I Tried on the 63 Best Cheap Items at Nordstrom—I Would Buy These 15

It's your girl, back at it again raising salesperson suspicions in the Nordstrom dressing room. That's right, I spent this weekend trying on a zillion items at my local store and taking my sweet time (despite many concerned knocks) documenting the best pieces for you. A couple of months ago, you may recall I sent a Nordstrom dressing room dispatch from the famous Anniversary Sale. That sale may be over, but if you're still cruising for a steal, there's a secret section called "Great Deals on What You Love" that often has delightful sale finds. Or, if you're ready to look toward the new season like me, I've got a brand new crop of affordable fall offerings below.

My intention for this story was to seek out "cheap" pieces under $100, and while the majority of my finds do clock in under that price point, I couldn't resist showing you a few more slightly expensive picks, too. Without further ado, let's get to it—there's a beautiful $59 cocktail dress, a trench coat worth taking home, and a cardigan I couldn't help but style two ways, all waiting for you. 

Under $100

You know those outfits that just feel easy, like you could wear them for an entire day, come home, and not want to strip them off your body immediately? This is that. I am really feeling the '90s Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy vibes. I prefer to style this cardigan with just a couple buttons (my stomach likes to be out 'n' about, okay?), but it would also work well worn open as a layer, or buttoned up all the way like the model below. 

Photo:

Nordstrom

I will forever love an all white outfit, so I had to include a picture of how the designer Arielle Charnas wore the cardigan.

This is the skirt I'm wearing above in a small. You can barely tell in this image, but this skirt isn't solid black, it has very small satin-y dots throughout, which add a nice dimension to the piece. 

And just in case you aren't yet convinced that you need this sweater, here's a pic of it looking darling dressed down with jeans. I'm wearing an XS.

Well, isn't this fun! Fashion girls are way into V-formation tie-dye right now. Our UK editor in chief has been wearing a dress featuring this print nonstop, and Proenza Schouler's take on the trend has been spotted on countless a street style star.

This guy is mesh, but I felt like my best seamless nude bra (I swear by this one that has amazing reviews) looked great underneath, so no need for a camisole. This is a small, which fit fine, but if I wanted more of a smooth, tight look, I'd opt for an XS.

Also of note, the thumb holes! I love using a top's thumb holes when you're layering a jacket on top because the pattern looks cool sticking out of the outerwear sleeves. You also can just ignore them like I did in the dressing room picture.

I'm into the concept that functional items should be a bit fun. When I wear my current raincoat, it looks like I escaped from a hiker's convention in Portland. It's utilitarian and not incredibly chic. That's why this leopard number caught my eye. Why not channel your inner Fran Drescher and add a dose of fun to your next dreary day? 

Paging Party Kathy (my "fun" alter ego), there's a rainstorm that needs your attention! I'm wearing an XS, which had plenty of room for a sweater underneath.

I'll also add that the high-gloss coat doesn't have to just be for inclement weather. I would easily wear it while the sun is shining, too. 

Leave it to Reformation to have nailed the fit of their bodysuits. Is there anything more pleasing than that super-smooth tucked in look? Methinks no. I styled it here with the same black slip skirt shown above.

The little cap sleeves kill me. 

I have the sneaking suspicion that you'll end up wearing this basic a ton.

I call this sweater lavender love fluff. This special knit looks way more expensive than it is, and you can't help but smile at the color. For extra fashion points, pair it with colored pants or a skirt. I'm picturing it with my pair of deep red silk trousers. This is an XS, which was perfect for me.

If purple isn't your thing, the brand also offers a rich emerald green, too.

The biggest fashion moment for fall is the bourgeoisie trend, and the best way to get the look is with a plaid blazer. You know what to do. 

Clearly I'm feeling myself. I blame this very cool blazer. Wearing a size small by the way. 

Just in case you were concerned that the arms were sewn to be perma pushed up (why for the love of fashion do designers do that?!), I assure you they come down and look great styled both ways. 

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a trousers girl at heart, so I grabbed these to try these on in a size small. From the paper bag waist to the contrast stitching and cargo pockets, these are legit the perfect office pants. I'm planning on wearing them to a big meeting, and I bet no one would guess they retail for $65.

