Happy happy Friday! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is finally open to the public, with always free domestic shipping and return shipping! I’ve rounded up several new reviews (including a fab petite leather jacket find!), along with some more pre-Fall outfit inspo. Please also refer to my first post of reviews – there’s several work-appropriate designer deals like these beautiful, slender Tory Burch flats and Kate Spade leather tote (fits a laptop) still in stock!
Onto this first look: you guys wanted more athleisure, and what better way to make a scrubby gym outfit look more publicly-acceptable than with a cute striped cardigan on top? I usually avoid the kids department – it’s easy to be lured in by the lower prices and little sizes, but the proportions & details are rarely right for grown women! This cardigan actually worked because it’s a slouchier fit with sloped shoulders, and wasn’t cut as short and wide like most kids sweaters (on the other hand, a few other pieces I tried in the same brand and size were comically bad on me).
I’m wearing XL (14-16) in this cardigan which just got restocked, and found it to fit similar to a womens’ XS. The material is nothing to write home about, but I loved the classic wide stripes, the length, and of course the pockets! Swap in a pair of mules or ballet flats for a more refined look, and you can also dress this cardigan up for work over a pencil skirt or pair of ankle pants. Here are here are two pretty similar and affordable striped cardigan options available in adult sizing.
I’m lucky to have my cousin now living in Boston – although we’re the same size, we tend to gravitate towards different looks (with hers being a little edgier). These slip-on mules are not my typical style, but I loved them on her with this tunic and wanted to share!
Halogen leopard loafers sz 5.5 (also in solid black or tan)
These run about half size small/short in length. My cousin’s size 5.5 fit me well. I also tried on a 6 which were fine in length, but a little too wide on my feet.
Caslon tunic top xxsp (I got the pink!)
This comfy knit tunic looks so much better worn & “styled” than it does in the drab online photo! I disagree with the 1 reviewer so far, and thought the dolman sleeves were actually what made this top. Fit is true to size and I love that the back length covers the tush, for wearing with leggings. Tuck in the front center and scrunch up the sleeves for an effortless look.
BP Tale suede mules sz 5.5 (under $50!)
I reviewed these last week, and they’re still well-stocked! They do run a bit small – I’m usually between 5 and 5.5 and found the latter to fit best, after trying on a few different sizes.
Halogen cashmere vest, one size
Note the “one size” shoulders are a little wide on someone my size, but overall not too noticeable due to the light-weightiness and drape of the cashmere. I can see this layered over a tee with pants, skirts with boots, skinny jeans, and of course…leggings! I grabbed this camel one for my mom, who usually wears XSP.
So there we have three different ways to style the Zella live-in leggings that I actually pretty much live in (here’s a fourth way, that I recently wore to the airport!). As mentioned before, I absolutely love how these “hold” you in at the tummy and don’t lose their shape, but they’re loooong so don’t be surprised when you put them on and there’s another leg of length dangling! A hem job was straightforward (under $10 by my tailor), and it was worth it to get leggings at the perfect length.
Halogen wool cashmere poncho in petite length
Fit: As a poncho enthusiast (all the drapey knits, please!), I was stoked that this was part of the sale and comes in a petite length. I still think it’s a little long though on my 5′ tall frame. The 70% wool, 30% cashmere blend is just wonderfully soft and cozy (not itchy like some wool blends), so I’d highly recommend the petites size to someone a little taller. I can see this looking super chic with tall boots, ankle booties, flats, and loafers alike! FYI, double check in your cart at checkout that it says “petite” after the color name, otherwise you have the regular length. You can click “edit” within your cart to go in and select regular or petite – if you don’t see a choice for petite anymore, it’s probably sold out.
Halogen Scarlett OTK Boot 5.5
Fit: True to size, shaft is on the slim side but isn’t fitted against the legs like SW boots. I own last year’s version of these (see them on me), which is pretty similar except those have a higher heel and almond-shaped toe. Like my old pair, the shaft is cut fairly straight up and down, different from the Stuart Weitzman styles which are made of stretchy, fitted suede that hugs your leg curves. I agree with fellow reviewers that the suede quality is not the best, also I personally prefer almond-shaped toes.
