The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale started last Friday. This has always been my favorite sale of the year, my “holy grail” of sales shopping. I looked forward to it all year and when mid-July rolled around, I was ready to shop until I dropped (or at least until I dropped a veritable fortune on clothes, shoes, and accessories!).
A Plan of Action and a Change of Heart
Up until last week, I thought I’d shop the sale this year as I always have. However, as a result of what I’ve learned from writing this blog, I intended to approach the sale from a different perspective and shop much more wisely. I had planned to write a post about shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale with my new resolve and share how I met this challenge head on.
But then…I changed my mind. Even as I received the sales “picks” from one of my favorite style bloggers on Friday morning, I intuitively knew I should sit this one out. As I told my surprised husband and announced my intentions on Twitter, I knew I’d made the right decision!
For the first time in MANY years, I won’t be shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Will post about it next week, but wanted to share now. — Debbie Roes (@shopaholicrehab) July 19, 2013
This post outlines my five key reasons for skipping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I have to admit that I’m surprising even myself these days with my new approach toward shopping. With my resolve not to shop my favorite sale, I think I might be cured of sales shopping for good!
Reason #1 – Fall is Months Away
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is marketed as a way of providing shoppers with a jump start on fall fashions. New fall merchandise is sold at reduced prices to help consumers prepare their wardrobes for the coming season (and for Nordstrom to make a big profit during the summer, which is normally a slow season for retailers).
There’s one big problem with this scenario… It won’t be fall for at least two more months, and for those of us in Southern California, autumn weather won’t begin until early to mid-November. After all, summer weather just got started where I live. This means anything I buy now will sit in my closet for close to four months before I get a chance to wear it! Wouldn’t it be wiser for me to buy things I will wear right away? I think so!
When fall weather actually arrives in my part of the world, I’ll take stock of my wardrobe and determine what additions, if any, are required. Then I’ll set out to find what I need. While I realize the retail calendar is always months ahead of the actual calendar, I don’t have to succumb to the timeline of the stores. While it might be more difficult to find what I need when I actually need it, I’ll take my chances. Whatever purchases I make within the next few months will be for things I’ll wear during the summer.
Reason #2 – My Priority List Should Be What Guides My Shopping
When I shopped the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in the past, I grabbed anything that caught my eye, regardless of how practical it was for my individual needs. I didn’t consider where I would wear the item in question or whether I already had something very similar at home. If it looked “cool,” I tried it on. If I liked the way it looked on me, I bought it. All reason was thrown out the window in favor of getting a “good deal” on “cool clothes.”
When getting a good deal on eye-catching clothing is the main driver of your shopping behavior, the end result is not usually positive. This type of shopping often leads to an abundance of “closet orphans,” items that don’t get worn because they don’t “go” with other items in your wardrobe or just don’t meet your lifestyle needs.
Instead of shopping with a completely open mind, I now choose to shop with a list. As I’ve been paying more attention to what I have in my closet and how it is or isn’t meeting my needs, I’ve compiled a list of shopping priorities. When I shop now, I go with a plan for what I hope to buy. It’s difficult to shop a sale with a list because the things on your list are often not what are on sale. It’s all too easy to become distracted by the sales frenzy and end up buying non-priority items. This year, I will avoid such temptation by not shopping the sale.
Reason #3 – I Returned Most of What I Bought Last Year
Despite my excitement for shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I returned almost everything I bought at last year’s sale. Since I was a Nordstrom cardholder at the time (I’ve since closed all of my store card accounts), I was able to shop the sale before it was opened to the general public. I ordered eight items online, seven of which I returned to the store on the first official day of the sale. I purchased at least the same number of items that day and later returned all but one of those pieces.
Once the allure of the sale had passed and I got my new finds home, I soon learned they weren’t as stellar as I had perceived them to be in the store. While I kept two items from last year’s sale – a top and a jacket – neither of these garments has become a “wardrobe all-star.” Although I’ve fared better in previous years, I don’t consider my track record to be good enough to continue shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
Reason #4 – I Already Have Too Many Clothes!
While I’ve made excellent progress in paring down my wardrobe since the beginning of this year, I still have far too many clothes! What would be the logic in adding to this problem simply because a “good sale” is going on? Of course, compulsive shopping knows no logic, but I am now a “recovering shopaholic”! My brain now gets involved in the shopping process, not just my emotions.
I haven’t sworn off all shopping, but I do plan to shop strategically moving forward. I vow to buy in small quantities and based upon legitimate lifestyle needs. Sure, I will still buy things “for fun” on occasion, but I want most of my buys to be reasonable and responsible. As most of you know, sales shopping is rarely either reasonable or responsible. It’s emotional buying at its best (or worst) and I want no part of that now!
Reason #5 – Why Should I Shop on Nordstrom’s Timeline?
Finally, I want to be in charge of when I shop, what I buy, and how much I spend. Why should I shop just because Nordstrom says it’s time to shop? Why should I buy fall clothing in the middle (or really the beginning) of summer just because Nordstrom supposedly slashed prices on all that will be hot and trendy for next season?
As my husband often tells me, prices are arbitrary. Stores always end up making a profit, even when they have their “amazing sales.” While Nordstrom says the prices will go up after the Anniversary Sale ends, anyone who’s shopped the sale knows there’s very little merchandise remaining at that point. What is left over will likely go on sale again within weeks anyway to make way for the new merchandise that comes into the store on a regular basis.
There will always be new things to buy, new trends to participate in (or not), and items will always go on sale. Even if a “big sale” is not going on, one will always be able to find new clothing at prices that meet his or her needs. However, if one adopts a “quality over quantity” perspective, taking advantage of “good deals” becomes less important. The focus shifts more to what one actually needs and away from getting the lowest possible price. This type of approach also allows one to focus on other considerations like ethics and sustainability.
I’m Happy with My Decision
I’m completely at peace with my decision to skip the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year. While I do admit to browsing the website a bit and peaking at posts from others about what they bought, I haven’t really been tempted to shop the sale myself. I’m ready to take a longer range view of my shopping and my style.
Instead of going for the “quick fix” that a sale provides, I want to fulfill upon the goals I set for myself when I started this blog. I want to cultivate a wardrobe I love that works for my body, lifestyle, and personality. This means no more impulse purchases or buying for a lifestyle or style that is not my own. I’m ready to put emotional shopping and sales frenzies behind me, and skipping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is a definite step in the right direction!