IF THESE were normal times, many of us would be thinking about refreshing our fall wardrobes—a new pair of booties or a cozy sweater or light-weight puffer. With a shrewd understanding of the psychology of shoppers, Nordstrom launched its famous Anniversary Sale in the 1960s. Here’s what a spokesperson told us in an e-mail about the origin of the event.
In the early ’60s Nordstrom acquired Best Apparel. “Best Apparel already had an anniversary event in place, which originated in the mid ’40s. Nordstrom decided to make the sale even better. The “new” sale concept would help boost sales during the “dog days” of summer. Instead of offering customers a rehash of summer clearance items under a different sale banner, the sale would feature new fall merchandise at incredible pre-season savings. It would prove to be a sale so compelling, people would line up outside our stores in the heat of July in order to buy their wardrobes for fall.”
This year may be different but the sale tradition continues, beginning August 19 and continuing through August 30 online (mostly) and in stores. During those 12 days, you’ll be able to score deals on brand-new arrivals from brands, such as Madewell, Topshop, Ugg, Vince and La Mer, on apparel, shoes, accessories and beauty.
Below, 11 pieces on our wish list—or already in our shopping cart.
LEFT: Nordstrom’s sale includes jeans from lots of brands, including Madewell, NYDJ, Kut, Wit & Wisdom, Paige and Mother. I’m liking this particular pair—Prima Mid-Rise Raw Hem Crop Cigarette Jeans from AG —for the rise, the slightly frayed hems and because of the looser fit around the legs than the usual skinny jean. It’s $143.90 now; after the sale the price goes to $215. RIGHT: Who says sweats have to be gray or neutral? This pistachio ice cream-colored (also available in navy) Gertie Full-Zip Hoodie from Ugg is lightweight and summery enough to wear now and later on under a coat. It’s $58.90 through August 30. The day after it’s $88.
LEFT: Blondo’s boots are a good value anytime of the year, but $69.90 for this Valli 2.0 Waterproof Bootie (available in nubuck—shown, black suede, cognac nubuck and dark taupe suede) may be an offer I just can’t refuse. I’ve tried a similar pair on, and can report they’re most comfortable. They’re $149.95 post-sale. RIGHT: Manufactured in Europe, Paul Green shoes are known for their high quality and meticulous craftsmanship. I have been searching for a replacement for my beloved blue suede loafers from Massimo Dutti. Which is why I’m eyeing this preppy Diana Kiltie Fringe Pointed Toe Loafer ($219.90; after sale, $359) with arch support and lug soles that come in handy when streets get slippery,
LEFT: With its laid-back fit and olive-and-navy color combination, I can see this Stripe Wool and Cashmere Sweater ($199.90 during the sale, $345 after) from Vince fitting perfectly into or improving my WFH uniform. RIGHT: Do I really need leather leggings? Don’t answer that question. During the sale, Vince’s Leather Zip Leggings are just about half price ($499.95, reduced from $995), which is about as good a discount as I’ve seen. I have tried on the vegan varieties, but they just don’t cut it in terms of feel, fit and overall look.
LEFT: Jumping over puddles could be a lot, er, wilder, wearing Hunter’s Leopard Print Refined Short Waterproof Rain Boot. The boot has been updated with thinner, more flexible rubber for a less clunky look than in past seasons. During the sale, it’s $98; then it goes up to $165. RIGHT: I have coats that are lightweight and ones that are warm. The two don’t necessarily come in one package. ThermoBall Eco Hooded Parka (now $161.90, after sale, $230) from North Face, made from recycled nylon and techy insulation, manages to do both and unlike some puffers, it has an internal cord to cinch in the waist. It’s available in navy, this blue-grayish color (above) maroon and charcoal.
LEFT: My wooly-looking brows testify to the truth. I’ve eschewed my regular wax and shaping sessions because of the pandemic. Maybe the Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Bae-sics Kit ($27 during the sale, $47 value) could help. I’ve heard good things about it. The fine-tipped pencil of the Brow Wiz with its blend of wax and color outlines the shape and simulates the look of brow hair. The spoolie brush blends, and the Clear Brow Gel holds hairs in place. ABOVE RIGHT: During these crazy times I often think about reinventing myself. If I were to actually act on that impulse, I’d spring for these 54MM Square Sunglasses ($112.90, $169 after sale) from Ray-Ban. BELOW RIGHT: I’m a sucker for a good scent or five. I’m not traveling anywhere so I’d spread this Set of 5 Travel-Size Limited Edition Scented Candles ($55, $75 value) from Diptyque around the house. I’d place the Baies (berry) or Roses candle in the bedroom, the Feu de Bois (wood fire) or Figuier (figs) in the living room and the Narguile (honey, tobacco) in the library—if I had one, a library, that is.