DL1961 Ankle Skinny Jeans sz 23 ($78 off!)
I’ve posted about DL1961 before – they make great stretchy, skinny jeans but note I usually size down to a 23 with their denim. This dark olive pair in size 23 fits like a glove and is just ~ 1.5″ long on me, so the hem is cuffed up here.
Halogen 3/4 Sleeve Cashmere Cardigan
This sweater is another one of those pieces that I thought looked better on the body than in the stock photo! The first pic online makes it look straight and rectangular cut, whereas it’s actually more of a stylish cocoon shape (better depicted in the last pic online). The 3/4 sleeves means full-length on petite ladies (with no rolling up needed), and the cashmere is light and comfortable.
While I was trying this on in-store, several ladies flocked over to come check it out, and I thought it looked nice on a variety of body types! It’s a good layer to keep around in an AC’d office. Note if you wear a patterned shirt underneath like I did here, the pattern might show through the thinner sweater material.
Leopard scarf – this sold out quickly and just got restocked on backorder for early August. If you missed out the first time … do. not. hesitate!! This was one of my favorite finds, and at under $12 it’s a no-brainer. I was iffy about the leopard print since it can easily go wrong down tacky avenue, but this one exceeded my expectations. It’s lightweight in a gauzy, linen-like blend (looks better in-person), is the perfect size for tossing around your neck, and the print goes with so much.
For those who asked about washing this Barefoot Dreams cardigan, I machine washed and dried mine on medium heat and it did not shrink. It might though on high heat, if you’re attempting to do so for a smaller fit!
Gibson ruffle hem top xxsp
Gibson has churned out some solid quality tops this year for both work and casualwear (the knotted one is still one my all time faves – see it on me). This swingy, ruffle-hem top is so cute, and would be business casual appropriate worn with slim ankle pants. This is not a thin or flimsy top – it almost feels like ponte but lighter in weight. Unless you like a looser fit, I’d recommend trying a size down because my usual size here felt roomy (especially when compared to their knotted top)!
Petite-friendly leather jackets are always a big reader request, come Fall. My cousin was shopping for one, so I got to try on quite the variety to review and compare for you guys!
Halogen Leather Jacket xxsp ($100 off!!)
This first one was the winner for her – it was the weightiest, thickest and warmest leather jacket out of all the ones I tried on, and very nice quality! The online photo looks shiny and almost scaly, but in-person the leather is matte and supple. My iphone selfie photos above really don’t do it justice. I love the matte black zippers instead of traditional metal, and the collar can be worn upright (forgot to take a photo) or more folded down like I have it here.
Overall fit of an xxsp was pretty good on me (sleeves are surprisingly not too wide which is usually my peeve), and would be perfect styled over a mock or turtleneck sweater and skinny jeans or leggings. My only qualm would be that the pockets felt a little small for my hands. This is one of the few items that actually just got fully restocked this morning (including in xxsp) after selling out earlier, so don’t linger on this one for long!
Caslon Leather Jacket xxsp
This next jacket is medium in weight, lighter than the Halogen one above but not thin or flimsy. The leather is a little more soft and pliable. The sizing feels similar to the Halogen one, but because the leather isn’t as thick, the sleeve width feels roomier on me. The pockets here are placed comfortably, also the lapel backside is also lined in leather (I’ve seen some brands take a shortcut and line it in fabric, which cheapens the look with a fold-over lapel like this one).
Halogen Flats sz 5 in pewter
I’m not sure if these are a keep. I loved the Halogen lace-up flats from last year’s sale, but these ankle tie ones are a little stiff in the soles and the ties pull a bit at my ankles.
Halogen Leather Moto Jacket xxsp (also in black)
Next up we have this leather jacket in a straighter, more cropped silhouette. The leather is in the same weight and softness as the one above. Note this one does not have pockets, as the zipper detailing that looks like pockets is actually decorative and goes all the way around the backside. The soft pink is very pretty, but I’d stick to black for lower maintenance!
