I Tried on 64 Items From the Big Nordstrom Sale—I Would Buy These 11 Now

It’s every fashion girl’s favorite time of year⁠—the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! For those of you who are new to the sale, it’s a once-a-year event where new merchandise (aka lots of cute stuff for fall) is discounted for a limited time before it goes back up to full price. Basically, it’s the opposite of normal sales, which usually include end-of-season dregs that no one wants anymore.

We already had our expert shopper editor, Judith, round up all the items she has in her cart, but as an Olympic shopper myself (if there were such a thing, I’m sure I could compete professionally, okay?), I had to go check out the scene in person. I’ll take this time to note that the closest Nordstrom to me is at The Grove, one of the most popular malls in America. It also happens to be a tourist destination, meaning heading there on a Saturday in the summer is really asking for it.

Nevertheless, I’m glad I braved the crowds, because the Nordstrom sale items were just that good. Just in case a hectic mall is not your idea of a good time either, I snapped pics of the best items I found so you can shop them from the convenience of your couch knowing that they’ve already been test-driven IRL.

So without further ado, scroll to see the cream of the crop—aka the 17% of items I tried that made the cut—from an absurdly comfy and affordable sweater to the jeans that have "magic pockets.”

TOPS

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

This top is a pure slice of silk heaven. It literally looks like it could be from The Row. Here are three reasons you should get this top. 1. Can you picture a future age when you wouldn't want to wear this? No, you can't. 2. The boatneck is a subtle yet highly sophisticated detail. 3. The color is called mochi, which is fun, but I would call it the most beautiful pale pink pearl. It honestly makes me mad that the Nordstrom model below did not do this top justice. Do not be fooled by her! Tuck the top in like a normal person, and ride off into the sunset with your new gorgeous blouse that you can wear until you are 95. 

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

A little selfie action (a lot more of that to come) to show the ruching at the shoulder. I'm wearing a medium, but would go for a small in this top.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

If you don't already have a classic striped button-down, stop what you're doing right now (aka reading this story) and just add to cart. This one is perfection, complete with all the details like a front pocket and a slightly longer hem in the back, which is great if you want to wear it long and loose. My absolute favorite thing about this top though, is that it's not made from cotton, it's a silkier material that instantly elevates it.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

Catch me at the Who What Wear office in my new striped shirt. I'm wearing a small but would prefer an XS for ease of tucking.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

By all accounts (or just mine), this is a lovely white blouse. Trust me, this blouse will work really hard for you, proving its worth at the office and really any other place where you need to look a bit polished. The depth of the V-neck hits a rare perfect spot. It shows the maximum amount of skin to reap all the flattering benefits but stops right before it would become inappropriate for some situations. You do need a really solid nude bra to go underneath⁠—I wasn't wearing the right one here. May I recommend this seamless bra? It's part of the Nordstrom sale too, and my glowing review of it can be found in our story on the best-selling bras from Who What Wear.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

I would tuck this in usually, but I wanted to show you the length here. Also, since it has buttons all the way down, it would be a fun style experiment to try just buttoning a few at the top for an evening out. As for sizing, I'm wearing a 00, which was a little tight to put on. I would opt for a 0 even a 2 for a slightly more billowy look.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

This top is full of subtle yet special details, but the covered buttons have to be my favorite.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

I love this unusual neckline so hard. Plus this sweater is freaky-soft. Why is a sweater that is so affordable and not made of cashmere so soft? I have no idea, but take this information and run with it! I'm partial to the tan, but it also comes in gray and black.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

Again, I would tuck this in, but here's how it looks out. I'm wearing an XS. I sometimes opt for sweaters in a size small, but I likely won't be layering this with anything underneath, so an XS felt perfect.

