Eileen Fisher side slit pants | (small) $91 during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Rag & Bone linen tee
Everlane form sandals
Happy Monday!! As I mentioned last week, I ordered three things from the Nordstrom anniversary sale: these Eileen Fisher pants in small, Beyond Yoga quilted leggings in medium, and Spanx long shorts. Here are my thoughts:
- I like the fit of these pants, in general, but besides being “over” Eileen’s viscose jersey generally (I prefer natural fabrics lately), I was conflicted about the side slits (mostly towards the negative), and I really felt like the material was more flimsy than my other viscose Eileen Fisher pieces, and felt sort of “cheaper”. I took them back.
- Same with the Beyond Yoga leggings – I am familiar with the brand and have always appreciated the thick, compressive fabric (that is made in the US). These ARE NOT THICK OR COMPRESSIVE. Yes, the medium may be too big for me, but just in general, the material is thinner than it should be, and even than other Beyond Yoga pants. I kept them, and wore them this morning to Pure Barre, and they were okay. They feel like you’re not really wearing anything, which I don’t like, because that means they’re not compressive at all, and they were fine, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them.
- The spanx shorts are okay. Not anything special. I’m not sure why I got them, really…
I’ve mentioned before, and so have many of you, that quite a few of the “designer” items that pop-up during the anniversary sale are made exclusively FOR the sale – for Nordstrom. It seems largely true; you can’t find most of the pieces on other sites or even the designer’s sites, for sale. What this generally means, at least for outlet pieces, is that the items are sub-par, and “different” than what the designer produces as part of their regular collection. Now,based on my experience with these two pieces specifically, I’m inclined to think this is true for items produced sold during the Nordstrom anniversary sale.
I don’t have a lot of experience, honestly, because I really don’t shop this sale – I mean, I do shop it, obviously, but I NEVER end up keeping much of anything. I’ve found the James Perse items I have tried on, and/or bought and returned, to be of similar quality to items I purchase directly from the brand, but otherwise, I have never bought much at the NAS (as it’s called nowadays), and in the future, will probably pass on it altogether.
And now that I think about it, even the Hanky Panky undies I purchased last year and the year before at the NAS seem to fall apart faster than ones I’ve purchased in years past. Ugh.
This sale has become so hyped, that I suppose Nordstrom has to do it this way, but I wish they’d just take a regular delivery and discount items for a period of time instead of having designers create certain items with a PRICE POINT in mind, to sell quickly. Not that there’s any “evidence” of that – I am only speculating based on experience – but still, where there’s smoke. You know?
What has your experience been with the Nordstrom anniversary sale? Have you been happy with your purchases in years past? Have you noticed any difference in quality?
I have no doubt that designers create “special” (more inexpensively made) versions of their lines for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Eileen Fisher does it for Macy’s. At this point, whenever I see a design at a large-market department store that says “exclusive to [x retailer]” I go on alert and avoid that item.
Anyway, I’m just in a shopping funk where everything mass-produced is making me queasy, but I can’t seem to find anything I want to buy or wear that doesn’t cost $400. I have a couple of things on order from Black Crane to try out, because I am tired of wearing the same three dresses to work everyday, but we’ll see.
I haven’t shopped the NAS in a while, for all of the reasons you’ve mentioned. Typically I do look forward to checking out some of the boutiques in my area while the sale is ongoing, because sometimes they will have early mark-downs as part of a “shop local” campaign to compete with the excitement around the Nordstrom event. (I live in a medium sized city and Nordstrom is definitely the most upscale national retail chain in our metro. The sale is hugely popular here because we’re a LCOL city, so the MSRP price point on many Nordstrom items seems unreasonable outside of the sale. I cannot overstate the NAS hype in my city).
