Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Even More Standouts

After a first and second list of standout items at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, here’s a final list of standouts before I publish my list of top picks by category next week. These are items that my clients brought to my attention, and winners that were shared by YLF forum members. 

The NAS section of the forum is in full swing. Members are discussing items, showing them in action, and sharing their fab and not-so-fab experiences. I find it really helpful and you might too if you’re navigating the sale.

Please check colour combinations and size options because for practical reasons I am showing the items in straight sizes and a single colour. Read the reviews and feel free to ask questions along the way. Do share your own winners in the comments section. I’ll post my final roundup of top picks by category on August 19 when the sale is officially open to all.

  • Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Lite Circle Cardigan: There are six Barefoot Dreams cardigans on sale, and this is a popular one with my clients. It's an at-home look, or for extremely relaxed settings. Not quite a robe, but almost. SUPER soft, cosy and comforting. Comes in a few neutrals. Sometimes the arms are a little narrow on this style, in which case try one of the others.
  • SWEATY BETTY Power Workout 7/8 Leggings: Fun patterned workout leggings that come in a neon green pattern.
  • SWEATY BETTY Power Crop Top: A workout top that fits a range of body types, and has leggings to match. Some of our forum members are wearing these with roomy athleisure pants and skirts for an at-home look in high heat.
  • Ecco Corksphere Flip Flop: Happy, bright, supportive and comfy flip-flops for at-home or beach/pool comfort.
  • Timberland Nellie Waterproof Chukka Boot: These are very cute, comfy and pretty on the foot. Works well on wider feet. WEATHERPROOF. Great in ice, light rain, and a bit of snow. The pink nubuck, although robust, is harder to clean, so you have to be okay with that. I'd dodge those awfully muddy patches if I were you.
  • Eliza J High/Low Fit & Flare Dress: A fit-and-flare midi with a V-neck AND pockets is hard to find. This one ticks off the boxes, and is flattering. Dress it up or down. Comfy, easy and chic.
  • Børn Isobelle Tassel Bootie: A comfy and cushioning bootie for Team Rugged and Team Western. Can work on a higher volume foot, but not a very wide foot.
  • Nike Internationalist SE Sneaker: Sleek, crisp, and very 2020. Wear them with just about anything. Works on wider feet.
  • TOMMY JOHN Lounge Henley Tee: '90s Henley Fabness. Soft, comfy, flattering, and a nice fit. An alternative to a basic long-sleeved tee.
  • BLANKNYC Floral Pleated Brocade Shorts: Baroque Shorts Fabness that work well on a curvier figure, and a defined waist. Cute look with black top, black opaques, and black boots.
  • Boss Fucille Knit Midi Pencil Skirt: A well-made, luxe, and very comfy STRETCH tube skirt in a Winter weight that is polished and professional. It has a sleeveless top and topper to match to create a three-piece dress. Flattering, easy and versatile.
  • Rag & Bone Walker Snake Embossed Leather Phone Pouch: A handy little phone, keys and card pouch that blends into most outfits.
  • AVEC LES FILLES Wool Blend Fit & Flare Coat: A long teal wool coat has been on the wishlist of many of my clients. I don't know how this fits, but the brand has not let me down yet. Usually nice quality and not too pricey. So if you're after a long teal coat in a tailored fit and classic design - this might be the one. It comes in burgundy.
  • SARTO By Franco Sarto Florita Platform Derby: I don't know how these fit, but I trust the brand who usually makes comfortable and well-designed footwear. Fun with statement socks, shorter pant hems, and comes in burgundy. Or cute peeking out from under wide hems.
  • BDG URBAN OUTFITTERS Mom Jeans: If you want to try a pair of trendy jeans, these are one way to go, and great on a curvy body type. NO STRETCH, so you've been warned. They run big to some and small to others depending on how baggy you want them to fit.
  • Zella Amazing Cozy Wrap Jacket: A comfy athleisure topper to wear at home, post workouts, or out and about in very casual settings. Comes in grey and runs big.
  • GOLDEN RABBIT Baking Pan: I got this in a vintage blue pattern because I like to cook all in one easy tray bakes. Great size. Not too big. Four colour options.
  • Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeans: A no-nonsense pair of black bootcuts that are streamlining on the midsection and thighs. Soft, versatile, and comfy. Works well on a curvier body type, and is great with cowboy or Chelsea boots. Size down.
  • Kenneth Cole New York Notch Collar Curly Faux Shearling Coat: Gorgeous coat and quality, well made, rich and super cosy. I like the Teddy texture and long peacoat styling, although it might be a lint magnet. It runs very big so size down at least a size. Lots of room for layering.
  • OluKai Wehi 'Ohana Flip Flop: Great supportive and sturdy flip-flops that come in many colours. Good for at home too.
  • CLICK & GROW Smart Garden 9 Self Watering Indoor Garden: If you can't have a herb garden outside - try one inside that self waters. Available in a smaller size.
  • GOLDEN RABBIT Set of 3 Nesting Bowls: I got these and they are fabulous. Metal, robust, versatile, practical and fun. Comes in colours. They are coming with us on a picnic tomorrow.
  • Wit & Wisdom Luxe Touch Ab-Solution High Waist Straight Leg Crop Jeans: Extremely comfortable and streamlined jeans. No digging in the waist. Works on both curvier and straighter body types because they mould to the contour of the body. Straighter hips might need to size down.

