Kat’s Picks From The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

2018 Update: Gearing up for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018? The sale starts July 20, 2018 — sign up for our newsletter to get our picks for workwear and beyond!

The below content is about the 2012 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

It’s the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! For those of you unfamiliar: for a limited time, Nordstrom marks next season’s newest styles down.  This year, prices will go back up on August 6.  And do note: if you happen to be a Fashion Rewards member, you earn double points from July 20-22. I’ve picked out my favorite clothes below, and made a few notes…
– There is lots of lingerie on sale — from Spanx, On Gossamer, Hanky Panky, DKNY, Commando (some of the best opaque black tights out there, ladies!), and Le Mystere
– Lots of plus sizes
– Pretty good prices for Theory suiting basics, including classics like the Gabe B blazer (black and indigo), the Rory blazer (“heather barley”), the Golda skirt (black), and the Emery trousers (in all 3 colors)
– It seems like almost everything Halogen is on sale — lots of basic pants, skirts, and blazers to be had at great prices.
– Lots of “leather for work” type pieces — pencil skirts, blazers, and more.

My top clothing picks are below — readers, which are your favorites?



  1. Is Indigo an appropriate color for a job interview?

    Anyone have the Theory suit in that color, and could give me a read on what it’s like? I’m assuming navy, but I’m not sure. Thank you!

    • I have it in indigo – it is slightly lighter than navy, maybe navy mixed with a dark slate blue. I think it is beautiful (and yet different from navy) and definitely appropriate for interviews.

    • BTW, they don’t a matching skirt in Indigo.

    • I have the skirt suit in that color and I love it. It’s a very dark color. It’s not really navy, but it’s a blue of sorts. I wore mine throughout a big trial and received compliments; I would not hesitate to wear it to an interview.

    • Parker boardroombelles.com :

      @Yes and @none, I think you guys are talking about different colors. One is a lighter blue with a slate thread woven through and the other is so navy it is almost black. I happen to own both, in fact I am wearing the lighter one right now. And I had a big meeting today, so in my opinion both are perfectly fine for interviews.

  2. SF Bay Associate :

    Oh, how I love that St. John dress. I feel uncool, as I did not purchase any of Kat’s picks. Aw.

  3. The wrap skirt… LOVE

  4. Mary Ann Singleton :

    Has anyone tried the Calvin Klein seamed ponte knit dress – item 540018? It looks pretty good for work and is on sale for $78.

    • Someone said earlier that it was their favorite purchase of The Sale. I ordered it yesterday.

    • I was so excited when I saw it online. I think the cut looks like it would be super flattering and ponte fabrics tend to be oh so comfy.

      Only then I looked closely at the back.

      Exposed zippers are one thing, but zipping from the top and bottom? My workplace is pretty open (creative field) but even I don’t want to be the first to try that one. Darn you CK! So close to the perfect dress but yet so far.

  5. Has anyone tried the Michael Kors trench coat with dettachable lining? I saw it in plus sizes, and I’m wondering how the fit is. TIA!

  6. I know, I know the Nordstrom sale is the topic du jour, but theoutnet.com is having an AMAZING sale right now. I particularly recommend this piece. I own it at full price and can tell you it is worth it, but at a whopping 84% off, it’s an incredible deal:

    • What a great shirt!!! I have to pick that up for work! Nice pick boardroombelles!

      PS. I lOVE your website!

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Just bought it. I love tie-neck blouses and it’s not really the right size, but I’ll just get it altered when I go abroad.

    • Ugh. You had to go and make me break my shopping ban ;)

      Bought all three…

    • I bought 2. Hoping they work, for that price, I couldn’t say no!

  7. I’m trying to build up my collection of separates before I start work in BigLaw this year. I don’t have much experience buying blazers as separates, though. I’m 5’3, short-waisted, relatively slim, pretty flat-chested but I do have hips. Any ideas on what might look good on me? I have a Nordstrom gift card that I’m itching to use, so Anniversary sale pieces would be a plus!

