Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks and Tips for Smart Shopping

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It’s that time of year again.  It’s the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  On June 13th, the sale opened early to cardholders.  On the 21st, it will open officially to the public.  I spent the morning going through all the sale items and have put together my picks below.  I was also reminded about some  sale shopping tips I gave a few years ago when this sale was going on.  I decided to republish them again in this post.  You’ll find them peppered within my picks.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks and Tips for Smart


Even if you aren’t a cardholder, you can still peruse the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and plan for when the sale opens to the public.  Take a look at my selections for some inspiration.


Shopping Tip#1- Make a plan

As you may know, my mother is a serious sale shopper, as evidenced in this YouTube video, and this followup, I recorded with her.  In both videos she shares her tips on how she gets just about everything on sale plus how she smartly goes about it.  One of the tips is she always thinks ahead.  She knows what she has coming up in the next week, month and even six months.  Start with this easy tip.  What do you have coming up that you need to be prepared for?  Make your plan and stick with it.

In addition to this, when was the last time took a look at your fall wardrobe?  Remember, what sets the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale apart from most store sales is that the items are primarily things for the upcoming season, not this season’s leftovers that they are begging you to take off their hands. Going through your fall clothes before you hit the sale is smart.  There are likely things that need to be replaced and classifications that need to be refreshed.  Get a list together before you hit the “add to cart” button.

Jackets and Blazers

Shopping Tip #2- Use the cost-per-wear-equation to

avoid impulse buys

If you’re not familiar with the cost-per-wear equation, it is a simple math formula you can use to calculate the value of an item you want to purchase.  This formula is particularly helpful with investment buys where the cost up front is a lot.  Take the cost of a pair of tailored pants for $300, for example.  That might be a lot of money.  However, if the pants are basic enough, and you see yourself wearing them at least once a week for a year, the cost-per-wear of those pants is just $5.76.  That number is much more palatable.

Yet, to get the full concept of this approach, try using the cost-per-wear formula on sale items where the prices are too good to be true.  Let’s say you buy a shirt that was $89 and now costs $25 on sale.  Wow, that’s more than a 50% discount!  You can’t beat it, right?  Well, not so fast.  You buy the shirt simply because the price was amazing and you wind up wearing it twice before it dies a slow death in the back of your closet.  Take $25 and divide that shirt by two, for those two times you actually wore it.  The shirt cost you $12.50 per wear.  Sure the price tag might say it’s a great value but if it is of no use to you if you don’t wear it.  Those $300 pants are a much better value.



Shopping Tip #3-Don’t split your wears

Splitting your wears is a concept I came up with through my client work and it’s one I have explained in this blog before.  Basically, splitting your wears means to have multiples in your closet that serve the same function and, therefore, the use for an item like this gets spread over multiple pieces which diminishes the value of each one.  The less you have for each function you need the more use each piece in your closet will get.

I will use this analogy I came up with this morning while walking in my neighborhood to further explain.  As I was walking by a building under construction I laughed to myself wondering if we were going to get, yet another, nail salon in the neighborhood.  It seems like daily a new one pops us.  Given the fact that where I live you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one of these places, if you were to open a business in my neighborhood would you really want to open another one?  Not if you want to be successful.  With a salon on just about every street corner the customer base is way too thin to really get any return on your business venture, just like adding a fifth black blazer to your wardrobe just isn’t smart shopping sense.  You’ll never get a return on your investment because you already own too many.  This is what it means to split your wears.  No matter how cheap it is, if you own too many of the same thing the sale price will never be equal to the value for you.



Shopping Tip #4- Don’t Wishful Wardrobe

Wishful Wardrobing is a term I use to describe when a person buys clothes for the life they wish they had, not the one they actually do.  How many times have you practically salivated over the perfect pair of 4″ pumps or spaghetti strap dress that you can’t wear with a bra?  When this happens you have to take a few breaths.  Finding something attractive, gorgeous or even a must-have isn’t enough for you to actually purchase it.  You have to make sure you’ll wear it.  Doing this does require a bit of tough love but, trust me, it will pay off.  Because, really, what’s more depressing, not buying something or buying it and never wearing it?