You can see the items alongside my descriptions on the collection page.

Link Love: All Eyes on the Face Mask

As many of us are wearing face masks daily, the fashion world is starting to pay more attention to them as well:

Fab Links from Our Members

Brooklyn enjoyed this blog post on pairing shoes with midi skirts: “Very analytical, great visuals and a nice ‘no right or wrong’ attitude.”

Joyce B directs us to this NYT article on Ray Darten, one of the labels that was recently featured on YLF.

Since we were talking about jeans last week, suntiger thought this article could be of interest.

Nuancedream recommends this CBC article on how consignment and thrift shops are adapting to, and even thriving in a pandemic.

Runcarla thought this was the most sanguine article on post-pandemic fashion trends that she’s read, and encapsulates her feeling on where fashion is heading — for good or for ill.

She also liked this article about dressing up during quarantine.

Neatnic and LAR101 found this article on the recent ‘unravelling’ of the fashion industry interesting.

It’s hard to shop exclusively online when you can’t judge the true colour of an item, the feel of a fabric, how it drapes… But what about when you can’t judge anything else because of how hard the website is trying to be editorial? Vildy very much enjoyed this Reddit discussion on the topic.

Sal thought this was an interesting article about changes in branding and body inclusivity: The Lingerie Brand That Picks Models Without Seeing Them.

Eleven Ways to Be a Better Online Shopper

COVID-19 has accelerated the transition to online shopping, and I think the change is going to stick. The trend was already well underway before the pandemic. There were an increasing number of retailers with no physical storefront. More and more retailers were putting extended sizes and additional colour options online, as opposed to displaying them in stores.  

There are pros and cons to online shopping. For some people, shopping in brick-and-mortar stores will always be preferable because you see the item in person, feel the fabric, and fit it on before making the purchase. But the retail world is changing, We’re all going to do at least some of our shopping online.

I thoroughly enjoy shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, but like everyone else I’ve had to move online recently. Through trial and error I’ve learned to be more effective, efficient and safe. Here are my suggestions, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.

1. Ensure Online Security

Purchase from reputable and safe sites because there are a lot of scams and dodgy retailers on the internet. They are after your money, or your personal info, or both. When a search yields a hard to find item from an unknown retailer, be very careful. Find out more about the retailer before you make a purchase. Make sure it is the website of the retailer you think it is. Make sure there’s a little safety lock in the URL when you’re purchasing. Avoid websites that look sketchy. If you’re unsure, ask a tech savvy person whose judgement you trust.

