to wear out?
  6. If I buy this piece, what additional things might I need to get the most use out of this item?


Earlier this year I wrote this post during Financial Literacy Month about making smart financial choices when you shop for clothes. Though important, assessing value goes beyond just the cost-per-wear equation, it’s also assess the value of your time. How much time do you spend figuring out what to wear, locating lost items in your closet, laundering, caring for your clothing, and so on? The more chaos in your closet, the more time that is wasted. Before you add new things, ask yourself if it’s valuable enough to take up not just your money but your time.


I think we all live in a fantasy of just buying everything we want; this idea that money is limitless and there is no such thing as a budget. Not only is this not even close to the reality that most of us live in, I don’t think limitless funds for clothes would be nearly as satisfying as it sounds because I think we do better as humans and are more satisfied in the end when we have to earn and work for rewards. On the flip side, however, too much restraint can be like a crash diet where the world suddenly starts looking like a big chocolate glazed donut. Too much restriction psychologically just makes us want things more.

What I do suggest you do instead is taking the approach of adding every item you are drawn to to your cart, just to give yourself the experience of doing so. There are a few benefits of doing this. First, is scratches that itch of the fantasy of being any to buy anything. Second, it will help you become clearer about what you are drawn to without the limit of money getting in the way. If you had limitless dollars what would you buy? It would be interesting to see the results. Look for the patterns in your selections, see if you can find for the theme, the overall color direction, etc. What are your selections telling you. The third benefit is it will force you to become a good editor. Obviousy all of the selections won’t make it to the checkout stage so this process will force you to weigh options and think through what makes the cut and why,


This loops back to the cost-per-wear equation because buying things because it’s on sale is probably one of the biggest trap women get ensnared. Raise your hand if the steep sale discount of an item forced your hand to buy something you likely woudln’t have bought if it wasn’t on sale? Is your arm raised? I thought so. If it isn’t, well done. Obviously, if you need and love something, a sale is a great thing but if your decision to buy something was solely predicated on the fact that the price has been slashed, it can lead to purchases that wind up costing you more money in the end because if you don’t love something, you won’t wear it, no matter how cheap it is.


Wishful Wardrobing is a term I use to describe when a person buys clothes for the life they wish they had, not the one they actually do.  How many times have you practically salivated over the perfect pair of pumps or spaghetti strap dress that you can’t wear with a bra?  Finding something attractive, gorgeous or even a must-have isn’t enough for you to actually purchase it.  You have to make sure you’ll wear it. 

And don’t make stuff up about your life just to buy it.  Look at it realistically.  Think that jumpsuit is super cute, but you have a toddler and to be able to pee quickly, sometimes with your baby on your hip in a public restroom?  A jumpsuit is probably not for you.  Live in NYC and walk to work most days?  High heels are likely out of the question.  Buying those expensive yoga pants for a class you still haven’t taken?  You get the point.  Yes, it can be depressing and sobering to be realistic about your life, but how much more depressing is to stare at clothes in your closet with nowhere to go?


I recently worked with a client who showed me her multiple pairs of stone chinos, her many pairs of corduroy pants, her endless assortment of cardigans, and so on. After whittling down the mass collection of duplication, a rule was instilled that no more of these items can come in without letting go of what she already owns.

Splitting your wears is a concept I came up with through my client work and it’s one I have explained in this blog before.  Basically, splitting your wears means to have multiples in your closet that serve the same function and, therefore, the use for an item like this gets spread over multiple pieces which diminish the value of each one.  The less you have for each function you need the more use each piece in your closet will get.

I will use this analogy. As I was walking by a building under construction I laughed to myself wondering if we were going to get, yet another, nail salon in the neighborhood.  It seems like daily a new one pops us.  Given the fact that where I live you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one of these places, if you were to open a business in my neighborhood would you really want to open another one?  Not if you want to be successful.  With a salon on just about every street corner the customer base is way too thin to really get any return on your business venture, just like adding a fifth black blazer to your wardrobe just isn’t smart shopping sense.  You’ll never get a return on your investment because you already own too many.  This is what it means to split your wears.  No matter how cheap it is, if you own too many of the same things the sale price will never be equal to the value for you.


Okay, enough of my ramblings about rules and restraint. It’s now time to make with the picks. Check them out below and enjoy the sale.