I spent the better part of today at Nordstrom in Vancouver. It opened on September 18 and has had rave reviews from all who has been there so I decided to check it out for myself. The store opens at 9:30am so I decided that was as good a time as any to visit. It was like walking into shopping heaven! It looked exactly like every other Nordstrom I have ever been in. Once inside you couldn’t tell if you were in Seattle, Vancouver or Scottsdale. The store was laid out exactly the same as 90% of the other stores. The only difference is that instead of mens wear being in the basement or main floor it was up on the 3rd floor.
Obviously the Vancouver store is a bit smaller than it’s Seattle counterparts so most of the departments were a bit smaller except for the shoe department. Every single staff member said hello as they were walking by. I had no less than 3 people ask if I needed help when I stopped to look at things. Canada’s other department store, The Bay should quake in their boots because in most Bay stores you could fire a cannon through the store before someone would ever ask you if you needed help. Most of your time shopping at the Bay is spent in search of someone to take your money. Ok, ok, enough of ragging on the Bay, but shopping in Canada has been on the lower side of dissapointing since Eaton’s closed it doors and now finally there is some competition back. So my suggestion to the other Canadian fashion retailers is get with the program or get out of the way.
The shoe department was outstanding. They had designer brands ( at the same price as they have in the U.S.) and all the same other brands. They even had brands like Paul Green, that you couldn’t buy in Canada before. There are so many fabulous shoes and boots at every price range you won’t have to shop anywhere else. I decided to try on a couple of pairs of Paul Green simply because they are not available at any other store in Vancouver. I bought this pair of Daphne booties at the same price I would have paid for them in Seattle. Paul Green has one of the most comfortable foot beds I have ever worn. They do shoes and boots and I urge you to try on a pair. I have to say they are 100% worth the money you pay for them. The other pair I tried on was a pair of loafers. They all have an adaption of lug sole with a bit of a platform. I didn’t end up buying them, they were grey patent, but I have two similar pair in my closet by the same designer.
Next I ventured up to the 2nd floor where all the ladies wear brands and shops are featured. They have every designer they have in the U.S. and they even have a St. John shop in the store. They had a fabulous outer wear department in designer and also another with less expensive labels at the other end of the floor. My next blog will be all about outerwear and jackets so I will go into more detail then. They have all the same instore shops that they have in the U.S., Point of View, TBD, Petites, Focus and Dresses. I spent the next hour or so looking at all their house brands in all the various departments. The Nordstrom house brands I love are Hinge, Trouve, Chelsea28, 1. State, Caslon and Halogen. Why do I rave about the Nordstrom house brands? Because they are the same styling and sometimes even the same fabrics as the designer brands they copy at prices less than $100 per item. So I was able to buy a few tops that are purley trend tops (what I have referred to in the past as cheap and cheerful) and not break the bank. So if you are shopping there, the best way to do it is to have someone help you with what you are looking for. I showed you this look about a week or two ago. It is a Hinge sweater, with a Treasure and Bond white shirt and distressed jeans. They have the shirt, sweater and jeans all in the TBD department at the same prices as they have in the U.S.! They even have the sweater in the other color and it is more fabulous than it is in the picture I am showing. This type of casual look is a great way for a woman in her 40’s and 50’s to play with the BoHo styling that is so prevalent for fall. Not only that you can take the look one step further. Put a pattern shirt ( like a plaid or floral) under the sweater and you have Geek-Chic. The sweater is under $100 and so is the blouse. The denim is a bit more pricey, but if you are like me and wear denim almost every day you can afford to invest in a pair of jeans thatr you love.
One of my friends met me there and she was looking for exactly that kind of a look. She wanted a distressed pair of jeans. The fabulous sales person who was helping us, Laura, pulled every single pair of distressed jeans in the entire department for her. She ended up with this pair of dark rinse Rag and Bone/Jeans that were perfect. The darkness of the denim makes it a bit more sophisticated for fall ( yes I know I said distressed jeans can be sophisticated) and they look fabulous with a tucked in blouse and belted. Exactly what she wanted. She also bought a soft and wonderful Hinge wide funnel neck sweater that she can wear on it’s own with a cute tank underneath or layer ontop of a solid or patterned shirt. Again all for the exact price she would have paid at a Nordstrom in the U.S.
I ended up with 3 sweaters and 2 tops. All from Nordstrom house brands that will work seamlessly into my closet. I bought a Trouve V neck sweater that comes in about 6 different colors and will fill the need for a black V neck sweater that I was lacking. A Free People ( yes I know that it is not an exlusive Nordstrom brand) thermal cowl neck top
I bought it in solid because they didn’t have the stripe in the size I needed. But it is cosy, comfy and looks great on! It also comes in 4 solid colors and 4 stripe colors and adds the nod to the sporty casual style that is so strong on Vancouver streets right now. The last piece I bought is this Hinge split neck shirtthe picture doesn’t so it justice but it comes in 3 different prints, this print has a burgundy pattern that I am so into this fall. It just flows beautifully over my body and pants.