BLANKNYC Faux Leather Jacket xs
As a budget-friendly “vegan” leather option, this is the Blank NYC jacket that I’ve featured regularly on here in black. Black is still available (read my review) at regular price, while this pink and taupe are shades included in sale.
Olivia Moon Knit Tie-Sleeve Blazer xxsp
I’m bummed this blazer just sold out, but it doesn’t hurt to check for pop backs! I love a good knit blazer with the comfort of a sweatshirt, and the tie sleeve detail here just takes it to the next level. This is in a thicker weight knit and lined, and the overall cut is sleek, flattering and boyfriend-style in length (a little longer). The few reviews mention it runs big but I actually thought the petites was true to size. Here’s another sale knit blazer by the same brand with preppy elbow patches, currently stocked in small petite sizes.
Caslon Knit Blazer xxsp
Another comfortable knit blazer option in 100% cotton – this one is a good basic, but feels plain in comparison next to that cute tie-sleeve one above. Note this one is unlined and is machine washable. It’s an open front style, so size down for a more fitted and tailored look.
On the beauty front, there’s SO many good value sets & exclusives still in stock! Except for the Nars lip set, most of the products above are in my regular rotation and were reviewed at the bottom of my original post, so please read there! My favorite Stila Liner & Lipcolor Set didn’t make it to public access last year, so I’m glad they made enough to go around this time! I’m wearing the lipcolor in all my pictures here – even the smaller tube lasts me a while.
Nars Velvet matte lipstick pencil set (2 color scheme options)
The Nars limited edition lip pencil set was something I treated myself to after testing out all the colors. Both bold and neutral options were beautiful, but I went with more vibrancy for summertime. I have difficult, dry and flaky lips and their velvet matte pencil formula is one of the best I’ve found for a matte but non-drying look and a precise application (a favorite of mine is “red square,” the perfect, punchy red-orange). The regular price tag of $27 per pencil is painful and I much prefer a twist-up lipstick over something that needs to be sharpened, but trust me, it’s good! The pencils in this reds and pinks set come out to about $14 and change each (and includes a sharpener), so nearly half the price. I brought this on our recent travels, and will show some of the colors on me soon!
I restocked on some Estee Lauder skincare for my mom and aunts, and wanted to point out a double gift with purchase situation! Below is the free gift with any $45+ purchase (enter your choice of code FIRM or PROTECT at checkout) – not bad at all! And in the above picture, the bottom left corner is the bonus gift you get with any $100+ purchase.
Free gift set with any $45+ Estee Lauder purchase, use code FIRM
I got one of these sets as a gift and another for our home. The packaging is so pretty, like a macaron box. Yes these candles are small, as some reviewers mentioned, but what I love about Diptyque is that their scents really fill and penetrate the area. I burn my candles for a short period each time, and the scent lasts for hours! These are 1.2 oz and $11 each, compared to Diptyque’s regular 2.4 oz candles that are $34 each.
Hinge Square Silk Scarf (2 colors)
This generously-sized, 100% silk scarf was love at first try-on and would also make a great gift. It works as a wrap, too, to keep your shoulders warm at weddings or parties. The slightly muted “vintage blooms” pattern is gorgeous, reminiscent of designer silk scarves at several times the price. And those little navy tassels!
You might notice there’s a lot of delicates like cashmere and silk in this year’s sale. This might sound like a money suck for dry cleaning, but I’ve actually been washing those materials at home for a long time now either by hand or in the delicates cycle in cold water, using this fragrance-free, hypoallergenic wash. You only need a little bit, and can also use it as a spot treatment for stains before putting items in the wash. I NEVER put delicates in the machine dryer, which is the usual culprit for damage. For sweaters, silk, or even ripped jeans going into the wash, I also always use one of these delicates bags, which is the perfect roomy size and does not shrivel up or tear like many of my wash bags from other brands.
I hope these reviews are helpful! I got several requests for menswear, so stay tuned for some guest reviews from Nick next week. I also know several of you shopped early and got your orders in already, so please share in the comments about any noteworthy hits and misses!