July 13, 2017 - Style

Tips for Shopping the 2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale + Early Access Under $100

Today’s the day I get to look like a complete and total hypocrite.  Last week I put this post on social media and it resonated with so many of you. In case you missed it, here it is.

While it’s true that I DON’T shop much and DO make the most of my wardrobe, I also LOVE trends.  And I also know that half of you come here to build your capsule wardrobes and make the most of what you have while the other half (and I’m sure there’s overlap too) are here for the trends and to know what to add to your wardrobe each season to keep things fresh.

So how do I pull off making the most of what you have and shopping for new stuff without looking like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth?

This is how.  I’m going to address the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale from the perspective of coming away with some great pieces while staying within a reasonable budget, ok?

And if you still want to call me a hypocrite, I’m ok with that. I’ve been called much worse.  🙂

I also did a Facebook Live pulling the curtain back on the sale and revealing some insider blogger secrets about why it gets so hyped along with five tips for shopping the sale smarter.  You can watch it below.

Five Tips for Shopping the Nordstrom Sale Smarter

  1. Sign up for Nordstrom Rewards and get a $20 note to spend to stretch your dollars.  The card is also the key to getting to shop the sale during early access starting today, July 13th.  That’s 8 days before the general public and before items start to sell out.
  2. Take an inventory of what you actually need in the following categories:  Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Jackets, Sweaters, Footwear, Accessories, Handbags, Cosmetics. Take the same inventory of your kids’ closets if you plan to do any back to school shopping.
  3. Shop with a purpose using your list.  Don’t make any last minute emotional purchases of things you don’t need.
  4. Focus on classic basics like boots, jeans, sweaters, coats and handbags.  Look for quality investment pieces that will last season after season.
  5. Sizes sell out fast so don’t hesitate!  Especially shoes, so if you spy a cute little suede bootie, jump on it.  They’re really versatile and can be worn for fall, winter and spring.  I can’t tell you how many times I left something in my cart just to have it sell out.

And if you want to see how to pair up these pieces into outfits for fall, be sure to check out A Week of Fall Outfits from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access Under $100


Halogen V-neck Tunic Tee

Why it made the list:  A classic basic under $20 that you’ll want to get in every color. The modal fabric holds up wash after wash.  A great layering piece!

Treasure and Bond Cold Shoulder Tee

Why it made the list: The classic long sleeve tee gets an update with trendy cold shoulders. This one is fitted so it’s perfect for lightweight layering.  Black can be easily dressed up for date night.  Comes in four versatile colors.

BP Boatneck Rib Knit Pullover

Why it made the list:  This slightly oversized basic knit under $25 is perfect paired with gray, burgundy or olive denim for fall.

Lush Roll Tab Sleeve Top

Why it made the list:  A perennial favorite! It comes in 7 colors so now’s a great time to add to your collection. Try blush paired with gray jeans.

Caslon Striped Bell Sleeve Tee

Why it made the list:  No shopping list is complete without a striped top!  This one has trendy details like bell sleeves and a peplum hem and it comes in three colors.

Madewell Lakeside Peplum Shirt

Why it made the list:  There was something really irresistible about this updated chambray top.  I adore the collar and peplum trim! Pair it with black jeans, a burgundy cardigan and leopard mules for a chic fall outfit.

Pleione Double Ruffle Sleeve Blouse

Why it made the list:  This cute little top is a statement maker!  It’s light enough to wear for summer to fall transition.


Overall, I was pretty disappointed in what’s available in the under $100 price point for jeans/bottoms.  However I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my must have pairs of jeans for just $38.90!

Articles of Society Mya Skinny Jeans

Why it made the list: These are one of my favorite brands of jeans!  They fit just about every body type and hold up really well. At just $38.90, these are a must have.

Caslon Distressed Stretch Boyfriend Jeans

Why it made the list: These fitted boyfriend jeans will look great with this fall’s mules and loafers.  They are lightly distressed and not too baggy.

7 for All Mankind Raw Hem Ankle Jeans

Why it made the list:  Burgundy denim with a trendy raw hem pairs perfectly with ankle boots for fall.


