July 13, 2021
Why yes, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale start Friday – at least for those with Nordstrom credit cards. (and it might be worth getting their card just to get into the sale before everyone else!) It’s in the blogging contract that we ALL tell you about this sale, even though I’ve always got mixed feelings about it.
Generally speaking, I think that things being on sale is the WORST reason to shop. At the same time (yes, my name IS Janice…) you’d be nuts not to at least take a look at what is offered, because there are always things you want or need. Getting these things at a good price isn’t silly…
But bear in mind – these things may have been manufactured specifically for the sale, and thus may not be the quality that you normally expect. Keep your packing tape handy, so you can return things that aren’t worthy of you!
Let’s start with what I will buy myself this sale season…
Early in the winter of 2019, I bought myself an ENORMOUS pink sweatshirt from Uniqlo. Huge. Massive. I’ve worn it dozens and dozens of times – clearly a pink sweatshirt is something that works well in my wardrobe.
But, of course, a sweatshirt is a pretty ordinary garment. How can I upgrade? Cashmere, of course!
Upgrading a wardrobe staple is only 1 of the 6 reasons that I could think of for making a point of shopping a big sale:
My lingerie is in good nick, but I suspect that I should give my gym clothes a good look-over…
A few years ago, I broke down and bought a bunch of striped tee shirts (black and white, of course!) in varying cuts and sleeve-lengths. I made this nutty but ultimately good decision after I realized that I was picking my striped tee shirt out of the closet literally THE DAY after I ironed it and hung it up!
You may have something you own that you love this much – why not get yourself a second – or even a third – similar item?
Maybe it’s time to move up from acrylic to cashmere, or from polyester blends to silk? This is the best time to try something lovely…
And for what it’s worth, I machine wash my cashmere on delicate, and hang them to dry, and then I iron them. I have a black turtleneck that’s 22 years old, and it’s in the laundry every 2 weeks ALL WINTER LONG…
Maybe you’ve been looking at tops with puffy sleeves and wondering how you might like one… Or the idea of “shortalls” appeals – I know I wore them in college and loved them! Royal blue a color you’ve wanted to test-drive? Or maybe you just want to see if you can wear a different style of running shoe successfully…
yes, a couple of these things aren’t part of the sale – I wanted to show you possibilities, and I wandered OUT of the sale section… sigh…
Maybe, just maybe, you’ve been a VERY good person for a long time, and you plain and simply want a treat. I can always justify something beautiful…
And if all of this introspection is too much, remember that there are always gift-giving events in our future. This might be a good time to start thinking of our loved ones…
Similarly, if you’re eventually going to have to go back to work, keep that in mind as you browse the sale offerings…
All things being equal, I wasn’t bowled over by a million things this year; in the past, I’ve been overwhelmed with greed and lust… Lots of gym clothes this year – plenty of leggings (ick) and lots of rhinestone earrings.
What would you buy, if you choose to do so, this sale season?
p.s. Five years ago (give or take 24 hours!), our heroine had insomnia, and went to Paris to cure it! Still one of my very favorite heroines, and wardrobes….
1 subset to the replacement option: you are losing weight, your clothes (especially trousers) are not staying on but YOU ARE PLANNING ON LOSING MORE. It’s the one time I would be willing to buy something too small as even if I don’t fit now, I should do at some point in my progress and I am spending less on something that (hopefully) I won’t be wearing for very long.
Oh this is a SPLENDID reason to shop a sale! Something to keep you on the path you have chosen is always a smart purchase…
All very good reasons to shop. I’m looking at my cool weather pajamas with an eye to upgrade, and this is just the opportunity. I have already boosted my t shirt stash at considerable savings. Really liked the throwback post as I’m assuming the main color is dark navy. It gives me some great ideas.
Beth T says
I loved the throwback post too. Perfect stressless dressing.
I genuinely never thought about starting my Christmas shopping (really) early with the Nordstrom sale. I bet I could get my mother something really nice that she would love to wear. Thanks for the tip, Janice!
I am going to play the “devil’s advocate” here with my following statement, While these may be good reasons to shop, having a sense of “ enough” is also a good reason to not shop. Consumerism leads to excess and then we have to figure out how to reduce our crammed closets ! If something is needed , or has been longed for , or an upgrade is preferred, as you suggested, then shop, but shopping to excess eventually leads to environmental concerns. When is enough enough ?
I appreciate your site here because it shows how fewer items can lead to many outfit options without the constant need to buy more and more and more !
Oh, I agree with you completely – if we can look at a sale and realize that there is NOTHING that we need, we’ve saved money, closet space, and a wee bit of the planet!
Sally in St Paul says
Shrebee, that’s an excellent point. I’m thinking about ordering some Olaplex for my hair during the sale, but I didn’t even feel tempted to shop the clothing/accessories. What I already have is enough!
