A Fashion Editor’s Guide To The Best Things To Buy At Nordstrom

It’s no secret that we have a lot of love for Nordstrom. Since the heritage department store is also an unequivocal R29 reader-favorite shopping destination, you can find us frequenting the site on a daily basis — in search of everything from look-at-me swimwear to crowd-pleasing long sundresses and marked-down designer bags from the Half-Yearly sale (topical because it’s going on now). Thanks to our frequent constitutionals down Nordstrom’s digital aisles, we’re well acquainted with its bounty of hidden-gem products and how overwhelming sifting through that selection can be.

If you’re looking to inherit a few new summer wardrobe pieces but don’t know where to start, then you've already landed on the right page. To help guide you through Nordstrom's thicket of veritable options, we've plucked out the winningest wares: activewear from the affordable and stylish in-house imprint Zella; sustainable must-haves from customer-vetted and Scandi-chic label Open Edit. Ahead, check off your very own list containing the best things to buy at Nordstrom — evaluated by discerning reviewers and sussed out by R29's dedicated team of shopping professionals.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Nordstrom Brands

One of the retailer’s best-kept secrets is its host of internally designed labels that could alone furnish every component of your wardrobe.

Open Edit

Brand-new on the scene is Open Edit, a Scandi-style brand that gives & Other Stories a run for their money. There’s too much in the pared-back assortment to name — think minimal drawstring slipdresses, strappy, candy-colored slides, and floaty, wide-leg trousers — and sizing in the sustainably-minded collection extends to 3X.

Open edit Organic Cotton Poplin Oversize Blouse, $, available at Nordstrom


One of our all-time faves is Zella, an activewear imprint that rivals much pricier brands in style and customer satisfaction.

Zella Live In High Waist Pocket Crop Leggings, $, available at Nordstrom


If you remember what this diminutive name stood for in the previous millennium, gold star for you! While trend-driven label Brass Plum has dropped more than a few vowels since its early-2000s heyday, it still delivers on of-the-moment styles at very affordable prices.

BP. Check Crop Sweater Tank Top, $, available at Nordstrom

Treasure & Bond

Nordstrom’s line of chic-affordable staples is also a give-back brand, founded in 2014 with the intention of donating a portion of profits to non-profit organizations supporting women and girls. Right now, they’re allocating 2.5% of net sales to supporting youths experiencing homelessness, through donations to New York’s Ali Forney Center, Covenant House in Toronto, and Youth Emerging Stronger in Los Angeles (to name a few).

Treasure & Bond A-Line Tank Midi Dress, $, available at Nordstrom

Sale Selects

While Nordstrom’s sale section is a must-visit any time of year — and don’t even get us started on Nordstrom Rack’s addictive tendencies — the retailer’s periodic blowout sales have customers lining up for actually good, limited deals on new arrivals and best-sellers. ICYMI, one of these events — the Half-Yearly sale — is in full swing for just a few more days, and Nordy just announced the dates for their stampede-inducing Anniversary Sale, which will start on July 28th.

CC Corso Como Lana Platform Slingback Sandal

A designer-y flatform that reeks of a high-end Italian label is the perfect summer foot hug — especially at over 40% off.

CC Corso Como Lana Platform Slingback Sandal, $, available at Nordstrom

Coach Originals Ergo Shoulder Bag

Reviewer AerithFair writes that this throwback-style Coach bag is “so perfect for the money! The bag is gorgeous! It has a slip pocket for my MASK, and I can put my phone in the zip pocket. I keep my keys in a lanyard so I don’t need a key strap. It is perfect for spring and the color is delightful!”

Coach Originals Ergo Leather Shoulder Bag, $, available at Nordstrom

Nike Pro-Clean Fleece Hoodie

Nike doesn’t often make it to the sale section, but when it does, we pounce — especially if the item in question is a cropped, quick-drying hoodie in a shade of iridescent neon. “Love love this hoodie,” wrote reviewer VictoriaO883447444. “So chic and effortless.”

Nike Pro Clean Fleece Hoodie, $, available at Nordstrom

French Connection Masha Rib Midi Dress

Glow like a lightning bug this hot girl summer with the help of an un-missable lime green hue.

