My Favorite Sale Is Back

July 23, 2016


One event I look forward to every year occurs in the middle of July.  It is my favorite sale of the entire year—the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  And I am not alone, many bloggers are posting their advice on the best items to purchase, as well as how to shop the sale.  Here are some of my favorites:

And if you are looking for even more reading material, I have also written about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, both in 2014 and 2015.  It took me 4 years to learn how to shop this sale effectively, and this year I’m following the same approach as last year, with one modification, I will order online AND visit the store in person (last year I only ordered online).

My action plan is the same as last year:

  1. What do I like?
  2. Step away for a day.
  3. What are my wardrobe holes?
  4. How will I wear this item with the pieces I already own?
  5. How will I wear this item with the pieces in my shopping cart?

Fortunately, Nordstrom allowed early access without a store card.  While I was not able to make any purchases until the sale went public (I’m not a card holder), I was able to peruse the items that will be on sale and added them to my wish list (shopping cart).  This feature really works to my advantage, because it helps me to plan before I shop the sale.  I’ll outline the action steps below.

1.  What do I like?

Add everything that catches my eye to my wish list.  As a first pass I added everything that I liked, pure impulse pre-shopping.  I didn’t focus on colors or styles or anything, just if I liked it.  Ironically, this year I added 63 items, this is lower than last year (which was over 70 items) but 63 is still an awful lot to order!  Clearly some items just have to go.

2.  Step away for a day.

To give time for the shopping high to wear off I ignored my shopping cart for a day.  In truth, I ignored my shopping cart all week.  I accessed the online catalog early, and couldn’t purchase anything until the sale went public anyway.  Hot on the heels of my recent purge, where I was tackling the jeans, this time away from the cart let me continue to focus on purging my closet and prepping my wardrobe for fall.

3.  What are my wardrobe holes?

I sat down inside my closet and took inventory of my fall/winter wardrobe to identify what my wardrobe holes are.  Armed with the information I looked at my wish list to see if my impulse pieces filled those gaps in my wardrobe.

My business capsule is once again a focus this year, as this is a capsule I often struggle to maintain, and it fell out of sorts.  I have bottoms with no tops and vice versa.  With sale items, I managed to assemble two potential outfits to try, so those stayed in my shopping cart.  Back in my closet, I noticed that I own multiple pairs of boots with very few tops (or toppers, ie blazers, jackets, cardigans, sweaters/jumpers) to pair with them.  Especially my beloved cowboy boots, and a pair of tall wedge boots in a tan color that was purchased at the end of the winter season last year.  Any items that looked like they might pair well with my boots needing tops, stayed.

In my quest to keep the size of my wardrobe small I noticed that my fall/winter blazers only had one (or no) tops to pair with them.  Any tops that might pair with the blazers also remained in my shopping cart.

During my fall/winter capsule review, I noted areas that I do not need to shop for: jeans, boots, sweaters/jumpers, blazers, jackets/coats.  All of these items were removed from the shopping cart.

Despite my careful review of my shopping cart, I found myself left with a bunch of wildcard items, outfits or styles that did not fill a specific wardrobe need, merely items that I wanted to try.  Particularly trendy items, pieces that would help to keep my look fresh.  If I never try anything new, my style will not evolve.  And what gal doesn’t want to be at least a little current with their wardrobe, right?  But I do not want to purchase items that end up unworn, so I moved on to step 4.

4.  How will I wear this item with the pieces I already own?

To prevent owning a wardrobe item I cannot use in an outfit (also known as a wardrobe orphan), I looked at each item in my cart and asked myself, what outfit can I wear with this piece?  If there was nothing in my current wardrobe to pair with it, the item could be removed.  But before I did I had a follow up question.

5.  How will I wear this item with the pieces in my shopping cart?

As a follow up to the above question, I then asked myself, is there anything in my shopping cart I can pair with this item?  If I had nothing in my current wardrobe or my shopping cart that I could pair with it, the item was removed.  I was left with 35 items in my wish list, once again I was down, from my total last year of 52.  But….

Isn’t 35 items still a lot of things to order?

Absolutely!  And why are there still so many items in my cart?  The reasons are the same as last year, multiple sizes, multiple colors and challenging fit items, especially business clothing, I find trousers even harder for me to fit than jeans.  I also walked away from my shopping cart review with a small list of things that I had to purchase in person.  I am due for new bras and I don’t trust measuring myself, I want a sales associate to do it.  I pick up a bottle of the Nordstrom lingerie wash every year and with our high temperatures lately, I do not want a liquid mailed to my home, I’d rather purchase that in person.  And I don’t trust purchasing make-up online, as I do not feel that my computer screen (or me) accurately identify the colors without some help.

Coming up in a 4-part series over the next few posts I’ll share the results of my closet purge, what went on my fall/winter shopping list, and what happened with my online orders and in store visit.

Do you over order when shopping online?


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