2. Check Shipping Costs

Retailers can charge a lot for shipping, especially for expedited items. Some retailers charge a restocking fee when items are returned. Make sure you know what the charges are. Here in the US, unless an item is next day delivery or a very small dollar amount, the shipping of items is often free, and there is seldom a restocking fee. You can also return items for free in some brick-and-mortar stores.

I live in the US and because I am thoroughly spoiled with free shipping, I very seldom purchase wardrobe items from retailers that charge for shipping. If they charge for return shipping, I try to return the items in stores. This is very different in Canada and in other countries so make sure you do your sums and read the fine print.

3. Begin With Brand Familiarity

It’s risky ordering online because we seldom know how an item will fit and feel. Photographs of the items can show the silhouette and colour inaccurately, and they might even be pinned on the model. One way to minimize the inconvenience of a return is to start with brands whose fits you know. For example, I’ve had a really good run with Veronica Beard, Boden, Scotch & Soda, Club Monaco and Theory trousers, and Frame, Banana Republic and Everlane jeans. They usually tick off the aesthetic, fit, comfort and quality boxes, so I start my online search there when I’m looking for new jeans and trousers.

It’s even better when you’re placing an online order for an item that you’ve seen and fitted on in person already. That way you have a much better sense of what you’re paying for and can minimize the risk of returns.

I don’t recommend purchasing anything online that is FINAL sale unless you know exactly how the item fits, looks and feels. For example, I bought a polka dot shirt from Boden for a song that was old stock and final sale. It was without risk because I have three shirts in exactly the same fit and fabric, and knew the navy polka dots would be a slam dunk. I LOVE that shirt!

4. Broaden Your Search

If you can’t find the correct size or colour of an item on one site, try to find it on another. For example, when I couldn’t find a pair of leather hi-top Converse sneakers at Nordstrom online, I tried the following online sites too: Zappos, Amazon, Macy’s, and Converse. I also did a search on Google for the specific style, but was careful not to purchase from a dodgy site. I eventually tracked down the right size and colour from Amazon.

5. Pay Attention to Ethics and Sustainability

It’s tough to make sustainable and ethical wardrobe choices. There are no perfect solutions, and many compromises. But we have to start somewhere, or things will never change. Research brands and retailers to ensure they meet your standards. Make the most sustainable and ethical choices that you can manage.

6. Read Product Information Carefully

Read all the information that is supplied about the item online, especially when it comes to measurements, size charts, fabric composition, and laundry instructions. Make sure you know your own measurements so that you can make an informed decision about sizes. You might need to order two sizes to compare fits. Make sure you’re okay with how the item is to be laundered before you purchase it. Look at all the photos of the item to get the best impression of the product. Check the back and side views too.

7. Build Up Fabric, Product, and Size Knowledge

Build up a library of knowledge about the types of fabrics, fits, silhouettes, brands, garment dimensions, and colours that tend to work for you, and those that don’t. The more knowledge you can apply to an item, the better your chances are of it being a successful purchase. For example, I don’t entertain dress lengths shorter than 43 inches, or front rise measurements shorter than 9 inches, so that rules out a lot of styles straight off the bat.

Granted, garment measurements can be scarce, styles can be very misrepresented on the model, body types differ, colours can be off, and fabrics can be very different to what you imagined. It’s a gamble. You simply have to make the best educated guess with the information that is available to you. Sometimes you can phone customer service and ask about the measurements of the garment, which they will happily give to you.

8. Be Discerning About Reviews

Read the reviews about the product, and especially the negative ones. You’ll absolutely get a better sense about the quality, fit and appearance of the item from people who have already seen it. Feel free to ask questions about the items on the YLF forum because chances are high someone will know something about the item in question. And I can help you too.

