It’s one of the most anticipated sales of the year. And sometimes it’s one of, if not the best, sale of the year. Nordstrom doesn’t run events like this that often, but when they do, they catch a lot of (deserved) attention. It’s not just their free shipping & free returns on everything policy… it’s what they carry, and what they’re willing to markdown to get your attention.
Unlike the half-yearly sales which see in-season goods marked down clearance-style, this is in great part a preview of the upcoming season. Lots of fall goods or year-round stuff gets decent price cuts. Sure, you might not be ready to wear a pair of boots before week 4 of the NFL season, but if you buy em’ now? You’ll save quite a bit. There are over a thousand items this time around. Here’s the best of the best:
As classic as it gets. An interview shoe. High quality, made in the USA, and on sale in either black or brown.
Interesting. Might be a less expensive alternative to the Bonobos dress chinos? They’re an online exclusive, and appear to be a new addition to the Nordstrom repertoire. Free shipping both ways certainly helps here.
Speak of the devils…
Bruno Magli ‘Maioco’ Oxford – $279.90 ($425.00)
“Just” a cap toe oxford, but if the leather quality is the same as it has been in years past (pictured above, a pair from two years ago) then they’ll be glove-soft and incredibly comfortable. Absolutely suit worthy but also does well with dark denim. Regular width and wide available. Black or brown. Made in Italy.
A note about the Nordstrom dress shirts in this sale: might want to be careful here. As was pointed out during the half-yearly, it looks like not all Nordstrom shirts are equal in terms of fabric comfort and collar size. But as was pointed out by reader Mitchell, some of those shirts are brought in specifically for sale events. These appear to be the year-round shirts, while the shirts with black labels might be the new additions? Total speculation there. So, use those free returns if you have to.
And here’s some of those “black label” shirts that may or may not be produced specifically for this sale event. Quality? Unknown, but a bold gingham/check pattern like this looks awfully good under a suit and with a solid tie.
Eegads. Those are something else. And that “Havana Brown” leather shade looks perfect. Probably the best looking boot in the entire Anniversary Sale. Hell, maybe the best looking anything in the sale.
Interesting that this one is all cotton instead of the usual nylon/poly fabric you find on most quilted jackets. Ted Baker stuff can be a little overpriced (retail of $225??), and $150, for plenty, is still pushing it for a casual jacket.
1901 Bucks in Slate Suede, Navy Nubuck, or Loden Suede – $66.90 ($99.95)
From the very well done 1901 Nordstrom house brand. Good quality, quite comfortable. Lots of bang for the… waiiiiiiit…. BUCK! AHHH AHAHARHRURHHASUFLHASHFLFHAHURHANNGH… ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Pretty much a legend. Only available in the can’t-miss “walnut” light brown, but strands in walnut are sort of the quintessential “I don’t always dress flashy, but when I do, I wear my walnut Strands” shoe.
Jack Spade ‘Norris’ Briefcase – $265.90 ($398.00)
Still pretty pricey (could see this maybe dipping to around $200 during a Jack Spade website sale + extra % off code?) but it balances tradition and modern-casual appeal. Pebbled leather panels with nylon sides. Professional, but not stuffy.
A favorite for a few of us. A throwback without looking too costume-y. Trim fit. Super soft cotton. And they picked three extremely easy to wear colors for the sale.
Toe’s a little funky, but that electric blue suede could do some real work in casual outfits.
Yes, double monks get lots of play. But honestly, a single monk seems to be a bit more versatile. It’s less showy, thanks to one less hunk of metal reflecting light, as well as the positioning of that one buckle closer to your ankle pant leg. But they’re still super sleek and look plenty suit-worthy. These have a lot of flash to em’ with the brogueing. Made in Spain. Great toe shape. Magnanni’s quality is solid. Most would say not quite as good as Allen Edmonds, but noticeably above a Cole Haan or Johnston & Murphy.
$130 isn’t cheap for a knit blazer (think sweater/blazer hybrid… less structure & polish than normal), but this one looks like it has potential. Sure, web images can be deceiving, but if it drapes well, and isn’t chopped in person? Might be something to consider. Liking the width of the lapels, patch pockets, and overall look of this thing.