And don’t make stuff up just to buy it.  Look at your life realistically.  Think that jumpsuit is super cute, but you have a toddler and to be able to pee quickly, sometimes with your baby on your hip in a public restroom?  A jumpsuit is probably not for you.  Live in NYC and walk to work most days?  Four inch heels are likely out of the question.  Buying those expensive yoga pants for a class you still haven’t taken?  You get the point.  During sale times it is so easy to wishful wardrobe just to justify a purchase.


Athletic and Lounge

Shopping Tip #5-  Where are you going in that?

Early on in my career, a client called me out for always saying “Where are you going in that?” whenever we’d go shopping or edit her closet.  Had she not said something I probably wouldn’t have realized how often I said it.  If you are a client of mine you have heard me say this at least once because it is, by far, the simplest and easiest way to get yourself from stepping away from anything you just don’t need.

It can be hard to walk away from something that is drop dead gorgeous once you try it on.  But sale or not, money is money and I think I have already been abundantly clear on the lack of value a sale item has if you don’t wear it.  Therefore, if you try something on, I don’t care how amazing you look, ask yourself, “Where am I going in this?”  If you can’t come up with at least one place where you will wear it, it doesn’t belong in your closet.  And don’t start wishful wardrobing just to come up with reasons to buy it.



Shopping Tip #6- Grab it all and then edit

Restriction often just makes us want more.  It’s no different than going on a diet and the world suddenly looking like one giant chocolate glazed doughnut.  If we can’t do something or feel restrained, psychologically, it becomes more appealing.  So I am going to give you this tip: go crazy and add all the things you discover on sale to your shopping cart…or dressing room if you are shopping in the stores.

Here’s why.

During sales you need to give yourself permission to be like a kid in a candy store.  If you go into it, instead, with a restrictive mindset everything you see during the sale is going to look amazing.   Peruse the sale items on the website or at the store and add them all.  If you like it, add it.  I don’t care if you have 500 things in your shopping cart when you are done.  Get it out of your system, go nuts, be free, feel the liberation.

Now, before you hit the checkout button it’s time to edit.   You have let your inner child loose and now it is time to put your adult hat on.  You obviously can’t buy it all, nor should you want to.  When I shop with clients I always pull an entire clothing rack of selections for them to try on.  On the first pass we just separate the duds from the contenders.  We don’t even acknowledge the price of the potentials yet.  At this point we’re just weeding out the losers.  After we have our selections of possible buys, we cull through everything again and we continue culling, over and over, until we have a tight selection of what’s going home.  Sometimes my clients have to bid farewell to great things, but using the shopping tips I shared above, like wishful wardrobing, splitting wears and “where are you going in that?” we eventually get the selections down to a size that makes sense and works for their budgets.

My advice to you is to go into this sale with a set budget of what you want to spend.  On your first pass, add everything you like to your cart or dressing room and then, after you have weeded out the duds, keep culling until you have the very best selections for your budget.

Pants and Jeans


Shopping Tip #7- Don’t start an orphanage in your


All across this great country of ours clothing has been abandoned.  They’re alone, in need of support and will likely perish, price tags still attached, if something isn’t done.  Please don’t turn your closet into an orphanage that is filled with these stray cast-offs that you can’t wear because you have nothing to wear with them.

Never have I bought anything without full knowledge of what I am going to wear with it.  Because I run a pretty tight ship with my wardrobe, I usually can be pretty quick to figure out what exactly I will  wear with something once I bring it home.  Before you hit the sale, go through your closet and grab your orphans and figure out what you need to make them work.  Additionally, when shopping, don’t purchase it if you don’t now what you will do with it.



I love a good sale.  I love a good sale even more when I get value from what I buy.  Enjoy shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I hope my shopping picks and tips makes it easier to find exactly what you are looking for!  Do you have any additional sale shopping tips?  I’d love to hear them.