If you’re lucky, you have one within five to ten miles from where you live. That one store you always go to and find something suitable for whatever event you’ve got facing you. Need a dress for a cocktail party? A cardigan to go with that sleeveless top you never know what to wear with? Perfect shoes for an outdoor music festival? You know – that kind of store. The kind where you’re unlikely to leave disappointed.


For me, that store is the Nordstrom Rack on State and Washington, in downtown Chicago.

No, not the one near the north side on Chicago Avenue – I’m sorry to report that at present, they don’t have a plus size department. Really. I know. It doesn’t make sense to me either. But no matter – the State Street store makes up for it with AWESOME.

Just recently they’ve expanded their plus size section, so there are racks and racks of brands you might not expect to see at up to 70% off the retail price. While on the hunt for spring trends, I tried on items by Rachel Pally. Adrianne Papell. Vince Camuto. Kenneth Cole. Anne Klein, Calvin Klein. Eileen Fisher. Sejour. All marked way, way down. All high quality clothing worth adding to anyone’s closet. New merchandise comes in every day! And now that I’m a woman in my early thirties, I’m more into quality, brands you can rely upon and recognize, and classic fashion pieces I can remix a thousand different ways. I find all this and more at Nordstrom Rack on State Street.

When I was presented with the fashion challenge to go to Nordstrom Rack and put together a fashion-forward spring look for less – I couldn’t WAIT. Because I love the Rack, and I love SPRING! But – as you can see — I had a hard time deciding what to buy.


So many fun colors! So many brands I love! Where does one begin?

Here’s my shopping strategy at a store like Nordstrom Rack.

Go into the store with a PLAN. For example, I was looking for a trendy Spring look. For me, Spring is about bold, vibrant colors. I love contrast, I love colorblocking. I love the colored denim trend. And who doesn’t love a cute espadrille? I already had specific ideas about what kind of items I’d be looking for. And then it was just a matter of finding those items, cause there’s so much in store that’s on-trend and super cute, by designers I love.

I made two trips to Nordstrom Rack for this post, bellas – new stock comes in daily, so you may go in one day and everything is meh, and the next time you come back, things are WAY better. In my instance, I came back to discover that they’d expanded the plus size department. SCORE. I felt like the winner of the style treasure hunt that day!

When looking through the racks, if you see something you love, even if it’s in a slightly bigger or smaller size, pull it. It may fit better than you expect, and often at these kinds of stores there’s only one of the thing you love anyway.

And finally – try everything on. I personally like to try things on twice or three times. I’ll try a top on with the jeans I wore to the store, and with the jeans I might buy while at the store. I’ll put on a cardigan over the top I came in, and a dress I’m currently considering. It all gives me an idea of what looks good on my body, and which doesn’t. By trying on clothes obsessively, I familiarize myself with the textures and fabrics that fit and flatter my physique. I figure out which colors I need to add to my wardrobe, and which I already have too much of. it makes online shopping easier as well, cause now when you shop online you’re informed about which cuts and colors look good on you, you know what your closet is making and you’re less likely to make uninformed, ill-fitting, trend-based fashion decisions.

For this particular shopping adventure, I went back to the store twice, and I tried on close to 30 items. You’re allowed to take 15 items at a time into the fitting room, and best believe I took full advantage of that. I tried on dresses and skirts and pants and tops and cardigans and blazers, and finally shoes. And here’s what I bought.


Cute cardigan, right? It’s by Nic and Zoe. Here’s the CUTEST part.


Do you see that? I got this cardigan for 92% off. Marked down from $129 to $9.99. LIKE A BOSS.


I’ve got red jeans and purple jeans, but I’d been wanting cobalt jeans for a minute, and when I saw just one pair of these on the rack, I knew they had to be mine. They fit so comfortably!


The top is by Vince Camuto – I love the silky fabric, the color, and the ruffle detail on the front. Very figure skimming but feminine, and long enough to cover my key areas of concern – I hate a too-short top on me.

I also got this Vince Camuto cardigan and these shoes – I love a warm orangey coral with my skintone, and I loved the texture of the shoes.


And here’s what it looked like all together!



Accessories are all my own and I’ll break ‘em down for you in a follow up post Smile

And with the brighter cardigan:




What exactly am I wearing in this Springtime fresh look? 98% Nordstrom Rack, bellas!

Vince Camuto ruffle front tank

Diana skinny leg cobalt jeans

Report espadrille flats

Nic and Zoe “Scattered Clouds” cardigan

Vince Camuto coral cardigan

And I got all of this – and more – at Nordstrom Rack for less than $250. I know, right?!?

Now that I’ve told you where I shop on a regular basis, don’t be surprised if you roll up on me with an arm full of items as I wait in the fitting room line!

Did you like my look? What’s your favorite go-to store for whatever occasion presents itself?


Nordstrom Rack has more of the brands you love, up to 70% off every day. Stores are filled with heart-stopping designer deals, can’t-wait-to-show-it-off steals, and fabulous on-trend fashion for less. With fresh finds arriving daily, the hunt is always on.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Nordstrom Rack via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Nordstrom Rack.


