Retail Hits & Misses: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Edition

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nordstrom anniversary sale purchases review wardrobe oxygen

Welcome to another installment of retail hits or misses, where I share what I purchased from a retailer and my honest thoughts. What was a hit (meaning I kept it), and what was a miss (return that baby). As I shared two weeks ago, I made some purchases from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and shared why I justified the purchases. My purchases dribbled in, with the non-fashion pieces arriving relatively quickly and most of the sweaters not arriving until this past Sunday. I was worried they'd be canceled as I've heard that happen to a few of you. The whole Nordstrom Anniversary Sale order arrived finally in four separate deliveries and I share my reviews below:

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Hits and Misses

Frame Surplice Wool And Cashmere Sweater – Large

nsale frame surplice cardigan

I was really excited for this sweater from Frame and it fits exactly how I expected.  Relaxed but not sloppy, the knit feels super-soft like pure cashmere, it's not heavy but opaque and lofty.  But there is no way to wear this without at least a cami. 

nsale frame sideview cardigan nsale frame wrap cardigan

And I thought… I don't really need this sweater.  It's beautiful and feels great and looks expensive but if I could wear it without a cami and/or if it was a different color I could justify it but instead I returned it.  Miss.

Ray-Ban 54mm Square Sunglasses

nsale rayban sunglasses

OMG these sunglasses look so ridiculous on me.  They are too square; I look like a muppet or a low-key Elton John.  Nope nope nope, Miss.

Nordstrom Cooling Down Alternative Mattress Pad

Nordstrom Cooling Down Alternative Mattress Pad

Reviews said this mattress pad made a lot of noise and this is a bit crinkly (my husband said it sounded a bit like a disposable diaper).  We washed it and put it in the dryer and it's still a bit crinkly.  That being said… it works!  My husband and I have both dealt with sweating through our sheets some nights, and since we've put this on the bed he's slept through the night.  I still have woken up hot, but not sweaty hot and the sheets are still dry.  It's a light blue thin pad (it may say down alternative but it's as thin as a cardboard shipping box) and the sides are all completely stretchy (weird comparison but the sides remind me of postpartum undies the hospital provides) so it fits over deep mattresses and is invisible under sheets. Unfortunately, this is sold out, but I wouldn't be surprised if it comes back in stock eventually.  This isn't my first bedding product I've bought from Nordstrom's in-house brand and it is the same quality I've experienced before. Hit!

Zella High Waist Studio Light Crop Leggings – Medium

Zella crop leggings review

As I mentioned in my original post, I don't know if I am a size Medium but my Large Zella leggings were sliding down so I figured I'd try these leggings in a size Medium.  I got these on no problem and they looked great and felt good – compression but not uncomfortable.  Did squats and bends in my room and they stayed in place.  I liked the feel of the fabric – almost a crepe finish but super stretchy and while tight not transparent when I squatted.  K even said my butt looked good in them.  Loved the color and print even more in person so I wore them for a Peloton ride.  After ten minutes the waist had rolled down to my natural waist making a constricting tube that was not enjoyable for the remaining 20 minutes of my ride. But now I have sweated a gallon into these leggings so they are mine to keep.  I'll be washing them to see how that affects the fit but it seems that they will be reserved for walking and other activities where I don't need to bend in half. I think for high waist I need not a medium but a large petite which I have gotten from both Old Navy and Athleta.  From now on I'll stick to retailers that offer petite so the waist hits at the right place on me.  Miss.

Zella Studio Light high Waist Print 7/8 Leggings – Medium 

Zella leggings review

I didn't even try these leggings on after trying the previous cropped leggings.  I know they also won't work so Miss.

J. Crew Leopard Bomber Sweater Jacket – Large

nsale j crew cardigan
I liked the idea of this sweater bomber jacket being more structured than a cardigan, but hopefully just as comfortable.  Also liked the idea of the pockets.  I was pleasantly surprised by the soft knit; this is really enjoyable to put on, smooth on both the inside and outside, cuffs not too tight, pockets a nice size, everything feels like quality.  I could totally throw this over a t-shirt and joggers at home, or style it for going out.  This could dress up for work, but be a great weekend throw-on sort of piece. 

nsale j crew cardigan review nsale j crew cardiganfabric

This sweater bomber was also available in black but sold out before I could access the sale; they also have it in a camo print.  This sweater bomber is not on the J. Crew website but if memory serves me, last NSale there were J. Crew pieces in the sale not on the J. Crew site but they ended up for sale at J. Crew after the sale was over.  So if you like this but don't like the print or they don't have your size, check J. Crew next month!

Madewell Madison Rib Side-Tie Cardigan – Large

nsale madewell side tie cardigan
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my IGTV review of this cardigan.  I ordered this Madewell cardigan in a size large and I think it runs a bit big/relaxed/boxy.  I usually buy a Large or 14 in Madewell and don't think I'd want a smaller size since I want this for a relaxed casual throw-on cardigan.  As I mentioned in my NSale purchases post, I bought this to be an alternative to my cabi cardigan which I throw on often.  I like that it not only has pockets but deep and sturdy ones that won't cause the whole cardigan to hang weird when I put my iPhone in one. 

nsale madewell sweater side view nsale madewell cardigan review

The sweater is a wool/cotton combo and may feel a bit itchy to those who react to wool.  I haven't washed it yet but I am happy to see after a few wears I'm not dealing with pilling and fuzzballs.  My initial fear that the sleeves would fall into everything was unwarranted because the sleeves are stiffer and not as long as I expected, I haven't had problems with them at all.  Do know this sort of weave and yarn will catch pet hairs and such; you may want to hit it with a lint roller if you have fluffy dogs and cats. Hit!

