The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale (Kat’s Picks)

As I mentioned earlier, the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale is upon us, and there are a ton of great pieces.  Some notes from poking around:

- TONS of coats.  Wool coats, cashmere coats, rain coats, trench coats… even some fancier ones from Fleurette and Cinzia Rocca.

- I am loving the selection of sheath dresses from Tahari — most are under $85, too.  See here, here, here, here, and here.

- Good selection from brands such as Boss, Donna Karan, Theory, St. John, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, Lafayette 148 New York, Elie Tahari, and Classiques Entier.  On the budget-friendly side, there are a lot of good pieces from Halogen, Vince Camuto, and Olivia Moon in the mix.

- Pretty good denim selection also, from brands like Joe’s, Citizens of Humanity, Paige, and more.

- In terms of lingerie selection, I’m seeing a lot from Chantelle, Freya, Wacoal, Cosabella, Hanky Panky, Yummie Tummie, and what seems like a lot of nursing bras.

- Maybe it’s just me, but I’m seeing a lot of eveningwear and a lot of plus sizes.

See some of my individual picks below (priced high to low) — hover over the pictures for brand/price/color availability.  Most of these still have a wide range of sizes available.  Readers, what are you getting at the Nordstrom sale?

Lida Baday Sleeveless Faille Shirtdress, was $1095 now $656.98 Marc by Marc Jacobs Loretta Blazer, was $458 now $274.80 Elie Tahari Kylie Leather Trim Sheath Dress, was $398 now $238 Lafayette 148 New York Slim Tweed Skirt, was $348 now $208
Bailey 44 Road Not Taken Blazer, was $350 now $209 Weekend Max Mara Gondola Knit Jacket, was $355 now $213 Elie Tahari Lynn V-Neck Dress, was $328 now $163 Classiques Entier Sunmosa Leather Trim Top, was $198 now $118 (available in black also)
Classiques Entier Pezza Ponte Sheath Dress, was $228 now $114 (available in black too) Bailey 44 Connectivity Asymmetrical Top - was $183 now $109 (available in black also) Classiques Entier Nuovo Suiting Pants, were $168 now $100.80 Tahari Side Buckle Houndstooth Ponte Sheath Dress, was $138 now $82
MICHAEL Michael Kors Faux Wrap Dress - was $120 now $72 -- available in black, brown, red, "dark midnight" print and "island blue" print Nic+Zoe Ruffle Hem Cardigan, was $128 now $76 Kenneth Cole New York Hilary Sheath Dress - was $98 now $58 (also available in charcoal) Olivia Moon Knit Blazer -- was $79 now $47 - seven colors on sale


  1. Lafayette 148 :

    Does anyone else get their catalog in the mail? I do and it has made me substantially less likely to every buy something from them (even though they seem to have a good reputation). Weird stylings, glowering models, expensive. If I wanted to wear turtlenecks with long blazers, I’d have kept my clothes from the early 90s.

    • Yep. I have a secret love for catalogs and I have actually requested them on occasion but L-148 go straight in the recycling (and this is from someone who will peruse everything from the Vermont Country Store Catalog to the Michael’s circular).

    • The clothes read “old but wealthy” to me. I am neither, so I just find them kind of strange.

      • I have several of their dresses and they are really great. Good quality, flattering, interesting cuts. I have no opinions on their catalog styling but I love their clothes.

  2. The slim tweed skirt does not fit that model. Look at her stomach sticking out. Either they gave her the wrong size or it’s just a badly cut garment.

    • Or mabye she is pregenant! YAY! I was IN NORDSTROM’s when I went up to see Rosa and she went to the OBGYN. They have alot of nice clothe’s!

      The manageing partner brought in a new cleint (a big industrial company) and they have some foriegn tax issue’s that the manageing partner said we could research for them. Fortuneately, Madeline is our tax person, tho she usueally does Estate Tax stuff. She was a littel hesiteant to take on this project, but the manageing partner already comitted her and told the cleint that I would be helping out. So now I have to figure out something about the Foreign Tax Reporting Act and how a company with OVERSEAS branche’s has to get into complieance under US law and under the laws of where they have Branche’s, which are about 10 place’s. The manageing partner has asked that I look up some law firms in those places and bring them on with a subretainer agreement. I only have the retainer agreement that Roberta gave me, so I think I will just change the names, take out the reference to WC case’s and substitute Foreign Tax Reporting Act. Word procesing is so great! YAY!

      Does anyone in the hive know about this new law and are there law firm memo’s I can copy about it? I do NOT want to look dumb so I am taking the lead so that Madeline will finaly respect me. YAY!!!!

