It’s one of the most anticipated sales 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 mark down to get your attention.
Unlike the half-yearly sales & seasonal clearances, which see in-season goods marked down, the Anniversary Sale is mostly a preview of the upcoming season. Lots of fall goods or year-round stuff gets decent price cuts. It’s very much a looking-forward-to-wear sale. And now that we’re knee deep in the worst season, stylistically, looking ahead to layers, boots, and blazers can be quite a bit of fun. Everything, as always, ships and returns for free. Here’s a fast interpretation of the best of the best:
Great Lincoln’s Mullet. Modeled after a 1920’s boot style, they’re a simple cap toe boot made from oiled leather, strong stitching, and tough as nails hardware. Leather sole & Goodyear welt. Made in the USA
The Bonobos flagship pant in their slimmer fit with three fall-ready shades to pick from. Yes, Bonobos chinos can run pretty pricey, even with sales. But many of us do believe in their abracadabr-ass magic butt-fitting shape, as well as the oddly comfortable, peached/washed fabric. Nice to see a shade of Khaki that’s more golden than sickly pale straw you see on a Best Buy or Target uniform. Also available in an olive shade, which strangely enough is on a different product page. Same slim fit though.
Pretty much the perfect example of a bold check dress shirt (how to wear it here, with a black/white example… navy/white is even more versatile). Nice quality on these as well. Especially for the sale price. Neck & sleeve measurements, good collars, and even though not non-iron they’re easier to iron than most other shirts. The kind of shirt you could wear with a suit and solid tie, jeans and a v-neck, or with chinos and a casual, light-weight sportcoat as summer plugs along.
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.
As classic as it gets. An interview shoe. High quality, made in the USA, and on sale in either black or brown.
Looks like a true spread collar here, so might not look so good tie-less. Calibrate is one of Nordstrom’s younger leaning lines, so expect it to fit just a bit slimmer than the Nordstrom Trim Fit line. A perfect pale blue and white are up for the discount.
1901 Lewiston Wingtip – $69.90 ($99.95)
Not suit worthy. Why? It’s the sole & overall slight-bulk to the shape. BUT, that said, it’s a bargain for a smart-casual shoe with great pebble texture. Wear the feck out of them with jeans and cotton blazers. Free shipping/returns always helps on shoe purchases.
Micro Wool Stripe, Silk, or Cotton Stripe Ties – $58.90 ($95)
For affordability, TheTieBar changed the game. And all credit to them. But for big events, where you want a tie to tie easy, feel right, and have the right balance of weight and drape, then you might want to invest in more. 3″ wide in diameter is perfect for big occasions. Not too trendy, not too frumpy. Perfect for grab-ability when the bridesmaid or groomsman whose eye you caught wants to see what you’re (/your outfit is) made of during the fading points of the evening. Cue the music. “This is a really nice tie.” “Thank you. I like it too. So tell me…”
Halt them presses. With materials and labor costs going up, everywhere, in the last few years, shoes have gotten a bit pricier than they used to be (so has everything else). So a materials heavy, big-time-craftsmanship shoe like the Dalton from Allen Edmonds has been very rare to find on sale. And if memory serves, they haven’t been included in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale in previous years? Look, $285 is almost three bills. And that’s no small investment. But that’s a solid asking price for 1st quality, ships free & returns free Daltons. If you’re hovering, but shouldn’t (you know who you are), chuck your wallet across the room. Try not to scare the dog. Or Alice from HR. Review here.
Not cheap, but if you like Miansai’s brand of modern but still sleek accessories (first and foremost they’re a bracelet company), then might be worth a look. Italian leather band and Sapphire crystal face. Movement? Origin? Who knows.
For the real slim fellas. Any color you want, as long as it’s white or light blue. Appears to be a true spread collar here, so wrangling them into a tieless look might be tough. But for wearing with a tie, they should do just fine.
Seems to show up annually in the Anniversary sale. Black, brown, or walnut (shown) are available. To some, a belt is just a belt. To others, a belt is an accessory worthy of investment. Not a lot of middle ground between the two camps, but still worth a mention. Review over here.
Tough to tell what kind of leather is on these. Looks like a waxed nubuck, but that’s almost certainly optimistic. Good thing for the free shipping and free returns policy. If they show up and they’re underwhelming? Then back they go. That “copper” leather, whatever it is, sure is some kinds of intoxicating. Stitched looking sole too. Tread carefully.
Lean and mean. Not a bad starter dress-chrono for those who like those sub-dials and the ability to easily keep track of elapsed time. 40mm in diameter, so not too tiny, yet not gargantuan either.
