No Nordstrom Anniversary Sale For Me (And Where I'm Shopping Instead)
If you spend as much time online as I do, chances are, you've been bombarded by display ads, email campaigns, and blogger/influencer stories and posts on Instagram about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I never felt particularly compelled to participate in this sale, but as a Nordstrom cardholder, (can't turn down those alteration credits!) I figured I'd log in to see what the hubbub was all about.
Needless to say, I was unamused. As the days went by, I continued to have an inbox full of promos and fell victim to countless Instagram updates about the boxes and boxes full of goods that my colleagues and I remember thinking to myself, "damn, even if I had the money to spend on that much stuff, the space to store it, and the disposable time to be dressed to the nines at all times, would I?" I didn't feel FOMO. I didn't feel envious. Actually, it made me kind of angry.
There's been a bit of an internal struggle happening over here for quite some time. I've spent so much time and money building my brand and I've found out that it's all kind of pointless. There's always going to be someone prettier than me, someone more stylish or well-dressed, someone with more drive and resources to succeed in this space. However, I've been wondering if I even want to be a part of it. It all comes down to one ugly, and very American, idea: consumerism as a way of life. There is a lot of consumerism in the blog/influencer space and, honestly, it's tiring trying to keep up. I had a bit of a shopping problem over the last few years, just trying to keep up. My closets are full of Zara dresses, gifted denim, and the occasional F21 top. I've focused on scaling back this year, only buying high-quality pieces that I absolutely love, and saving to splurge on pieces that I REALLY want. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale makes me sad because it's just so MUCH. Boxes and boxes of clothing and accessories, still sold at a ridiculous markup despite being "on sale."
Obviously, people are free to spend their money on whatever they want to spend it on. If you want to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and buy the same overpriced tee in five different colors just because some influencer—who will likely get some affiliate perks for your purchase, by the way—told you that you should, you can do that. I don't have a problem with people shopping. I'm personally not cool with the fact that this has, by far, brought on some of the most vexing displays of rampant consumerism. There's a sort of promise of this aspirational lifestyle that comes across with the way influencers latch on to industry moments like this. It doesn't contribute anything positive to a world that's overflowing with greed and garbage.
Before you think you need "more," or, if you're like me, and you feel like all of the hype is just WAY too much, here are some other places to spend your money. (No affiliate links here!)
31Bits - If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen gratuitous appearances by my 31Bits bag. I love this thing! Not only is it chic and à la mode, it was also purchased from a mission-driven organization. 31Bits provides artisans in underprivileged communities with dignified job opportunities. From their website:
"Everything has a supply chain, and every supply chain has real people behind it. If the price tag of an item is too low, there’s a high chance someone along the way wasn’t paid or treated fairly."
Among some of the promises this brand makes are ethical working conditions, fair wages, community impact, and preserving traditions. Shop 31Bits.
TheRealReal - In a world where the average American tosses 82 pounds of textile waste in the garbage every year, shopping secondhand has never been a better idea. I love thrifting and shopping at vintage stores, but if you're looking for a specialty item, luxury secondhand is something that's readily available. I've gotten a lot of secondhand luxury goods from TheRealReal over the years, including a Louis Vuitton Speedy, a pair of Rachel Comes clogs, my first pair of Louboutin heels (which I still wear fairly regularly), and even a North Face parka! I'm a huge fan of shopping and selling secondhand. I sold a Chloé bag to finance my love of travel. (I got a few flights out of it!) Someone else became the owner of a discounted but loved and cared for Chloe bag, while I got some spending money to buy something I really wanted: travel and experiences. While you could probably find a designer bag on eBay or Poshmark, all of the items that TheRealReal carries are meticulously authenticated, so you know you're purchasing the real thing. Shop TheRealReal.
Clothing Swaps - What's a better way to end the summer than holding a clothing swap with some of your closest friends? I attended one where we had to tell a story behind each piece of clothing, which made it that much more fun. I had this absolutely hideous dress that a brand sent me and I wore once (I made it work) but someone at the swap fell in LOVE with it and snatched it up to wear on a beach trip with her partner.
Purge Your Closet - I'm in the process of getting rid of a lot of my clothes. I have bags and bags that I've been meaning to drop off for donation for months, but I just keep adding to them. Every time I purge what I don't want anymore, I rediscover a piece that I love—or have found a new love for—that I get excited to wear again. (This dress is one example of that.) If you're having trouble parting ways, I love the KonMari method. It was really big in the lifestyle blogger corner of the internet a few years back but it's still a gem.
What are your thoughts on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Tired of the hype, or just can't get enough? I won't judge you either way, but if you're in the latter camp, I hope you'll consider one of my alternatives!