The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, All Your Questions Answered Here

25 years. That is how long I’ve been shopping at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Of course, when I started, it was all in person. I had a posse of girls that I went to the sale with each year. It was a 7:30 a.m. sharp start time at the Westfield Mall in San Francisco. Our badge of honor (besides armfuls of filled shopping bags) was the free gift they handed out to the first 100 shoppers through the door. 

We had a strategy (knew the items we needed, those were priority), we were team players (if you saw something someone else in the crew wanted, you grabbed it for them), and we had a home base (we would snag a dressing room first thing that we all shared and would rotate in and out of it so we never had to wait in the dressing room line).

We walked away with LOADS of things that would take us through the fall and winter. All of our shopping was done in one early morning trip. Efficiency at its finest.

This is why I scoff at people who say shopping isn’t a sport. It requires strategy, stamina, and good teammates.

The Nordstrom Anniversary sale has always had amazing pre-season items at great prices. The items in the sale will be available once the sale ends but at 40% higher prices. The sale has changed a lot over the years and now is most commonly shopped online. Which has its own set of issues. I’m here today to break down some of the details such as the dates of the sale, how to shop it, and explain how I can help. This is to minimize the overwhelm and help you get what you want and need from the sale.

The dates for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It’s a tiered entry to shop based on your Nordstrom card status. If you don’t know your status, check where you pay your bill, it will let you know.

The levels are as follows:

July 6th-Preview day. You can look, but no one can buy. This is a good chance to see what they have, plan what you need, want, figure out your budget, etc.

July 12th—Icon Early Access

July 14th—Ambassador Early Access

July 16th—Influencer Early Access

July 18th— Early Access (this is for all Nordstrom cardholders)

July 28th—Public Access (this is for anyone who wishes to shop the sale, even if you don’t have a Nordstrom card)

What do I do first?

Go through your closet and make a list of things you need or want from the sale. 

The items that sell out the fastest are women’s clothes and shoes, especially basics and staples from well-known brands (think Vince, Paige, Rag & Bone, etc). So focus on these items first.

Then come back for jewelry, purses, beauty products, scarves, children, and men’s clothes.

    Strategy for shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

    If you like it, snap it up quickly. (Free shipping!! Don’t be afraid to hit that purchase button before you’re done shopping, I’ve had items removed from my cart as I continued to browse. All is fair in love, war and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.)

    Not sure of your size, get more than one so you can figure it out once the items arrive at home.

    On the fence about if you like something, snag it anyway.

    It’s easy (and free) to return items to Nordstrom either in-store or to ship, so don’t be afraid to over-order. It’s a buy now, regret later mentality. If you feel regret, it goes back, no harm no foul. 

    Don’t fret if an item you want sells out. If you have a regular person shopping status, it’s likely something you want will in fact sell out. But don’t be deterred, just stalk it!

    Since many people will be shopping online and buying multiple sizes, the rate of returns will be high. Nordstrom also watches inventory and when possible they restock popular items. So if you’re paying attention, you can grab something you love at a later date.

    Is there anyone who can help me sort through the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?

    Yes, me! I’ll be going through the preview with a fine-tooth comb and will let you know the items I recommend.  My focus will be on capsule wardrobe classic basics, with a few statement pieces thrown in. This will help narrow things down making the entire experience more manageable.

    My roundup of the best items will be out next week so be sure you’re on my email list so that you are notified right away when it goes live. Not on my list? Sign up just above or at the bottom of this post and you’re all set.

    Keep your search focused and narrowed to the things you want or need to avoid overwhelm.

    While this sale is not nearly as fun as it once was in person with my crew, I still find great things at great prices that I’ll wear for years to come and you can too.

    As always, if you have questions, reach out, I’m here to help! 

    Good luck you’ve got this. 




    Hi! I'm Kim.

    I teach women to dress with more confidence and joy. By understanding a few style concepts, how to dress your body type and how to curate a capsule wardrobe everyone can leave the house feeling great.



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      4 thoughts on “The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, All Your Questions Answered Here”

      1. Jennifer Rosa Milum

        Loved this post and yes, you were the best team captain this Nordstrom sale ‘player’ has ever seen!😜

      2. A Nordstrom Sale “play book”
        is a total game changer!! I can’t wait to comb through it, thank you for doing all the research and sharing with us!!! It’s my most favorite sale of the YEAR!

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