Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, It’s Just Not What You Think It Is

Hi Friends! Happy Thursday!

Today we’re talking all about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Now wait!

Before you close out, this post is probably going to be a little different than what you’re used to. No, I’m not sharing what I bought or my favorites (that’s probably coming Friday tbh), but instead I want to talk about why I disagree with many of my peers out there who say “this is the best sale of the year.”

This is part one of my new three part series about shopping on a budget so if you’re a budget queen like me or aspiring to reel in that loose spending, this post is definitely for you.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, It's Just Not What You Think It Is featured by popular New York fashion blogger Live Laugh Linda


Every year when the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale rolls around, the internet splits and the sale is met with mixed reviews. I classify them into four different groups when it comes to the sale: people who love it, people who hate it, people who specifically hate it because of bloggers and people who can’t shop it.

And today I kind of want to focus on the last group, the group I feel like no one focuses on, those who can’t really shop the sale.

To clarify, this is NOT a post bashing Nordstrom or bashing my peers who promote the sale or bashing people who shop the sale. Because honestly as annoying as it gets to see those “I love the Nsale!” posts, it’s just as annoying to see those bitter “I’m so over the Nsale!” posts.

I love Nordstrom. They are one of my favorite retailers, they are the only retailer that I have a credit card with, I think they have great customer service and I actually have a lot of respect for them. And I have a lot of respect for my peers that promote the sale. I know it gets annoying, but I also know how much hard work goes into creating that kind of content. Plus it’s no secret that a lot of bloggers make good commission during this time which is amazing. I respect the hustle and the work. I myself even shopped the sale so I’m not saying boycott Nordstrom.

What I do want this post to be is kind of breaking down why it’s not the best sale of the year and why you shouldn’t feel pressured to shop, why you shouldn’t break the bank and spend your entire paycheck and take money from your savings to shop the sale and why you shouldn’t feel FOMO if you don’t snag that one cardigan everyone is raving about.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, It's Just Not What You Think It Is featured by popular New York fashion blogger Live Laugh Linda


I kept telling myself that unless I’m posting about the Nordstrom Sale in a positive light then I don’t want to talk about it. And yet, here we are friends!

Anytime the sale starts, as much as I try to fight it, I find myself completely invested and wrapped up in it. I want to read all the posts, see all the try ons, check the website constantly and read through social media comments just to see what people have picked up because I don’t want to miss out!

The first day of early access, I took to twitter to complain about the site crashing and as I was looking for updates on twitter, I noticed so many people joining in on the conversation, but saying things like “I wish I could shop the sale!” or “I wish the sale was in my budget!” I then went on Facebook and saw an entire chain discussing the sale. Sure, most comments were saying that they were over it and the blogger promotion is too much, but a lot of the comments also had a theme of people wishing they could shop the sale and feeling bad that it’s not in their budget. And I think the most common question I’ve seen is “I can only buy one thing, what should I get?”

To be honest with you guys, I first really knew about the sale and shopped the sale when I was unemployed.

I was going on 3 months of unemployment if we’re really being honest. I remember getting up early that Thursday and trying to create all these different collages and trying to promote how great this sale is even though I couldn’t shop it during early access and I had never shopped it before. I remember when the sale actually went public and everything I wanted was gone, but I so badly wanted to take part in the sale so I bought some random top and some random tee. I honestly couldn’t tell you what I bought because I can’t even remember. But, because I was unemployed, I told myself okay, I’m going to take like $150 from my savings and get some stuff just because this sale is amazing according to everyone and because I just have to shop it.

I just have to.

And after shopping the sale for three years now and actually taking a good long look at what the sale has to offer, I can honestly tell you, you do not have to shop the sale. You do not need to tie up your finances for this sale. It is not the best sale out there. Not even close. And I want to share a few reasons why I think that.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, It's Just Not What You Think It Is featured by popular New York fashion blogger Live Laugh Linda


I always shop sales. Growing up, my mom rarely bought anything if it wasn’t on sale, specifically clothes. So as an adult, that lesson has stayed with me. I love a good sale, I know a good sale, I usually only shop during a good sale! For me, buying something full price is like a treat. I have to really love it. And a sale that consists of $50 tops and $70 sweaters is not a good sale. That price point is like buying full price items in my book.

When it comes to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, you keep hearing that this sale is so different because it’s not old merchandise, it’s new fall product that is being released first on sale. So you think, I have to shop this, this product is new, it’s not just old product that has been sitting there and no other retailers do this!

