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.



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