I have gone on and on about how handy it is to have a black lace skirt in your closet. Well Nordstrom Vancouver has many to choose from at all prices. There are a few in the different designer sections but my recommendation is to try a variety on and see which ones looks best. Sometimes you can get away with spending a little less on one piece if you are wearing it with more expensive accessories, trust me no one can tell if you paid $80 or $300 for the skirt. Chelsea28 has this lace pencil skirt for less than $90 at Nordstrom in Vancouver. For a little more you could do this lace pencil skirt from Halogen or you could really have fun and do this red lace pencil skirt from Kate Spade ( yes they have a great Kate Spade department and accessories too). I recommend a black lace skirt as a wardrobe basic. It is one of those pieces you buy once and you can wear all year round with different tops and shoes or boots to a variety of occasions.
The accessory department is full at Nordstrom Vancouver. There are bags and belts, hats and scarfs. It is on the main floor and I had a great time poking around looking at all the different colors and trends they are showing. How great would it be to have a bag like this in your closet in this wonderful sea green. The bag is from Kate Spade and the only place you can get it in Vancouver is at Nordstrom. All the designer brands are there and even some of the less expensive lines that they carry online. I was tempted to buy this cute little Michael Kors cross body bag but I resisted. Hard to when the price is the same as the price in the US so 25% than it is at Nordstrom online. But I decided to save my fall bag purchase for a saddle bag style which I will tell you more about when I do my accessories blog in the next week or two.
There were also scarves and hats a plenty. I am a hat wearer and there are not many good hat stores in Vancouver. I usually end up buying hats online or when I am in Toronto or the US. But now Nordstrom Vancouver had hats in two different departments. The accessories department on the main floor and up on the 2nd floor in the BP department ( those are more funky and young). Lots of variety and prices but if you are a hat wearer this is the place for you. They had this beautiful bow cloche for around $50 and also this Kate Spade ‘Rainbow’ hat in 2 colors. Nordstrom Vancouver is a mecca for hair accessories as well. I almost regretted cutting off my long locks as I wandered around the hair accessory section. Beautiful hair clips like this and a huge variety of hair bands. I must have spent an hour wandering around the hat, hair accessory and scarf section! Not to mention all the cute head wraps that are so instyle today that they had all over the department. The best way to still wear animal print is on only one accessory or piece on your body. So leopard print booties with a black suit, or a leopard print belt on a burgundy dress or a head band or head wrap.
Last place I visited was the make up department. This season with the color hues going from soft and subdues to dark like a great Glam-Goth look, a girl needs to have a variety of lipsticks, pencils and blushes just to keep up. I will be doing a fall hair and makeup blog the middle of October, but in the mean time just visit the Nordstrom cosmetics section and pick up a couple of things to tide you over. Like this fabulous Bobbi Brown solf plum lipstickor maybe a Dior lip pencil that also comes with a sharpener and a brush for those au courrant red lips.So many colors and hues to chose from you simply can’t go wrong. Also lots of sales people who actually know what they are doing to help you across all brands. They had a fabulous perfume section and even petite Jo Malone London candles for $45 right by the checkout. And when you are all finished shopping drop by the instore Dry Bar for a hair wash and blow out. Talk about feeling pampered. I have been to Dry Bar in Boston, Chicago and New Orleans and now that there is one in Vancouver I urge you to try it when you need a blow out and your hairdresser isn’t available.
I could go on and on about my day spend at Nordstrom Vancouver. But you really need to experience what a fabulous shopping experience it is in person. I know that some of you hate shopping in crowded stores so my best advice is to go in the morning. At 9:30 am when the store opens I was practically the only customer there and it really didn’t even feel busy until about noon, when I was pretty much done the bulk of my shopping. I know I already gushed about the Nordstrom shoe department, I truly believe it is the best shoe department I have ever seen in a Vancouver store.
I will get back to blogging about fall outer wear next week and stay turned for a blog on Plus size dressing as well as Accessories and Hair and Makeup. But for now if you have time one morning I urge you to spend it at Nordstrom Vancouver and I promise you won’t regret it.
Want to have some styling help while you are at Nordstrom? Book an appointment with me between now and the end of October and I will come shopping and style you for half the normal rate just only at Nordstrom Vancouver and only until the end of October. I can be reached at suethefashionista.com to book an appointment.