That said, be discerning about the reviews. What is negative about an item for one person, could be positive for you. For example, I read a lot of negative reviews about necklines that are too high, shoes that are too narrow, and shoulder fits that are too snug. But these are positive item attributes for my long neck, narrow shoulders, and low-volume feet, and am grateful for that information.

9. Check for Discount Codes

Online discounts aren’t always automatically deducted when you check out, so make sure you add the discount code before you finalize the order. You can usually find the discount code at the top of the homepage in small print. Sometimes you have to click away to another window to get the code, or to see how long the retailer is running the discount.

10. Check the Return Policy

Return windows vary greatly between retailers. Some are as short as a couple of weeks, and others can run as long as a year. Most retailers will give you 30 days to return an item that is unworn with the tags attached, either by mail or in stores. More importantly, check whether you will get a full refund or a store credit, and make sure you are okay with that.

11. Expect to Return the Item

Expecting the worst and hoping for the best is how I approach my own online purchases. The online cycle of buying and returning is annoying, tedious, time-consuming, and expensive when you pay for shipping. But that’s how it goes. It’s no different when you head into the dressing room with fifteen items, and come out with no winners. Just try to make the best decision about the potential purchase with the information at hand.

Practice makes perfect, and I am a lot better at online shopping than I used to be. I order fewer items and have a higher success rate, but I make numerous returns with footwear.

My list of tips is by no means exhaustive. Please share your own tips in the comments, or if you’re new to online shopping, share your concerns.


Summer Sale Items

Here are some top pick sale items for hot days at home, working from home, or socially distancing out and about.

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Assorted Sale Items

An assortment of accessories and bottoms.

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Summery Items

This week’s top picks are Summery, versatile and fun.

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Spring and Summer Items

An assortment of tops, bottoms, and toppers for Spring and Summer.

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Classic and Comfortable

This week’s roundup is classically comfortable and fab.

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Assorted Items

Some winning tops, toppers and shoes to kick off the new season.

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: More Standouts

I posted a list of Nordstrom Anniversary Sale standouts earlier this week. After receiving intel from my clients and our forum members who are sharing their winners along the way, here’s another batch of items that stand out from the rest. We’ve also opened up the NAS section of the forum where the YLF community discusses their thoughts about NAS items in great detail. They often show photos of themselves wearing the items, and share their fab and not-so-fab experiences.

Please check colour combinations and size options because for practical reasons I am showing the Find in straight sizes and colour options. Read the reviews and feel free to ask questions along the way. Do share your own winners in the comments too.

