All About Timing for this Year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

I could be forgiven for lusting after these Frye boots at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, no?

I could be forgiven for lusting after these Frye boots at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, no?

In shopping, as in love, timing is everything. Being a perpetual hermit and curmudgeon, I don’t feel much qualified to talk about the second these days, but shopping—now that’s a topic on which I can easily discourse.

That’s why I feel okay coming clean about this: I’m not planning on shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year. I know I know, who are you and what have you done with our esteemed blogstress?

Believe me, I’m plenty tempted. In case you don’t know, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is the sale that puts all others to shame, the one that makes other sales say “I admit defeat, I can’t compete.” For the Anniversary Sale, Nordstrom puts the latest fall clothes and shoes (and boots! Oh, boots…) on sale at 30 percent off for about a month. When the sale is over, the clothes shoot up to regular price. Last year I bought almost all my fall work clothes at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Still, here’s where the timing issue comes in. It happens that I’m going on vacation next week. Not just any vacation, mind you, but an overseas one, to celebrate a milestone birthday the figure of which shall not be named. Where am I going? Surely you think Paris and Milan are the logical choices. But no.

Here’s a hint: It’s the land of Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats and James Joyce and Samuel Beckett and Colm Toibin and Colum McCann and U2 and the Pogues, who were only like one of my favorite bands in high school. And I know that when I’m there all the temptations of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale will recede and I’ll want instead to be spending money on wool sweaters made from famed local sheep, and the like. So this year, I took advantage of the Anniversary Sale by, um, restocking my lingerie drawers and called it a day.

One of you is gong to make me a mighty nice scarf. Or sweater. Or both.

One of you is gong to make me a mighty nice scarf. Or sweater. Or both.

However, Nordstrom more than senses my internal struggle. See, when I last checked Facebook, not only was there a sponsored post from Nordstrom, but through the magic of cookies (or some other technology that, if I understood, would mean I’d have the kind of job where I wouldn’t have to think twice about buying a new pair of Fryes), but the post showed the very boots I’ve been jonesing for, and reminded me that time is indeed slipping away. “The Anniversary sale,” it said “only comes once a year.”

Meantime, here are my top picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:

*Mackage wool and leather asymmetrical coat
*Tahari black A-line dress
*Michael Kors pencil dress

The Power of Goodbye

I like to think I’m pretty decent at what I like to call “wardrobe management” — regularly weeding out old clothes to free up closet space.  Though I confess that I am sometimes overly optimistic that I will be able to introduce an old piece back into the rotation, having been successful on a few occasions, the most notable being the Short Gap Black Cardigan Resurrection of 2008.

Still, with my recent realization that I need to have two seasons’ worth of clothes at the ready, I decided to go through my wardrobe with a more critical eye.

It occurred to me that each item I chose to relinquish had a little piece of my life attached; so I figured I’d write the stories down rather than just let them vanish into the re-fashioNYC donation bin situated handily in my basement. So here’s what I gave away.

The olive green prairie skirt, worn in Barcelona. I am also holding a Tumi bag that I just got rid of. It was about 15 years old and didn’t owe me anything anymore.

*An olive green prairie skirt I bought at Loehmann’s for $15 for a 2007 trip to Barcelona. It was perfect for bumming around the gorgeous city by day and wearing to dinner by night.

*A red and black plaid Guess coat I bought on sale at Macy’s for $83 on a spur-of-the-moment trip from Boston to the city.

*Victorian-style boots by Miz Mooz, complete with little buttons up the side that, thankfully, I didn’t actually have to button. I only wore these boots a handful of times, since they turned out to be comfortable only if I was standing still on a plush carpet and had just swallowed a handful of Aleve and washed it down with a martini. Professional organizers say you never even miss the things you throw out, but I am a little sorry I didn’t try these with some gel soles before giving them up.

*A pair of chocolate brown Aldo boots I bought with mom on one of our first outlet trips. I’d gotten three or four seasons out of them, and I was, ahem, just plain sick of them.

*A pair of Louie jeans bought at Anthropologie around 2004 that were my dressy jeans, then my work jeans, then my bumming-around jeans, until I couldn’t demote them any further.

Once you’ve moved across the country– twice– with the same black sweater, it’s time to let it go.

*A black sweater I bought at Banana Republic when I first moved to Phoenix, Arizona. I bought it before I had lived in Arizona long enough to see why sweaters there goon sale for so cheap.

*A pair of grey boots that looked like these beauties (third photo down) but were a fifth of the price. Boy, that style came and went pretty fast.

I wonder whose story these clothes will be part of next.

When You Can’t Wear Aerosoles it’s Time to Pack it in

Time was I thought of Aerosoles shoes as synonymous with old lady feet. I may be wrong about this, but it seemed to me that if you were buying Aerosoles  it was like “Hey on the way to the senior center could we swing by the mall for some Aerosoles?”

Well, seems I’m being punished for turning my once-young nose up at Aerosoles all these years.  Because not too long ago I tried on a pair and found the heels were too high. That’s right, the heels on Aerosoles were too high.

Another love lost. Photo courtesy of Aerosoles.

I was spending a weekend afternoon running errands, when a sale sign in the window of an Aerosoles store caught my eye. Inside, I spotted them. The cutest-ever, and I mean EVER, pair of wedge shoes in the Oxford style that’s so hot this fall, but with a little panel cut out of each side, the perfect summer-to-fall transition shoe. The absolute best thing about them was their purple-red color, what some might call “merlot” or “cabernet.”

The saleswoman even offered to knock an extra something-something off the sale price since I’d be buying the display pair. I put them on, excited, and stood up to strut around the store.

Only, I couldn’t strut. My ankle wobbled. My knees bent to keep me from pitching forward. I took a turn around the store, then admitted defeat. Even Aerosoles-AEROSOLES- with their soft, cushy soles were too high and hip for me. I trudged out of the store thinking “if you’re too old for Aerosoles, you’re really old.”

One thing I did learn though, is that there is a lovely wine color that’s showing up on shoes right now and I plan to drink deep– I just have to find the right pair.

I did spot these Frye beauties at Nordstrom recently, in a color elegantly named bordeaux. Still, i’m not in the market for boots this season and at Frye prices there would be no way to shut up my Really Irritating Internal Voice (RIIV) even if I were Just to try them on. Just to see how they looked, of course.

So: Fall shoes in bordeaux/merlot/cabernet. Stylish but not too high. In my (somewhat meager) price range. Let the quest begin.