Caslon High/Low Tunic

Why it made the list:  I LIVED in these tunics last winter.  They’re lightweight, comfortable and look great with a long pendant necklace, skinny jeans and over the knee boots.  This one comes in five colors.

BP Cold Shoulder Tunic Sweater

Why it made the list:  Easily update your sweater collection with this cozy cold shoulder tunic. Feeling daring?  Pair it with faux leather leggings!

BP Lightweight Rib Stitch Cardigan

Why it made the list:  It’s a long cardigan and you know how much I love them!  Pair it up exactly as above with frayed hem skinny jeans, a simple tee and some velvet embellished mules – perfection!

Halogen Long Open Front Cardigan

Why it made the list:  Another long cardigan?  Yes!  Because it’s my list and I can.  🙂  This pretty blush color pairs perfectly with a gray tee, distressed jeans and your favorite slip on sneakers.  You’ll be the chicest and comfiest mom running errands!


Caslon Twill Peplum Jacket

Why it made the list:  I mean it’s obvious right? Olive is so on trend for fall and so are ruffles and peplums. This sweet little jacket combines all three and goes with everything.  The weight is just perfect too!  You know I want you to pair it with stripes.

Caslon Knit Moto Jacket

Why it made the list:  If you haven’t hopped on the moto jacket trend train yet, then now is the time.  This knit version is a little less structured and comes in four different colors.

BP Hooded Cotton Anorack

Why it made the list:  This lightweight hooded anorack is the perfect fall layering piece. It’s adorable with a graphic tee and black jeans.


Steve Madden Hugh Embellished Mule

Why it made the list:  Don’t shoot the messenger but velvet, embroidery and mules are huge trends for fall in the footwear category!  This pair hits the mark in all three areas.  I’m kind of swooning over this pair and LOVE it paired up in the outfit below.

Halogen Oliver Ankle Wrap Flat

Why it made the list:  Thank goodness!  Lace up flats are back for fall.  This color goes with everything and gives casual outfits a bit of polish with it’s tiny tassels.  These come in four colors – try burgundy for a fun fall hue.

Halogen Corbin Calf Hair Loafer

Why it made the list:  You should’ve known some kind of leopard flat would be on the list!  Leopard is a neutral that adds interest to any outfits.  These mule loafers are the perfect update for fall 2017.

Steve Madden Gabbie Over the Knee Boot

Why it made the list:  The color and trendy over the knee silhouette made this boot a winner at under $90!

BP Faren Bootie

Why it made the list:  A classic basic suede bootie should be on everyone’s shopping list.  This one has a just right heel and perforated details.


Kendra Scott Elisa Filigree Pendant Necklace

Why it made the list:  This necklace is a total steal at just $35.90 and you can get the matching bracelet and earrings for the same price!  Get it in gold, rose gold or silver.

Chelsea28 Kaylee Embellished Tote and Pouch

Why it made the list: I’m kind of obsessed with totes and the pretty details on this one add so much interest to an outfit.

Shiraleah Plaid Square Scarf

Why it made the list:  This pretty plaid scarf can also be worn as a shawl.

Nordstrom Pebbled Leather Cross Body Bag

Why it made the list:  This genuine leather cross body bag is the perfect size.

Treasure & Bond Drusy Lariat Necklace

Why it made the list:  Just a great statement making piece that adds interest to any outfit and comes in five colors (check out the green, so pretty!)

That’s it for today but stay tuned for more fall fashion posts and ways to pair and wear your finds from the 2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  Happy shopping!

It’s Your Turn:  What are some of YOUR favorite sale items from the 2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access?  Share them with us in the comments!

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  1. Alison, any chance you have the fall wardrobe figured out? I love the rib knit pullover and light weight rib stitch cardigan. Just wondering if you have an idea which colors will be styled if you use them in the style challenge. Thanks!