    • Manhattanite :

      That photo actually made me feel better about myself… like maybe i could pull off a similar skirt with my imperfect, real-life, unphotoshopped, mid/late-thirties, post-baby belly…

    • Anonymous :

      eh, I actually think its a nice, accurate representation of how normal-sized women fit in pencil skirts.

      • Which is why I end up wearing a-line skirts more than I wear pencil skirts. Even though I am 47, I don’t want anyone wondering if I am in my first trimester.

    • I think it fits her fine – it just happens to hug her abdomen. Her stance is kind of emphasizing the curve, and the waist on the skirt is on the high side. But it looks like how skirts usually fit.

      • It’s the high waist, you’re right. I remember reading the original “What not to wear” by Trinny and Susannah like a bible, and I remember they said to wear your skirt waist right in the middle of your abdomen, to visually cut the stomach in half. I find it really works for me. My mother tends to wear her skirts high, which, even though she’s slender, doesn’t flatter her.

  3. I had been stalking this sweater for awhile:

    I had ordered it from Macy’s (so I could return it to the store) when it was full price. But it was too big, so I just returned it and didn’t re-order. Now that it’s about $100 off, I ordered it from Nordstrom in the correct size. I’m so excited! It’s cotton so not too warm for the climate.

  4. lawyer question :

    Really dumb question for the lawyers — is there a way to see all of the regulations that have been promulgated under a particular piece of legislation/section of US code? It seems like this should be easy to find but I’m stumped.

    • Lafayette 148 :

      [Title] USC [Section] translates into [Title] CFR [Section sometimes with prefixes]

      So, 26 USC 860D –> 26 CFR 1.860D-1 (etc.)

      But each field is different — in tax, you’d cite the above at Treas. Reg. 1.860D-1.

      And things like ERISA may be all over the place — some parts are tax and some are labor. But go to the CFR part that tracks the statute, especially if you have the books.

      Electronic services may just hyperlink the regs that deal with a code section (incl preambles — can be very important, proposed regs, temp regs, etc.)

    • Lafayette 148′s method is not going to work for all fields.

      One way I can think of to do this should be to look at all the regs that cite a particular statute as the authority (shepardize/keycite the statute if you have access to LN/WL and then only look at the CFR provisions). That might not get you every single section, since sometimes a whole part/subpart only has one authority section, but if you pay attention to those cites, it could work.

      • Actually, just figured it out. Look up the section of the US Code on Cornell’s LII, then click the “Authorities (CFR)” tab.

  5. Question about quitting/keeping connections:
    I work as a consultant. I’ve worked with the company I was assigned to for about 2 yrs now & worked on site for them for the past 6 months. I really dislike the company I work for and am reaching the point now were I’d like to quit. I don’t have anything lined up though & I think there’s a better than slim chance if I reach out to some people at our client company they would hire me directly (they’ve said in the past how much they like me & my work). The client company is awesome & my home company is my biggest dislike about my job.
    Others have jumped ship in the past from my company to the client company, but usually when there is an open position & they apply. I’d be reaching out cold.
    Have any of you done this? Do any of you have any advice?
    I don’t have any non-competes or restrictions, but would like to do this in the most gentle way possible.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Lunch. I would email the people I know best and trust at the client company (individually) and ask them out to lunch. Don’t mention anything in the first email, just tell them you’d like to catch up and buy them lunch and ask when they’re free in the next couple of weeks. Go to lunch with each person individually. Catch up for the 1st half of the lunch, ask about their families, the Client company, etc. Let it slip that you’re not very happy at your company and would love to work for the Client company. Ask them to let you know if they hear of any openings. If you know that one of them knows the hiring manager / HR ask them if they wouldn’t mind handing in your resume to them.

      • Good idea thanks, I’m gearing up to do this in about a month so I can enjoy the holidays stress free so I’ll try and get some lunches in in the next few weeks.

      • This is called “using your network” or just “networking.”

        It can also happen over a drink after work. Some people prefer that to lunch.

        (I’m not saying this to be patronizing. I’m saying it because sometimes we think that “networking” is scary and that we don’t have networks big enough to help us get jobs. But you do. We all do. We just have to “use” them, and by that, I mean hang out with them. It doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating.)

        • I am about 30 years younger than most of the people I work with (they are at the end of their careers & I just graduated law school 3 years ago), it’s awkward enough to get lunch with them. Drinks would be totally awkward and we actually have kind of different schedules as well. But lunch might be very doable.
          Also, I’m terrible at networking. I am kind of introverted and shy and small talk just goes poof when I try to do it.

          • See, I thought that, too, until one of the ladies (older than my mom) asked me to go have a glass of scotch with her and a friend of hers after a long trial. The other woman was also a legal titan in my community. They were awesome wise women and I learned more about life and work from them in an hour than I had learned in my office in years. Just ask them about their lives.

