Your Complete Guide to the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

So, there’s this little event coming up called the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. You may have heard of it?  😂 Well, consider this your complete guide for how to shop the #NSale.

Right now half of you are clapping your hands together in glee while the other half are swearing off all blogs and social media until August 8th, when the earth is once again centered on its axis.

I get it, I really do. I like to say the #NSale is half sport, half shopping extravaganza. Even though it’s gone off the rails in the last few years, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is still the best time to stock up on cold weather basics and new fall trends at excellent prices.

As your self-proclaimed girlfriend who keeps you in the know about all things fashion, it would be wrong of me to ignore such an epic sale, so I’ll definitely be covering it again this year. But first . . .

What Is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?

First of all, this is NOT a summer clearance sale.

This is brand new fall 2021 merchandise, brought out specifically for this sale, and immediately reduced. We’re talking brands like Tory Burch, Stuart WeitzmanMadewell, Vince, Barefoot Dreams, Mother Denim, and more. Savings are usually 30-40% off retail, making this is the best time to stock up on high-quality basics like cashmere, boots, and denim, that will last over multiple years and seasons.

When is the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?

I was hoping they would run the sale in August, as they did last year due to Covid. But alas, the #NSale has been moved back to July. Hey, I don’t set the dates. I just report them! #dontshootthemessenger

I’m never in the mood to think about fall fashion in July, but I’m always glad I did when cold weather rolls around. As many of you know from my What I Wore Lately posts, a large portion of my fall/winter wardrobe staples that I wear all season long are items I purchase during the #NSale in the dead of summer.

These Are the Dates To Know:

Here’s How It Works

Everyone will have the ability to preview all #NSale items online starting on July 6, 2021. You will be able to save your favorites to your Wish List, so you can check out faster when it’s your time to shop.

Cardholders get to shop first, so if you don’t have one and you’re a frequent Nordstrom shopper, it’s worth considering, but make the decision that is right for you. While items do sell fast, they often get restocked later in the fall, so there will be more opportunities down the line.

Icon members can start shopping on July 12, Ambassadors on July 14, and all cardholders on July 16. (Follow this link and log-in to find out your status.) You’ll also earn Rewards points while you shop. (Every 2,000 points gets you a $20 Nordstrom Note to use online or in-store at a later date.) The #NSale opens to the public on July 28 and ends for everyone on August 8, 2021.

In Canada? Your preview starts July 19, and everyone can shop on July 28. Nordy Club Ambassadors get to shop early, and you can sign in to your account to learn about your benefits, or join The Nordy Club and get benefits when you shop.

I already have an appointment at my local store on July 12, and I’ll bring you along with me! I do my best to be a  resource for you all, and I like to be on the ground so I can show you what I find and get lots of pictures. That said, I recommend shopping online for the best selection. See more on that below.

How to Prepare for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

#1. Sign up for The Nordy ClubAs I said above, I highly recommend the credit card as well, if you aren’t opposed to having another card, because the credit card is your ticket to Early Access. But at the very least, sign up for The Nordy Club so you can earn rewards as you shop.

#2. Schedule a Personal Double Points Day during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Then be sure to make your biggest purchases that day to maximize your rewards points earning potential!

#3. Join my JLS Insiders Facebook Group. This is where I share of-the-moment information, restocks, etc. Plus, you have access to me and other members who are shopping the sale to give you insights into fit and sizing.

If you aren’t on Facebook, never fear! I will still be posting plenty of #NSale coverage here on the blog. See #4.

#4. Sign up for my email newsletter. This way you’ll be the first to know when my #NSale posts go live on the blog. I’ll be posting my #NSale Preview as soon as the preview period starts on July 6, and of course, I’ll be updating my Best of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and #NSale Try-On Haul posts for 2021.

I’m already familiar with their brands and pricing structure, so my goal is to help you navigate the #NSale without getting overwhelmed. I know this sale well, and I can let you know what the truly good deals are and what not to miss out on. I really try to be a resource for you all during this sale, so if there’s anything I can do to help make it easier for you, let me know.

