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First Look Nordstrom Sale Picks, What I Ordered and What to Expect This Year!

Jul 12, 2019

Nordstrom Sale Picks

Above: Three staples I got three years ago at the Nordstrom sale and still wear all the time: Leather jacket, Striped tee, and Rag & Bone raw hem skinny jeans! 

Hi guys!

Updating this post live from California! As promised, I wanted to make sure this post was updated with all my sale favorites at first glance, and also with what I personally have ordered from the sale so far. 

It seems like the Anniversary sale gets bigger and bigger every year. It’s kind of overwhelming, I know. If you’re feeling that way, don’t worry–I’ve got a GREAT map of content planned out to make shopping the sale as stress-free (and FUN!) as possible! 

Now that the sale has gone fully live and I’m able to see the full selection of everything they have–I am BEYOND impressed. I feel like years past sometimes the selection has fallen flat, but this is really the best sale I’ve seen to date! 

Keep scrolling below for what I personally ordered so far, my top watch-outs, and then a few of my picks you can shop by category (per your request!) I’m also taking you through what kind of content you can expect from me throughout the sale! (Once my orders come in, haha!) 

First though, we’ll dive into some #realtalk about the sale, then some tips for making the most of it, and THEN we’ll get into my picks. ?

First, some real talk: 

The other day on Instagram, I shared more about how the Nordstrom sale works behind the scenes, why it’s a big deal, why every blogger and their mom and hamster and dog seem to be talking about it–I got SO much good feedback, I figured I’d reiterate it here if you missed it! 

WHAT is the big deal with the Nordstrom sale!? 

The reason the Nordstrom sale is so great is because it features ALL new, never before seen FALL Items (not picked over summer items)–yes, it’s annoying that it’s in JULY and we have to think about buying sweaters in 90 degrees–but with discounts this deep, it’s definitely worth planning ahead for to grab some really great fall/winter staples at a fraction of the price. 

Why is every blogger on earth talking about it? 

Providing value to readers:

Think of it this way… when a blogger’s readers are shopping, they are going to be looking for her for recommendations. I view it as my job to provide value to you, to help you navigate the sale in a way that is intentional and fun–providing my expertise on what I think is/isn’t worth spending your money on.

Prime revenue opportunity: 

Again, anytime a blogger’s readers are shopping, that also means it is prime revenue generating opportunity for her. Part of how bloggers make money is via affiliate commission–meaning, if you click through a link on someone’s  blog and make a purchase, they get a percentage of that total sale. In Nordstrom’s case, it’s roughly about 10%, give or take on average, of that total purchase that someone makes. It doesn’t even have to be the specific item linked to–just ANY purchase at all, and we get a cut of that. 

For me personally, depending on the month, affiliate commission can be 50% or more of my entire revenue for the month–so this income stream is really important for my bottom line. 

Additionally–Nordstrom is the highest converting retailer for pretty much every blogger across the board, because Nordstrom’s website is so user friendly and amazing, and they offer so many great things for everyone, AND have fantastic customer service, returns, and free shipping–it’s pretty much impossible to go to Nordstrom.com and not add something to your cart, right? Thus–when your highest converting retailer has a sale–that is gangbuster opportunity for you! 

BOTH of these reasons are equally important and this is why you see the Nordstrom sale covered SO heavily. 

As crazy as it sounds, I actually make more affiliate revenue during the Nordstrom sale than I do on affiliate revenue for the in the ENTIRE month of December. (So think about how many gift guides/etc I do and how many people are shopping for gifts in December–MORE people buy during the Nordstrom sale than buy in December. Insanity, right?) 

That being said–this is definitely NOT a plug to ask you to shop using my links! DO NOT feel pressure to ever use my links! Knowing that I helped you find items that you love or recommended something that improved your life in some small way is by far and away the biggest win for me. That is why I get up in the morning! ❤️Please shop however you would like and know that there is never any pressure from me to make a purchase through my personal links. I’m just sharing the behind the scenes of how EVERYTHING works in an effort to be super transparent and shed some light on the whole #NSale phenomenon. ?

