Because what I needed was MORE DRESSES: A review of Nordstrom Rack

By | September 15, 2011


When the opportunity arose to review Nordstrom Rack, I was a little dubious. To be honest, I didn’t actually know that they carried plus sizes. Turns out they do, and starting September 15, they’ll be carrying more of them in the store where they already exist, and adding plus sizes to 15 additional stores. Yay! See, I’ve gotten accustomed to all my favorite discount stores (who shall remain nameless) limiting or removing their plus size selection, as so many have done in recent years, so rather than get my hopes up, I tend to presume that I won’t find anything to fit me, and sometimes I get to be pleasantly surprised.

There’s little to recommend my local Nordstrom Rack as a destination insofar as decor is concerned; the space is purely practical. On arrival, I spent several minutes wandering the big open floor in confoundment, wondering, oh no, maybe they DON’T have plus sizes in this joint. Or maybe they do but there will be three things and I’ll hate them all.

I needn’t have worried. Once I located the plus racks — which are integrated within the store, and not hidden in a back corner as is typically the case — I spent half an hour picking out cardigans from the racks of separates before I even found the dresses.


Longtime readers know that I don’t wear pants, and indeed I don’t even wear skirts — dresses and sweaters are my uniform of choice, all year round. Plus size dresses that are both high quality and pretty to look at are a rare resource indeed, rare enough that I usually rely on internet purchases to satisfy both requirements.

So I was pretty shocked when Nordstrom Rack had literal armloads of dresses in my size. (I may even have done a little dance of victory. Maybe.) I tried on ten different dresses, at least. I actually couldn’t tell you the last time I was in a store that even had ten different dresses that were both in a size that might fit me AND that I liked as well. It was glorious. They even had great music playing. (These are things I notice when I’m shopping. I have a much better time if I’m singing along — quietly — to “Inbetween Days,” I’m just saying.)

While I was greedily savaging the racks of dresses, I overheard an older woman and a younger woman — probably a mom and daughter — walking by. The older woman said, “Do you want to look at dresses?” and the younger replied, “No, summer’s almost over anyway.” LIKE DRESSES ARE ONLY FOR SUMMER. As if.

I left an hour and a half later (much to the chagrin of my husband, whom I had left waiting in the car while I ran in “for a few minutes”) with two dresses, three cardigans, a scarf, and a pair of shoes (which I’m going to have to return because they don’t fit — that’s what I get for being lazy and not trying them on in the store).

On to the stuff I bought!

Outfit the first:

The dress is by Donna Ricco, one of my favorite dress-makin’ brands, in a gorgeous blue-violet watercolor print. It has POCKETS. Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets? Cardigan is by Sejour. The scarf is Fossil. I do dig my pattern-mixing.

Outfit the second:


I did not have my photographer on hand for this one, and my tripod is broken, still.  Again, with the Donna Ricco dress, this time in an abstract floral in pinks, purples, blues, and white. Folks, I was so happy to find these dresses not at full price, if they’d had ten of them I probably would have bought them all. The cardigan is by Sejour. Belt is my own, as try though I might, I couldn’t find any plus-size belts in my local store.

Overall I had a really fantastic experience at Nordstrom Rack, much better than I expected as a jaded and bitter plus-size dress-wearin’ lady.

As part of this review, I get to give away a $100 gift card. EXCITING, right? So! To enter, comment below and tell me what you’re looking forward to for fall. (It doesn’t have to be fashion-related, either — “apple cider donuts” is a perfectly good answer.)

On to the fine print:

Sweepstakes will run from 9/15-10/31. Visit the Promotions & Prizes section. Here are the Official Rules.
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry
methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment
on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on
this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about
an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be
selected.


489 Comments

Calli on October 13, 2011 at 12:00 am.

I just love Halloween and seeing all the great costumes!

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Miss Pink on October 13, 2011 at 12:47 am.

I’m excited about pumpkins, both decorative and for use in baking. And Halloween, and dressing up, and cool weather, and fall foliage, and wearing sweaters, and my October birthday…

I pretty much love everything about autumn. 🙂

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susan on October 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm.

I am looking for some every day dresses for winter and as you said finding plus size dresses is not easy

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Lucy on October 14, 2011 at 1:46 am.

Fall is my favorite season. I also very much love dresses in the fall–more so than in summer, actually, because I LOVE tights and boots under a dress. Also, ankle boots. And blazers/scarves.

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stefanie on October 14, 2011 at 4:51 am.

oh man, i just love autumn. i’m looking forward to colorful leggings, pumpkin baked goods, and watch the leaves change color.