If you’re a denim head (full disclosure, that’s not the case on this side over here) you’d probably know “Naked & Famous”. Made in Canada from Japanese denim with a tiny bit of stretch (2% elastane) for ease of movement. Bonobos, on the other hand, does their best to source Cone Mills denim here from the USA. The descriptions say that these jeans are “made” in the USA, but that might be just the fabric. Who knows. Much of their higher end denim is cut and sewn in Los Angeles from USA fabric. Tough to tell if its the case here though. That’s where the free returns policy comes into play of course.
Nordstrom Carson Bucks – $69.90 ($99.95)
Just bucks, but these shades can absolutely be worn year round. Not going to be quite as sleek as J. Crew’s Goodyear Welted Kenton Suede bucks (which are also on sale), but not as expensive either. Traditional red rubber sole.
A striped up, subtle herringbone gym-bag that has a very functional detail. Many of Herschel’s duffels have an exterior, contained shoe compartment. That helps keep the stink and the grime of the gym or the field away from the rest of your gear.
The classic Red Wing Moc-Toe beast with an off-white tred sole. And in a fantastic shade of leather to boot (ha! Get it! ehhhhhh). Goodyear welted. Made in the USA. The kind of boot you wear all the time on your down-time, and come to really appreciate their substantial construction. Go chop some wood (as long as you know how, don’t cut a hand off or anything.)
Workhorse trousers for the office crowd. Six different shades (don’t underestimate shades of blue that aren’t navy, or shades of gray that aren’t pitch dark charcoal) should suffice. Unhemmed. A good deal if you’re near a Nordstrom department store (they do certain alterations for free), and perhaps not AS good of a deal if you’re not.
Socks aren’t just socks. If your feet feel like crap, chances are the rest of you feels like crap too. And SmartWool knows how to prevent that crummy feeling with flexible, breathable wicking wool… in great patterns and colors too. Impulse-buy price point, but if your feet feel sticky, clingy, and swampy towards the end of the day? Give these things a shot.
Gonna reluctantly drop down into the first person here for a few seconds fellas. So bear with me. I’m a reject of the commercial radio enterprise. Never a good fit, wanted it badly, but knew when I was not for it. So I know a little bit about headphones, but not to the point of snob-audiophile. As I type this, I’m on a pair of LSTN head phones (not the same model) and the sound quality is pretty damn good. Way better than the $14.99 a pop ear buds I workout with. AND… they’re gorgeous. The wood exteriors don’t become clutter that you feel the need to clean up when company is coming over. Look, my ears are shot from cranking the volume on far too many reentries from rock songs into traffic reports and well intentioned attempts at creating content for an audience that would never be there. If you’ve got a great ear, they might be terrible. I don’t know. If you’ve got an okay ear? And like the aesthetics and have the cash? They might be worth the investment.
For your Underwear / Sock Drawer
- Nordstrom Supima 4-pk Briefs (navy, grey, black) – $23.90 ($32.50)
- Nordstrom Supima 3-pk Boxer Briefs (grey, black white) – $23.90 ($32.50)
- Nordstrom Wool Blend OVER THE CALF Socks – $9.90 ($14.50)
- Nordstrom Wool Blend Mid-Calf Rib Socks – $7.90 ($12.50)
Thankfully Nordstrom Briefs come in exact waist sizes, instead of the ridiculously ball park S/M/L sizing from other brands that leave way too much (wait for it) wiggle room. Thank you to Nordstrom for not being ballpark about our ball-parks. Meanwhile, for the socks, don’t underestimate the power of over-the-calf wool blend socks. They’re amazing. No slouching as the day wears on, and they’re not too paper thin, but sleek instead of bulky. Lots of colors to pick from.
Just showed up in The Reach. Made in the USA from Monel. Bayonette earpieces aren’t your standard, forgettable ear pieces either. Blue gradient lenses. 55mm. A total splurge that most will give the side eye. And that’s totally understood.
One of the few wingtips that’s absolutely suit worthy. Quick and dirty wingtip history lesson: Brogues (which wingtips are), used to be “country” shoes. Them holes? They used to be functional. They were for drainage when the wearer was stomping across nasty bogs in the country side. So the more perforations used to = the more casual the shoe. But that’s not the case much anymore, and the McAllister is a true Oxford. Making it sleeker than most casual wingtips. And with a decently slim leather sole, that means they’ll look great with suits.
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/unicycle 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.
The 2015 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale runs through August 3rd. After that date, prices on most of the marked down goods should go back up.