Andddd I hope you enjoyed this episode of *behind the scenes of blogging business*

Important dates + Tips: 

Nordstrom Sale Picks - Jess Keys and Kelly Larkin

Hi Kelly!! ❤️

Early Access: Friday July 12th at 12:30pm EST: 

Come back here as soon as the sale is live, because all these links you see in this post below will work and they will lead you to product pages where you can add them to cart.

The big question: Should you get a Nordstrom card? 

For the first week of the sale, only Nordstrom cardholders are allowed to shop. I NEVER. EVER. EVER advocate opening a retail credit cardhowever, I do have a Nordstrom Retail card for this specific purpose. You can start shopping instantly if you’re approved. More info on Nordstrom cards here

My take:

 You absolutely do NOT *need* to open a Nordstrom card. That should not go on the list of things you need to do in your adult life. 

BUT if you plan to use the Nordstrom sale as a means to stock your fall wardrobe, and you are financially responsible, yes, you may *want* to look into opening one. I don’t ever put anything on this card other than my early access Nordstrom sale purchases (I use my regular credit card the remainder of the year), and I pay it off IMMEDIATELY, in full, and then I put it away and never take it out again until the sale the following year. If you cannot pay something off in full do not open a Nordstrom card–because you shouldn’t be spending money you don’t have anyway. (At the risk of TOTALLY sounding like my mother. #ThisIs31.) 

Another idea: 

Find a friend with a Nordstrom card and have her buy your stuff, and Venmo her. ?

Public Access: July 19th, the sale is available for EVERYONE to shop! 

I will definitely do another big roundup of my favorite items that are still in stock on Public Access day, so you don’t have to worry about getting your heart set on something that is out of stock. 

A note about restocks: 

I’m going to be honest with you–probs not. Which sucks. In the past, when something is gone, it’s gone. Restocks will happen here and there in small quantities as returns come back in, but there are never massive quantities of restocks. 

Yes, SOME of the best stuff does sell out during early access and having a card is the only way you’ll get access to it. But on the flip side, a LOT of great stuff was still around for public access. You are not missing out in some terrible way that will alter your life if you do not get a Nordstrom credit card. 

How to prepare + shop intentionally: 

Nordstrom Sale Picks - Jess Keys

Go through your existing fall/winter wardrobe and clean out anything you didn’t wear last year. Resell the items that are like-new (great for funding new purchases!), or donate them. Make a list of the holes in your wardrobe–take inventory. This will avoid you buying a 10th black turtleneck sweater you don’t need, and keep the staples you need to round out your ideal wardrobe front and center. 

Biggest tip: Don’t wait to check out

Especially at the beginning of early access and the beginning of public access–stuff will sell out right from under you. Don’t add something to your cart and then continue browsing for an hour. If you find something you have to have, GRAB IT because it’ll likely be gone quickly. If you’re really out for the best deals, it’s best to place multiple orders vs. wait hours or days curating one big order. (Ugh this is stressful, but it’s true.) 

ALSO—order multiple sizes if sizing is in question for you. If you need to exchange something for a different size, chances are it might not be in stock and it will have sold out in between the time you purchased and the time you received the order. You can always return what doesn’t fit! 

What to expect from MY personal Nordstrom Sale content: 

Capsule Wardrobe Remix: Fall 2018 Staples | The Golden Girl Blog

Above: My Nordstrom Sale Capsule Wardrobe from last year! 

I definitely want to be SUPER intentional with HOW I am approaching the sale so A. You don’t feel pressured to buy everything in sight (the anxiety!) and B. I can help you curate fewer, better wardrobe staples that will last you multiple seasons, and bring a ton of joy to your closet!

Here’s the plan for my content over the next few weeks–I hope you’re as excited as I am! 

TODAY, BELOW! My Shoppable First Look Guide: 

Hint: It’s THIS POST! (If I ever shut up and stop yapping, you could get to the shopping part! ?) I know you can’t click through and add anything to your cart YET–but come back here as soon as the sale goes live at 12:30pm EST, because when you click through the links then, you will be able to add my picks to your cart! 

