There was a good selection of dresses at the sale, and I was thrilled to see fashion revert back to tailoring and waist-defining silhouettes. There were many sleeveless styles, but we DID find fabulous toppers to wear over them that worked like a charm. Actually, although I complain profusely about the sea of sleeveless dresses at retail, they do have the advantage of being comfortable to wear with toppers (no sleeve bunching). Many clients were happy to go sleeveless as long as we found the RIGHT topper to finish off the look. 

I’ve also suggested four winning dress toppers below so that you can visualize the complete outfit if sleeveless is not your thing. The gauzy maxi cardigan worked surprisingly well over flared dresses, and looked fashion forward.


  • Nic + Zoe 'Dolomite' Print V-Neck Twirl Dress (Regular & Petite): A fit-and-flare in a weighty fabrication that works well on a curvy body type. Very substantial fabric that is forgiving on "lower belly bulges" that you might want to conceal. Might need to size down.
  • Rebecca Taylor Sleeveless V-Neck Texture Knit Fit & Flare Dress: An amazing little dress for curvy petites. Gorgeously textured fabric and a divine fluted cut on the skirt. You can wear a Second Base camisole with a lace inset if the V is too low. Might run a size small.
  • Eliza J V-Neck Crepe Sheath Dress: A simple modern classic in good colours. Versatile and very flattering. Plenty of length for tall gals. Fab for the office. Read the rave reviews.
  • Karen Kane Print Jersey Cascade Faux Wrap Dress: The best wrap dress at Nordstrom because it has AMPLE coverage. You don't feel like you're going to fall out of it - which is happening over and over again with DVF wrap dresses. Form-fitting but not clingy. Super soft fabric that can be washed on the delicates cycle in the machine. Excellent on a curvier body type. Size down. Both colour options are lovely.
  • Boss 'Daladi' Split Neck Ponte Sheath Dress: A great sheath on an inverted triangle. Fabulous on broad shoulders. Thick and substantial fabric. ELECTRIC colour. Might need to size down.
  • Classiques Entier Geometric Print Stretch Silk Midi Dress: Modern Retro Fabness. One of my favourite dresses at the sale because it's awfully pretty and the pattern is yummy. Luscious fabric too. Looks amazing on tall hourglass and pear shaped body types, but the length can be altered for curvy petites. Very elegant.
  • Fuzzi Tattoo Floral Print Tulle Dress: Killer gorgeous pattern. Form-fitting, but not clingy. Lightweight fabric that is ruched in all the right places for clever camouflaging. Must be curvy to wear this style and fill out the bust area. Runs small, so size up. Looks really good on petites too. A very elegant length.
  • BCBGMAXAZRIA 'Kelsee' Print Jersey A-Line Dress: A fun fit-and-flare in fabulous jewel tones. Works really well on curvy petites. The front diagonal lines in the pattern are geniusly positioned to create a streamlined effect. Easy and relaxed.
  • Chelsea28 Flutter Sleeve Stretch Sheath Dress: My favourite dress at the NAS, and I am very rarely drawn to black dresses. The detail of the flutter sleeves is sublime, and they drape beautifully. VERY different, and gorgeously tailored. Fab length too. Very, very elegant and gorgeous with a pile of pearls. Best on a long neck and smaller bust. It's form-fitting and NOT forgiving on the belly area, so consider yourself warned. Runs small so size up.
  • Betsey Johnson Embroidered Knit Sheath Dress: Fun lace and pattern placement on a tailored dress. Runs small and is quite form-fitting. Best on a rectangular body type and smaller bust. Elegant length. You have to love grey to love this dress.
  • Halogen Sleeveless Side Ruched Mock Neck Knit Dress (Regular & Petite): These knitted dresses are VERY body-con and quite short because they creep up as you stride. The reason they made my top picks list is because they look amazing over Spanx liquid mercury leggings and layered with a gauzy maxi cardigan. Wear it over leggings as a tunic with a flowing cardi and you have yourself a fun casual outfit.
  • Madewell Garment Dye Cotton Shirtdress: A great shirtdress to wear over leggings or cropped flared jeans. Works on an assortment of body types. The back pleat detail causes a bit of a pouf that looked fine to my eye. It added an architectural touch. The olive is very grey in person.
  • Eliza J Windowpane Print Ponte Shift Dress (Regular & Petite): Graphic Fabness. A fun tunic over leggings and cropped jeans. Might run a size big if you are slight in frame. Knitted fabric is very comfortable, and the fit is very forgiving on the midsection.
  • Betsey Johnson Floral Print Knit Sheath Dress: A comfy dress on a curvier figure. Stretchy and soft, but not sloppy. Fits slightly pear shaped body types very well. Length is easy to alter for petites. I like how spaced the floral pattern is. Different.
  • Lafayette 148 New York Drape Neck Ponte Dress (Regular & Petite): A good dress on both curvy and straighter figures. Fabulous colour. Not overly clingy, but does run big so size down.
  • Eliza J Print Ombré Sleeveless Fit & Flare Dress (Regular & Petite): An easy and comfy fit-and-flare that has worked on most body types. Flattering and forgiving on the lower belly. Quite short though.
  • Betsey Johnson Print Ponte Fit & Flare Dress: An excellent dress for curvy petites. It's quite short. The fabric is lightweight and drapes well. Non-scratchy. The check is darker than in the photos, so don't expect a vibrant check. Read the rave reviews.
  • MAX MARA 'Aligi' Sleeveless Jersey Sheath Dress: A stunning form-fitting dress that runs a size small. The fabric is knitted and substantial and VERY soft and comfortable. Good length for tall gals. The fit is body-con if you're curvy, but less so when you have a straighter figure. Impeccable quality. The high neck works quite well on a larger bust.