    1. I have the same question too. I just might join the fall challenge this year with these pieces. My closet needs a overhaul. Too much stuff and still nothing to wear

  2. You are NOT a hypocrite at all! LOL And I love that you live the capsule concept. That’s my real life and I love to see how you remix it. 😀

  3. Thank you for the post! I love that you are honest and I really do love that you use and reuse your clothing. That is realistic for most of us out there! You have a great balance! Using what you have makes sense and adding trends to freshen things up or to change things up is great. Thanks for sharing your talent with those of us who benefit from it!

  4. Thanks so much for the recommendations! I got the leopard mules, the ruffle jacket (in burgundy as I already have an olive jacket) and the pretty embellished tote in burgundy. I bought a ton last year so I think I am ready for fall with those three items!

  5. I’m in the same boat as you. I feel pressure as a blogger to buy and feature new clothes but the truth is alot of my clothes are old. And on top of that I live in Florida and don’t really have the need for all of the Fall and Winter clothes that are such great deals during the NSale. I am getting a few things but I am trying hard to resist the pressure!

      1. I actually ended up placing 3 orders knowing full well I would not be keeping everything. I bought the Mya jeans, a sole society handbag, a graphic tee, and a cold shoulder floral blouse in my first order. The only thing going back from that order is the handbag because it’s just too big. My second order is the twill peplum jacket and a pair of skinny cargo pants. My 3rd order was candles and a clutch. I’ll have some tough decisions to make for sure!

  6. Thank you for your honesty. I find it refreshing.
    I enjoy shopping the sale with my teen aged daughter. It’s a highlight of the summer. This year my daughter did such a good job of pre-shopping the sale and then trying on items and focusing on fit and quality. I was super proud. She loves those AOS jeans! Great fit on her skinny legs.
    Now that we have the same shoe size, we can share shoes. So even though I bought four pairs of shoes, it’s like I bought 8 pairs of shoes for the both of us. Lol. The rationale for this stuff. I bought my first pair of UGG boots – the chestnut ones with the ties up the back and the narrow toe. Also got a pair of Earthies in a black flat style with criss crossed laces in the front. As a teacher, I need really comfy flats with arch support.
    We bought some new Kendra Scott necklaces because those are classic.
    And I tried on dozens of jeans. No luck! Wanted to find a pair of premium denim skinny jeans that wasn’t distressed or raw hem. The struggle is real! I’m going to try next week when it’s less busy and see if a salesperson can assist me with fit.
    It’s a great way to see what the trends are going to be for the fall season. In Chicago, I get a lot of bang out of my fall and winter wardrobe.

    1. It’s a little overwhelming going to the store and finding a salesperson to help. I find it really chaotic at times. I wish there were more people to assist with fitting. A good pair of jeans is a MUST have. Good luck and let me know what brand you end up with.

  7. There wasn’t much that I needed as I have been buying classic pieces with help of these challenges, discovering what I like and don’t like, what looks good and what doesn’t. I did get the Velvet Pink Mules and the Drusy Necklace in Green Gold, and ordered the lightweight cardigan in Ivory. I also ordered the following a gray long ribbed cardigan. The salesperson at Nordstrom told me she had one and that it was heavier and cozy, and it should be ordered one size down:


    Whether or not I’ll like the long cardigans will be determined once I try them on. But it was hard to get excited about Fall/Winter when I am such a summer girl, AND it’s hot and humid here in Delaware.

      1. LOL…I returned all but the Drusy Necklace in GreenGold. I have gotten so many compliments on it. But when I went into the store, I found additional items that I liked and bought a bit more.

  8. I know how you feel! I don’t like the pressure of having to buy new things for the blog so I wear many old pieces most of the time. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to go on a shopping spree from time to time 😉

    Thanks for linking up with Jennie and me on Fab Friday linkup!


  9. I don’t think you are a hypocrite at all. Like you, I wear my old stuff a lot, but I also love a new fresh outfit often. Buying clothes is so fun for me, and it should be fun. But I give myself a limit and a budget. What I don’t like is the blogs that promote a new outfit for every day of the week, or the exact same suede jacket in 3 different colors, or a room full of designer hand bags. It’s too much obsession, and those are the blogs that I no longer follow. But yours I love!

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