**I will be updating this post with my personal purchases as well once I place my first order! Make sure to revisit this post again and check stories frequently** 

What I’ll be focusing on most during the sale: 

Based on your feedback, you want to see classic, versatile staples, call-outs for items under $100, pieces that can work in and out of the office, highlights of the best bras/undies, pajamas, investment denim, and outerwear.

I also definitely want to be as size-inclusive as possible, and will be on the lookout for my favorite plus size items as well as petite items! 

My focus is quality over quantity, and I’d much rather focus on featuring a handful of staples I know you’ll love vs trying to cover as many items as possible. 

Try on stories and photos: 

If I weren’t in California this week I would definitely say to expect some try-ons this morning, but honestly, I don’t really know if I’m going to be able to swing it with wedding festivities. ?I will do my best–so keep an eye out here and on stories, but I might not be able to get to try-ons until next week! Either way, I will keep a pulse on what is and isn’t out of stock and try to post a few, well-curated try-ons for both early access and public access of what I ordered and what I think is most worth your spend. 

One Item, Multiple Ways posts–NSale editions:

[one-third-first]Nordstrom Sale Picks by Jess Keys[/one-third-first][one-third]

Nordstrom Sale Picks by Jess Keys


how to style joggers


I got so much good feedback on my Nordstrom Sale Capsule Wardrobe post I did last year, so I want to build upon that and take that a couple steps further! This year, I plan to do a series of posts (like I did for How to style a bodysuit four ways or 11 accessible ways to wear leopard print or How to style joggers six ways). They will be part IG story styling session, part blog post. (They will play off of one another!) If you have any specific requests for this–I’d love to hear them! 

This way, you’ll be able to assess how versatile a specific item really is and get more wear out of it, and also–if you aren’t shopping the sale and putting yourself on a buying freeze (GO GIRL!) you can still get outfit inspiration and fresh new ideas on how to style similar items you may already have in your wardrobe! I want this content to be for everyone, NOT just those shopping the sale! 

I will be doing these types of posts all throughout the sale, not just early access–so there will definitely be plenty of items to go around for everyone! 

Remember, let’s not take this TOO seriously! ?

Here’s the thing guys–this is an AMAZING opportunity to snag a few great staples, but please do get too wrapped up in it. DO NOT buy another black top when you have 5 because it’s a good deal. You probably don’t *need* a trendy ruffle dress even if it’s half off. And do. not. under any circumstances, choose buying clothes over things like paying off your credit card, paying down student loan debt, or spending money on clothes instead of travel. 

Personally, I get really conflicted in periods of high volume shopping, because I never want to make you feel pressured to spend money you shouldn’t, or that you need to buy new clothes to be stylish––and if you ever come away from this blog feeling like that, I have wholeheartedly let you down. 

These are JUST clothes. Okay? Can we all remember that? This is fun–not pressure! 

Instagram and Reality are not one in the same: 

I say this every year but I always want to reiterate–the reason I can afford to buy a bunch of clothes is because I make money on them. This is my job. For me, reviewing clothes=positive ROI. My job is to review clothes for you and help make your life easier. If I did not do this for a living, I certainly would not be able to afford dropping hundreds of dollars on clothes during one sale. You don’t NEED to buy anything from this sale, and if you do buy something, buying just one or two items is certainly the norm, even if it’s not what you see on Instagram. 

PLEASE remember that, okay? 

With ALLLLLL that (are you still reading? ?) being said–let’s get into my initial sale picks! Here is what is catching my eye so far, organized by category that you’ve requested specifically. 

My top 15 Nordstrom Sale picks to watch out for (plus, what I ordered so far!) 

Blondo Boots:  

Blondo Boots

The BEST fall/winter boots that exist. I have turned so many of you onto Blondo boots and consider it one of my big life accomplishments ?BECAUSE THEY’RE THAT GREAT! They are ALL 100% waterproof and salt-proof.

They are beautiful, versatile, comfortable, go with everything. Seriously, if you buy one pair of shoes for fall, these should be them. They make lot’s of different styles–so whether you’re looking for boots or booties, I think you’ll find something there. 

My #1 pick this year: The Blondo Noreen Waterproof Suede Knee-High Boots! ??These were the first thing I added to my cart this morning!

