I’ve been shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (NAS) for 15 years, and it’s by far my favourite sale of the year. Since I prefer to shop very early in the retail season, purchasing Fall & Winter wardrobe refreshers in the middle of July is perfectly timed. I can secure the best items in my size, and my style feels refreshed when the weather changes. I like having fabulous-to-me new items waiting in the wings ready to be worn in the right setting and season because it makes me feel organized, thorough, and thoughtfully in control of my shopping process.

Some NAS assortments are better than others, and some of my purchasing decisions are more spot on than others. Over the years, I’ve learned from my NAS shopping mistakes and I have developed a NAS shopping strategy, which has been key to helping me purchase the right items at the sale.

Of course, you never really know how successful your purchases are until you’ve put them through their paces. Wearing, assessing your feelings at the time, laundering, and walking the distance are the true tests of whether an item was a successful purchase. Here’s the report on the eight items I purchased back in July.

1. White Steve Madden Moving Sneaker

These have been absolutely fabulous. So much so that I duplicated them after six weeks. I have a brand new boxed pair for after I’ve worn these into the ground. Fun, comfortable, nostalgic, and fashion-forward. I don’t wear chunky footwear, so that part is a wild card. But my love for Seinfeld and ‘80s fashion drew me to these with a big fat grin on my face. I wore them a few days after they followed me home, and they’ve become unexpected workhorses. I wore them all Summer and well into Fall.

2. Orange ECCO Soft 7 Sneaker

A Dutch gal has to have a pair of Dutch orange shoes. After doctoring the fit with two sets of insoles, the ECCO 7 Sneaker has become a wardrobe essential for my style. The orange are my third pair, and I also wore them right away throughout Summer and into Fall. I have an orange Furla satchel that matches it to create a handy complement. I don’t wear them as much as the white Seinfeld sneakers, but do find them versatile. They work well with all the red, blue, citron, pink and white in my wardrobe, and are a Modern Classic that will not date. They will get more wear in the Spring and Summer.

3. Veronica Beard Gemini Checked Cropped Pants

Best dressy checked pants on the planet. My word, am I impressed with these luxe pants. I LOVE them. They are FULLY LINED, do not crease, look sharp, are as comfortable as can be. They changed my bottoms game, and did not need waistband alteration. Since the weather turned, I reach for them all the time, dress them up and down, and find them very versatile. They pattern mix well, look great with hi-top sneakers or booties, and make me wear blue jeans less frequently (a style goal.) Veronica Beard pants are on my radar from now on.

4. Ted Baker Beffi Ribbed Peplum Sweater

This was a great purchase because it’s a comfortable and dramatic dressy pullover that works well for client meetings with pants and boots. It feels and looks polished, playful, and sharp in a very comfortable manner. Keeps me warm too. Beautifully made and quite architectural. It was not intended to be an easy throw-on-and-go everyday piece, and it isn’t. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed wearing the navy darling with dressy tuxedo pants and checked pants. I’ll wear it with jeans too.

5. Halogen Shawl Collar Blazer

I’m surprised at how this became a workhorse as soon as the weather cooled. It’s been my favourite Fall blazer this season and works with most of my wardrobe because I pattern mix with it. My style mood is quite maximal at the moment, and this fits the mood. I wear it with jeans, all sorts of neutral and non-neutral pants, and dress it up or down with boots or sneakers. It’s my version of the longer blazer trend with a bit of Chanel in the mix. It’s a very memorable topper, and I wear it all the time. It doesn’t bother me one bit that people see the bold item in my outfits frequently. Why not!

6. Sam Edelman Faux Fur Trim Faux Leather Jacket

I predicted the ‘90s aviator jacket to become a wardrobe workhorse, and it did as soon as the weather turned about 6 weeks ago. The trendy boxy cut was just what I needed to make some golden oldies feel “new”. The colour makes me very happy and lifts my mood. I reach for it often because it creates interesting new proportions with my outfits, and is versatile too. It kicks every outfit into trendy territory when it’s incorporated. It perfectly matches a new pair of red boots that unexpectedly became workhorses. It has somewhat taken the place of my navy short puffer that I’m wearing less frequently because I’m more into my red aviator at the moment. Like the Halogen Shawl Collar Blazer, it’s a memorable item. I don’t mind that people see me wearing it over and over again at all. In fact, I celebrate the fact that I wear my clothes often and get my money’s worth. I LOVE this jacket.

7. Avec Les Filles Double-Breasted Wool Blend Coat

I have worn this coat once so far and love it. It’s a warm and heavy dressy coat that needs colder weather, and we’ve only reached those temperatures recently. I also bought it knowing that it wouldn’t be an everyday throw-on-and-go coat, but rather one that is reserved for special and dressier occasions. It has a high longevity factor, and is beautifully made, so I’ll have it for a while. It’s perfect for that need, and I had no intention of returning it despite waiting almost four months to wear it.

8. Adidas Trefoil Hoodie

A friend bought the hoodie for my birthday after some not so subtle hints. I bat for Team Adidas, and it’s currently my favourite lounging sweatshirt for home.

It has been one of the best NAS shopping seasons to date. There’s definitely some luck involved. I got extra lucky that the puzzle pieces fit my wardrobe and my mood. Red is the colour I chose for the year, so I’m thrilled to have found so many great red items.