Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020: A Realistic Shopping Guide

In some circles, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020 is like an annual pilgrimage to the sale racks of the department store and page after page of deals on What is particularly appealing about the #NSALE versus your typical end-of-summer event is that it isn’t a clearance bin kind-of sale, but rather new autumn pieces, cult-favorite items (think these legendary Spanx leggings), and exclusive beauty deals like jumbo bottles and gift-sets.

Before we get into this guide, I want to be really honest about something – you don’t need anything with this sale or any other for that matter. Even in years when we haven’t been in a global pandemic, I’ve often felt overwhelmed by this sale. From the sheer number of items to various influencers touting 100 must-haves in every category, I could easily feel jaded by the whole process – even when I was purchasing things I was really excited about.

In recent years, with maturity, a solid understanding of my own style, a want to purchase things of quality versus quanity, and perhaps a little perspective from our current situation, I shop any sale with a clearer head and the ability to click off a site if nothing sparks joy. I hope I always present the items I share with you in the same way. With that said, I’m sharing my top picks from the sale – some of which I hope to purchase myself if on August 10th, when my Nordstrom Cardmember window opens, they are still available and some that are truly great buys if you are in the market for home, baby, or investment pieces for fall and beyond.

1. Pieces for Fall

The biggest draw to this sale is always the new-in fall pieces. This year, I’d like to get this classic pair of cognac leather boots and a statement blazer. For a gorgeous luxury option I might go with this camel blazer by L’AGENCE or keep it casual with this one by Treasure & Bond. As someone working in an essential industry, I still go into the office everyday and will get the wear out of new pieces, but with a new home, most of my purchasing right now is centered around decor and such. Thus, just one or two “real” clothing items should do me just fine this season.

      2.  Filling a New Home

If you follow me over on Instagram, you might know Josh and I purchased our first home earlier this summer! My new found love is home decor and finding little projects do to around the house. Plus, where we aren’t really traveling or going out much, filling our home with great pieces that make it the cozy and cool place we want to call ours is really special. I need new red wine and cocktail glasses and I will defintiely be adding this wine rack to my cart as well. We also desperately need steak knives (we realized this deseperation recently when we hosted friends for a patio dinner and had to make everyone share a knife by couple – so embarrasing) and while I originally saved the wooden handle option to my wish list and it has since sold out, I’m loving this set by Viking. Finally, I’d love to get this Smeg toaster. Our toaster (from college mind you) did officially bite the dust as we were making BLTs for dinner last night, so I feel like I could maybe talk Josh into the rose gold one for our kitchen. Maybe.

3. For the Boys

Speaking of Josh, I feel like the guys section of the #NSale is killing it this year and is a great opportunity to pick up gifts or investmest pieces for yourself or any men in your life. Josh has these Cole Haan oxford’s and they might be his favorite shoes. We picked them up last summer before traveling to France and those babies carried him for miles of walking. He has the navy shade right now, but the sale is on the grey and for the price, I might have to pick them up as well!  Likewise, this Ferragamo men’s belt might be the best buy in the men’s section. At nearly half off, you basically get two designer belts in one because it is reversible (black or brown). I know Josh will get the wear out of this from work to date nights and everything in between. Thank God he doesn’t read my blog or else it would ruin this as a birthday gift!

4. Parents & Babes

No, I am not pregant and don’t plan to be in the near future. However, I have lots of amazing mommas, dads, and babies in my life who actually might benefit from catching some these baby things on sale. Besides, even if we aren’t planning to expand our family by more than just kitties right now, I can still ooo and aww at these adorable bows, tiny Adidas, and this little infant set I’m picking up for my friend’s virtual shower right!?

To be fair, my friends without children list is getting shorter by the day, but that has afforded me some baby gear knowledge that your average non-parent may not know. For instance, I think I found the best deal of the entire Anniversary Sale and it’s in the baby category. Every friend I have registered for, and swears by, some version of the Vista V2 Stella Stroller with Bassinet and the #NSale has it for $243 dollars off the retail price – that’s such an amazing deal and even childless me would jump on it if Luna and Louis would take rides in it.

5. Beauty, Hair, & Skincare

As mentioned above, some of the most sought after items of the sale are exclusive beauty deals. I go through the beauty, hair, and skincare selections in two ways. One, I like to round up the jumbo sizes of products I know I go through a lot of in a year. This 13.5 oz St. Tropez self-tanner is almost double the ounces of my normal bottle for only $4 dollars more than the regular size bottle. Second, gifts sets run a-plenty in the anniversary sale, but not like Holiday gift sets where things feel cheapened. I’m especially excited for this full-sized Tom Ford eye quad with mini lipsticks, Slip silk scrunchie set – perfect for someone who loses hair ties at the rate I do, and these two full-sized YSL lipsticks for only $48! For extra kicks, there are some really amazing beauty tools I swear by at great prices like the coveted T3 curling iron and my favorite purchase of 2019 – the Riki Skinny Lighted mirror. I have the white mirror, but the rose gold on sale is so pretty!

6.  On-The-Go & Working Out

A positive effect of living in the time of Covid-19 for our circle has been that it is getting us outdoors and encouraging us to be more active. So far we’ve hiked more, gone kayaking, have a camping trip planned, and we know that will continue these plans even into the cooler months. We’ve loved being reunited with these activities and there are some great pieces in this year’s NSale that will be perfect for fall bonfires, walks around the neighborhood, and convincing Josh to go apple picking with me like the good Millenial husband he is. I’m eyeing this Hydro Flask, Patagonia Puffer Jacket, and these Nikes for no other reason other than they are cute and look comfy.

7. Basics

Last but not least, stocking up on everyday basics is one of the best ways to take advantage of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. From true basics like my favorite Halogen camis and Spanx bras to capsule wardrobe essentials like a classic denim jacket, versatile cotton button up, or a leather pant – in a luxury option with Vince or these fabulous faux leather leggings, you won’t have buyers remorse if you go for pieces that will get plenty of mileage.

And that’s it y’all! I’m excited to visit the sale (online) tomorrow when my early access opens up as a Nordstrom cardmember (it’s the only store credit card I have and it does have some amazing perks even beyond the anniversary sale) at 9:30 am EST. Everyone, even if you are not a Nordstrom card holder, can begin shopping in-store and online from August 19th through August 30th! You can check your The Nordy Club status and find out more information here. 

From the preview, I am excited about this year’s offerings and feel like the Nordstrom execs were always keeping our current times at top of mind with lots of options for folks who might be looking for cozy and cute work from home outfits and more – although having cute masks in the sale would have been a nice touch too! My only other disapointment was one of the most exciting pieces I saw in the preview was this truly stunning Missoni knit and I was already mentally putting together outfits that would work from Italian poolside to an autumn brunch, but fate had other plans. Unfortunately, it sold out and I just have to hope the Nordstrom Gods might consider restocking it. *pretty please*

If you are a Nordstrom regular like me, have a peruse through other posts on like this one on Rachel Parcell’s exclusive Nordstrom line.

Let me know here in the comments, over on IG, or my Facebook page if or how you plan to shop the 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Am I missing other amazing finds?

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