What NOT to Buy from the 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

What NOT to buy from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?  Really?

The hype is real-designer duds on SALE before the season starts.  I get it, I am a fan of shopping new FALL items before fall even starts, and this year we even get a preview.  There are tons of articles, posts, and blogs dedicated to what TO buy from this sale, the ‘Top 20 Picks’ for the sale, what you ‘Need’…I’ll cut it short for you but it can feel like you need everything, because why wouldn’t you, it’s on sale! In my 10+ years  shopping this sale, I have a lot of lessons learned.  So today I am bringing you my tips and trick for shopping the sale; what not to buy at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (Leave) and what to look for instead (Love).



I am sure someone, or a lot of someones, will disagree with me on this one.  I am going to hit you with a hard truth.  A lot of denim sold at the Anniversary Sale is made specially for the sale.  What does that mean?  That deal you think you are getting might not be so great.  So how do you identify a great deal? Fabric and stitching are the two areas that can save a brand money.  Look for high cotton percentages (97% and up).


This is a collage of denim items.

*To give you an idea, I did a quick comparison of ‘The Perfect Vintage’ Madewell denim from their current stock vs what is offered at the Anniversary Sale.  The fabric in Madewell stores is Cotton and 2% Spandex; the Anniversary Sale is 40% Lyocell.  I have nothing against Lyocell, but this changes the feel and wear of the denim.

Moto Jackets

This sale is a great time to buy that staple jacket.  There are some great moto jackets that you can get at a fraction of the price but they aren’t all created equal.  Zippers, and fringe, and extras at a discount-good deal right?  Maybe.  Unless you have a fringes moto jacket on your closet wish-list, keep it simple.  This is the time to invest in an item you can wear for years, so look for simple lines with minimal detail.  This goes for leather, suede, and faux leather.  For faux leather, stick to items that aren’t shiny.

This is a collage of moto jackets.

*Look for classic silhouettes with minimal ‘extras’.

Limited Edition Beauty

The beauty section is filled with a lot of great buys.  A lot.  I have over 15 years working in makeup and beauty and gift sets are almost always too good to be true.  I am not going to call out specific brands that do this ALL the time, but mini sizes with a variety, a combo of a free mascara with a special edition eye palette, and special edition brushes are NOT your friend.  These items aren’t made with the same quality or products as the regularly stocked items.

This is a collage of beauty items

*Look for full or double sizes, avoid mini sizes and brushes.

Trendy Pieces

I am specifically talking about the fast fashion items.  I love that we basically get a preview of what the new season’s trends will be with this sale.  But it’s still summer, so for many of us the cooler fall temps are a couple months out.  What does that mean for you and your closet?  Either you will be waiting months to wear the items, or you won’t wear them because something better will come along.  If you’re desperate to buy a trendy item from the sale, stick to one trendy feature whether that’s a trendy pattern or print, or a silhouette, or a statement feature.

This is a collage of tops


*Pick one trend; a silhouette, pattern, or detail.


This is what this sale is all about. Truly.  When I say basics, I am talking high-quality, wear for years items.  What that means for your wardrobe might be different than what it means for mine, i am not talking about stocking up on 10 $14 tee shirts.  My typical MO for shopping this sale has always been work items that are timeless (slacks, skirts, shoes), but I am skipping that this year and instead focusing on some high-quality wear-anywhere basics.  This is where fabric content is important.  Look for items that have cotton, cashmere, and merino in lieu of polyester, acrylic, and rayon.  Skip the $14 tee shirts.

This is a collage of tops.

*Fabric and classic silhouette is key!

The What-If Piece

Unless you know you need a very specific item for your est friend’s wedding festivities next March, this is not the time to grab an item in case you need it.  You will find the same piece marked down later or you’ll end up buying something different and the item will hang in your closet with the tags still on for a long, long while. How many times can I be guilty of this?  A lot.  The temptation to purchase an item on sale is strong.

The Whole Store

I only add this because WILL see a lot of bloggers and influencers sharing their purchases of what looks like the whole store.  This is not the norm.  Their jobs circle around showing everything.  I can promise you the 20+ pairs of shoes and the 100 items of clothing and accessories don’t all stay in their closets.



$1,000 Nordstrom Giveaway

Ready to shop this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? We’ve got you covered!
I’ve teamed up with a group of bloggers to give TWO winners
a chance to win a $500 Nordstrom Gift Card!

To enter: complete the steps in the rafflecopter below. The more steps you complete,
the more entries you receive, and the better your chance at winning!
This giveaway runs until Sunday, August 9th at 12am EST

Winner will be announced on the widget below. Good Luck!
*this giveaway is in no way sponsored by Nordstrom.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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