OUTERWEAR

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

I have one word for this pullover: cozy. It was so soft, I contemplated taking a little lay down in the corner of the dressing room in it. It is like a cloud is hugging you! The pockets connect making a little pouch, which is a fun detail for when your fingers are freezing and want to benefit from their own warmth. I know it may be wildly hot where you live right now, but colder temps are coming, and why wouldn't you want to save now on purchases you'll need to make a few months down the road? 

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

I think it's showing how much I love this fluffy thing. I'm wearing an XS, which definitely still felt like it had plenty of room for a turtleneck shirt underneath.

JEANS

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

Welcome to the sassiest pick of the bunch, these leopard jeans. Frame is obviously a premium denim brand, and it shows in the fit. I couldn't get a great picture of how my rear looked, but trust me, my butt has never looked better. I was also actually surprised at how long these made my legs look. I'm 5'4'', and these made me feel downright leggy.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

As for fit, I normally wear a 26 or 27 in denim. Here a 26 was perfect, as these jeans have a bit of stretch.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

I already own several pairs of black jeans, but after trying these on, I found enough reasons to make room in my closet for these. The cropped ankle and flared hem will always be a flattering cut for my on-the-shorter-side figure. Also, these jeans have something that Madewell calls "magic pockets." Just what are magic pockets you may ask? The fabric is engineered to lay flat, smooth you out, and lift you up. They also have enough stretch to make the jeans wildly comfortable. As in, wear them on an overnight flight comfortable. Lastly, in the words of Madewell, they are a "tucked-in tee's best friend," because they have an extra sleek layer to hold you and your tee smoothly in. We all know I like a tucked-in top. These pockets are working hard!

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

A size 26 was perfect in these Madewell jeans thanks to the aforementioned stretch.

PAJAMAS & UNDERWEAR

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

Hey, it's me, the cutest girl at the pajama party. What's not to love here? Amazing print, cutie shorts, and a soft silky material. Speaking of the said material, I double-checked that you can machine wash it. Nobody's got the time or money to dry-clean pajamas! I've heard a lot of buzz around the Something Navy brand but hadn't tried on any items until today. Now I get the hype. 

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

I'm wearing an XS, but would probably take a small as I prefer more relaxed silhouettes for sleeping. 

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

But honestly, who says this set is only for sleeping? It looks like a cute romper when you tuck in the top. Also, it comes in leopard, too.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

Picture me in Palm Springs wearing this set with feather mules, oversize sunglasses, and my hair wrapped in a towel. Practically a Slim Aarons–inspired poolside photo waiting to happen. Meet me there? 

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

I'm wearing a size small here, which is perfectly true to size.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

Everyone knows and loves the comfort of Hanky Panky thongs. I especially know and love these zebra-print Hanky Pankies. I'd buy these full price, but a bit of a discount makes it even sweeter.

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(Image credit: @katcollings)

I want to spend my hard-earned money on shapewear, said no one ever. For me, it's one of those mundane purchases that brings very little delight. But you know what brings me a lot of delight? Saving money, so get while the going is good!

OTHER ITEMS I WAS WEARING

Editor in Chief

Kat has over a decade of experience in fashion writing, and she joined Who What Wear in 2012 as our co-founder Katherine Power’s assistant. She currently leads the vision for editorial content at WhoWhatWear.com. Working on the site with our editors takes up most of my day, but I also contribute trend direction for our namesake fashion line, the Who What Wear collection. Prior to Who What Wear, I did assistant styling work for brands like Vogue, Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Oliver Peoples, as well as freelance fashion writing. I graduated from UCLA with a BA in communications and now call West Hollywood home. As for my fashion perspective, I gravitate toward more tailored pieces and add touches of personality with items like a mesh metal belt or cow-print mules. I’ve always been a vintage fan and know that I’m destined to do some damage whenever I enter my favorite local haunt, Scout, usually scooping up ’90s-era pieces from Japanese designers. When I’m not shopping or writing about shopping, I can be found reading (my book club’s current pick is The Beauty Myth), planning my next trip to Tokyo, or delighting in food usually reserved for 5-year-olds.