NAS Hits, Maybes, and Misses (?)

I loved Angie's analysis this morning and decided to do one of my own. 

My NAS strategy, if you can call it that, is:

  • Replenish worn out basics. (Hard to find bra size makes this a really smart plan -- NAS always has the Natori Feathers, which works for me, and occasionally something else I can wear.) 
  • Prioritize higher end waterproof footwear that I probably couldn't find/ afford at full price.
  • Look for higher end items such as bags, coats, etc. when needed. (Didn't get anything like that this year.) 
  • Read Angie's recommendations, esp. if she personally recommends something. 
  • Try a wild card. 

I don't always achieve all of these. This year I didn't really get a wild card, for example. 

Below, you can see this year's purchases. As for the results? 

So far, the basics are clear winners. CPW already very low. :) 
The Zella hoodie is another win -- with a caveat. I love wearing this soft and textured item. It even turned into a surprise wild card in the sense that I bought it purposely oversized and as such, it is the first true tunic I've enjoyed wearing! But it is already starting to pill. :( So I don't think it will last too many seasons. 

The Kut ponte pants are another clear winner. I don't usually like stretchy skinnies, but these are so comfy and easy to wear. Great for tucking into tall boots on rainy days. 

I wear the scarf pretty much weekly -- so it is another key player this fall. 

Meanwhile, I have not worn the Carie booties as much as I anticipated. That's partly because I have a wealth of other booties to choose from! But also, the ankle slips down on me/ slouches a bit with movement. So I don't get a nice smooth fit with them. I couldn't have known this on purchase -- they seemed fine at home. They are otherwise comfortable, so we'll see how I do with them as the season progresses. I'm really spoiled with footwear now -- so many choices! It may be these come into play a little later in the season. 

My 3 less worn items, predictably, are the dressier ones. The floral dress I have worn three times. I agree with everything Angie says about it. Super comfy and easy to wear. I just don't wear it for work at home days. For me, it's for dates and special outings. 

The shirt dress: Have not worn yet. I got it too late in the season and then was in the midst of a move. I am sure I'll wear it come spring, so I'm unconcerned. 

The EF pumps. So far, unworn. I'm not sorry I bought them (yet) because at some point I'm going to need a dressy shoe, and I didn't have one in the closet. But I need to make an excuse to put them on! 

The lesson I can draw from this so far is that I need to remember at sale time that my real life is casual, as opposed to my fantasy life. I wear dresses as casual wear all summer, but find it harder to wear them in cool temps when I need to wear tights/ hose (that my cat might put runs in.) 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

23 Comments

  • rachylou replied 1 week ago

    Good notes. I love my NAS purchases, but have to say that I did not factor in winter with regard to the sweatshirt dress. I want to wear it, but it’s a dress! I need something for the legs that’s not totally ugly with a dress...

  • Angie replied 1 week ago

    This is great, Suz.

    I wouldn’t worry about the dresses. You’ll wear them next year and they won’t date. But you could wear our floral dress with hose and coat no problem now on a dressier day.

    Fun to hear that there were winners, and you look gorgeous in that very Suz-outfit.

  • Sal replied 1 week ago

    This sounds successful.  The dresses will come into their own in spring - I love long sleeved dresses at that time as they are warm enough but feel great after lots of pants and jeans.

    I also have to remember my life is casual and while I still love heels - I don't default to them for my everyday life.  My shopping this year has been successful (with one winter knitwear piece that was marginal).  My pumps and lace dress have been worn the least - the dress twice, and the pumps I think four times.  I did buy them both with longevity in mind so that is okay but I am being very mindful that I don't get that many chances to wear these sorts of pieces.  

    Maybe we need a virtual YLF online party and to wear our dresses and heels!!

  • JAileen replied 1 week ago

    I’m sorry the Aquatalias aren’t perfect. I ended up returning them, and bought some waterproof Naturalizers instead. There was nothing wrong with them, but even on sale they were kind of expensive. I guess my conscience got the better of me.

    I wear dresses to church and out to dinner, so I probably only need one dress. Yet I bought a Boden polka dot shirtdress that I haven’t worn either.