It sounds amazing in hindsight, but the reality is, a lot of these items are only $10 off. Some are even only $5 off. I always buy a plain tee every time the sale rolls around. I figure it’s a great basic and it’s so cheap. But, when I actually compared the original price to the sale price, it was literally only $5 off. And, I can say after three years of buying this tee, it really isn’t the best one out there. But, because it’s on sale and because everyone keeps saying it’s such a great deal, I buy it!! The reality is, plain and simple, the deals aren’t even that good.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the spirit of the sale and items sell out so quickly so you’re in a frenzy to just add things to your cart so you don’t even pay attention to the sale. I added so many items to my cart and after looking at the original price compared to the sale price, I saw that these items were barely on sale.

And going back to my tee that was only $5 off, I keep buying it year after year even though it’s not my ideal basic tee, it’s not an amazing tee, it’s just a comfy basic that I bought because it was on sale. During the sale, you buy things you normally wouldn’t just because it’s on sale. 

When I first shopped the sale back in my unemployment days, I bought this random top with a criss cross detail in the front. It’s a nice top, sure. But, I wouldn’t say it’s my style. If I walked into a store or was just browsing online, it’s probably not something that would stand out to me. But, because it was on the sale page and I just wanted to shop, I bought it. It’s currently sitting in my closet where it has been since I bought it and wore it twice maybe.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, It's Just Not What You Think It Is featured by popular New York fashion blogger Live Laugh Linda


Every year when I prepare to shop the sale, I always tell myself to buy the popular items from the year before because I always end up seeing it everywhere and loving it, but missing out because I chose to buy other items. Every single year. And every year, I just don’t buy those popular items for one reason or another.

This year, I told myself, I was definitely going to buy the popular Madewell Ryder cardigan because it sells out quickly and everyone and their mother, grandmother and godmother owns it. Yes, I was more than willing to shell out the $70 sale price for the cardigan because everyone talks so highly of it. Fortunately, the cardigan is one of the few items that already had reviews and I read so many reviews from customers saying the sweater pilled like crazy. Don’t get me wrong – love my fellow bloggers – but the only thing they mention about the cardigan is that it’s on sale and that it’s soft. Not one person has mentioned the quality. I think in everyone’s desire to shop the sale, we lower our standards and buy items that are not amazing quality. 

If I buy a sweater at H&M for $15 and it lasts me one season, I am content with that. I know I didn’t buy a fancy sweater as a wardrobe investment. I bought a cheap sweater to get me through the winter. But, if I’m shelling out $70, I expect that sweater not to pill and to live a long time and many seasons in my closet. Especially living in New York, you have to be even more practical with your wardrobe. You’re constantly running around and moving and let me tell you, the surroundings are rough on your wardrobe. That sweater would have disintegrated in my morning commute.

During the sale last year I bought that popular Topshop cardigan everyone raved about. I actually really loved it, but it pilled like crazy and although I wear it time to time, it’s definitely not one of my staple items that I reach for frequently.

I’m the queen of rambling and I feel like I’m rambling so let’s try to wrap this up. I think the energy of the sale kind of pushes you to buy just to buy. There are even people out there who encourage you to just buy everything you want because it’s oh so easy to return. So you end up shopping the sale as if you have no budget because you convince yourself if you don’t it’s going to sell out and you will regret it, and you’re going to return most of the items anyway so who cares, but the reality is, your money is not only tied up and held until you decide, but you most likely won’t return most of the items.

As a blogger, I love bloggers. As a consumer, I love bloggers. I respect the work that goes into maintaining and creating a site and a brand and content. But, honestly, I think this sale makes people too influenced. Our rational side is thrown out the window. We convince ourselves that we need these items because everyone else does, we convince ourselves the deals are good because we are being told they are rather than judging for ourselves and we rush to buy everything because we’re scared it will be gone.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, It's Just Not What You Think It Is featured by popular New York fashion blogger Live Laugh Linda


Honestly, I like to consider myself a seasoned Nordstrom Anniversary Sale pro. I’ve been shopping it for three years now and I learn something new every time.

And truly, a lot of the items I’ve purchased in the past, I forget after a few weeks and they are not these amazing fall staple pieces that I thought they would be. Once the sale ends and everyone stops talking about it cold turkey, I find the allure of the items kind of go away. Which is why I think it is a sale that makes us to influenced. We really buy into the energy and spirit of the sale rather than the actual sale itself.

Not only that, you can 1000% find a better deal elsewhere. Honestly, I think I paid around $50 for that Topshop cardigan that pilled and that I barely wore, but I also have this Abercrombie cardigan that I picked up for around $30 and the quality is amazing and it’s one of my go to items. The second part of this series which will go up next week will actually round up my favorite retailers that have amazing deals and sales.