            If yours don’t drink scotch, I bet they do their “networking” or “socializing” somewhere else. Figure out where that is – the quilt shop? Bleachers at their kids/grandkids’ basketball games? Church? The beauty salon? Water aerobics?

            There are tons of places to look for mentors and people that you can rely on in your career. You just have to open your eyes, get over your fear, and start hanging out with them.

          • Thanks for the inspirational push :)

          • The key is not to presume anything and just “lean in”. The fact that you are younger should not be viewed as a liability. Many older men and women are happy to connect with younger peers. As long as you are up front and professional, do not think it is out of bounds to reach out to them. I am sure they will appreciate your efforts. And good luck to you!

  6. Online Shopping :

    I know online shopping is the ultimate in convenience and selection, but does anyone else have a hard time determining quality and fit from pictures on a computer? I feel like I am so much more likely to buy (and sometimes keep out of sheer laziness) clothing that is less than perfect online than I am in a store. In a store, I can tell what the fabric is, how it fits and I won’t buy it if it doesn’t look fantastic on me. When I order online, I am lured by how something looks on a model or by the online retailer’s styling and then the item comes and its often not that amazing. I mostly send stuff back, but sometimes I end up keeping it. What is the solution to this? Only buy known brands? Order multiple things at once with the idea that most of it will go back and only the perfect things will be kept?

    • Most maternity clothing is online-only (as far as I’ve found, at least) and so I’ve developed some online shopping guidelines for myself.
      1) Never pay shipping, either direction. I’m far less likely to return something if I have to pay any amount of return shipping. If there’s a minimum order amount in order to qualify for free shipping, I spend that much.
      2) Always get multiple sizes unless/until I know the brand. This guarantees I’ll send something back, and if I’m sending one item back, I’m much more likely to send back anything that I don’t really love.
      3) Read the reviews! The reviews can be very helpful in assessing quality.
      4) If I’m on the fence about something, put it on top of my dresser for 2-4 days. If I haven’t worn it, it goes back with the rest of my returns.

    • Yes, I agree. These days, I rarely buy new-to-me brands online, unless it is free shipping both ways and I know I am going to return something. I also rarely buy things without reviews.

    • Philosophia :

      I can’t see how it’s possible to determine quality or fit solely from pictures on a computer. I’d really rather shop in person where I can finger the fabric, test the weight and the drape, see the color against my skin, and so on. Sensuality tops selection, I guess. When I do make a remote purchase, it’s generally from a known retailer (such as REI, where I can pick up and return items locally) or a brand whose acquaintance I’ve made in person—and from a company that allows negative reviews on its Web site; I strongly second the advice to read the reviews.

  7. I’m knocked up and not buying non-maternity clothes right now. Anyone see any great accessories in the sale? I’m thinking of going for a cashmere wrap:

  8. Anonymous :

    Do Huntress boots ever go on sale, at Nordstrom or anywhere else? Has anyone bought real ones off of eBay?

    • Anonymous :

      I sold a real pair on eBay a few years ago. I bought them on sale at Hautelook or Gilt group a few years ago and didn’t love them.

    • They totally had some at Costco the other day– I was pretty shocked as I’ve usually only seen them on sale at Gilt. So keep your eyes open.
      It was the only thing that has made me sad I now live in a place with barely any rain!

  9. Yay! Nordie’s sale! I pulled the trigger yesterday on my first purple blazer…very excited!

  10. Equity's Darling :

    What is the deal with longline bras? Good/bad?

    • I keep wondering the same thing. Does it work like shapewear? They just look uncomfortable to me, but if it makes everything look a little smoother, I’d be interested.

      • Lady Harriet :

        I really want to try one, since in my band size (32) manufacturers always seem to assume that I only want 2 hooks, 3 at the absolute most. In reality I’m rather flabby and would love a longline to decrease back bulges. Also, the band on my bras tends to slip down throughout the day, even though it fits just fine when I put it on in the morning. I’m hoping a longline might fix this too.

      • They do smooth things out and create a nicer line under clothing, particularly fitted dresses. In particular, they are great at banishing back fat and any other similar fun lumps and bumps. I wouldn’t bother with them for everyday wear but do find them handy for evening wear or things that are otherwise more formal.

    • Good in theory. Every one I’ve tried to wear is really uncomfortable. You’d think that it would help smooth everything out and give more support, but I’ve found the opposite to be true.