It’s just so blistering hot (and, worse, humid!) this summer, I don’t feel like visiting any local shops let alone trying on clothes. Several weeks ago I ordered the vintage jersey skirt from James Perse in heather grey, and I love it. I’ve worn it at least twice/week. It’s perfect for hot, humid weather. Loose-fitting, and on me it falls just above the knee. It’s not part of the JP sale, unfortunately… but I may order it in carbon as well regardless, because I’ve found it so useful this year. Other than that I’ve bought very little this season – two ES tops and a pair of jeans that I won’t be able to wear for a couple of months, probably. I guess that’s not a bad thing?
I’m not very experienced with NAS either but I did buy a Longchamp expandable tote bag at this year’s sale which i really LOVE. I read that it’s a Nordstrom “exclusive” (?) and is now sold out. I think it’s very good quality and have been using it for the past 10 days w/out any quality issues 🙂 I also bought some makeup sets but otherwise, nothing else was very appealing to me either.
btw, Grechen, I really love how you styled your white top w/the black lingerie underneath.
Every year I want that expandable tote bag and every year it sells out (I am not a cardholder so don’t get early access)…. it does seem to be a Nordstrom exclusive which is fine with me…. guess I will go for early access next year and then cancel my card….. Good to hear you like the bag, seems terrific!
I also got this bag – the last one at my store. I think I lucked out because my husband is an employee and we had to wait until 2pm on Friday to shop and got in on Saturday Afternoon. I wasn’t even looking for it and there was one left hanging on a random fixture. I made it mine and love it so far. I got the in bag organizer Grechen talked about last week and it works so well in there.
Mary Beth says
I appreciate this post so much. I hate all the hype around the NAS and mostly avoid it. I’ve just come off a no-spend year and I’ve come to realize that I don’t appreciate being marketed to so much (and I’ve learned I enjoy living with less). You are probably right in all your suspicions.
I ordered a couple things this weekend that should arrive Wed (well, one sweater today). Kiehls hand lotion (I love and try to buy on sale), Eileen Fisher dress, Moving Comfort bra (my favorite style, and a good price – I used to buy at Sierra Trading Post but since TJMaxx/Marshalls bought them, they haven’t had the great deals on actual closeouts….) and a pair of comfort shoes. I anticipate sending at least one thing back 😉
Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 says
I have absolutely found this to be true with outlet/factory items. I used to get so excited to shop J Crew/Gap/Coach outlets but couldn’t figure out why people would get so excited about stiff, boxy items and always ended up buying (or drooling over) the rare finds that were not stocked in multiple options (often, returns from a season bygone that had no place on the proper showroom floors any longer). I pretty much avoid them. The only exception I can think of is one pair of straight Gap jeans I bought from their outlet in law school (already 15 years ago? Oy) and they were this amazing, soft, almost Tencel-like material. I never found it again (outlet or actual store), and they did fall apart faster than my denim jeans. But they were the most flattering and comfortable jeans I’ve ever purchased from Gap. (Still, I think we properly apply the “exception proves rule” adage to them.)
Nordstrom is less than a mile from my house, so I’m there a lot. I love Nordstrom and their customer service, however, I’ve become increasingly disappointed with the selection of clothing (even non-sale items) and go more for the shoes, cosmetics and basics. I bought a few things at the NAS, but I’ve returned them all but for a Theory sweater and slip dress. This seems to happen every year with me…I buy, I return. It is so hyped and convenient for me so I succumb, yet I’m always disappointed in the quality and generic styling. To me, the sale price is actually the right price for the quality, not what the full price is suppose to be. Mass produced items hold little interest for me, so maybe I won’t even go next year.
I agree with this so much! Outlet shopping is really big where I live in Texas, and I feel like the stores just take advantage of people, because everything is sub-par quality. I used to shop at the LOFT and Ann Taylor outlets when I was teaching, and a sales employee actually told me that, for their outlet stores, they take last season’s bestselling items and make them over in the current season’s colors to sell at the outlet. Also, I remember being so excited years ago when I was in my early 20s and Vera Wang’s line for Kohl’s debuted. I went the first day, and everything was already marked down 25%. That’s when it finally hit me how much clothing is artificially marked up, so it only looks like you are saving money when they print the receipt that says, “You saved (this much) today!” Now that I shop ethically, I don’t pay attention to sales much and only buy things when I need them. I tend to shop at Nordstrom for beauty products, mostly.