I couldn’t agree more with you. I don’t plan to buy anything at the Nordstrom sale because truly I don’t need anything from there. On my wish list are a few accessories to tie together what I already have. I seem to have better luck finding those at smaller stores or sites. I do have some outliers color-wise in my wardrobe, but if I like the style, I am not going to get rid of it just for decluttering sake. As you say, it seems wasteful and bad for the environment. For example, I have a lightweight coral cardigan from Anthro that I really love. To bring it into my navy/white/lavender/turquoise summer wardrobe, I recently found some fun multi-colored raffia earrings at J.Crew and found that they went with lots of other things – now that is a win in my book. Selectivity and patience are my main takeaways from Janice and the Vivienne files.
Also wanted to give some feed back. I was hunting for a lands end link and remembered the Support the Vivienne Files tab. Easy to use, worked like a charm. Thanks!
Shrebee- I used to be in the just buy it cause there is a sale group, but after studying The Vivienne Files, slightly obsessively, I have pared down. A lot. And my wardrobe is so much better now!
Mine too ! I used to purchase whenever I saw one of “ my warm colors”, whether or not it coordinated well with other items in the same color family, and then I wondered how to make those pieces all go together ! I purchased randomly because my preferred colors are often not available in the marketplace ! Answer — get rid of what does not work together and keep those that do and then purchase more selectively as the need arises ! I still have more pieces to “ share” at some point, but our post Covid lives have not yet fully actualized and I’m hanging onto them until I see that they no longer serve my purposes .
NATALIE K says
Janice, If I as going to the NSALE this year I would look for a rust cardigan and a rust blouse! I find these to be very hard items to find!
NATALIE K says
Janice, I also need ne PJ’s for our summer eather!
I am looking at the Nordstrom sale for a few holes in my WTW. I am being very selective because, as brought up previously, it’s such a waste to have a closet full of clothes you don’t wear!
Beth T says
Shrebee has made a valid point – don’t buy it unless you need it or love it! An exercise in decluttering should be the forerunner to shopping.
I used to go to sales a lot but buying something to say you got it in the sale holds no pleasure now. In fact canny stores will put discounted New Season garments next to the sale rails!
I find full blown shop sales overwhelming as they often resemble a jumble sale with packed rails in size order and rummage tables. I rarely go with something in mind but just occasionally will spot a top or knitwear that fits my wardrobe perfectly. If I go wanting to find a particular garment, I’m often disappointed. Some people have a checklist of items that they will buy in the sales.
I prefer to browse special offers and discounted items of my favourite brands throughout the year, not that I have stepped foot into our town centre for a year; I prefer small places with independent shops. So many shops have closed for good, I’m not sure what’s left. Online sales are better because I can filter results.
Now is the time to visit charity shops as people are discarding good clothes and accessories to make way for their sale purchases. Sometimes people buy something but change their mind and give it to charity rather than have the bother of returning it. Perfectly good handbags and scarves are often given to charity.
I have a block against shopping in charity shops, even though I know it’s a planet-helpful way to go. I just cannot get over the idea of wearing something that someone else has worn or owned. I wash everything I buy, whether mail order or in store, before hanging in my closet or placing in my dresser. I justify buying new by buying minimally. Does anyone else have this phobia?
I used to feel that way until I worked in retail; a LOT of the clothes on racks have been on other people’s backs, or worse. Just wash everything no matter where you buy it!
Beth T says
I’m not squeamish about buying some of my clothes in charity shops. As I was the smallest child in the family, most of my clothes were hand me downs. My daughter now wears some of my ‘vintage’ clothes.
I volunteer in a charity shop for a well known worldwide charity. I can assure readers that all garments and accessories are scrupulously sorted and checked. Only the best quality is put out. A lot of goods are “brand new with tags on” from high end brands. We also get given designer samples and brand new end of stock lines by high street stores.
Like Janice, I’ve heard some pretty tawdry stories from friends in retail. Women buying an outfit, wearing it and then bringing it back for a refund! We’ve probably all come across items on tails that are tainted by strong perfume/odour or marked with make up stains.
I wash everything too.
Alison M Gunn says
Because of the practical economic issue of having credit cards you don’t need (and I do not need store credit cards) I have never bought anything from the Nordstrom annual sale. I have paid full price for cashmere from N’s, and it is the only cashmere I’ve ever had disintegrate; Lands End cashmere is usually the best in terms of quality other than overseas cashmere sources. I browse Nordstrom’s site every now and then, and they have nothing I want or need (but that was true when I used to go into the store). I can’t get enthusiastic about sales in general. As someone else said, they function like jumble sales, but my wardrobe needs are really specific, more often than not. I’m not grazing anymore. ;-) BTW, it is really weird to hear a “go ahead, buy something,” Janice. ;-)) More used to “do you need it? No you don’t.” Which is where I’m at now, a lot of it thanks to creating my ‘whatever’s clean’ closet. Plus, I lost about 45 lbs. in this last year or so due to Shingles, and I’m really cautious now about what I have to have. What I *need* is a simple closet that doesn’t overwhelm. The first item I replaced was the first item on your list of wardrobe basics, a good pair of pants. In this iteration of my body size and shape, I’m not going crazy. Less is more for me now.
Alison – congratulations on the weight loss, except that’s got to be the WORST possible way to do it… Shingles is hell on earth; for anyone who’s eligible to get the vaccine, DO IT NOW!