Tips for Shopping the N-Sale

nordstrom anniversary sale shopping tips

The best sale of the year is almost here - let the one week countdown begin! To be honest, it kind of snuck up on me this year but I'm starting to get REALLY excited for it! This will be my fourth year shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and by this point, I'm basically a pro. I feel like I really mastered the art of N-Sale shopping last year (third times the charm, right?) so I know this year will be the least stressful year yet. Yes.....I said stressful haha. I get serious sale anxiety. It's fine, I'm fine ;) just don't you dare steal that pair of boots out of my cart before I check out ya feel me?!

What is it? 
The N-Sale is a sale on BRAND NEW, never before seen merchandise for the upcoming season...and by next season I mean fall which is BEST season and has the best clothes! Most sales are meant to clear out old items from last season, but not the N-Sale. It's the only sale all year that I truly go nuts over. They always have a ton of really good basic items (think: leggings, cardigans, flannels, sneakers, jeans, solid colored tees, boots, hats, scarves, home, beauty, etc) that you can wear on repeat all year long. It always gets me PUMPED for fall and cooler weather! Once the sale is over, though, all items go back up to full price.

Here's the thing, though. Every fashionista goes crazy over the N-Sale and popular things sell out FAST. Like, within hours. So, if you plan on shopping, it's important to be prepared in advance. Luckily, I'm here to walk you through! I'm sharing my tips for shopping the N-Sale below!

When is it? 
The N-Sale takes place every July. The marketing team at Nordstrom creates major FOMO with the set up of the sale. Let me explain....

  • July 12 - Early Access begins! The sale items go live on the website and in store at 12:30 p.m. eastern time but only Nordstrom Card holders are allowed to purchase N-Sale merchandise. Items usually sell out very fast and some things are not restocked before public access begins. If you want to a chance to get everything on your wishlist (in your size and color choice), you can sign up for a Nordstrom Card here! If you sign up before July 10, you'll get a $60 bonus note (like Nordstrom cash, basically).
  • July 19 - the sale opens to the public! Before I had a Nordstrom Card, I would set my alarm for opening time (it used to be midnight but has since been changed to 12:30 p.m. eastern time). No lie, stuff sells out in minutes! You have to have your game face on!
  • August 4 - the last day of to shop the sale before prices go back up on the 5th

Why shop it? 
The N-Sale is the perfect opportunity to buy your entire fall wardrobe at extremely discounted prices.....or to snag an expensive bag or pair of booties that you've been wanting! I always stock up on basics but I usually treat myself to a few things, as well. Last year I treated myself to a pair of OTK boots and faux leather Spanx leggings and most definitely got my monies worth out of them.

What are my shopping tips? 
First and foremost, if you plan on doing major damage, get a Nordstrom card haha. It makes it easier all around because 1) you don't have to worry about things being in stock when the sale opens to the public 2) you can keep track of your spending better if it's isolated on the card and not combined with other daily spending 3) you get lots of "notes" - basically store credit from earning points! I'm not big on store credit cards but this one is worth it for me.....I only ever use it during the N-Sale and pay it off ASAP. Whether you're a card holder or not, though, here are my best tips:

  • Check out the N-Sale catalog and make mental notes of things you like!
  • Make a wish list and a need list. I use the Nordstrom wish list feature to keep track of things I like. You can save sizes, colors, etc. and add things to your cart straight from the wish list itself!
  • Follow me (and your other favorite bloggers) to see the best picks! I'll be posting my N-Sale picks/wishlist soon and hopefully will do some try-ons, as well.
  • Plan out your purchases. Set a price limit. Know which items are MUSTS but have backups in place incase something sells out.
  • Be patient. Last year the website crashed and I couldn't place an order for several hours. I was super stressed but it all worked out and I eventually got all the items I wanted.
  • If you're iffy on a size, order both! Nordstrom has free shipping and free returns so you can basically use your bedroom as a dressing room. I think it's better to order both than to end up ordering the wrong size and not have the right size in stock for an exchange!
  • If you're not sure on an item, buy it anyway. Sale items sell out FAST and most don't get restocked. You can always make a return, but nothing haunts you like the things you didn't buy!
  • Make sure your card info is saved in your Nordstrom account so that you can check out quickly! Sometimes I check out every few minutes just to keep things from getting stollen out of my cart. Since Nordstrom has free shipping, you can make one big purchase or lots of little ones.
  • Keep checking back if an item is sold out. Some things are restocked or people will make returns. You have to be on top of it, though, because restocked items will go fast!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Active Wear
These SPANX faux leather leggings were one of my favorite purchases last year! I might buy another pair this year, if they're on sale again! 
N-Sale Flannels
This flannel was one of my first N-Sale purchases ever and I still wear it every fall! It has come back several years in a row, so maybe it will be back this year, too?

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Fall Fashion
This entire outfit was from the 2018 N-Sale! It looks like a similar pair of boots will be included this year. These were 100% worth the splurge + I still wear these Free People jeans on a regular basis.

What am I shopping for this year?
I always stock up on leggings and cardigans! I've also found some of my favorite hair and makeup items, my all time favorite tall boots and Nikes, some amazing flannels and scarves plus the BEST Spanx faux leather leggings EVER through the N-Sale. Since they haven't released any items yet, it's hard to say exactly what will be in my cart, but I can guarantee that there will be lots of good basics! I'd love another pair of Spanx leggings so I'm crossing my fingers that they will be included again. My favorite shampoo & conditioner (Alterna Caviar) is usually included in a bundle, as always lasts me about nine months so it's time to re-up!

I'm working on getting a N-Sale tab in the menu bar that will give you quick access to every post I do containing anything N-Sale related so check back soon! I'll be on vacation when the sale opens up but I'll do my best to keep you guys up to date. We don't have a Nordstrom store in Oklahoma so I can't very well do in-store try ons, but I'll be overnighting my orders to my house sharing my favorite pieces + sizing info with you ASAP.

If you have any questions about the N-Sale, drop a comment below. Happy shopping!

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