Cashmere wraps + sweaters:  

I am VERY pleased with the selection of cashmere and cashmere wraps/capes this year and I think they’re going to go very fast. I still have a cashmere wrap I got from the NSale two years ago and it’s still one of my favorites! These typically are some of the first things to go. Linking my favorites below–I’m actually shocked they aren’t all sold out at this point! ?

Leith wrap sweater: 

Leith wrap sweater

Love this staple sweater that I ordered in grey. A similar Leith wrap sweater was my #1 top selling item during the sale last year, I think because, like me, you guys are always on the lookout for cute *warm* sweaters/tops you can wear for date night. This is this year’s Leith sweater and honestly I like it even more than last year’s! 

Leather + Suede jackets: 

Leather jacket

Also very impressed with the selection of leather/suede jackets this year in comparison to years past. I feel like they have a lot more options. I typically always snag a leather or suede jacket that I’m in love with during the Nordstrom sale and I still have them ALL. The ones I own are by both BlankNYC and Halogen–both are great brands I highly recommend. These are well-made staples that will last you a long time and through many different seasons.

I ordered this beautiful lambskin leather jacket (on sale for $239 marked down from $360!) to test out for you guys because it’s very similar to my leather jacket from Italy you guys love and always ask about! 

Leggings: Ponte leggings + Commando Faux Leather Leggings + Zella Leggings


My second and third bestsellers during the sale last year were the Ponte leggings and the Zella leggings–and for good reason–you will wear them INTO. THE. GROUND.

First up–the High waist Ponte Leggings–these are a newer iteration of the ones I own but they are so fantastic for work because they are basically…classy, thick, work appropriate leggings. 

Second–Zella’s cult classic Live In leggings–while I think they are inaccurately compared to Lululemon leggings (they aren’t anything like Lululemon leggings) they are wonderful in different ways. They’re great thick leggings that you’ll wear in and out of the gym–good for everything from lounging, to yoga, to HIIT workouts. They’re super comfy and flattering, and this is a great time to snag them for a fraction of the price. 

Third–Commando’s infamous leather leggings are included in the sale! I love these just as much as I love the Spanx ones, they’re just different. I’d say the Commando ones are less shiny than the Spanx ones! I ordered another pair this morning! 

Wubby Fleece: 

Wubby Fleece


HE IS BACKKKK!!! Remember the devastation that was the day that all the Wubby Fleece’s sold out last holiday and nobody could get their hands on one? (If you’re new, I basically lived in my Wubby Fleece every day from November through…May? ?) It’s the most wonderful, soft, warm thing you’ll put on your body. They have new colors or the classic grey color if that’s more your jam! I ordered this white one this morning! 


I am throughly impressed with Nordstrom’s selection of blazers this year–so many that you can wear in AND outside of the office. There are sweater blazers to structured blazers–definitely something for everyone. They look so cute thrown over a lace camisole for a night out, too! Here are a few of my favorites. (Note, sometimes the wrong colors show up in the widget, so if you like a style, click through and they probably have more colors!) 


Not a HUGE selection of denim at first glance, but definitely a few stand-outs: 

Black Rag + Bone skinny jeans:

I got my first pair of Rag + Bones from the sale a couple years back, and WOW you guys–they are the real deal. Worth every penny. They are the most comfortable skinny jeans I own and they are so flattering. This pair is basically the black version! It seems like this pair runs small based on the reviews so maybe order two sizes and return whatever doesn’t fit just in case! I ordered a pair this morning and sized up per reviews! 

Levi’s Black Wedgie Icon jeans:

You guys know how much I adore my Levi’s Wedgie jeans! I’ve been wanting a black pair of wedgies for a long time and I’m actually really shocked they’re part of the sale! Wedgie jeans sizing is tricky and kind of all over the place based on exact style and who you ask. Again, I would order two sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit to ensure you get the best size and so they don’t sell out if you need to exchange! 

Madewell high-rise button-fly jeans: 

You guys RAVE about these jeans–I don’t own a pair myself, but I feel like I should pull the trigger this time. ?These are THE #1 most recommended reader jean for ANY body type! (Read more in my Real Women Approved: Best Jeans post!) Fit update: One reader said to size down in these because they’re stretchier than most Madewell jeans! I ordered a pair of these this morning! 