  11. Baby gift question. Ideas for gifts for birth of a second child (first child is 15 months old, same gender)?

    • Board books? Those get chewed to pieces and loved to death by babies/toddlers. Otherwise towels and washcloths can be both cute and super useful. Maybe pjs/one piece rompers? A lot of what my son wore in the early months had to get tossed because it was so gross after the spit ups/other messy accidents babies are prone too. I’ve only been able to save/hand down clothes from about 6months on up.

    • I would get some nice versions of the practical things that were probably worn out with the first baby — swaddle blankets (check out Aden & Anais), Swaddle Me pods, burp cloths/bibs (Dwell Studio makes nice ones), Wubba Nub pacifiers…

      This is also a new one that I discovered this week, but I would love some monogrammed bibs with my baby’s name on them for daycare. Daycare keeps mixing up the kids’ bibs (gross!) and I might order some with my son’s name on the front so they don’t get mixed up. I’d never thought of that before for a baby gift, but I think it would be a nice one.

    • A gift certificate for a restaurant in their area that delivers or has take out? Saves them from having to worry about dinner one night and doesn’t overload them with things they might not need.

    • Name Bubbles/Mabels Labels or personalized stuff.

    • Personalized every day stuff. We got so many burp cloths embroidered with my first son’s name, and now I sometimes feel bad for my second son not having any. (I know this ridiculous and my second born will never know the difference, but oh well). Or age-appropriate clothes because if the oldest is 15 months, the sizing and season-appropriate attire from the older child will probably not match up.

    • Belated thanks for these ideas!

  12. I placed five orders for stuff. Not orders for five different things, five separate orders (although only one order contained multiple things). I have a revolving door of Nordstrom deliveries/returns in my apt. I have a Nordstrom problem (or, as I prefer to think of it, a Nordstrom solution).

    • Yeah, ditto. I almost don’t shop anywhere else these days.

      • the free shipping, free returns, and virtually no timeline on returns makes it really hard to not order every.single.thing I want. Which I guess is the point.

    • Nordstrom is my crack :

      Same here. I’m probably at about five orders a month? I return at least half the stuff or more. I view it as an elaborate try-on service. I used to worry they would ban me from shopping there but it hasn’t happened. I think my overall spend is still worth their while.

  13. Frou Frou :

    I pre-sale shopped these gorgeous LK Bennet booties and picked them up today!

    They are amazing and gorgeous and comfortable! 40% off!!

  14. Sorry, but 4 out of 5 of those Tahari dresses are super wack. (The light blue one’s OK.) Kat, I’m surprised you’d recommend something with cutouts for the office!

    • Because those cutouts are right at the neckline and not at all revealing. They all look like standard, everyday dresses to me, are we looking at the same links?

  15. Frugal doc.. :

    So I bought my winter boots…. do you think they are too casual for work?

    Anyone wear Aquatalia, and can tell me if the run a little small/big? I normally wear 9.5 in shoes, but they only have a 10 in these boots so I ordered that….

    Thank goodness for returns!

    • I have one pair of Aquatalia boots. Love them more than any other shoe I own. Extremely comfortable. They are the same size as the rest of my shoes, but I don’t wear thicker socks with them (I wear them year round, at least once a week, and they’ve held up great).

      • Frugal doc.. :

        Thanks for this! I am a little worried they will be too big…. but am determined to get a pair of Aquatalia boots this year… on sale… and keep them for ages.

        Do you think the ones I linked to are ok for work? I’m not in a lawfirm, but work in a hospital.

    • Windchime :

      These are gorgeous! Looks like they won’t fit my wide calves, which saves me a bunch of money because I never thought I wanted boots till I saw those. So pretty!

  16. OK – I need a fashion intervention here….can I wear short black boots with a knee-length black skirt? The boots are just several inches up the ankle and I usually wear them with dress pants. I always tend to think that a skirt needs tall boots, but I don’t have any tall black boots, so I am hoping I’m wrong.

    A style-challenged Ohio attorney (oh, and I *love* this site! It has been a huge help to my fashion faux pas…found out I have been wearing my dress pants about 2-3 inches too short for the last 15 years. LOL)

    • Short black boots with a knee-length skirt? I say no. But if you must, make sure to wear black tights.

    • Not sure what sort of ankle boots you have, but I do it occasionally and think it looks good on other people. At first I thought you were talking interview attire, which would be a no, but everyday bus casual I think is fine. I actually found that black tights + black ankle boots aren’t that flattering (legs look a little stumpy with all one color). You could try nude hose or a different color tights.

  17. I agree with the poster who said the Lafayette 148 catalog has weird styling…but the clothes are beautiful, really fine fabrics, good constuction, very high quality. Look especially at the final clearance, no returns but if you know your size in Lafayette, some amazing buys. These are classics with a little edge. I have 4 Lafayette jackets and I always get compliments on them.

  18. For designer coach purses under $200 check out

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