Gloria, I also got the same bag organizer. Isn’t it great?! Glad you were able to snag the bag 🙂
definitely look out for it next year, Margaret during the early access. I am really loving this bag.
You look faaaab and have given me the green light to try a black bra under a sheer white tee!
My experience with the Nordstrom Anniversary sale was a score. 2 years ago I got a Burberry P coat at a great price so maybe you have to look for items that are not seasonal. The coat is excellent quality; fabric, cut and buttons with all the Burberry bells and whistles. You would approve as it is a black and off white buffalo plaid.
I think I have griped about this before, but I really, really dislike that brands will produce lower-quality items for venues like the NAS. If I’m buying an Eileen Fisher (or whatever) dress, I expect it to have Eileen Fisher quality. If I wanted something else, I would buy a different brand. I’d go to Old Navy or Banana Republic if I wanted cheaply made crap. I buy certain brands because I’ve been happy with quality/fit/style in the past, and because I’m somewhat lazy I tend to gravitate to things that have worked well, but if a brand annoys me like that, they’ve not only lost me on that particular marked-down sale, but I’m unlikely to buy from them again. And having to worry that buying Eileen Fisher (or JP or whatever) from Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s means I’m getting something inferior means I’m just less and less likely to buy anything at all from those stores. Harrumph!
(It’s hot. I’m cranky.)
Grechen Reiter says
totally agree – that said, before i realized that the JP pieces i was buying at last call, rack, etc. were made exclusively for the outlets, i bought those pieces and felt like the quality was still good. i still have/wear a jp t-shirt that’s more than 5 years old and in wonderful condition that was made in guatemala for last call.
i’ve never bought eileen fisher other than from eileen fisher, and maybe one or two pieces from nordstrom, so i can’t compare quality across retailers. all i can say about the pants i ordered is that they seemed thinner and more flimsy than my two other viscose jersey eileen fisher items i purchased directly from the store. it could be that the fabric is changing, which isn’t unheard of, or it could also be that i’m just done with viscose jersey. i like the pieces i have okay, but i really prefer cotton or linen lately – it just feels more “me” i guess.
anyway, i agree, and hate it when quality changes (AHEM, Everlane)
all the more reason to buy small i guess. when/if you can. i could definitely do better at that…
Grechen Reiter says
ha, thanks gena !
i do love a classic burberry coat!
the NAS is really great for some things i think – beauty specifically – like if you use kiehl’s creme de corps it’s a great time to stock up…
Grechen Reiter says
i’m feeling the same way, about mass-produced items – it all looks the same lately. boring. and i too am tired of buying and returning. i do it every year, when will i learn??
Grechen Reiter says
thanks henny – i don’t have much of a choice with this shirt, it’s so sheer you’ll see anything underneath it lol – so i might as well make it pretty 🙂
moongazer 9 says
I know, I know….I do it every year too and say that I won’t next year, but then I do. Seems I haven’t learned yet. Glad I’m not alone. 🙂
Grechen Reiter says
oh, what are you trying from black crane? i hope you have some good luck finally !! 🙂
agree on the pricing. even i’m finding it stunning lately. and that seems to be saying a lot. lol
My NAS keepers were the boiled wool EF jacket in the color Sea Salt. It is thick and lucious and great quality. Also the face palette from Hourglass.
The Hanky Panky panties were HORRIBLE and an ugly neon orangish color which was NOT what the online photo showed. Didn’t even take them out of their package. Sent back the next day.
Then I went through my shoes and boots and decided my tall dark brown boots were not worn last year because I don’t like them anymore…so over buckles…and I ordered some Vince Cameo boots in “I hope” a nice dark brown color. I will get them on Wednesday…and that’s it for me this year.