    I love the EF shoes. I wish they came in grey or blue.

  • Suz replied 1 week ago

    JAileen, I wish those shoes came in grey or blue (or silver) also. I'll wear the black but it is not as fun. Interesting that you returned the Caries. They were expensive, so I hope I end up wearing them more later on. I do like them with my wider cropped jeans. So we will see. 

    Sal, that lace dress is fabulous on you and it is not going to date. I think that is key if we are going to purchase more expensive dressier items. 

    Angie, I could wear that dress more often. But it involves changing to go out. Wearing it at home with hose is tricky because Max the cat might get his claws into the tights. Also, I am secretly hoping you will do a post on toppers/ coats to wear in winter with midi dresses. I'm still struggling with this issue. I have a few Finds collected for styling ideas but don't possess the necessary outerwear. My new belted coat can work with a midi but the patterns of the floral dress and that coat don't mix well. 

    Rachy, exactly. Finding the right hose can be tricky! 

  • Angie replied 1 week ago

    Nothing wrong with changing to go out! I do that a lot.

    And remind me to show you exactly which coats I wear with our floral dress. I wear the new Boden animal print coat and Zara cape for starters.

  • Suz replied 1 week ago

    Okay, I'll remind you! I might start a forum thread about it when you get home. :) 

  • smittie replied 1 week ago

    Interesting, as always. You might learn to like the scrunched look on your boots (maybe?)
    You should definitely not feel regret buying a comfortable pair of dressy shoes that don't slip! 
    The floral dress? Well, in your new climate I could see it working on a large number of days.
    I know that it's a struggle, sometimes, to stay away from the dressy items. I just bought, and then returned, a teddy coat that was cute, but I have nowhere to wear, and no climate to wear it in.
    Anyway, I think you did well, especially considering you were buying in the heat of the summer!

  • lisa p replied 1 week ago

    I have a pair of boots indentical in style to your Aqua’s , but nowhere near the price ( and undoubtedly the quality ) but that same slouching issue happened with mine too . Started out sleek and slim and now look a little sloppy . Disappointing , isn’t it ?

  • Cardiff girl replied 1 week ago

    As I said with Angues post,it’s always interesting to hear how purchases have worked out.l suffer from a less than dressy lifestyle too but I m sure that you will get more wear out of your dresses come the warmer weather.

  • La Pedestrienne replied 1 week ago

    Great wrap-up and what a sensible-yet-fun slate of purchases. So interesting that two of the workhorses are a tunic and skinny/stretchy pants. Fun when you can prove yourself wrong, isn't it?

    FWIW, I've had very bad luck with wool-cashmere blends. They seem to be the worst culprits when it comes to pilling! I have a feeling manufacturers try to offset the cost of the tiny percentage of cashmere by using cheaper wool...

    I'm sure the dresses will get lots of wear in the spring, and you'll have a bit more of a real spring to enjoy in BC. :) Sleeved dresses are so useful when you want to feel spring-y but it's still cool outside.

    Interesting about the Aquatalias. I suspect you've reached a saturation point with boots: if they were your only option, they'd rack up wears, but because you have a nice collection, you reach for others instead.

  • taylor replied 1 week ago

    Nice purchases . I love the Kut Ponte pant . I would imagine those would be a clear winner with lots of wear .
    Your outfit looks fantastic. Love how you can add a scarf and “magic” happens .

  • UmmLila replied 1 week ago

    I am a fan of the same Natori bra and underwear sets as you, and the smarttwool socks, and have been only regretting that I didn't get more than one of each this year on the replenishment scene. 

  • shevia replied 6 days ago

    Well the boots you are wearing look terrific - along with the rest of you of course! Looking back, it has been things like jeans that have been my most worn NAS purchase I think, which goes right along with your thoughts.

  • Suz replied 6 days ago

    Ah, thanks, Shevia. Those boots are Blondos. I duplicated in a different colour when I discovered how great they are. 

    LaPed, I fear you may be right about the wool-cashmere blend. The sweater has a lovely loft and feel but it will become loungewear by next year at this rate. That's not such a horrible thing, since I can certainly wear it while working at home and in that way it will earn its CPW out. But it's a disappointment for sure. 