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Andria on October 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm.

Favorite things about fall: cooler weather, sweaters, pumpkin EVERYTHING, and the fall colors. (Orange is one of my favorite colors.)

I am going to have to check out Nordstrom Rack. I am excited when any store has a dress that actually fits me, let alone one that doesn’t have the shameful fat clothes hidden off in a corner.

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Megan Baptista Geist on October 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm.

I’ve always been afraid of Nordstrom Rack for some reason, but your review has given me a reason to dream about finding wonderful wardrobe pieces there! Thanks!

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Alli Thresher on October 14, 2011 at 1:40 pm.

I LOVE THOSE PINK DOC MARTENS! all caps b/c I’m excited. Lesley I think you need to do a post (here or on xojane) teaching people about not fearing color. Seriously – my entire wardrobe is black, grey, or brown. The only color I wear is the burgundy and pink/purple stripes in my hair. I am in fear of pops of color on an outfit.

Anyway – what am I looking forward to for fall? BOOTS! and UGLY mens’ sweaters that I layer over my cute summer dresses…and maybe apple crumble.

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Jen on October 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm.

I am looking for the perfect pair of wedge boots… In a size 12..that fit my calf, and don’t slouch at the ankle..impossible – No?

Hope I win!

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PLusSizeBrittany on October 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm.

OMG OMG OMG I HAVE TO WIN THIS, I DID A “WISH LIST” POST ON MY BLOG FOR NORDSTROM AND LOVE IT, BUT A WISH LIST IS ONLY WHAT I CAN AFFORD LOL. WHAT IM LOOKING FORWARD TO FOR FALL IS THE WEATHER, HOLIDAYS, SEEING FRIENDS AND FAMILY FROM OUT OF TOWN, THE FOOD OMG THE FOOD, THE GIFTS, GETTING EXTRA COZY WITH MY HONEY TO KEEP WARM, MY NATURAL HAIR NOT GETTING FRIZZING LIKE IT DOES IN THE SUMMER, THE FASHIONABLE COATS, SWEATER, LEGGINGS AND BOOTS. I LOVE NORDSTROM Kristen Blake Belted Faux Fur Vest, THATS MY FAVORITE WISH LIST ITEM RIGHT NOW. I SEE OVER 400 PEOPLE HAVE ENTERED FOR THIS AND I FEEL LIKE A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK LOL. GOODLUCK TO EVERYONE.
BLOG POST: http://plussizebrittany.blogspot.com/p/goodies.html
TWITTER: PLUSIZEBRITTANY (http://T.CO/30UDVHJU

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Nancy M. on October 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm.

Argyle! Love that cardigan you bought, and I’m looking forward to wearing more argyle this fall!

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MK on October 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm.

I am sooooo looking forward to the pumpkin patch!

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Danielle on October 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm.

Fall means pumpkins! I love baking with pumpkin and cannot wait to try new recipes.

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Carly Mary on October 15, 2011 at 1:23 am.

i am looking forward to the weather – cool crisp days with lovely colorful leaves to look at, topped off with a nice tea — cannot get any better than that.

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Carly Mary on October 15, 2011 at 1:25 am.

tweet tweet:
http://twitter.com/#!/trannygrannie/status/125079720076390401

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betsy on October 15, 2011 at 1:29 am.

HALLOWEEN!

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Amanda on October 15, 2011 at 3:25 am.

Tweeted! 🙂 Nordstrom Rack is one of my favorite stores, glad you got to discover it! http://twitter.com/#!/jadorepop/status/125108136012025856

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Erika on October 15, 2011 at 5:12 am.

I look forward to pumpkin lattes, yum!

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Beverly L. on October 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm.

I’m looking forward to amazing fall weather- crisp and fresh. Oh, and lots of hot chocolate!!!

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nikkiana on October 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm.

Ohhhhh! I didn’t realize that the plus sized clothes were integrated in with the rest of the store. No wonder I was confused! I was totally looking for a separate section!

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Hilary on October 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm.

I’m looking forward to more beautiful crisp Fall days with lovely foliage, bright sun, low humidity, and just the slightest nip in the air. And if there’s the smell of woodsmoke, all the better!

Psyched to read your review of Nordstrom Rack — I’m def gonna check out their curvy-size offerings.

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Amanda on October 17, 2011 at 9:36 pm.

That scarf and dress are fierce together. Love!

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Brianna on October 18, 2011 at 12:54 am.

Thanks for doing this review, I had no idea Nordstrom Rack was so awesome now! I’m definitely gonna check it out soon… but I’d prefer to do it with a gift card. 😉

I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures (I hate summer heat!), Halloween, and wearing (and buying, hopefully!) sweaters and coats!