I am also over the viscose jersey items from EF. They pill and are just too thin most of the time. Still love my harem pants though!! I would never buy another NAS item from a certain brand if I had quality issues, or color issues as in the panties above. In years past I have gotten some beautiful bargains. A Tria Turk cocoon coat, Philip Lim 3.1 big Pashli bag that I’ve carried daily for 2 years (or is it 3) as my work briefcase, and it looks brand new. Some nice EF wool sweaters.
But 3 items is average for what I’ve bought each summer. I don’t buy trendy items, and like many here, I am trying to buy more thoughtfully and with fewer numbers of items.
Vince Camuto boots (stupid autocorrect).
I did know the down low on the outlet stores, but I had no idea that the large US stores have product made especially for their sales. Wow! I do not normally shop from big department stores, unless there is a NEED (i.e. similar product not available elsewhere), and I do not normally buy product on sale that I would not be prepared to buy at full price, but this information is really troubling. So product is not only made more cheaply, but also by manufacturers in countries they don’t normally use, for “sale” purposes? These are not “sale” items, then. And if they suggest it is, it is fraud.
So sad to hear that you returned the EF pants as they are super cute on you! So cute that I almost bought a pair! I would agree overall that the NAS is overhyped. With that said, I am a huge fan of their Nordstrom Rack stores. I live near Palm Springs and our access to the big name stores is very limited. The Rack in Palm Desert is my lifesaver. Lots of very high-end designers that are discounted.
Grechen Reiter says
i don’t have direct EVIDENCE to support the idea that these items are made specifically for the sale, but more and more it appears that way. what is different is that the EF and JP items for the NAS (too many acronyms?? LOL) are still made in the US – unlike the ones made for outlets.
you know i can’t quit JP even though, yes, they produce their outlet items in different factories 🙁
and BTW, i saw a table full of splendid items at costco the other day. they were NOT made in the US, and averaged about $15-$16. i was so disappointed. splendid has ALWAYS made everything in the US, so to see them producing much, much cheaper items for costco is really disheartening.
Grechen Reiter says
thanks edie – i did like the way they fit, just not how thin/flimsy the fabric felt, and honestly, i wasn’t sure about the slit up the leg! it felt too 90’s, in a bad way 😉
i used to love it when i could find good designers discounted at rack, but all the ones i’ve been in lately have been off-brand and very cheap pieces. full of things that are produced explicitly for rack, not items that come from the stores like they used to be.
I’m going to copy you with a JP sheer white tee shirt from the recent sale. I had been thinking of doing it but wasn’t brave enough (!), but now that I see how you did it, I’m going for it! 🙂
Grechen Reiter says
haha! you should do it. i have to be honest, i don’t wear this top out when i’m with my stepson because it feels sort of inappropriate, so i just wear it out with friends or whatever. i love it though, with the black bra (it’s hanky panky, just a bralette from a zillion years ago) underneath.
I’m trying these three things:
We’ll see! I am suspicious of “one size fits all” sizing though…but they are all returnable! I “think” I may have finally learned that final sale lesson. 😉
I went to my local Nordstrom this weekend and felt meh about everything. I did pick up the foldable leather Longchamp but I’m still on the fence about it (I really don’t need it). When I was looking at the tote, the salesperson kept trying to show me the original price and tell me what a deal the sale price was. I held my tongue from explaining to her what a special purchase was. Back in the day I do recall department stores were more upfront about marking items as a value or special purchases (items brought in for the sale). Now I feel like the price now and price later is very misleading as many of those items will go straight to the Rack and never be sold at the so called “later” price. Also people will buy items at this sale as well as from TJ Maxx/The Rack, etc. and then attempt to sell on Poshmark for higher than what they purchased it for. This really bothers me as you may buy something on resale that isn’t up to the quality level. I typically disclose when I sell if I bought something from an outlet. That said, the raincoat I bought last year at NAS was perfect for travel and I have no regrets buying it at the anniversary sale price (it’s available again this year – only during NAS).