SanTara says:
April 17, 2012, 9:12 am
They just opened a location here about one year ago. It's about 45min-1hr away but I have been itching to go. You have some fab choices and the price is all the way right. They have plus color skinnnies!!! That makes me even more excited to get over there. Oh, and I really like how you married all of the blues. NICE and you look very pretty. :-)
kenya says:
April 17, 2012, 9:42 am
I really like Nordstrom Rack but I am cautious when it comes to their plus department just because I wear a 26/28 and a lot of the designer top out at 22 a lot of the time. I do like their accessories I’ve bought a number of watches form them actually name brand Kenneth Cole and Fossil for under $60 that I absolutely love.
juliette says:
April 17, 2012, 9:58 am
The Rack is one of my go-to places too! I try to wait for at least one markdown to make the deal even better and the one near me has a GREAT plus size dress selection, which is often hard to find. @Kenya, IMHO try things on - many of the Michael Kors, Bobeau, Eileen Fisher and Nik and Zoe tops will easily fit a 26/28 (my best friend wears that size and I'm always on the hunt for her.) You're probably already doing that though!
juliette says:
April 17, 2012, 10:00 am
Forgot to add that I LOVE those cobalt jeans on you Bella! I hadn't tried them because I was waiting for the markdown (LOL) but I might have to go for it after seeing you in yours. And love that shot with the jeans, turq top and printed cardi - your HAIR! I LOVE IT - Guess how I'm wearing my hair tomorrow?!
Cheekie says:
April 17, 2012, 10:08 am
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS Nordstrom Rack. Since I work a few blocks away from the one on State/Washington, I STAY in that store You ain't never lied when you said that it's the perfect store for when you're rushing to find that outfit/item for an occassion. And the feeling you get when you find a great steal? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>. Afrobella, your colorblocking game is BAWSE. So looking forward to doing more of it this spring/summer. I've already bought some pieces to play around with. Woo!
Dee Dee says:
April 17, 2012, 10:46 am
Looooved this! You found some killer stuff and I love them all together. I already know you're bangin' in the accessory department so that is just the icing on the cake. PERFECT spring/summer look! Go P, go!
pets says:
April 17, 2012, 1:35 pm
Ok we don't have Nordstrom here in T&T But I have been into and shopped at those in USA - love the looks and the colours that you chose. Next time I'm in USA will check out The Rack. Thanks for this post.
Peaches says:
April 18, 2012, 10:16 am
The colors look fabulous on you.You and I wear the same size so this was inspiring.Unfortunately in my small southern town we do not have access to such big names as Nordstroms.As a recent plus-size girl I am forced to on-line for shopping.Bellas, be greatful for the choices you have been given of going in store for purchases.Awesome!
Tainette says:
April 18, 2012, 11:40 pm
Bella those colors look beautiful on you :-) I used to work for Nordstrom and let me tell ya that place just about broke me. lol I got to use my regular store discount at The Rack. Your absolutely right about The Rack being your go to store when you need something. The best time to shop The Rack was about 3-5 months after the 1/2 yearly sale. This works for both the womens sale and the mens. Happy shopping :-)
Alana Mitchell - beauty videos says:
April 19, 2012, 1:34 am
The color combination of the design are very amazing and looking better. All style go to the antique but have the modernize of realistic. So these design may be follow the new generation. Have a very nice day.
vanessa ellis says:
April 19, 2012, 2:32 pm
Hello "Bella" loved the finds. Enjoyed when our NR opened last year. Is there a way to share my latest find in the shoe dept? I left it in the store since i could not justify the expense. Went home saw 3 outfits that would work and dreamed of shoes all night. Returned next day and bought them. Take care!
Whitney says:
April 19, 2012, 3:55 pm
I. Love. Nordstrom. Rack.
Sandra Tedford says:
April 19, 2012, 10:17 pm
I just love the bracelets. The accessories go a long way in making an outfit pop.
Elizabet says:
May 27, 2013, 3:27 pm
When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks! Review my web blog :: Elizabet
cataract surgery says:
October 3, 2013, 9:36 pm
When some one searches for his required thing, thus he/she needs to be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.
Finaldata.Us says:
October 9, 2013, 4:51 pm
Admiring the persistence you put into your website and in depth information you provide. It's awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same unwanted rehashed material. Great read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.
north vietnam travel blog says:
October 10, 2013, 9:06 am
Hey there would you mind letting me know which web host you're using? I've loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a fair price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!
drive.google.com says:
February 18, 2014, 8:41 am
This might be super cool. I've been appearing through a bunch online and additionally really loved this variation.
Damien says:
February 20, 2014, 9:12 am
How can you choose to go about starting 1? Or maybe you delete some of the photos from all the original location, believing that they will not be wiped from Visualize Booth.
cheap tickets vacations says:
April 25, 2014, 1:18 am
Annual median salaries range from $31,256 to $46,397 including basic pay and bonuses. Actually, that could have been an interesting headline. Tell us why we should be right there with you and believe in it and you will attract long lasting fans.
GTA 5 online money glitch says:
September 20, 2014, 7:55 am
Hey there terrific website! Does running a blog similar to this require a great deal of work? I have no understanding of programming however I had been hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyhow, should you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off topic nevertheless I simply had to ask. Appreciate it!
gta 5 mapa says:
September 30, 2014, 2:41 pm
?Tampoco he podido evitar resistirme comentar. Fantasticamente bien comentado