French Connection Rasha Rib Minidress, $, available at Nordstrom

Customer Favorites

Nordy’s best-sellers run the gamut from summer dresses to tried-and-true-footwear, but they all have one thing in common — they’re backed by hundreds of reviews that detail fit, function, and high levels of customer satisfaction.

LaBanca Island Goddess Swimsuit

Over 400 reviewers gave this sleeper swimsuit high marks for its deceptively simple, flattering design and hidden-but-mighty bust support. “59 and feeling really good in this swimsuit,” declared reviewer Momprof94 in their review. “I had about given up on feeling good in a swimsuit ... [but] I feel good and not old in this [one]. It also has enough support without an underwire. I’m both pleased and shocked.”

La Blanca Island Goddess One-Piece Swimsuit, $, available at Nordstrom

Elan Cover-Up Maxi Dress

The hype surrounding this simple dress is REAL. We couldn’t choose from the hundreds of reviews that the frock has received across sizes XS - 3X.

Reviewer NADIA1979 writes: “I bought three different colors [in this dress] after loving the first one so much and I pretty much live in them. I am starting to wonder what I used to wear?! I think this is my most flattering favorite thing I’ve worn since I can remember — it’s nuts I didn't own this sooner. I wish other clothes looked this good on me. In my head, maxis are supposed to flatter the way this does but they never do ... I feel classy and elegant which is now causing me to wear [the dresses] constantly and my husband is questioning if I own other clothes.” After a sales associate went above and beyond to help the reviewer get another color in the dress in time for her honeymoon, the reviewer continues, “I [randomly] said to my husband, ‘honesty is the best policy, and he said ‘No honey, Nordstrom’s return policy is the best policy— honesty is the second-best policy!!’”

Elan Cover-Up Maxi Dress, $, available at Nordstrom

Elan Cover-Up Maxi Dress, $, available at Nordstrom

Birkenstock Arizona Hex Sandal

“[This is] my fourth pair of [the] Arizona style over the last 20 years,” wrote a diehard comfort-footwear fan on Nordstrom.com. “These are more narrow and lighter than my older pairs but soo comfortable! I just put the tightest setting on the buckle but I have a narrow size 9 foot. I ordered a 40 and it is perfect. I got the oiled cognac leather with gold buckles — [a] great neutral to go with everything!”

Birkenstock Arizona Hex Slide Sandal, $, available at Nordstrom

ASTR The Label Tiered Short Sleeve Dress

True to size, looks great on,” wrote EmpressVonTusslebunny in her glowing review of this breezy, summer-ready frock. “Sometimes, tiered clothing does not do you any favors. This dress is made of a fabric that is heavy enough to drape well when tiered, yet light enough to feel summery. Warning: [it] will make you want to buy new sandals, too!”

ASTR The Label Tiered Short Sleeve Dress, $, available at Nordstrom

Børn Beca Flat

This comfort-footwear brand usually gets high marks for foot hugs (in lieu of high style), but this glove-style, high-throated flat resembles what we’re used to seeing on pricier independent brands. Reviewer seattleskylark called the flats “keepers”, noting that the silhouette is “a stylish update for Børn.” They continued: “I just ordered these in two colors and am keeping both! I’m a standard size 9, they fit perfectly and are incredibly comfortable right out of the box.” In addition, they “appreciate the padding that is sometimes absent with flats.”

Born Beca Flat, $, available at Nordstrom

Nike Daybreak Sneaker

Summer wouldn’t be complete without a white sneaker, and luckily Nordstrom has them in droves. Our pick — and the favorite of close to 150 reviews — is this throwback-style Nike kick, updated from the brand’s 1979 Tailwind running shoe. “These red hot numbers will make any outfit instantly cool¯ advised reviewer Minga333. “Slip the kicks on for a super laidback retro vibing cool mom look. Puttin' all the youngins to shame wearing these. Get a pair quick! I already tried buying the tan with the black check but they sold out too fast!”