Paige “Leggy” High Waisted Indigo Skinnies: 

I have owned many a great pair of Paige jeans. They are always high quality, flattering, and comfortable! I also love this color–a deep inky blue, so they transition really well from day to night! 

Leopard Slip Dress: 

Leopard Slip Dress

The Leopard Slip Dress: This migghtttt be the one statement piece I’m most excited about. OK I know it’s not exactly a “simple staple” but if I can get my hands on it to do a styling session before it sells out, I promise I’ll prove to you how versatile it is. ?I love that you can style it right now with sandals, and later on with ankle booties–slip dresses look so cute layered on longer sleeved pieces for fall and winter, and you know how much I love leopard!  If you’re looking for a super affordable, “fun” buy to wear now and into fall, this is totally it! FYI BP usually runs TTS for me–the XS was already sold out so I got a small. I’ll report back on sizing!

Lace Camisole: 

Always, always, hands down, one of my most talked about wardrobe staples–the lace camisole. It has never met a season or an occasion it didn’t like. (Honestly, if you challenged me to style one for anything from church to a wedding, I think I could do it.) I love how this one is satin with lace trim and I especially love the polka dot pattern but I also love the leopard version! Only $25! FYI: BP runs TTS for me so I’ll order an XS in this. I ordered this too! 

Madewell Transport Tote: 

Madewell Transport Tote

One of my favorite tote bags of all time–I own this in both black and brown. This is a special version that has a cute suede stripe down the middle! (I haven’t seen this one before! Maybe it’s a new release just for the sale?!) Either way, if you’ve been looking for a great, high quality, all-purpose tote, I can’t recommend this one enough. 

Nordstrom Lingerie Moonlight Pajamas: 

Nordstrom Lingerie Moonlight Pajamas

I got quite a few requests for pajamas, and if I could pick one pair, it would hands down be the Moonlight pajamas. They come in both shorties and long pants/sleeves and they are the softest, cutest, most wonderful pajamas that will make you feel like a very put together adult. There is nothing like pulling on these pajamas on after a nice hot shower, and crawling in bed to read a good book. ❤️(They would also make the best bridesmaid getting ready pajamas!) I ordered another pair this morning because I love them so much! 

BP Waffle Knit Lounge Jumpsuit: 

BP Waffle Knit Lounge Jumpsuit

OK I cannot speak to the fit or quality of this because I’ve NEVER seen BP make anything like this before, but it’s one of my favorite budget-friendly brands, so I’m really hoping it’s as amazing as it looks–it’s a JUMPSUIT that is made of super soft waffle material–so it basically feels like pajamas but is chic so you can wear it out of the house, to run errands, on the plane, etc. I think this will go VERY fast just due to the nature of it! I ordered it this morning! 

Natori Bras: 

A lot of you guys said you were waiting for Natori bras (like their famed feathers bra!) to go on sale–here they are! I’m actually ordering one myself to see what all the hype is about! They are one of the #1 ranked bras by YOU GUYS in my Real Women Approved: Bras and Undies post! 

My T3 Featherweight Hair Dryer: 

My T3 Featherweight Hair Dryer

I’m actually pretty bummed my curling iron isn’t on sale. ?But my hair dryer is! I don’t use a hair dryer often, but when I do, I’m so glad I have this one. It’s small, super lightweight, and I swear it dries my hair in half the time it takes a normal dryer to, which minimizes damage overall! Can’t say enough good things about it. 

Pretty Statement Coats: 

I’ve never seen them have such a great collection of statement coats. This is definitely the best chance to buy one at the deepest discount! I’m in love with all the blues and yellows I’m seeing especially! Plus, they have some really cute faux fur and teddy coats too! 

Shop more of my NSale picks by category: 

 Tops, Bottoms, Dresses: 

Shoes + Bags: 

Coats + Jackets: 


Workwear staples: 


Plus size stand-outs:  

Many of the above brands come in plus as well, but here are some super cute stand-out’s that caught my eye as well: 

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