See the items alongside my descriptions on the collection page.

Dress Toppers

  • KUT from the Kloth 'Ana' Faux Leather Drape Front Jacket (Regular & Petite): An excellent topper to wear with jeans, trousers, skirts and dresses. Fitted and stretchy. Works on a variety of body types and creates a flattering silhouette. It also adds an architectural touch to your outfit. The front lapels lay quite flat and aren't fussy. Comes in black and burgundy and runs big, and NOT true to size as the site suggests. Read the rave reviews.
  • Vince Camuto Zip Pocket Drape Front Blazer: An extremely good affordable blazer. It has worked on every body type - apple to pear - and from size 2 to 14. A magical cut with an excellent asymmetrical hem. Very flattering. Works well over dresses too.
  • Halogen Merino Blend Long Cardigan: Best maxi cardigan at the sale. Very lightweight, refined and gauzy. Do not wear it over sleeves because it's too delicate. Perfect over a sleeveless top or dress (both flared and straight). It tapers at the hem in the very best way so that you don't feel overwhelmed by the length. Works well on petites. A pity that it only comes in black and grey.
  • Kate Spade New York draped suede jacket: An exquisite high-end piece that feels SO good on. Very luxurious, and looks sharp, rich and polished despite being suede. Casually dressy, and is as smashing for a business casual office as it is paired with jeans. Works well on both a curvy and straighter figure. Excellent on a shorter neck, and brilliant over dresses, skirts and culottes because of the shorter length.

See the items alongside my descriptions on the collection page.

Feel free to ask further questions in the comments section about these or other NAS items, and I’ll do my best to help you out. And please share your own winning purchases in the comments section too.

NAS Top Picks by Category

This is part of a five post series. 

  1. Coats, Jackets and Vests
  2. Footwear and Accessories
  3. Tops and Knitwear
  4. Dresses and Dress Toppers (this post)
  5. Skirts, Pants and Jeans

Also check out my introduction to the series, my tips on how to shop the sale, and the items I brought home from the sale.