It was around this time last year (right after the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and when I had spent around $700 on clothing I didn’t need) that I realized something needed to change. I honestly didn’t “need” any of the clothing that I had just bought. I had a closet full of clothes. I also found that the money I had spent on several cheap items could’ve been better spent on a few quality items that were made to last. This is why I wrote today’s post. I’m sharing Flow Fashion Swaps for popular Nordstrom Sale items.
Slow Fashion Style Swaps
I know I said I was buying clothing I didn’t “need’ but that isn’t always the case. What if I do need to buy a few things? What do I do? A good friend of mine is interviewing for jobs later this fall, and she needs to stock up on wardrobe basics. There are many reasons we might need to replenish a few old, worn items in our closet. But I’m here to help you do it mindfully!
Over the last year, I’ve gotten to know popular slow fashion brands. Ones that are conscious of sustainability, where they source their materials, and pay their workers fair wages. I plan to someday make a comprehensive list of brands I love, but for now, here are some items I found that are similar to fast fashion items available at the Nordstrom Sale.
Slow Fashion Swaps for Popular Nordstrom Sale Items
Basic t-shirts and tanks are a huge staple for Nordstrom sale shoppers. Who can resists a t-shirt for under $15? I used to stock up on several colors of one v-neck tee, only to find out it lasts for a season or two before it loses shape and feels old. I’ve recently discovered KOTN, and it’s one of my favorite places to stock up on basics. KOTN’s items are made from Egyptian cotton, and sustainably sourced! The price points are very fair, and in my experience of wearing the pieces for a year so far, they hold up great!
(KOTN top below)
Everlane is a brand I’ve started shopping for basics. They’re very well-known now, especially in the slow fashion world. You can read more about Everlane and the strides they’re making towards transparency in the fashion industry here. But when it comes to sweaters, my friends, Everlane is the SWEATER JACKPOT.
(Nordstrom Sweater, right, Everlane sweater, left)
Flowy boho dresses are one of my favorite styles to wear! If you’re looking for some cute, printed dresses that are consciously-made, consider checking out Fauxgerty! Their dresses and skirts are adorable, and you won’t look like everyone else! If you’re looking to invest for dresses for work, I also love Christy Dawn. They design clothing made from leftover, dead stock fabric from high fashion brands. I also love that they hav a category dedicated to maternity-friendly dresses that can be worn during pregnancy, and beyond. (Photo of my rust Christy Dawn dress below)
AG Jeans and other Nordstrom Anniversary Sale denim are great. However, if you’re looking for quality denim that’s made in the U.S. and will definitely last, check out AGOLDE. I love the way my AGOLDE jeans fit, and I think you will too!
(AGOLDE shorts shown below)
Denim Jackets & Utility Jackets
The denim jackets and utility jackets in the sale are definitely hot items. If your size is sold out, or you’re considering supporting the slow fashion movement, check out ABLE’s jackets. I have all three of these, and they’re worth every penny. They have a dark wash denim jacket, a distressed light wash denim jacket, and an olive green utility jacket. I consider them closet staples, for sure!
(ABLE’s dark wash denim jacket shown below)
Blazers & Coats
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted by this beautiful Topshop blazer. I loooove a good blazer (if you can’t tell from my latest IG photos) but I knew that by purchasing it I’d be supporting a brand who’s lack of sustainability practices I don’t really agree with. Therefore, this Everlane blazer is a fabulous alternative. This blazer from Everlane is a great option too. They’re a bit pricier, but Everlane will typically explain the reason behind the prices (aka, they’re paying their workers living wages). I’m also a huge fan of this cocoon coat. It reminds me of some I saw last fall. It comes in four colors!
(Everlane blazer below)
Athletic wear is one that was difficult for me to find an alternative for. Then I kept doing a bit of research and found that Girlfriend Collective is making leggings and work out gear from recycled bottles and I haven’t looked back since! The Girlfriend pieces run true to size, and are very similar in price to brands like Zella.
(thrifted lululemon leggings shown below, but go buy the Girlfriend ones!)
I know it’s typical to stock on on Nike or Adidas tennis shoes for the year at the Nordstrom sale, but I discovered Veja last year, and I cannot get over how much I love their brand and their products! I styled my Veja sneakers below, and actually wrote a full review about their brand here.
(Veja ‘Esplar’ sneakers shown below)
Boots & Booties
As someone who used to shop Sam Edelman booties every year the Nordstrom Sale, I was skeptical of any other brand. But the Nisolo Chelsea boots are my favorite shoes I’ve ever owned. I own them in three colors. Nisolo offers so many great options if you’re looking for Fall shoes.
(Nisolo Chelsea boots shown below)
Mules & Sandals
Nisolo Shoes has wonderful options for mules and sandals that are work style approved and made from sustainably sourced materials. I also loved ABLE’s products and their mission. These leopard print mules are just like the famous calf-hair ones from Madewell that sold out within hours of the Nordstrom Sale! The Gisela sandal is an item I have in my own closet, and find myself styling several ways with many outfits! The best part? ABLE publishes their wages in order to provide transparency to consumers. How refreshing 😉
(ABLE’s Gisela sandal shown below)
Instead of shopping Hunter rain boots, consider checking out Alice + Whittles or Everlane. Alice + Whittles footwear is made from natural or recycled materials. Their styles are also the most elegant and girly rain boots I’ve ever seen. I’m definitely saving up for a pair for next winter or spring! Everlane’s are a great price point at just $75, and much more comfortable than the Hunter rain boots I own.
(Alice + Whittles rain boots below)
Bags & Totes
Big fan of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale bags? Me too! But I’m not a fan of their lack of sustainability practices, so I really love these options instead. Angela Roi hand bags are cruelty-free bags made of vegan leather. They have SO many styles. The Cher tote is one of my favorites. It reminds me of the Prada or Tory Burch tote I used to love five years ago, without the cruelty! Nisolo also offer great bag options (think Madewell classic tote) but it’s a conscious brand, and same as far as price!
(Angela Roi ‘mini Grace’ crossbody shown below)
Work wear is not an easy thing to find. Whether it’s fast fashion or slow fashion, work wear is tricky. It has to be comfortable, flattering, and practical. It also needs to last several washes and wear since you’ll wear it five out of seven days of the week. Enter VETTA capsule. My favorite place to shop for adorable workwear. They feature capsule collections of five or six pieces that can be cleverly styled in 30 different variations. Yes. 30. That means you possibly wouldn’t have to repeat an outfit at all in a month. But if you love your VETTA pieces as much as I do, you will repeat the outfits countless times anyway 😉 It’s worth noting that if you aren’t in need of a full workwear overhaul and only need a top, or black pants, then you can purchase the pieces separately too!
(VETTA Capsule blazer and pants shown below)
I sincerely hope that this blog post is helpful to you. Wherever you are in your slow fashion journey, please remember that every little purchase (or non-purchase) helps minimize the waste created by the fast fashion industry! I choose to embrace slow fashion because of the effects of fast fashion on our environment. It’s important to me to lead by example for my girls. I want them to know where their clothes come from. Know who made them. And really think about the purchases they make as they grow. I hope you do too!
Thank you so much for reading!