  • Akris Punto Partwork Stripe Tunic Blouse: If you love big white shirts and gorgeous fabrics, try this one. It's beautifully luxe, refined, and oversized in a delicate way. Great for hot and mild weather. It's not opaque.
  • Ecco Soft Classic Bootie: My clients inform me that these are more comfy than the Ecco hi-tops that look similar from last year. They work on a variety of foot shapes, and can accommodate an orthotic. Comes in three more colours.
  • Gentle Souls By Kenneth Cole Gentle Souls Signature Gianna Wedge Sandal: A supportive and comfortable sandal that works well on higher arches, and comes in two solids.
  • Blondo Sydney Waterproof Bootie: Blondos tend to run short when you have long toes, so you might need to size up half a size for them to fit. Fits an orthotic. Comfy, weatherproof, and comes in black and brown.
  • Aquatalia Weatherproof Block Heel Bootie: These are weatherproof and comfortable if you can manage the heel height. Wider feet might need to size up half a size. Nice grippy heel, fun square toe, and six neutrals to choose from.
  • Linea Paolo Trinity Boot: A NON-BLACK stompy combat boot with a refined edge. The laces allow for a more forgiving fit. Soft, comfy and a little different.
  • Zella Restore Soft Pocket Jogger Pants: Easy soft joggers for very casual settings, and staying at home. Might run a size big.
  • Zella Studio Lite High Waist Print 7/8 Leggings: These high-waist leggings stay put when you work out and are different to the solid black norm. Low contrast and flattering. Great with a black top. Might need to size down.
  • Topshop Cable Stitch Crop Sweater: Fun little cropped pullover to wear with higher rises, and looks good with wide crops. Best on a smaller bust. I do not know if it will easily pill.
  • RAILS Hunter Plaid Shirt: Super soft, comfy, and feels like pyjamas. Very drapey and not like the usual flannel shirt. Comes in four plaids. Works quite well on a larger bust because of the drape of the fabric. Not stiff.
  • Rag & Bone Nina High Waist Ankle Cigarette Jeans: These have worked well on a curvier petite. Good on a straighter figure too.
  • NYDJ Marilyn Straight Leg Jeans: These have worked well on BOTH a curvier and straighter figure. Not calf-sucking. Streamlined, comfy, and a good wardrobe essential. Might need to size down.
  • Nike Sportswear Knit Palazzo Pants: A more dramatic pair of sweatpants, and best on Team Tall. They come in two more neutrals and have an oversized cropped sweatshirt to match.
  • CO Pleated Waist Shirt: An avant-garde piece that runs a little small, although it looks oversized. You can add a belt if you like. It's gathered on the waist which defines the waist, yet camouflages the midsection. It can work on a larger bust with the top buttons undone. DRAMATIC.
  • PJ Salvage Animal Instinct Pajamas: Cute and comfy pyjamas that come in a lighter pattern.
  • Cole Haan GrandPro Spectator 2.0 Genuine Calf Hair Slip-On: Bold and quite comfortable slip-on sneakers that fit a variety of foot shapes. They are not super soft and cushioning, but are better after adding soft insoles. The back comes up quite high which some find comfy, but cause blisters for others.
  • Gibson Notch Collar Cotton Blend Blazer: A comfy KNITTED jacket that feels like a cardigan. It is not crisp and dressy, but rather relaxed and casual, which might be just your cup of tea. Comes in many colours.
  • Herschel Supply Co. Little America Offset Backpack: A handy backpack with laptop compartment and padded back panel for extra comfort. It's quite big.
  • Eileen Fisher High Collar Coat: An easy coat to top most outfits because of its fluid fit, easy single-breast closure, and versatile length. Runs big and is fab for layering. Works on a range of body types.
  • Halogen Tie Neck Shirt: A romantic white shirt with a gorgeous shaped sleeve. A little more fun than the usual white button-down shirt, and might run a little big.
  • Zella High Waist Studio Pocket 7/8 Leggings: These have a small side pocket that comes in handy when you need to stash away stuff while working out. Might run a size big.
  • Adidas Stan Smith Sneaker: I have many clients in these because they are iconic, comfortable, and versatile. Run large and wide.
  • Zella Endurance Performance Pants: Zella gives Athleta a run for their money with these Athleisure pants that fit a variety of body types because they mould to your shape. Fun side ruching that makes them better than basic. Alas, they only come in black.
  • Zella Amazing Crewneck Sweatshirt: Fab sweatshirt with easy side entry pockets and fun side vents. Flattering, comfy, runs big, and comes in a few more colours. Excellent on Team Tall.