    • WriterKate :

      I am also 5’3″ and short waisted, but def. not flat-chested. Try to do a personal shopping appt. at Nordstrom during the sale. They will pull pieces for you and help you put them together. If you open a Nordies card (assuming you don’t have one), you get up to $100 in free alterations per year. That is the primary reason I got a Nordies card – great for having my pants hemmed. Since you are short, that might come in handy for you, too.

    • I am also 5’3, short-waisted and hippy. I have a bit of a chest, though. I find knit type blazers to work best for me. Check out the Halogen, Olivia Moon and Caslon blazers from the Anniversary Sale. Olivia Moon makes a knit jacket that is not ruched that is just amazing. I have never had a better fitting blazer. If you are between sizes, size down. Talbots has had great blazers lately too. The petites fit me best, and the regulars are big in the torso. Banana Republic had good blazers a couple of years ago, but I have not seen anything lately.

    • also check out the extrapetite dot com blog for suggestions on the types of blazers that look better on shorter people. (I’m also vertically challenged at 5’0″). One suggestion made there that I found to be true when I looked at the blazers I do have and the ones that look best is that blazers with longer lapels, say with one button farther down, as opposed to blazers with shorter lapels and 3-4 buttons that go higher up the chest, will look better. They do tend to lengthen the look you have. Blazers that hig below the hips do not look as good on me as shorter ones, but I am longwaisted, especially compared to my lower half.

  8. I bought the polka dot Vince Camuto top that Kat picked.

    I am also very excited about this dress:


    • You’re killing me. That is friggin’ amazing. I love it soooo much…WHY OH WHY am I not supposed to be spending money.

      • I just bought it. I have no will power (actually, its the first significant purchase I’ve made in quite awhile. But still.)

        • If it makes you feel any better, I realized that I need to give my SO my credit card after my shopping ban was broken by the $500 worth of damage I did at the NAS. Seriously, too many cute things that I actually need. Half hoping nothing fits.

  9. Does anyone have a favorite slipping slip? I wear a lot of sheath dresses and always wear Spanx mid-thigh shapers underneath them. Recently, I’ve been bothered by a bit of a wadge around my bra line on my back. Then, I was watching Gossip Girl (guilty pleasure) and saw the British woman wearing a full slip. It seems like exactly what I need. The Spanx slips don’t get great reviews, so I thought I’d ask you ladies for advice. TIA!

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I like the Gap’s full and half slips.

      Every time I think of the Gap, I think of the gos in Crazy Stupid Love, saying “You’re better than the Gap.” But, alas, I am not.

    • TurtleWexler :

      I have a full slip from Jockey that I really like, it’s thin and silky and perfect for unlined dresses. It does make things look a bit smoother, but definitely isn’t shapewear. Not sure if that’s what you’re looking for, though.

    • Thanks, ladies! I’ll definitely hit the mall this weekend to try to find something. Also, I love Crazy Stupid Love and I am most definitely not better than The Gap ;-)

  10. I just got the Michael Kors tortoiseshell watch!

  11. I’m so sad that the latest reviews of the new Halogen seamed pencil skirt (“The Skirt”) indicate that the design has changed! I was set to order it in the camel, red, purple/black and gray/black combo but it sounds like the new design won’t work as well for me.

    • I found it just a wee bit smaller in the waist, but still great overall. Try it — free shipping and returns!

    • I hate the seaming on the new skirt. Not nearly as flattering.

  12. karenpadi :

    Question because I am so nervous and excited:

    I posted yesterday that I finally made an appointment with a personal stylist at Nordies. Nordies is intimidating (I can’t even bring myself to say “Nordstroms”) so I haven’t really ever shopped there but people who shop there look so good. I thought I was looking forward to it, but now, OMG I hope she picks some of these for me. I’m practically bouncing in my seat!

    I gave her $1000 as a budget for starting on basics (no new work clothes since September) and, if I really find things I like, I’d go up to $1500. It sounds like a lot of money to me–especially in one shopping trip. I usually spend $500-$600 on a serious shopping day 3-4 times per year–so it’s not outside of my usual “budget”. Does that sound like a reasonable budget for starting basics at Nordie’s?

    She sounded really nice on the phone and not horrified by the state of my wardrobe. I just don’t know if she was being polite or if it really is a reasonable budget.

