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10 Fab Items Under $100 from the 2014 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Growing up, the late summer Nordstrom Anniversary Sale was as much a part of my back-to-school routine as the trip to Target for new notebooks and pens. Given the great deals on brands we loved, my family leveraged the sale to buy a few key pieces for each of us to refresh our wardrobes for the new school year.

I, of course, took the task very seriously, ensuring that the items I selected would be versatile enough to mix and match into a variety of new looks.

It's officially that time of year again at Nordstrom, and just like those days back in grade school, the sale is packed with items that will take your wardrobe into fall, at prices that will leave extra budget for one last summer splurge.

Here are my picks for the top ten items under $100 -- from beauty to baubles and more -- from this year's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, taking place between now and August 3rd.



JOA Floral Sequin Body-Con Skirt, $65 at ($98 after sale).



Sam Edelman' Zachary' Cutout Ankle Cuff Suede Pump (Women), $90 at ($140 after sale).


MAC 'Look in a Box - Basic Brush' Kit ($127 Value), $50 at



BaubleBar 'Drama' Mixed Stone Statement Necklace (Nordstrom Exclusive) in Black/Multi Brass, $38 at ($58 after sale).


M·A·C 'Look in a Box - All About Pink' Set ($72 Value), $40 at


Eliza J Print Ponte Knit Shift Dress (Regular & Petite), $79 at ($118 after sale).



Marc by Marc Jacobs Cat Eye Sunglasses, $65 at ($98 after sale).



Laundry by Shelli Segal Mixed Quilt Detail Moto Jacket (Online Only), $99 at ($150 after sale).



Smashbox 'Studio Prep' Set ($66 Value), $36 at


Topshop Stripe Mix Knit Sweater (Nordstrom Exclusive), $48 at ($72 after sale).


Happy shopping!

- Kristen




The Friday Five: Summer Totes for The Beach and Beyond Under $75

Pre-fall fashion stories may be hitting the newsstands now, but not to fear -- there’s still plenty of time for beach getaways, picnics in the park and sunning by the pool.

Need something to carry your sunscreen, iPad and Smartwater in? Here are five great options (plus one bonus bag, because I just couldn’t decide) under $75.

H&M Floral Beach Bag, $5 at

Prinkshop for Edible Schoolyard and Madewell Tote, $70 at

Marc Jacobs Laminated Twill Jacobs Tote in Lemon, $55 at

Giles illustration Leah Tote, $67 at

Out of Print Tote Bags in Mrs. Dalloway and The Great Gatsby (just two of many!), $18 each at

Forever21 Bold Abstract Geo Tote, $20 at

Happy Summer!

- Kristen




A good blazer can completely transform an outfit. It can add interest, it can add polish, it can add color, it can add warmth . . . essentially, it creates endless possibility. So when you find a comfy, wash-and-wear number that fits like a glove on sale for $20, you snatch it up.

Thank goodness for H&M.

You all know how big a fan I am of print mixing -- this outfit is clearly no exception. I love how the dark stripe of the jacket picks up the deeper hue within the print of the skirt. The pieces complement one another without competing.

When working with this much color and pattern, it’s best to keep the shoes as neutral as possible.

  • H&M Blazer, $50 at I found mine on sale in-store for $20, however, so it’s worth a visit!

  • Forever21 Skirt, no longer available. Similar can be found here, here and here under $70.

  • Shoes, Jessica Simpson “Habinaa.” Select sizes available on sale for under $60 at Additional sizes available from Shoebuy via under $90.

- Kristen



The Friday Five: Five Makeup Palettes Under $50

We love a good makeup palette at Faux Fancy. Whether you’re primping in the comfort of your home, need a set of go-to products to stash in your purse to take your face from day to night, or are heading out on vacation and don’t want a million cosmetic pots rattling around in your makeup bag, palettes offer a great deal of versatility in a small package. Plus, they sort of make you feel like an artist. But for your face.

Here are five fantastic palette options under $50, with versions for eyes, lips, cheeks and combinations of all of the above.

LORAC 'PRO to Go' Eye/Cheek Palette, $40 at

STILA Come Up Roses Makeup Set, $40 at

SMASHBOX Spring Edit: Eyes & Lips, $30 at

Maybelline® Expert Wear® Eyeshadow Palette in “The Nudes,” $10 at

SMASHBOX Full Exposure Palette, $49 at

What’s your go-to makeup palette?

