Tag Archives: nordstrom

How to shop the new Nordstrom Rack in Honolulu

It’s no secret that some of my best finds happen at Nordstrom’s the Rack, specifically the Rack on Oahu. Great designer and bridge merchandise at a deal coupled with Nordstrom’s great customer service, it’s been a win win for me over the years. But for many the Rack is a huge warehouse chock full of overwhelming choices. And just because you found it at the Rack doesn’t always make it a bargain. Here’s how to make sure you strike it right when shopping at the new Honolulu Rack at Ward.

My Favorite buys at the Rack:

  1. Designer lingerie by brands Chantelle, Natori, Wacoal, Hanky Panky, and commando.
  2. Designer jeans by brands J Brand, Hudson, Paige, Habitual, Mother, and Current Elliot.
  3. Jersey blazers by Gibson.
  4. Layering basics including tees from James Perse, Vince, and Soprano.
  5. Shoes of all kinds including Haviana slippers.

The Layout: First things first, the new Rack is now 2 huge floors in the new building across from T.J.Maxx. Main floor is Men’s, top floor is for Women. When entering from the parking garage, the first thing you’ll see is the huge accessories department, lingerie, sunglasses, and home to your left. Then you’ll be bombarded with plenty of rounds of juniors, ladies and then women’s wear with a nice little pad of designer. I was a bit disappointed with their selection of designer, as the gals were really pumping up my expectations before the new store opened. Beyond the dressing rooms, and another large pad of accessories including handbags and body, you’ll find yourself immersed in shoes. It feels a bit more claustrophobic than before, with the aisles longer and taller, and at an angle. Designer shoes are separated like before, but now boots are also sectioned off which is nice.

The tag is your clue: The Rack has buyers that select merchandise directly from suppliers much like the main line Nordstrom does. Sometimes it’s from the same collection, but perhaps a different style. Things that come directly to the Rack can be much of the same that you’d find in their main line stores, but at 30-50% off retail. The real savings come from pieces that were originally meant for the main line stores and either got reduced and didn’t sell, or were customer returns after the merchandise already left the floors. These tags are marked differently, and usually have a red sticker, and usually go directly to the clearance racks.

Amazing savings. Look for tags like these, meaning they came from the full line store first, with further reductions.

Amazing savings. Look for tags like these, meaning they came from the full line store first, with further reductions.

New Designer Pad: The day I stopped in to the Rack the designer pad had racks of Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone, Trina Turk, Vince, Nanette Lepore, Kate Spade, Burberry London, Eileen Fisher, Element, Diane Von Furstenburg (DVF), Tory Burch and I’m more. These racks had some basics, but mostly wild prints or strange cuts that you can understand why they were leftovers. The main exception to this rule is Vince. Though this last visit the rack was loaded with sweaters that unless you were hopping a plane to snow, you couldn’t imagine wearing in the tropics.

Start with Clearance: Always a sucker for the best bargain, I start my search at the clearance racks. They are fairly organized, sorted by size and sometimes by section from the main store. My favorite finds are usually in the Indy, t.b.d., savvy rounders. On my recent haunt I found a Tibi silk top that normally runs $225 for $36, Coach platforms for a mere $34 (normally also $225), and a pair of current elliot cutoff denim shorts for $22, normally $156. I also found a perfect cropped 3/4 vince tee for $39 and a knit Rag & Bone blazer for $159, they run at $495. Now unless you need these things, it’s not really a bargain. But these are all great deals, and ones I plan on getting a lot of use from.

Some things to remember when shopping at the Rack:

  1. Shopping early in the day the racks are tidier, and often less busy before lunch time.
  2. Always check for quality. Sometimes seams don’t line up straight, you don’t want a crooked seam on your butt, so double check.
  3. There’s a 15 item limit when trying on, so be strategic with what you chose to try on with what. Dana is often working when I shop, and she helps make the process smoothly for me and my clients.
  4. Some shoes are re-soled if they were previously worn by a customer. These are often the best deals and often up to 85% off retail. I’ve spotted Prada, Jimmy Choo, and Feragamo. And they will be in the regular shoe section, not designer, so take a second look.
  5. Alterations can be done on the spot at the rack, and their seamstresses are just as good as their full line counterparts. Salva and I are on a first name basis.
  6. If you don’t feel like waiting to check out in line, look for any team member in the green shirt, and they can check you out if paying with credit or debit card.
  7. You have 30 days to return unworn merchandise. Though I find even if you pass the 30 days, they graciously take back your items for a full refund with proof of payment.

Nordstrom Rack 1170 Auahi St, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814; 808.589.2060

Worth a look: Nordstrom’s “Anniversary Sale”

So today was a big day, well only if you’re at Nordstrom, for their annual “Anniversary Sale”. Or maybe you’re the type to get pumped when the weather allows for daily use of boots, sweaters, leather, and an endless variety of skinny jeans. If you live someplace where it’s cold 70% of the time like I used to in America’s Northwest, the place where your daily staples never reach sale.* In Hawaii we don’t have such a luxury, instead our leather molds if left idle for too long. Ewww is right.

So, if you need fabulous winter staples, sometimes Norstrom’s Anniversary sale in July is a great place to start. My experience is the shoes are where it’s at, and staples you need every year. Nordstrom partners with companies to make often exclusive pieces that they launch in the heat of summer for a reduced price, typically 30% off. It’s also a way for the retailer to test the market for fall. What do customers want? And a lot of what they offer is their own house-made lines. Leith, Stem, Trouve, Halogen, 1901, those are just some of the many in-house lines, and some really lack in quality depending on the item. Just beware.

All that said, there are some good-looking on trend pieces worth investing in if you’re in the market. Been eyeing some Pedro Garcia pumps, but are turned off by the $500+ price tag? You’re in luck! You can snag them starting tomorrow (if you’re a rewards card holder) or July 19 for just over $300. Often times Nordstrom brings in it’s all-star products at a huge volume to make upĀ for the reduced selling price. All in all, it’s a win win.

*On a side note, if you do need boots in December, you might be hard-pressed to find the ones you really want, in your size. This exact scenario happened to me almost 4 years ago when I thought it was a decent enough idea to move from 80 degree weather Hawaii to a chilling (though rare) 16 degree Portland, Oregon (for a new job). I moved without the winter staples I needed. Made sense at the time, thought I’ll just get what I need when I’m there. Weeks of freezing ensued. I did find a great pair of flat equestrian style Cole Haan boots that I’ve re-soled twice, and I still have the, from Nordstrom. But if I had known about the Anniversary sale, I may have saved myself some frenetic shopping that winter.

Here are my picks:

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Shimmer, Glitter & Shine

A recent peruse of Nordstrom’s shoes and I couldn’t help but stop in my tracks to check these pretties out. These Enzo Anglolini shoes aren’t bad, for $79 they won’t exactly break the bank. Not sure what I’d pair them with, all black or nude would be stunning, I think.

At Anthropologie, I came across these pretty vintage inspired mirror glass votives. Just $6, you can create a nice little feature in the home for not much dough.

Personally, I can’t help but be attracted to glitter, shimmer, and shine.

What’s caught your eye lately?