The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (NAS for short) officially starts on Friday July 22 and ends on August 8. The sale is unique in that it discounts FRESH Fall and Winter merchandise right at the start of the new season for a period of two weeks. Prices go back up on August 9. But you can preselect for the sale in stores and online from July 13 to 21 if you’re a Nordstrom cardholder.

The NAS generates a lot of excitement, especially in Seattle, which is Nordstrom’s home base. The beauty of the sale is that it kickstarts the cold weather shopping season, and gets you thinking about how you want to dress in Fall and Winter. For many reasons I’m a HUGE fan of shopping at the beginning of a new retail season, and that’s why the NAS is my favourite sale of the year. 

If you do plan to shop the NAS this year, here are some tips to help you get the most out of the experience:

  • The NAS catalogue shows an extremely small section of what is on sale. A small Nordstrom store will also have a limited assortment. But don’t let that put you off. You’ll see the fullest assortment online, which is available to cardholders on July 14 and everyone on July 22. 
  • The size of the sale can be OVERWHELMING. As a result, you might take one look and feel that there is nothing to buy. This is an extremely common feeling, and is precisely where I come in. I get to know the sale merchandise intimately by shopping the preselections with clients. After fitting many items onto many clients I can help YLF readers by pointing out the intricate details of style, colour, fabric and fit.
  • The smaller sizes run out first because size curves are deliberately stocked that way. Buy them as soon as you see them. That said, sizes can come back into stock, so keep on checking your favourite items online.
  • Focus on pricier pieces. As I say to all my clients, the NAS is the time to purchase “the good stuff” at excellent prices. I bought my Burberry coat at the NAS a few years ago and it’s been a brilliant piece that will stand the test of time.
  • Shop with a plan, BUT keep an open mind. The more time and thought you put into the NAS, the better the results. Do a little wardrobe planning upfront and you’ll make more informed shopping decisions. Identify wardrobe holes, items that need duplication, and the wardrobe categories in your cold weather wardrobe that you’d like to refresh. Think across all price points, colours, fabrications, silhouettes, and areas of your lifestyle. Be open to wild card purchases that can change the landscape of your wardrobe because they often become unexpected workhorses. Think of statement pieces AND simple wardrobe essentials. (Note: Do not stress about planning too much upfront. A little upfront thought is sufficient so that you don’t come home with two more pairs of black ankle booties when you already have six pairs in your closet at home). 
  • Shop with a budget. I’ve found that setting a budget for the sale — and sticking to it — keeps me focused and appreciative of the treasures that follow me home. 
  • Don’t forget to shop the smaller departments. My clients also tend to do really well in the underwear, sleepwear, activewear, accessory, home wear and mens wear departments during the sale. 
  • Ask for YLF help and guidance throughout the sale. The forum has a separate section dedicated to the NAS, so feel free to ask questions about items you want to purchase or have purchased whenever you need to. Our forum members will chime in with engaged and supportive replies, and I will chime in when I can. I collect lots of insider information about the items, so shout when you need assistance. 

The NAS is well timed because it’s around my birthday. Since Greg takes me shopping for my birthday, I’ve already thought about the look I want to emulate for Fall and Winter and bought items that I don’t need to buy at the sale. For example, I shan’t be shopping for bottoms because I just got two pairs of pants for my birthday (the exact items are represented in the collection). I can wear them year round in Seattle by switching out the seasonal support act. 

After a little soul searching and analysis, I’ve decided to add a graphic element back into my style. But the look MUST stay soft, modern, crisp, dressy and retro. The new pairs of pants were a great starting point, and I’ll embellish the look from there with some NAS treasures. As a result, I’ll be prioritizing the following items as I shop the NAS for my own wardrobe:

  1. Fun NON-classic white shirt
  2. Sleek, black, low-heeled booties that are very fitted on the ankle
  3. Low-heeled gold booties
  4. Interesting knitwear
  5. A pastel, rust or toffee coat
  6. A winter dress 

I will not be shopping for blouses, skirts, bags, knitted tops, lingerie, active wear, scarves, leather jackets, loungewear or jeans. I have those areas covered. 

Many clients book their preselection shopping appointments with me well in advance so that they can get the most out of the sale. As a result, I will be working very long hours at the Seattle Nordstrom flagship store from today until the sale breaks on July 22. Of course, as I do every year, my top picks lists go out just after midnight when the sale breaks for all. I’ll catch you on the forum. Good hunting!