  • Jessikams replied 6 days ago

    I have a question. I’ve never shopped NAS and have only recently discovered Nordstrom Rack, so I’m wondering: what is the difference? Isn’t the Rack like a permanent Nordstrom sale?

  • Jessikams replied 6 days ago

    Great point about what coats to wear with midis (and culottes). I’ve got my eyes out for a reeeeeeally long winter coat. Hoping for faux fur, with a standing collar. That way it would cover all layers beneath, and be very warm. I hate it when my long cardigan flaps around under the edge of my coat.

  • kkards replied 6 days ago

    this is a perfect reminder that its hard to buy so early in the season and predict which items will become instant hits, which will be one season wonders and which will not quite work out as planned...
    i got the Carrie boots at NAS, and i was a little worried about them becuase they were a little tight and in September after the intital NAS excitement pasted,  i actually considered returning them. glad i didn't, as after wearing a couple of times they are now fit perfectly, and have become incredible workhorses....i also got the Zella hoodie, i agree that this will not probably not be a long term investment piece, but its fab for now and in 2 years i will probably down grade to loungewear.....

  • Sisi replied 6 days ago

    I loved reading your analysis, Suz. Four  winners, three probably future winners (the dresses and the pumps), and only one "maybe" item - I think you have done very well! 

  • Christina F. replied 6 days ago

    You did well compared to me. I didn't shop NAS much, but I did end up with five items. I had one big workhorse come from it - the brown Born boots that Angie also got. I also replaced a pencil skirt for my dressy capsule (not worn yet but it's the kind of piece I keep around) and got a fun belt bag, so those were hits.

    Otherwise, I had one item that I eventually returned (very nice Kut burgundy jeans that just weren't the right shade for me), and a red Halogen top that looked great when I decided to keep it but has problems--it doesn't sit well. I need to replace it of I can or else figure out if tailoring will help. I kind of think not, though.

    I think your strategy of using NAS to find basics is great. Your dressy items will serve you well, even if you don't use them a lot. Those are great when you need to dress up for something last minute - you won't be scrambling!

  • Suz replied 6 days ago

    Thanks, all. Christina, you're right about the dressy items. In a way, I use NAS to buy those at a lower price point than I'd otherwise get them. Like you, I NEED these items in my closet even if my daily life is more casual. Not having dressy wear in the closet when an occasion pops up is very stressful to me. So there is that. It's also possible that those felt needs will diminish now that I live in a place with better bricks and mortar shopping. In the past I really had few options nearby so emergency shopping wasn't a possibility. 

    Sisi, thank you! 

    kkards, I'm actually reassured that the Caries are working well for you. Maybe I will get a lot of wear from them yet. We'll see. 

    Jessikams, if you return here -- NAS is quite different from the Rack. The Rack can be great if you are lucky. It's end of season, end of line, last few items available -- e.g. discounted stuff from the regular season. Shopping there is sort of like shopping at a better TJMaxx or Winners or similar. You can get extraordinarily lucky -- or you can find nothing at all. In other words, it's hit and miss. 

    NAS is completely different. It's a pre-season sale, so it lets you in on what the coming trends will be. All sizes are available (at least at the beginning of the sale) which is important to me, because my size sells out FAST as a rule. It is an opportunity to plan for the upcoming season and set the tone of your wardrobe, and to replenish essentials, basics, and higher end luxury items at lower prices before the season begins. 

  • karen13 replied 6 days ago

    I love these analytical posts from you, they really help me learn and improve shopping strategies. I didn’t keep my Few wardrobe purchase from NAS, just some cosmetics. I was out of the country for the first few weeks, so missed out on some sizes, and didn’t has time to assess my need for basics. I like your approach a lot.

    You are making me think about the fact that I frequently buy things at the end of season on sale, and then don’t wear them much for months 7ntil their season rolls around again. Sometimes it leads to not discovering I don’t reach for it because I don’t love until it is too late. Hmmmm

    I still love your pumps and am sure you will find wears in the spring.

  • Jessikams replied 5 days ago

    Aha, thx for explanation about sale vs Rack!

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