Photo:

Nordstrom Fall Shopping Picks

Wow, somehow I almost got natural-looking light in this photo. All the better to show you these awesome pants.

If your basic black pants need an upgrade, these are your answer.

I will be the first to say that I did not expect to find an elegant cocktail dress (bordering on gown!) at Nordstrom today for $59. This dress is Chic with a capital C. The editors and I have been chatting for a few weeks about how tiny pleated fabric (or plissé if you want to get technical) is trending everywhere. And the best part about the look is that even if the item is cheap, it's actually impossible for it to look anything but expensive.

A closer look at the texture was mandatory in my opinion. Don't mind the mirror smudges around my elbow here, this dress is destined to go more glamorous places than a dressing room!

I grabbed an XS, because the fabric has some stretch, and it's not very tight around the hips.

Hopefully you're as into the plissé trend as I am, because we have another stunner coming in hot. I don't think I've seen a more elegant dress under $100. Clearly this would work perfectly for a wedding or an event with a cocktail dress code, but I'm also into the idea of wearing it more casually with simple sandals before the end of warm weather. Since the fabric has stretch, it's also decidedly more comfortable than most of my fancier dresses.

I'm wearing a small but would purchase this in an XS for a more formfitting look. 

To be honest, I think it looks even more luxurious in person than it does here on the model!

$100-$200

Welcome to the above-$100 bracket. I took picks in this category even more seriously, only including them if they truly were worth the extra money. Enter: this caramel-colored trench that you will, and I repeat will, wear at least 1000 times. That is if you purchase it. What are you waiting for?!

I'm wearing a small, which was perfect for a slightly slouchy look. The fabric is also relatively lightweight, making it perfect for ultra-confusing transitional weather. 

The model image also shows off the slightly satin-y sheen better than my pictures. Compared to trenches in materials like cotton that have a more matte finish, I love how this one can go a bit dressier, too. We all know how hard it is to find outerwear for more elevated occasions. Sorry, pashmina, your time has come.

Welcome to the only shoe pick in this whole story! Let's talk about the height, just enough for a little boost, but low enough to be as comfortable as a flat. I also love how the suede material continues over the heel, rather than a wooden heel. Super chic. 

Surprise! Did you realize these are knee high boots? I love that you can wear them over and under year jeans. I'm also picturing them under a midi skirt for a quintessentially fall 'fit.

I found they run true to size, and they come in no less than eight different materials.

This dress is a little slice of linen perfection. The material is weightier than you would think, making it perfect for the season ahead, and I'm quite taken by the tie detail on the arm.

A little close-up on the details. You can see the lovely linen texture, too. 

I took an XS, which was perfect given that it's roomier around the hips.

Have you ever meet a sweeter top than this little green ruffle number? It's the kind of thing you'll end up grabbing more often than not since it will pair so particularly well with your everyday jeans.

I don't wear a ton of color, but I braked hard for this emerald green. The ruched back also means the fit will hug your body particularly well. They only had a size ten, so on me it doesn't look as formfitting as it would be if you got your correct size. 

It also comes in a black confetti dot print; I may have to pull the trigger on both!

Over $200

This dress is waiting for you to take it to a fall wedding. Dark florals are going to be big this season, so why not try the trend with a figure-hugging pick from Reformation? The ruched bit around the waist is perfect for highlighting your figure, and the gathered top with a bow adds a romantic touch.

Here's a better look at the pretty bodice. I'm wearing a four, which fit fine, but might have tried a two if it was available. 

There's nothing like an effortless Reformation e-commerce shot to make me add to cart stat.

In-Store Picks

Now we've arrived at very last little section that is sadly not shoppable online. I figured I'd still show you just in case you want to hunt down these finds IRL. This $36 pointelle top from BDG is so darling. It could go easily from day to night⁠—and by night, I mean my bed.

Unlike the above top, this $128 night-out pick is destined for the dance floor. It's called the "Hall" top from Reformation, and I spotted it on a Poshmark if you can't find it at your local Nordstrom store.

Clearly if you've made it this far you're a fan of Nordy's edit; may I interest you in some related content? 

13 Celebs Own These $100 Shoes With Amazing Nordstrom Reviews

6 Fall Trends Blowing Up at Nordstrom RN

21 Useful Items You'll Regret Not Buying From Nordstrom's Latest Major Sale