- Kristen



Ask Faux Fancy: “Any Suggestions for a Travel-Friendly Dress for a Wedding in Greece?”

Finding the perfect, wallet-friendly dress to wear to a wedding is tough. Finding an affordable, wrinkle-free, travel-friendly option is even tougher. But no fear -- that’s what the ladies of Faux Fancy are here for, and it’s just the problem we’re ready to solve in the latest edition of “Ask Faux Fancy.”

My husband and I are headed to Greece again at the end of August for a wedding (and hopefully a stop-over in Italy or France too). Any ideas for an affordable, lightweight, wrinkle-free, packable dress option for the wedding? I'm leaning towards a maxi but am open to other options too.

-- M.

When it comes to finding the right wrinkle-free dress, material is key. Dresses made of knit materials or materials with a bit of stretch in them are more wrinkle-resistant than others -- avoid stiffer fabrics, such as cotton or linen, which are more liable to crease.

Also, Greece in August can be very warm -- the average temperature is 91 degrees, and the mercury can frequently rise beyond 100 degrees. Lightweight materials and looser cuts will help keep you comfortable.

Here are five great options that will more than fit the bill, all under $100.

Boohoo Alesha Colour Block Maxi Dress, $50 at

Why It’s Perfect: Maxi dresses often give off a casual, beachy-vibe, which is not typically the desired effect for a wedding. They can also be heavy and not-very figure flattering. However, the sexy (but not too sexy!) cut, sheer layering and fashionable color-blocking of this dress make it perfect for a dressier occasion. Oh, and polyester is a wrinkle-resistant fabric, which will keep you looking crisp and crease-free throughout the wedding.

Styling Tip: A modern, edgier shoe and accessories will help keep this dress looking fashion-forward.

Forever21 Darling Lace Fit & Flare Dress, $23 at (available in several colors!).

Why It’s Perfect: Lace tends to resist wrinkles; plus, the little cap sleeve offers a bit of shoulder coverage without causing extra heat.

Styling Tip: This sweet dress offers several styling options, from geometric metallic accessories like those featured in the picture, to bold bright colorful pieces to make the dress even more playful.

H&M Sleeveless Dress in Dark Purple, $35 at

Why It’s Perfect: The 98% polyester, 2% spandex blend will help to resist wrinkles; the fit-and-flare shape will help keep you cool; and the color is just plain fun.

Styling Tip: Dress it up with a pair of killer heels, a statement necklace, and a belt in a contrasting color. If you hop over into a milder part of France, for instance, and want to wear the dress later on in the trip, you can dress it down with a casual jacket and a pair of flats.

Everly Clothing Printed Midi Dress, $89 at

Why It’s Perfect: Again, the fit-and-flare shape and polyester blend are perfect for a wrinkle-resistant, crisp look.

Styling Tip: This dress can also easily play double-duty during your trip, made casual with a pair of flat sandals or cloth sneakers for a day of sightseeing. For the wedding, don’t worry about competing with the dress’ bold print with a necklace -- instead, accessorize with a pair of fun earrings and/or bracelets, and some sassy heels.

Wyatt Green And Blue Printed Hi-Low Dress, $80 at

Why It’s Perfect: A hi-low cut dress is a perfect compromise between a maxi-dress and a shorter-length version. The gauzy fabric will keep you feeling cool and comfortable, and the poly-blend will also resist creasing.

Styling Tip: Opt for strappy sandals or heels to amp up the dress. Sparkly statement earrings and bracelets will also help to make the breezy dress feel a bit more formal.  

After you’ve scored the perfect, wrinkle-resistant dress, there are a few things you can do to help ensure that it stays that way once you’ve packed it:

  1. Roll It. Instead of folding your dress into a square, try rolling it in a plastic bag -- I love plastic dry cleaner bags for this purpose, loosely fold the dress in half, and lay it down on the plastic bag. Then simply roll it from the top down, and place it in your suitcase.

  2. Hang It. As soon as you can upon arriving at your hotel, hang the dress to help it preserve its shape. If there are any slight wrinkles, hang it in the bathroom during a shower to steam them out.

  3. Touch Up. For any during-the-day wrinkle issues for any of your outfits during your trip, consider buying a travel-size bottle of Downy Wrinkle Releaser, and stowing it in your purse for a quick refresher.

Have a great trip, M!

- Kristen