RAEN Redford – $99.90 ($150), St. Malo – $89.90 ($150), Simmons – $89.90 ($50)
Anyone have direct experience with this brand? Lots of retro influence, obviously, but that’ll work for some people. Make sure you check the lens width. Redfords = 49mm (pretty small), St. Malo = 48mm (also pretty small), Simmons = 54 mm (mediumish).
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel – $20 ($30) | Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap – $10 ($15)
16.9 oz for the Facial Fuel, and 7 oz for the bar o’ soap. From as respected of a grooming brand as it seems to get. They’ve been around for a while, and some fellas swear by their stuff. When you can work oatmeal and bran into a soap? Sure.
When it comes to dress shoes, black might just be the new… black. A full wingtip oxford. Black shoes can be a little boring. This one, with all the texture and lines thanks to that full wingtip, won’t be.
Red Wing Charcoal Iron Rangers – $199.90 ($310)| Black Beckman – $219.90 ($340)
But is black the new black for boots? Interesting that they went with a charcoal and black option here for two wheelhouse Redwing styles. In years past, they stuck with shades of brown. Hm. Both retail for north of $300.
The “refined take” on the alpha khaki. A little more smoothed out and office ready. 3% stretch. But be warned… these guys have some orange trim inside the pockets that peek out through the backsides. Sorta like the pocket liners on Bonobos Chinos.
Real vintage looking. Good of Fossil to keep their logo subtle, and on the backside of the case. 16″ wide. Not sure how the “supple” leather will hold up over time?
Now that the boys of summer have taken over the sports page for the near future, it might be time to start checking box scores over your coffee in the morning. If you’ve got a baseball allegiance, these are a pretty easy (and throwback-good-looking) way to broadcast that on your downtime. Not all the MLB teams are represented though, but a good chunk of the larger market squads are there.
Was once the feature of a “what would you pay?” post. Nice looking broguing. Available in brown, black, and the walnut shown here.
Wang dang doodle! You bet. Keeps things in place. Plus, decent colors (as opposed to white), plus instead of small, medium large (mediums usually = 32 – 34… that’s a lot of, uh, wiggle room) these are sized in waist measurements (30, 32, 34, etc)
Sperry Top Side Sneaker – $39.90 ($54.95) | Original Boat Shoe – $59.90 ($94.95)
Off-duty shoes that’ll do just fine between now and when the leaves start to change colors. Liking that “chocolate salt wash” canvas uppers on the sneakers. Kinda strange that they’re described as “slip-on”s but… well, the laces seem to contradict that?
Sure, if you’re lucky enough to live close to a Nordstrom Rack, you might be able to find a pair of shoe trees for around this price or even less… but here you don’t have to even stand up from your office chair/couch/bike seat (seriously dude, eyes on the damn road) to pick up a pair of necessary shoe shape holders. They’re a bra for your dress shoes. Neglect to use them, and years down the road you’re gonna regret it.
An American classic… but… what do these things look like in person? The first pic is a little orange. Like really orange. But on the other pics (like the one shown above) it sure seems like the leather really tones down. Like, it’s no longer radioactive. Made in the USA, and might be a go-to once the weather cools off.
Another Nordstrom house brand shirt that appears to be from their year-round line. Year round line usually mean fabric that’s not scratchy, and the collars have a good size to em’. Are they super slim? Nope. They aren’t. But they aren’t enormous on most average body types either. Available in the staple white and light blue options.
The dressed down version of AE’s oxford wingtips. More weathered looking leather and a super-light shade & stitching that won’t go great with suits, but will look dynamite with jeans and a cotton blazer. Real nice taper to the toes. Noticeably less structure to the interior. You won’t want to beat them up, but if you somehow do? They’ll probably look even better.
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale runs through August 4th, at which time prices go back up (as opposed to the further cuts the half-yearly clearances will often get). Your turn guys… got any favorites from this time around? Were you hoping for something to be in the sale that didn’t make it? Or, underwhelmed? Seems like some of you are this go-round. Leave it all below.