All in all, a relatively successful Nordstrom Anniversary Sale order.  Nothing was poor quality, nothing was drastically different from what was on the web.  And with Nordstrom it was easy to slap on the included free shipping label, tape up the box and leave it for our mail carrier to pick up the next day.  Did you buy anything from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?  Any hits we should know about or misses we should be warned about not buying?  

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  1. Allie I remember you reviewed
    A saatva mattress once and I Found that email a few months ago to ask you what you thought. We have had one for a few months and I think they run HOT! prior to this we always had the old school coil mattress that is no longer made 🙁

    I think all inner coil mattresses today run hot. Saatva acknowledged that the mattress industry changed their construction some years back so those wonderful old inner spring mattresses that didn’t used to run hot – are no more.. we have ordered different mattresses and while I know from the bottom of my heart to avoid foam, I thought fot sure the saatva advertisement of inner spring would mean cool nights. Not so much. I hate modern mattresses. Anyways I am convinced that is the reason for hot sleeping . It’s the way they are all made now. 🙁

  2. There were items that interested me but in the end I bought nothing. I’m trying to use up the beauty products I have and have worn makeup a couple of times since March ( and then only concealer/mascara). Before the pandemic hit, I was needing a few items for work, but WFH will remain until who knows when, so there’s no reason to buy clothes for the office. There was a pair of tall boots I really wanted but I don’t know where I would be able to wear them this fall/winter. I just decided I didn’t need anything and would make do with what I have. When I straightened up my closet, I found several items with tags on. Those will be my “new” clothes to wear this fall & winter.

    1. I have, but I find that while many like the white noise of fans, it, especially lately, makes me anxious and other than the ceiling fan which is silent and far from the bed, I’m sleeping better without any machinery going on in the bedroom. However, this is a brilliant idea for most, thank you!

  3. That Frame sweater looked great on you but I get your point about not wanting to deal with always having something underneath. That bomber jacket—it’s totally you! So glad you are keeping it. I had to wait to shop the sale until it opened to all, so some of my choices were picked over. I really wanted another True & Co bra, but thanks to you, I ended up buying the Soma version when it was on sale for $29! Today, my first Anniversary Sale item arrived; it’s the soft knit Calson blazer in the beet color. It suits my casual work style quite well & should be super comfortable—plus it has pockets. That’s a win for me! I’ve got 2 pairs of Wit & Wisdom jeans ordered & am anxious to see how they fit. I’ve lost some weight this summer, so I’m feeling very confused over what fits “well” right now. Hopefully, they’ll work out.

      1. I struck out w/ the Wit & Wisdom jeans. Maybe they just are not for me; I’ve tried them before with no luck in other sizes. Back they go! And I think I’m still waiting on a black pair to arrive; not feeling very hopeful. On a better note, I picked up a fantastic pair of straight white jeans from Madewell (not at Nordstrom’s) so there’s that!

  4. Hey Alison, I always enjoy your hits and misses! Thanks for giving us an update. I love the Nordstrom Sale and have since I was a kid. That being said, I don’t use their credit card and had to wait for the sale to open up to everyone. My first world problem was that most everything I wanted was sold out by that time. I did manage to get some Zella leggings, t-shirts, Ray Bans and a sports bra. Everything is arriving later this week so I cannot review yet. Missed out on all the fun fashion stuff but it’s not like I am going anywhere these days anyways. I am keeping an eye on my Wish List because people will do returns and some items may come back in stock. Keeping my fingers crossed! About getting orders canceled: It happens! If you have your eye on something and it comes back in stock, buy it quickly, don’t put it in your bag and keep shopping. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. I put a few things on my wish list. I have a Nordstrom card and could have purchased, but left them there. Glad I did. Didn’t “need” any of it!

    Got my Soma joggers and kimono, some graphic tees, a jumpsuit you helped me get at Anthro through your sale alerts and that’s all I need for now!

    Oh! I got some Splendid linen blend Lakeside joggers at an earlier Nordstrom sale. Done for now.

    In CA we can’t go out due to COVID mixed with fires. CA fire relief can go to the Red Cross of people want to help out.

  6. Nice write up! I just got some Zella leggings (the Restore) from the NSale and man, I need to be about 30 pounds lighter and 5 inches taller in order to wear them! I didn’t think Zella ran so small, but I don’t plan on trying any more of their stuff. I wish I could wear wool because then I would definitely get that Madewell sweater you like so much.

    1. Zella doesn’t seem to have consistent sizing; some of their leggings run big and others run ridiculously small. And yeah, I wish Madewell would make a 100% cotton version or a cotton/linen blend because this would also be a great spring sweater. And bring it in a few more colors – beet, navy, cream/flax, a rust/sunset color… still their brand but branching out!

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