The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens to the public on July 20. Early access, available to Nordstrom card members, started earlier last week. The NAS is by far my favourite sale of the year. It’s unique in that it offers deep discounts for hot-off-the-press new items for the upcoming Fall and Winter season. Prices go back up after August 5.

The NAS is quite the event in Seattle, the home of Nordstrom HQ and its flagship store. During the week of early access I have wall-to-wall appointments with clients at the flagship. I spend a few hours with each of them, working from 8AM to 10PM most nights of the week. I love every minute of it, but I’m exhausted by the end of early access.

Here’s a sneak peek of the top 30 items at this year’s sale.

  • Double Breasted Wool Blend Coat: Best dressy coat at the sale. A STUNNING Modern Classic that will work over midis, and just about anything else. High longevity factor. It's heavy, warm, luxurious, and beautifully made. Very tailored so no bulky underlayers. Quite slim through the arms, and quite straight on the hips - but not that straight. It has worked on straighter and curvier body types. Remember that button positions can be adjusted to create a better fit.
  • Transcend - Manhattan Bootcut Jeans: Best blue jeans at the sale. Every client who tried them on raved about them because they are FULL-length, and extremely streamlining and comfortable. Not too high rise and with an even dark wash. They are long and will probably need to be hemmed unless you are very tall. They also worked well for PETITES, and the width or the flare is NOT affected when hemmed. Most clients hemmed these to wear with very low-heeled boots or sneakers. Comes in a skinny equivalent if that's more to your taste.
  • Bronx Lace-Up Platform Boot: Best fun boots at the sale. Impeccable comfort and quality. Eye-catching! The patterned leather is unique. VERY lightweight, and has a zipper for easy access. Works on a variety of foot widths and shapes because you can manipulate the fit with the laces.
  • Faux Fur Trim Faux Leather Jacket: Best boxy jacket at the sale. Faux leather with teddy bear lining is cosy, fun to wear, and warm. Good length and fab side entry pockets. The fit is STRAIGHT and very fluid, so you have to be okay with that. It does not overwhelm a small frame, and you have to love red to commit to it.
  • Shawl Collar Blazer: Best bouclé at the sale. Bolder in person and super soft. The length is sublimely flattering and the shawl collar unique. The weave of the bouclé is tight and feels substantial. Roomy sleeves and great over all sorts of layers. Chanel-esque.
  • Edge Lux 3 Running Shoe: The best athletic sneakers at the sale. They fit most foot types because they stretch and mould to the foot. It's VERY trendy to wear these with just about any outfit, so do just that. The white and grey are just as nice.
  • Star Double Face Trench Coat: The best fun coat at the sale. Nicely made, and fab red piping on the inside. The cocoon shape and midi length are versatile, and layer well over most items. The architectural drape is trendy, and the silhouette works on most body types if you're prepared to surrender the waist and wear the look fluid and boxy.
  • Packable Hooded Walker Coat: Best fashion puffer at the sale. Extremely comfy, lightweight yet warm, and very flattering. The stitching and quilting are positioned so that they visually narrow the silhouette. Clever! Comes in black and forest green.
  • Vicar Water Repellent Studded Bootie: Best casual burgundy boots at the sale. Very comfy, well made, and work well on regular volume feet. Low-volume feet need insoles. Can work for higher volume feet, but not very wide feet. A little less red in person.
  • Water Resistant Moto Detail Trench Coat: Best casual trench at the sale. Statement hardware, a lined and removable hood, and fabric that repels pet hair. Great length and very comfy. Comes in olive.
  • Leopard Print Coat: Best animal print coat at the sale. Elegant, fun, soft, TAILORED, and a fab mdi length. It worked on a range of body types, and has handy side entry pockets. Soft, yet crisp and sharp.
  • Soft 7 Sneaker: Best bright sneaker at the sale. This sneaker has worked on every foot shape apart from a very wide one. Low-volume feet can add insoles, which I did. I wear them with two strategically placed insoles, have three colours, and they are the BEST low-top fashion sneakers of all time. They are supportive and extremely comfy. They look more like an oxford than a sneaker - very clean and crisp - which is probably why I like them.
  • Double Face Wool Blend Coat: The best checked coat at the sale. A perfect Trendy Classic. An amazing on-trend midi cocoon silhouette in the most classic of tartans. It's straight and quite unstructured, yet the heft of the fabric makes it drape like a dream giving it some structure. High longevity factor.
  • Pointy Toe Mule: Best mule at the sale. This worked on a range of foot shapes and is as comfy as it is sleek and chic. Well made.
  • Onto the Next Faux Leather Drape Front Jacket: Best faux leather jacket at the sale. $59 of bliss, and it might run small unless you prefer narrow fits. Fun over dresses. Comes in black and burgundy.
  • Caley Wedge Sandal: Best comfy sandal at the sale. Comes in FOUR widths and FOUR neutrals, and looks a whole lot better on the foot. The front crisscross detailing is cute and flattering.
  • Mixed Media Leather Moto Jacket: Best leather jacket at the sale. The mixed-media colour blocking is unique, and it's well made. Lightweight and office-appropriate. Fab tailored fit, but not too tight. Sharp.
  • Soft 7 High Top Sneaker: Best hi-top at the sale. These have worked on every foot shape apart from a very wide foot. Lower volume feet can add insoles, and higher volume feet have room. The tops create a neat and tidy finish on the foot that looks crisp and graphic. Comes in black and burgundy metallic.
  • Windowpane Check Ruched Sleeve Blazer: Best graphic window pane at the sale. Fully lined, well made, lots of cute design detailing, has STRETCH, a fun little '80s shoulder pad, and is under $100. Comfy and fun. Fits a range of body types.
  • Ruched Sleeve Plaid Blazer: Best long blazer at the sale. Trendy, dramatic, earth-toned, and very elongating. Fully lined, well made, lots of cute design detailing, has a little stretch and a fun '80s shoulder pad. Fits a range of body types. It looked as good on a straight figure as it did on a curvy one. Comes in a cool-toned check too.
  • Harriet Cutaway Blazer: The best designer blazer at the sale. A quality Modern Classic with a high longevity factor that oozes fabness and personality. Dress it up or down and wear it season after season. It works extremely well on a curvier body type - better than on a straighter body type.
  • Salem Waterproof Bootie: Best comfy and versatile boot at the sale. Weatherproof. Beautifully made, classic, refined, and VERY cushioning. You have to like round toes to like this boot.
  • Movement Peplum Jacket: Best black jacket at the sale. Dramatic, chic and a quality piece. The peplum is subtle, yet architectural. Interestingly, it works as well on apple shapes as it does on body types with a defined waists. Size up unless you need a narrow fit.
  • The Vinton Bracelet Watch: Best mixed-metal watch at the sale. I can't rave enough about Shinola watches since I've had mine for years, and it looks new. Refined, comfortable, and as modern as it is classic.
  • Summit Jacket: Best zebra item at the sale. Its graphic and architectural integrity makes quite a statement. The straightness of the silhouette is beyond body type, although I preferred it on broader shoulders. The diagonal seaming in front creates a flattering line for the eye to follow, and therein are fab hidden pockets.
  • Bobbi Moto Boot: Best buckled boots at the sale. A quality hard-edged piece with loads of refinement. Nice tailored ankle fit, and cushioning insole. Works on a range of foot types. Side zipper for easy access.
  • Soft 7 III Slip-On Sneaker: Best slip-on sneaker at the sale. These were by far the winning sneaker on clients, and some bought both colours. They were astounded at their comfort, and how well the slip-on stayed on their feet. Also, it worked with every outfit clients were wearing. Wear these sneaks with ANYTHING as long as the colours coordinate. I wish they came in white.
  • Miss Metro II Water Repellent Hooded Parka: Best gear puffer at the sale. The silhouette looked great on a range of body types, and there are FIVE amazing colours. Well-made, great fit, fab length, and super warm. I wished it came in petite for my petite clients.
  • Tombeau Lace-Up Boot: Best comfy stomping boot at the sale. Works well on wider feet with high insteps and arches, and is super cushioning. Easy side zipper access. Wear it with skirts and dresses, or cropped pants and jeans.
  • Boyfriend Jeans: Best black jeans at the sale. They are boyfriend style but NOT slouchy. VERY comfy and fresh. Genius fit because they worked well on straighter and curvier body types. SUPER cute white stitching, and excellent on petites. They come in blue too.