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Brianna on October 18, 2011 at 12:56 am.

Link to tweet:

http://twitter.com/#!/jetaimerai/status/126159305102729216

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Georgia on October 18, 2011 at 4:20 am.

I would love a new fall coat!

gmissycat at yahoo dot com

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Georgia on October 18, 2011 at 4:21 am.

Tweeted too

http://twitter.com/#!/gmissycat/status/126211103251365888

gmissycat at yahoo dot com

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Krystal on October 18, 2011 at 9:45 am.

Love the shoes at Nordstrom Rack!

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Patricia Kennedy on October 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm.

I love shopping at Nordstrom Rack. The best deals can be found there. I enjoy watching the kids have fun with Halloween, but my favorite thing is the leaf color changes.

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Lib on October 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm.

I would love to shop for shoes!

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Whitney on October 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm.

All I wear are dresses and I’m coveting more long sleeve dress options. My favorite long sleeve dress is literally threadbare I’ve worn it so much and I just can’t let it go.

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Lori Todd on October 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm.

I’m so pleased to hear about your experience with Nordstrom Rack. I’ve been looking at their site for a while, but haven’t bought anything. I was pleased to find that there’s one w/ a plus-size section near me. I’m thinking after payday, I might have to make a visit. You found some lovely dresses!

For fall, I’m most excited about the cooler temperatures. I’m in South Florida, so we don’t really get a true change of seasons, but “fall” begins when I can bear to eat lunch outside again without breaking out in a horrible sweat. We’re almost there now …

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Abby on October 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm.

I’m going to have to go with “sweater weather.” Especially when it’s not raining.

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Ashley L on October 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm.

I’ve enjoyed not needing to dread coming home to a much-too-hot apartment! I live in the frozen north, so heat is definitely included in all apartments, but AC is not, so this summer was misery. I’m also looking forward to wearing all of my beautiful tights!

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Kjerstin Gruys on October 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm.

Oh man…. your dress/cardi/scarf combos are so bright and beautiful. They are totally inspiring me to mix and match from my own wardrobe! Awesome job. 🙂

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Eku Egao on October 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm.

I’m looking forward to fall’s cool temps so we can have toasty fires inside. Mmm, coziness.

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abi on October 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm.

I done tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/abianne/status/126787886870831104

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Diana on October 19, 2011 at 10:43 pm.

Soups! Lots and lots of veggie soups!

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freerangefatty on October 20, 2011 at 2:30 am.

I’m excited to buy cranberries, so I can make cranberry cider with maple syrup and a bit of cinnamon (vended as “bog juice” at the Common Ground Fair in Maine).

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Sandy on October 20, 2011 at 10:09 am.

Pumpkin Pie and dark roast coffee.

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Meggie on October 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm.

I had no idea Nordstrom Rack carried plus sizes. I’m checking mine out ASAP!

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Maureen on October 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm.

I am looking forward to cooler weather. I am looking forward to food items that are made with pumpkin.

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Kelly Massman on October 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm.

I look forward to falling leaves!

thanks also for a chance to win!
kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

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Shannon on October 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm.

I’m 44, the fact that I am almost figuring out what a blog is, is amazing, so this is my only entry. Sorry. 🙁

But I am SOOOOOOOOOOO happy that Nordstrom and other stores are finally realizing that we, slightly larger, gals wanna feel cute too! And we want to know that we have more than 2 patterns to choose from. Love that Nordstrom’s Rack!

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Megan on October 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm.

I’m looking forward to putting my one-year-old in a ridiculously cute costume and taking her trick-or-treating for the first time!

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Linda Heathcock on October 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm.

Good Luck everyone

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Christine on October 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm.

I’m obviously going to have to visit my local Rack. Last time I was there (over two years ago), all I found were tiny sizes…sigh. As far as fall, the thing I’m looking forward to most is finally being able to turn the “big oven” on. Living in LA, come June, the oven sees no action till November. So as you can imagine, I’m pretty sick of salads, lol!

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Laura on October 23, 2011 at 8:58 pm.

I was thinking about going there tomorrow. I was surprised at the stuff they had during back to school when I was shopping for my kids. Now it’s time to shop for me!

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nanjhall on October 24, 2011 at 9:04 am.

I love the fall weather! It is a great time to get out to hike, bike and enjoy the parks.

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Carrie on October 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm.

I’m excited, like I am every year, to go spelunking in my closet for the ingredients for a good costume, then getting all excited about the stuff in there I had forgotten about and will then proceed to wear all winter long.

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