It shouldn’t matter where you get something, but it should matter what the quality is and how good the deal is. Nordstrom has this one big sale a year, but so many retailers have year round sales. I picked up a pair of designer denim in this sale that went on sale for $109, which is great! The only thing is, my mom actually picked up the same brand for the same price at Bloomingdales a few months back. And every time we visit Bloomingdales, they have a ton of sales on designer denim. Why wait in the dead of summer when you’re not even wearing jeans to get a good deal on denim, when you can get one year round if you just know where to shop??

I really just don’t want people to feel like they have to shop the sale or break the bank. If you have to tell yourself, okay I’m going to put this much aside and I’m only going to buy one thing because that’s all I can afford, I would say don’t even bother. I can find you a better sale that will have you walking away with an entire outfit rather than one top that you might wear every other week.

And honestly, take a step back from social media. Ask yourself, do you really want this item? Do you really need this item? I guarantee you, if you think rationally about this, the answer will probably be no. When I first took a look at this sale, I added everything I wanted into my cart and it came up to $1500. I edited and it was at maybe $800. Thank goodness the site crashed because it gave me time to go through each item and be realistic and ask myself how many times am I really going to wear something and because of that I took so much out of my cart.

Repeat after me, this isn’t the best sale of the year, you do not need to break the bank to shop it, you do not need to feel FOMO from not shopping, life will move on!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, It's Just Not What You Think It Is featured by popular New York fashion blogger Live Laugh Linda


Writing this, I realize that people will have different opinions and that’s great. I hope to start a conversation with this post and if your opinion is different than mine then great, I would love to hear it.

It’s no secret that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is a big commission opportunity for bloggers. And if you’re thinking, oh she’s just writing this because she doesn’t make commission from the sale then you’re right. I don’t make a huge commission from this sale. Affiliate links and shopping posts aren’t really what my blog is about anymore.

There was a time, where I was so invested in affiliate links. I put so much pressure on myself and I would be so upset that I wasn’t making a lot of money off of people buying my outfits or clicking my links. I used to have a blogger friend who would say “oh if you’re not making x amount daily then you’re not successful.” It truly consumed me and took the fun out of blogging. So no, I don’t focus on affiliate links. I love posting and sharing my outfits with you guys. I truly have so much fun styling looks and shooting outfit pics. I do share affiliate links and  I do want to make my outfits stoppable when possible, but I try not to overdo it and I never link just to link items.

For me, if I’m going to share something with you guys and encourage you to buy it, it’s something that I love and believe in. I stopped sharing collage shopping posts because even though I may like the way something looks, I don’t know anything about the fit or the quality of an item and I would never want to push you guys to spend your hard earned money on an item that I’m not even sure is worth my hard earned money.

So yes, I don’t make a lot of commission from the sale, but no that’s not why I’m writing this.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, It's Just Not What You Think It Is featured by popular New York fashion blogger Live Laugh Linda


Not that I feel like this post is super negative because that really was not my intention. But, I do want to end on a high.

Full disclosure, I did shop the sale. It’s hard not to get caught up in the spirit of it. But, unlike my first sale experience, I didn’t have to feel like I wouldn’t be able to pay a bill if I shopped this sale. I fully treated this as a “treat yo self” sale. So I treated myself. I focused on denim and shoes because I felt like that was worth the money and those items would be staples in my closet. If you want to hear about what I purchased, I’ll be covering that in tomorrow’s Friday Favorites post.

Money is so personal. As much as I love a good budget and helping others budget, I’m also a big believer in, your money, your choice. You made that money so you spend it how you please. I chose to use my money this month towards the sale. And for those of you who have a tight budget, if you really want to buy one thing from the sale, go right ahead.

There are so many people who judge others for going crazy during this sale, but it’s their money and for a lot of bloggers this is their business so them spending money to be able to promote the sale is truly an investment.

But, my intention with this post was to help you see why you didn’t have to actually take part in this sale if you couldn’t. To help with that FOMO that is so hard to fight off during this time of the year. And to help you keep that savings account safely tucked away!

But, if you do choose to shop the sale, support your favorite bloggers out there. This really is their business and if you discovered something amazing from them, the best way to say thanks is just a quick little click.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, It's Just Not What You Think It Is featured by popular New York fashion blogger Live Laugh Linda

Outfit Details

Dress: Asos. Kimono: SheIn. Hat: Brixton. Shoes: Sam Edelman (old, similar). Bag: Clare V.

That’s all for me today! It’s currently midnight and I’ve had the worst case of writer’s block and rambling fever writing this so I need to take myself to bed.

But, I hope you enjoyed this post and as always I would love to hear any comments, questions or feedback!


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