Today’s post is written by my wonderful sister-in-law, Keri, who works full time as the Supplements Managing Editor for a London-based magazine. Keri and I go back 22 years. We were university residence flat-mates and good friends before she married my brother Hugo, 15 years ago. Hugo, Keri and their 11 year old son Seb came out to visit Seattle recently and we had a ball. Keri has always had a great sense of style, an obsessive love for handbags and LOVES to shop. Needless to say I get on well with my sis in law! Keri and I had a wonderful time shopping the NAS.

Outfit 1: Biker JacketI do consider myself particularly lucky to have such a stylish and talented sister-in-law in Angélique, and have always relished our 9-hour marathon shopping sessions together on her visits to us in London, so I was not going to pass up the opportunity to do the same when visiting her in Seattle, especially as our visit so fortuitously coincided with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

The first thing to get my head around was the fact that this was not an end-of-season sale of odd-sized remnants and unpopular summer lines, but drastic reductions in new season clothing as it hit the shelves – unheard of in the UK! The bonus was that it was autumn (fall), my favourite season. But this was not going to be a complete walk in the park as I had decided that having hit the big 4-0 a few months back my style needed a bit of a revamp, and I needed to be nudged out of my matchy-matchy comfort zone. I had told Angélique her mission was (1) get me into dresses (I did not possess a single dress) and (2) get me into leggings (a look I have never felt confident enough to pull off). I did hint that I was not averse to having my boundaries pushed a little, but that tucking boots into pants and baring upper arms might be a step too far for this voluptuous hourglass …

Coats and jackets were the first port of call – Angélique pounced upon a rich teal Steve Madden wool coat for me with a cheeky flounce at the back, and before I realized what was happening I was in a red Michael Kors trenchicon and totally besotted. A biker jacket was definitely on the list, but leather or pleather? In the end it was about the look and fit and pleather convincingly won the day with an uber comfortable and buttery soft Gallery jacket. A blazer was also on the cards. Pin-striped was my first choice, but it was the flattering front vertical panel of a black Halogen blazer that won me over. Then we moved on to pencil skirts – a black and goldy olive joined the gang.

Tops next and we started piling up a huge assortment to try on. I have always admired Angélique’s ability to survey the rails and hone in on just the right pieces. She knows my taste and what suits me, but she always surprises me by picking things I would never usually go for, and I end up not only with a fabulous new look but also a stylishly broadened mind!

The handbag department is a dangerous area for me, and it was with great restraint and much regret that I passed it by. Back in London I do have more handbags than years I have lived on this earth and I had to prioritise. However, we did detour into shoes and with my incurable weakness for wedges, Angélique had no difficulty in getting me into a pair of chestnut Steve Madden Maryn bootsicon, which I know are going to get a lot of mileage!

Our selections were swiftly whisked away and arrayed around a waiting changing room by our efficient, helpful and charming sales assistant – all part of my American shopping experience (and somewhat different from what I am used to in the UK). We grabbed some leggings, knits, waterfall cardigansicon (black and my favourite pinky purple colour) and a couple of (sleeveless!) dresses en route, and Angelique slipped in some straight-legged Kut from the Kloth jeansicon (a departure for this boot-leg devotee) and black Ponte pantsicon (described as leggings). And then began the fun of trying it all on and having Angelique work her magic.

With the constraints of budget and baggage allowance lurking in the back of my mind, I was somewhat relieved that we did have something of a ‘no’ pile, alongside the not inconsiderable ‘yes’ pile, but what amazed me was the number of different outfits Angélique could create out of just a few items. Yes, she did get me to wear my boots over those Ponte pants, dresses and leggings have been acquired and assimilated and the boundaries have definitely shifted. But what greater endorsement do you need than your husband telling you that your new look makes you look younger!

Outfit 2: Teal CoatOutfit 3: London Blazer

Nordstrom items pictured in this post (affiliate links):