Nike Daybreak Sneaker, $, available at Nordstrom

Designer Discoveries

Don’t shy away from Nordy’s selection of high-end goods — they stock the who’s-who of big-name runway brands from established (Gucci) to up-and-coming (Simone Rocha) to offbeat (Sacai).

Sacai Mixed Fabric Fringe Skirt

There’s a reason that this culty Japanese brand inspires such ardor with the fashion flock — we didn’t know that we needed a tea-length skirt composed of mixed-media, gilded fringe until we laid eyes on it, either. Now we can’t sleep.

Sacai Mixed Fabric Fringe Skirt, $, available at Nordstrom

Simone Rocha Platform Ballerina Sneaker

“Immediate infatuation,” wrote a reviewer named Tedina of these statement-making Simone Rocha satin platforms. “I’m not in the market for shoes — I’m old and have tons – but THESE!!! Why did I see them? Now I’m $700 deep.” Despite some sizing back-and-forth, she writes, “I’m pleased they’re on my feet — even [in] platform block, they roll [and] don’t stiff-clop for me.”

Simone Rocha Platform Ballerina Sneaker, $, available at Nordstrom

Adam Lippes Floral Print Maxi Dress

Score! We discovered this sweeping floral gown from Adam Lippes in Nordstrom’s treasure-rich sale section. Despite a still-steep price tag, sizes are dwindling, and we can see why — the cotton fabrication makes it an easy, fuss-free option, but the tiered silhouette and romantic floral print make it feel fancy enough for a special occasion.

Adam Lippes Floral Print Cotton Poplin Maxi Dress, $, available at Nordstrom

Akris Punto Parasol Stripe Shirtdress

In describing the subtle, couture-level craftsmanship of Swiss brand Akris, Business of Fashion reported that third-generation designer Albert Kreimler “simply ‘cannot work with cheap fabrics.’” Nordstrom is an excellent resource for scoring this sought-after brand’s sister label (and even better when it’s on sale).

Akris Punto Patchwork Parasol Stripe Shirtdress, $, available at Nordstrom


While Nordstrom is pushing 120, the retailer maintains a youthful glow in part by supporting up-and-coming talent through collaborations, dedicated boutiques, and emerging-designer selections that rival the brand lineups at its edgier counterparts.


Nordy made fashion-world headlines back in 2013 when they hired buyer Olivia Kim away from then-buzzy Opening Ceremony to curate Pop-in@Nordstrom, a series of limited-run shop-in-shops curated around disparate-yet-rich themes like K-beauty, Paris, pets, and ’90s raves (to name just a few). The latest Pop-In commemorates the 70th (!) anniversary of iconic Finnish lifestyle brand Marimekko with a range of exclusive apparel, accessories, and homewares adorned with the brand’s signature bold, bright, and whimsical nature-inspired motifs. Reviewer Liz Par called these poplin shorts “breezy sweet”: “These lived up to and beyond my expectation,” she wrote. “Fit is great (I'm curvy through the seat and these are flattering). Fabric is lightweight and a very stylish print. Pockets are just right.”

Marimekko Paistaa Pieni Unikko 2 Cotton Shorts, $, available at Nordstrom

SPACE Emerging Designer Shop

SPACE — Nordstrom’s mini-boutique devoted to emerging high-end labels — recently teamed up with leading avant-garde retailer Dover Street Market to showcase an assortment of the latter’s emerging gender-fluid brands. Boundary-pushing designers like Vaquera, Liberal Youth Ministry, and ERL round out the existing assortment of fashion-forward brands — think ACNE, Comme des Garcons, Suicoke, and Peter Do.

Vaquera Teddy Bear Necklace, $, available at Nordstrom

New Concepts

Designer brands SVP Sam Lobbhan has brought a host of cutting-edge imprints to Nordstrom through his “New Concepts” pop-ups, including Andre Walker, Bode, NOAH NYC, and Wales Bonner. Hyper-hyped Fear of God — which counts Kanye West, Virgil Abloh, and Justin Bieber among its superfans — is the latest brand to bring its ultra-cool streetwear to the old-school store.

FEAR OF GOD American All Stars Henley, $, available at Nordstrom

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