    • Almost every staff person I’ve worked with at Nordies has been great and a $1000 budget is really quite generous for your first time out. I think the biggest danger is that you’ll get caught up in the moment and end up buying a bunch of things that really don’t fit your lifestyle or your comfort level and that you won’t wear, so stick to your guns, remember who *you* are, and remember that they are there to serve YOU. You can say no if you don’t like something. And you’re there to have fun. So enjoy it!

      • Former MidLevel :

        This. And have fun! :)

      • karenpadi :

        Thanks! I am really picky when buying clothes so I kind of do need to get caught in the moment to really just buy “enough” clothes. There really isn’t a lot of wiggle room for clothes to be lazy and not get worn.

    • i think that is totally reasonable for a first appt with her, she should be thinking that if she is awesome and you both get along that you’ll be back, i doubt she is expecting you to buy an entire new wardrobe in one day.

      also: I hope it goes well and HAVE FUN!! ;o)

      • karenpadi :

        Thanks! I hope she’s awesome! She is a former biglaw lawyer herself in Silicon Valley so she knows how attorneys around here dress. The thing is, I needed a new wardrobe last spring so I’m really hoping she digs me out of this hole and saves my a$$. So I hope she expects me to get a new wardrobe! I expect to get me a new wardrobe! I expect it’ll be pretty conservative and vanilla for our first appointment. And that’s OK–she doesn’t know me yet.

        I really like having regular relationships with service providers (hair, nails, massage, trainer, etc). It makes things so much easier and I can trust them when they push me out of my comfort zone.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Is she a Heller alum? If so, I had an appointment with her once a couple years ago. She was really nice. Maybe based on what the merch was at the time, there were way too many ruffles and lace in her selections, but she “got” what I needed to wear much, much better than the PS I tried after her. And in retrospect, maybe some ruffles and lace wouldn’t have been the worst thing for me, but at the time I was pretty new to my job and wanted to look Serious and Responsible. I’d love to hear what you think – maybe I should try her again :).

          • karenpadi :

            Thanks! She might be. I’m not sure. Her husband is a partner at one of the BigLaw firms.

            I told her that I dress like my friend that she also styles for (not exactly but close enough for now and I do like her current wardrobe). My friend is a PhD in Math/working at a start-up/with two young boys who is also not afraid of color. So no frills and lace for her (and hopefully not for me-but I do kind of like frills and I wish I could pull off lace)!

    • karenpadi,
      I just hit Nordstrom today and got tons of stuff. I was out of there for $450 (see my review in the thread just below this one.) The first time I used a personal shopper, I spent about $1100 and, again, got many outfits out of it. You will be fine with $1000.

      • (oh, wait, this IS the sale thread. Make that, please see my review below)

        Also, leave the tags on everything. If it’s still hanging in your closet in November, December, January unworn, take it back. They will give you every cent back, no hassle.

  13. In the Pink :

    O.K. gals, I agree that the new The Skirt is not as great as the Original. The ponte knit is thinner and on an hourglass shape it’s just ordinary. Not special like the original.

    However, I just bought their Halogen high-waisted pencil skirt and it is fab-u-lous.


    and the black and white version is great for a night out; probably not office appropriate, YMMMV…know your office…etc. I think that the fabric is thinner and less forgiving on the black, so I sized up.

    After years of The Skirt, I never thought about trying a high waist pencil. So great for my hourglass, now I want more!

    The other Halogen high waist pencil # 530825 is also great. A lightweight fabric, that while a bit of a tweedy vibe, could be year round. I have the black combon, in store there was a brown one as well.

    Spoke with store dept. manager and buyer and inquired about The Skirt. They say it is probably “not coming back” and the changes in the seams was made because people complained that the lining bunched up where the seams when horizontally. So just how tightly were people wearing The Skirt. No thoughts from them on going back to the thicker ponte, although I did express that desire too.

    Finally, for those of us not long in the torso, ruling out the dominance of the “boyfriend sweater” …. the Halogen “new girlfriend cardi” #530757 is great. Love the saturated colors, all merino wool, and the lower pockets are not very bulky. With button flaps, I think they will not droop and add more baggage to the cardi as I find open pockets do (esp. on the boyfriend cuts).