  • PAIGE Manhattan Bootcut Jeans: A basic pair of streamlined bootcuts that aren't too high in the rise. The even wash is streamlining. Works on a straighter and curvier figure, but might need waist alteration on a narrow waist or swayback.
  • Adidas Swift Run Sneaker: A repeat stretch mesh sneaker that moulds to the shape of most feet. VERY comfy.
  • TOMMY JOHN Jogger Pants: Comfy and cosy lounge pants fabness.
  • AllSaints Gina Drape Jacket: A KNITTED jacket that functions like a soft and unstructured cardigan with great side entry pockets. The neckline is unique and creates a flattering effect on the bust. Comes in grey.
  • KUT from the Kloth Kelsey High Waist Raw Hem Kick Flare Jeans: KUT jeans tend to work well on curvier and straighter body types, and usually run a size big. These look similar to a style they had last year that looked amazing on my size US16 client.
  • UGG Karoline Fleece Robe: Best cosy bathrobe at the NAS, and comes in solids.
  • Blondo Camila Waterproof Bootie: Weatherproof, well-made, and feels very substantial on the foot. Wider feet might need to size up half a size.
  • Tumi Rivas Nylon Backpack: A beautifully made, classic, robust, and streamlined backpack with LOTS of handy compartments. Comes in toffee. Quite big.
  • Kendra Scott Danielle Hoop Earrings: Easy and different hoop earrings that come in gold.
  • Madewell Disc Chain Necklace: Very different to wearing a string of pearls, but somehow similar but in a much more casual way. Comes in gold.
  • J.Crew Leopard Bomber Sweater Jacket: A comfy and forgiving knitted bomber for Team Earth Tones that tends to work best on those who can fill it out in the shoulders and/or bust. Great on a shorter neck and apple-shaped body type too.
  • Dr. Scholl's Abbot Slip-On Sneaker: Very comfortable, easy and playful platform sneakers, and the mauve is unique. Not good on narrow feet. Four colours.
  • UGG Elisa Genuine Shearling Bootie: Comfy, easy, WARM, well-made, soft, and works on a range of foot shapes. Comes in grey and black.
  • Anna Beck Reversible Drop Collar Necklace: A dainty and interesting necklace for Team Mixed Metal.
  • Lafayette 148 New York Grady Removable Dickey Jacket: A repeat style stretchy and casual blazer with removable dickey. I've seen it worn over leggings, jeans, chinos, a pencil skirt, and dressy pants. Versatile, comfy, and a little avant-garde. Comes in burgundy. A straight cut, yet moulds to a curvy body.
  • Zella Restore Soft Pocket Leggings: Some of my clients like to wear leggings with BIG pockets and these are fab.
  • Zella Live In High Waist Leggings: I have four pairs of these for yoga practice and they are the best because the high waist makes them stay put. Might need to size down. Comes in neutrals.
  • Sub_Urban Riot Indoorsy Washed Graphic T-Shirt: For those who are NOT outdoorsy. Fun, soft, and would be mine in another colour. I'd wear it as loungewear.
  • Madewell The Transport Stripe Embroidered Zip Top Crossbody Tote: A well-made and good size easy tote that is versatile AND has a zipper closure. Can fit tablets and a smaller laptop too. Comes in animal print.
  • Veronica Beard Renzo Crop Pants: Beautifully tailored, well made, and very substantial fabric. VERSATILE and comfy. Dress them up or down. Works well on curvier and straighter body types. Might need to size up. If they weren't black, they would be mine. I'd wear them with my hi-top sneakers.

You can see the items alongside my descriptions on the collection page.

Remember that if shopping for you wardrobe is not in the cards at the moment, there’s a good selection of beauty products, underwear, bedding, bath products, home decor, menswear and children’s wear on sale too.

Tropical Print Dress for British Summer

A new outfit from Hayley Hall, whom we introduced to YLF in September 2019.

Hayley is sporting a tropical leaf-patterned dress as a nod to a Summer holiday abroad that is not going to happen this year. The breezy two-tiered midi dress has a flattering V-neckline, and playful ruffle short sleeves. The elasticated empire waist with added skinny belt creates structure, while the double tier creates movement. Hayley has paired the pretty classic dress with on-trend black espadrille flatforms and a black straw bag. The woven material of the bag echoes the espadrille rope soles, while the tortoise ring on the bag ties back to our blogger’s oversized sunnies and gorgeous dark red hair. Hayley finishes off the look with soft peachy lipstick, and dainty jewellery.

Hayley Hall - 1

Hayley Hall - 2