A shoppers guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: 5 tips to get the most out the annual event, via @sarahsarna.


Last weekend, a reader asked me about my approach to online shopping. I’m not sure you guys understand what music your questions are to my ears! The more you ask, the better I’m able to deliver the content you want, so, in Saturday’s Weekend Roundup, I made sure to include important information about my favorite upcoming annual sale, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (#NSale). To get us all ready, I put together 5 things you need to know about the NSale, which you can find here. Now, to start the week (remember: early access for Nordstrom Card Holders starts on Thursday!), I’ve created a Shoppers Guide to the NSale with tips to get the most out of the Super-Sale Event. I also have A GIVEAWAY for you, so keep reading for your chance to enter to win (and keep your questions coming!)


KNOW THE DATES. Early access for Nordstrom Card Holders begins this Thursday July 14th (8 days earlier than access for Non Card Holders). Access for Non Card Holders runs July 21st through August 7. NB: If you are a Card Holder, log in and start shopping on the 14th. If you are a Non Card Holder, log in on the 14th and start adding items to your Wish List (click the box below ‘Add to Bag’ on each product page that says ‘Add to Wish List’). Non Card Holders will not be able to purchase NSale items until July 21st, but already having the items you want on your Wish List will give you a head start and an advantage, as sale quantities are limited.

MAKE A BUDGET. Seasoned shoppers save up for the #NSale and know exactly how much they are able to spend. Before the sale begins, make a list of items you would like to add to your Fall/Winter wardrobe. Next to each item, write down the maximum amount you want to spend. If you never purchase denim over $100, write $100 next to ‘black jeans.’ If you know would like a pair of over the knee boots and you are partial to designer boots, you might write ‘$700.’ One of the many wonderful things about Nordstrom is that for any given item they have a wide range of price points. You could, for instance, purchase a pair of slippers for $50 or $500, depending on your preference. Once you have listed the items you would like, tally up the total, i.e. the maximum you want to spend. Evaluate the total and start adjusting the budget, accordingly. If the total is too high, plan to spend less per item, or subtract items. If the total seems too low… well, that’s probably unlikely. When you feel comfortable with the total amount and the items on the list, you’ve finalized your budget – the trick is to stay within it. If you are blanking on Fall items because it’s still July, here are a few ideas: black jeans, over the knee boots, a (faux) fur vest, a military coat, snow boots, a chunky knit sweater, a crossbody bag, a tweed coat, ankle boots, block heels, oxfords, etc.

THINK INVESTMENTS. Think big. The #NSale is a rare opportunity to buy designer items at far below retail price. From that luxury fragrance you’ve always wanted to own, to iconic watches and handbags, be prepared to see them at shockingly reduced prices. Really take the time to think about items that can elevate your wardrobe and be worn for decades to come. If you add ‘designer shoulder bag’ to your budget, evaluate items that may not have staying power or are trending. Perhaps it makes sense to cross off those items in favor of forever pieces.

THINK GIFTS. I know the Holidays seem really far away, and way too early to shop for, but, quite frankly, they’re not. The #NSale is an ideal time to purchase items for upcoming birthdays, weddings, showers, anniversaries,… and the Holidays. Take a look at your calendar and see what you have coming up, and who you’ll want to give gifts to. Then add ‘gift for so-and-so’ to your budget, and how much you want to spend. Tinker with your budget accordingly.

PLAN YOUR TIME. Once you’ve finalized your budget, once more for good measure, assess how much time it will take you to select, say, the right pair of black jeans under $100. Write ‘0.25’ for 15 minutes, ‘0.5’ for 30 minutes, etc. next to each item. Add up alllll the time it’s going to take you and then be thankful that you’ll be able to do it at your leisure from the privacy of your home, or wherever you like to online shop. Next, pull out your calendar and figure out the earliest possible time you can begin shopping this sale. As I mentioned earlier, I suggest that whether you are a Card Holder or not, to start adding items to your Wish List on July 14th. Card Holders will be able to place an order on the 14th and Non Card Holders will be able to place an order on July 21st. Chances are, shopping the #NSale will take you several hours. Rather than waiting to place one comprehensive order, remember that shipping at Nordstrom is always free and that items will be selling out more quickly than you might think. If you keep in mind that an item in your Shopping Bag is not yours until you finalize order, and that it can still be sold to another customer (it’s happened to me many times – when you go to place the order the item will say ‘No longer available’), a best practice is to place multiple smaller orders, versus shopping for a few hours one day, leaving items in your Shopping Bag, and then picking up where you left off the next day, for example. If you’ve allotted 30 minutes to find black jeans and those 30 minutes are up, move on to the next item on your budget. Don’t get side-tracked or spend too much time looking for one piece – stay focused and refer to your budget (keep it right next to you) often, as you shop. As we all know, it’s so easy to fall down a rabbit hole and lose track of time while online.

MEASURE YOURSELF. Get a sewing tape measure. Measure your bust, waist, hips, and inseam, and write down these measurements in inches. Every article of clothing has its own size chart. Make sure to cross-reference your measurements with the chart. Even within the same brand, sizes differ, so you have to check every time. To save yourself tremendous time and stress, don’t assume that your usual size is the correct size.

SHOP EARLY. I’m going to continue to emphasize this, because the early bird does get the worm. Early Access, which begins on this Thursday July 14th, is prime time. Card or no card, head to Nordstrom.com on Thursday and start Shopping or Wish Listing. Worth it. NB: I’ve created a Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites page that I will be updating throughout the #NSale. On the morning of July 14th, when Early Access opens, my favorite fashion, beauty, and home items will go live there. Think of it as your go-to URL for the Sale, add it to you bookmarks, and check back frequently. I’ll be doing a whole series on my favorite #NSale items for men, women, and kids, with my favorites page as a one-stop shop.


Now, about that Giveaway. Wouldn’t an $800 Nordstrom Gift Card (to add to your budget!) be nice? One lucky reader will be the winner. Take advantage of all of these chances to win!

$800 Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway!

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Author: Sarah Sarna

Interior Designer and Author at SarahSarna.com, empowering women to decorate and dress with confidence.