Go to the collection page if you would like to see the images alongside my descriptions.

Leopard Print Coat
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Top Pick
Soft 7 Sneaker
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Top Pick
Pointy Toe Mule
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Top Pick
Summit Jacket
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Top Pick
Bobbi Moto Boot
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Top Pick
Boyfriend Jeans
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Top Pick

Nordstrom has offered extended sizes across both sides of the spectrum, which I applaud. You’ll find many more items in larger sizes, as well as size US0, petite, and XXS. I’ve provided the Finds in regular sizes, but be sure to check if it’s available in petite and plus. The strength of this year’s sale was in jackets, coats, jeans, underwear, and casual footwear, and that’s where my clients put the lion’s share of their NAS budgets. The dressy footwear, knitwear, skirts, trousers and dress assortment was disappointing.

The best stuff goes FAST and as a result you’ll see items that are out of stock in my roundup. Don’t worry! There is quite a lot of stock in big stores, and items are returned every second and restocked throughout the sale. So keep checking back online or when you’re in stores because chances are fairly good that you’ll get what you want eventually.

Whether or not you’re actively shopping the sale, please feel free to join the fun in the YLF forum. We also understand that the NAS talk can get overwhelming if you not interested in the sale. If you would like to tune it out, just collapse the “Anniversary Sale” featured forum section using the “hide” button.

I will post more comprehensive top picks for each category on Friday when general access to the store opens.  I will also be sharing my own sale strategy and purchases later this week.