    FYI, in my B&M store, they did not have The Dress for me to try on…

    Happy shopping all.

    • anon prof :

      Much to my surprise, I like the new The Skirt better than the old one
      I’m a pear in the South, so maybe that’s why.

  14. In the Pink :

    Oh, I also got the bow tie sleeveless blouse…. in my store they showed it in black with red/grey dots…matches The New Skirt in Red Roccocco and tones down the orange hue for more of a red look. On my olive skin, YMMV. I see it online in other combos and will have to get the navy one too! #399905

  15. Just confirming: purchases at Nordies during the sale are returnable, right?

  16. Missed the Oxford Drape Neck dress in my size (529760), but I want it soo much. Here’s hoping it magically comes back or is hiding in my brick and mortar tomorrow……

    • Two cents :

      If it makes you feel better, I didn’t like it all when I tried it on. Material feels cheap and the cowl neck does not lay flat.

  17. Praxidike :

    Oh MAN. I missed the Vince Camuto mini-houndstooth skirt. It is ALL sold out. Here’s hoping it comes back in my size!

    I did pick up Lafayette 148 Skirt (555562); Halogen Pleated Skirt (530831 – two colors); Classiques Entier Houndstooth Top (537119); Vince Camuto Boot (542987 – in black); Halogen “Girlfriend” Cardi (530757 – two colors); Trina Turk Ivy League Blazer (557302); Lafayette 148 Faux Wrap Skirt (555544); Halogen Two-Tone Pencil Skirt (530842); and Born Treddy Boot (540658).

    I don’t expect to keep it all, but I wanted to try it all on and there is no Nordies in my state.

    • I love that houndstooth top. I felt self conscious because it really is fitted through the waist, but if you have no issues with that area, it will be fab with a black skirt (and for me, a black fitted jacket or cardigan.)

      I also got the girlfriend cardi and love it.

  18. I am borderline misses/plus (typically 16 or 16w on the bottom, almost always misses XL on top) so this review might help my fellow borderline sisters.

    I finally went to a brick and mortar store today. I could have pre-shopped but my travel schedule was such that this was my only chance. No worries, though. Everything I wanted was still available in-store in my size.

    Online, presale, I had bought two pair of shoes – the two-tone Cole Haan Air Monicas item (#541615) in the black/sandalwood VERY CUTE, extremely comfortable and the Stuart Weitzman Surround wedge in black suede (item #539560) which is a very sharp-looking shoe but I’m not sure I need it.

    I had also purchased a couple of the Caslon double-knit blazers but the fit was quite shrunken, which doesn’t work for 5’10” me and I didn’t like the sweatshirt material (item #526777). I cannot recommend this style.

    Today, on my shopping trip, I bought the Sejour ponte knit skirt in black with faux leather sides (item #529640), which I was completely surprised to love. The leather is not “too much” but creates a couple of flattering vertical lines. I also bought the Sejour black/white chanel style jacket/sweater (item #529655) which I have to tell everyone looks much MUCH better in person than it does on that poor miserable model. She must be wearing it two sizes too large. Last plus item was the Vince Camuto criscross knit top in black (item #550410) which has a gorgeous neckline and drapes beautifully.

    I also bought two Halogen new girlfriend merino wool cardgians (item #530757), one in the navy/blue combo and one in wine color. These will be great as not quite jackets but not as casual as regular cardigan pieces. I bought Misses XL and they fit well. They have a bit of a Chanel style to them, a bit boxy, but the material is drapy enough that they look pretty.

    For current season, non-NAS items, I bought his really pretty cotton cardigan from Nic + Zoe (item #540922) which I think was much, much too expensive but I think will be the perfect thing for my business travel to cities with very warm summer weather. Additionally, I bought a Caslon long linen/cotton cardigan in teal that will be good for the same thing. It was on clearance at the store and I’m not finding it online.

    Overall, a better sale in person in the store than I thought it was going to be from looking online. I’m really happy with all of my purchases.

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