Tried on a few things, wasn’t feeling very excited about any of it. This, in turn, made me a little bummed out as I’m not in the best of shape right now. Then I remembered how much I love all my other recent purchases from indie designers like Miranda Bennett and Rachel Craven.
Beyond Yoga! I have one pair bought in a rush because I forgot my clothes for Pilates and wow, so soft, comfy, flattering and stays put. Mine was regular price from Neimans. Also, I do like this look on you (even if you’re not happy with the pant).
Lisa M says
I, for one, actually spent way too much at this year’s sale. I did not, however, buy any clothing. Until two years ago, I pretty much just bought Alexis Bittar jewelry at the sale. The pieces were always of the same quality as his other jewelry. Alas, Bittar has been absent from the sale (and until very recently, Nordstrom entirely) for the past two years. Last year I was still in mourning over the lack of Bittar. This year I bought a ton of beauty products- either things I’ve always wanted to try that were too expensive, or products I already use every day. No noticeable difference in the quality there. Also, I have actually seen many unsold Anniversary Sale pieces at full price after the sale. Whether or not they’re worth the higher price is another discussion. As for the Rack, I am lucky that while I have to drive 2 hours to get to the nearest location, my store gets tons of the high end designer pieces that actually came from Nordstrom. I hate it when you only find pieces made exclusively for the outlet, which is more and more frequent. Overall, I am a Nordy Girl through-and-through.
I’ve only purchased exclusive makeup sets from the NAS, which are of the same quality. But I don’t think I’ve purchased clothes. I WAS thinking of getting a pair of suede booties for fall, but now I’m going to take a closer look! Dang!!! It sounds like your theory is correct!
Report back and tell us how you like them! I love Black Crane!!!
I tried the other day but just couldn’t do it…I’m too worried about what other people will think (and gossip about me!!!), but I think it’s a sexy look!
Do you think that Splendid actually IS producing these or could they be fraudulent knockoffs?!?
Grechen Reiter says
i think splendid really produced them 🙁
I love Nordstrom, but the frenzy over the sale is too much! I feel like I HAVE to buy something and it’s the middle of the summer, so I don’t totally know what I need for fall. Every year I buy a bunch, return most of it, or worse…don’t return it and never wear it. I usually do get a good pair of jeans every year, that I don’t regret. This year, I also got a waterproof bootie and a Vince sneaker that is is very much my style (both pretty safe choices).
The best stuff I get from the sale are winter coats and gym shoes for my boys.
Cathy Tilton says
I’m pretty much over the sale as well. After my not-so-great experience with Nordstrom and plus sizes (and the manager’s lack of support and respect for the event we put together) I don’t shop there much anymore. When it comes to the sale, I just check out the shoes. They usually have some good sales and fun styles. This year I got two pairs for the price of the Vince ones I went in to try on. I’ll check it out, but I don’t make it a priority to shop it.
Just received the package–the dresses are GREAT. The rust one is the ochre kind of color I was looking for. The black dress has an interesting “cape” blouson detail on the back which makes it more than just a basic black linen dress. Also both of these have actual hemmed skirts–I just can’t get behind the raw hem thing, especially for work.
The jacket is going back–I just feel too much like a middle-aged psychotherapist in Berkeley (not that there’s anything wrong with that, just not my thing).
THANK GOD for finding some things I like and that fit.
I have evidence – bought a pair of Zella leggings thst I actually really like that at the bottom of the tag has a tear-off that says “anniversary”. I know Zella is their house workout clothes brand but still.
Bought a Natori feathers bra as well because I needed a new nude one and they’re hard to find on sale in nude or black!
Hmmm. I am new to NAS and was unaware of some of this stuff. I bought those same exact EF pants but have yet to try them on. I think I’ll try them on now and compare them to some of my older pieces. Thanks for the heads up.