#5. Make a shopping list, and have a plan to shop the most popular items first. This is the time to go through your fall/winter wardrobe — and summer too, because there are always some great wear now-and-later pieces that are part of the sale — and make a list of things you need or want to add to your closet.

How to Shop the #NSale

#1. Shop early and often. Popular items sell out quickly, and they can disappear from your cart while you’re making up your mind. I always recommend checking out multiple times. If you KNOW you want something, purchase that first. Then go back and take your time and start sorting through the rest.

#2. Shop online and choose the Contactless Curbside Pickup option. This is the best way to avoid the chaos and crowds AND get the things you want immediately.

If you have a store that’s local to you, you can place and order and pick it up same day. Of course, not all stores carry the full #NSale inventory, so you may have to wait for some items to ship.

#3. Buy 2 sizes. If ever in doubt, buy two sizes and return the one that doesn’t work for you. I promise you, you will thank me later for this advice. The hottest items will sell out within the first few hours (no joke), and if you wait to get your order, find out you need a different size, and go to re-order, it may not be available.

#4. Pay for expedited shipping. In recent years, this sale has become so popular that the computers can’t always keep up with how fast the inventory is moving, and sometimes people will check out and then later on receive an email that items from their order were canceled.

So, if there are any items you really want and are worried that they’ll sell out before your order is processed, pay for the next day or two-day shipping. Your order will get processed more quickly, and it is less likely to get canceled.

Obviously, this cuts into your savings, but if it’s a high ticket item, or you have a few things in your cart, it may be worth paying a little bit more to ensure you get your order.

#5. Finally, have fun! You guys, this is a sale. My best advice is to look at it like a game.

You may not get all the pieces you want, and yes, those with higher cardholder statuses get first dibs… whether or not you agree with that, it is what it is. There will be more sales, more clothes, more boots, more bargains.

Go in with a positive attitude, have fun with it, and at the end of the day, you may walk away with a few great deals on new fall items.

And remember, a lot of #NSale items get restocked during the fall season as people make returns, and they do go on sale again eventually, so if you miss out on something you really want, just keep an eye on it  you may get lucky later on!

Former Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Best-Sellers

I thought it might be fun to round up some of my best selling items from past years, along with some of the items that quickly became some of my tried-and-true. I still have and love all of these.

Vince Sweater // Good American Good Legs Crops

rag & bone Dre Slim Fit Ankle Boyfriend Jeans // Vince Camuto Gradina Block Heel Bootie

 Spanx Perfect Black Pants // ATM cheetah tee

Marc Fisher Oshay booties

ATM cheetah tee // Caslon leather jacket // Vince boots

Eileen Fisher sleeveless knit dress

Nordstrom Signature V-Neck Cashmere Sweater

Nordstrom Signature Open Front Cashmere Cardigan


The North Face Miss Metro II Water Repellent Hooded Parka

Vince Henderson Weatherproof Chelsea Boot

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021.

Stick with me, kid. I’ve gotcha covered!

For The Pinners…

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5 thoughts on “Your Complete Guide to the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

  1. I’m excited for the NSale as always, but why did they back it up into July? Who even wants to look at Fall clothing so early?! We are only now wearing proper summer clothes as we had such a cool Spring—no complaints about that for sure. I live in TN, btw.

    I LOVE, love, love your blog. It’s my favorite!

  2. Okay, I just spent about 15 minutes looking over the NSale preview on the Nordstrom site and they have a Treasure & Bond sweater marked down that I bought a couple weeks ago for my recent vacation. Then I started looking closer and saw many things that have been on their website for a while they are now part of the Anniversary Sale. How is this new fall merchandise? I feel more “duped” by this overhyped sale every year.
    ……That said, I’m looking forward to seeing YOUR coverage of it because what I really want to know is what the new fall trends are and what the new styles will look like because I can’t see anything different right now online.
    So “girlfriend,” I want to see your picks! 😉

    1. There are definitely some repeat styles, I think they were really popular, and Nordstrom knows they will sell. There are a lot of newer things too, but some are hard to tell how they will actually fit – as in, the measurements and the way they look on the models don’t make sense. I think it will be interesting to actually try things on. I’ll do my best to try as much on as possible. 🙂

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