If it’s kind of our job to shop, is it bragging to say that we’re really good at shopping? I’m going to go with no, but either way, we’re just here to help. Me and my fellow Who What Wear editors have bought many things over the past 12 months, so it’s a tall ask to narrow it down to just a few of the very best purchases, but ask I did.
As you know, 2020 has been an unprecedented year, and our shopping habits undoubtedly reflected that, as have everyone else’s. Sure, we still bought some heels and jeans, but the bulk of our purchases consisted of comfortable clothes and shoes, along with wellness, home, and beauty items to comfort us and keep us calm. And whatever 2021 holds for us all (hopefully better things), we love these items enough to continue to use them into the new year and beyond. Among these 37 highly praised (by us, at least) items, you’ll find things as varied as exercise equipment, designer bags, and an Instagram-famous cooking pan. Keep scrolling to shop our most beloved purchases of 2020. Happy New Year.
“If you’re constantly trying (keyword: trying) to board the self-improvement train like I am, and you could use a little help being a regular flosser, you’ve landed on the right slide of this story! Cocofloss is the most millennial product ever. It’s basically expensive floss that’s pretty and tastes good. You may feel miserly about how much you’re going to spend on your floss, but consider this: It’s way cheaper than getting dental work done, and if you’ll actually use it because it’s a giant leap more fun than your drugstore floss, what have you got to lose? I think I first spotted it on Eva Chen’s Instagram and have since become my own Cocofloss evangelist. First: the flavors. I love all of them, including the classic coconut, and sometimes can even convince myself the vanilla and chocolate flavors are a “treat.” The floss is also a fibrous woven material that feels way more effective than the more plastic, super-thin floss. They compare using the traditional plastic, smooth floss to trying to clean crusty dishes with a plastic bag. That’s right, the gaps between your teeth are the crusty dishes. What a visual! I’ll see myself out.” “Hi, my name is Kat, and I have a significantly fancier looking fridge interior for the very low cost of $30. You look in your fridge multiple times a day. Why not spruce it up a bit? I started with this set, and appreciate it every dang day. I have my eye on the wine bottle rack next.” “I bought this alarm clock as part of my never-ending quest to become less addicted to my phone. I wanted a clock that looks decent, is manual and not digital, doesn’t give off any light or glow, doesn’t tick (heaven forbid!), and wakes me up with the sound of a babbling brook. I got all but the water noises in this clock. It makes a beeping noise to wake you up that gradually gets louder. It’s not a blaring, horrifying beep, but I do have to admit it’s insistent, and it’s no babbling brook. I think I’m just going to have to give that aspect of my wish list up. It’s Japanese-designed, so it has a nice aesthetic. Many months in, I can report the alarm is 100% reliable and hasn’t failed me yet. It has a snooze function and a button that you can push to shine a very gentle light on the face if you want to know the time in the middle of the night. I more often than not will leave my phone in the living room when I go to bed at night because of this little bedside companion, and that soothes my phone mania substantially. It’s a bit of an investment, but I would rebuy it in a heartbeat. “ “This trippy top is one of my most prized possessions. I love wearing it with everything from jeans to pleated skirts, and it even looks good styled open over a ribbed tank.” “I bought this bag when I recently had to move out of my New York apartment as a gift to myself. True retail therapy, if you will. It’s rare I invest in bags like this, but I kid you not, I have not carried another purse since I bought it back in July.” “I have purchased one too many colorways of this crewneck sweatshirt. But between this new at-home lifestyle and my overall laziness when it comes to putting together outfits, I find that owning these basic crewneck sweatshirts in multiple colors makes getting dresses these days much easier.” “Whoever designed these deserves a raise because they are truly flattering in ways I didn’t think sweatpants could be. My mission now is to get them in the other colorways.” “2020 was really sink or swim in terms of self-sufficiency. Preparing meals goes a whole lot smoother when you have a vessel that can take the heat. I’ve had to replace so many pans in my lifetime, but I feel like I’m covered for years with this.” “This really incorporates all of my interests into one piece. You know you love a home décor item when you can’t stop randomly looking at it, and this is no exception.” “Rubber boots have been trending this year—they’re practical, comfortable, and look cool with floral dresses and jeans alike. I love this neutral Hunter pair I bought this year.” “I love a good sweater vest, and this oversize houndstooth one with pretty crystal-embellished buttons is one of my absolute favorites—easy to throw on over turtlenecks and T-shirts.” “The Super Puff from Aritzia is one of my favorite buys of the winter season. The fabric feels luxurious to the touch, and it keeps me super toasty. They come in so many cool colors, but I love the tan one as it’s super versatile.” “APL sneakers are my favorite gym shoes, so I bought these ones with every intention of using them to up my at-home workout game. Turns out I’m super lazy, though, so they’ve mostly become my grocery store sneakers. Every time I wear them in public (socially distanced scenarios only, of course), I get so many compliments. Seriously, I’ve had women wave me down in Target to ask where they’re from.” “I am borderline obsessed with Zara’s Limitless Contour Collection and have compulsively added at least one piece from the stretchy, stylish range to each and every order I’ve placed since March or so. These pieces are so comfortable and really cool looking at the same time. I like to pair the formfitting tops with sweats or joggers for the perfect athleisure look.” “Spending increased time at home this year has prompted me to better understand and care for my natural hair texture, so headwraps have become a huge part of my styling repertoire. I’m a less-is-more kind girl in many ways, but especially when it comes to my hair. These stylish wraps are perfect for those days when my coils are doing their own thing.” “Sweatsuits are a staple in my rotation these days. I bought a purple set from Zara recently, and I love it—a fun way to enhance my WFH vibes.” Shop the matching Plush Jogging Pants ($26). “One of my go-to shoe silhouettes these days would have to be my Birkenstocks. I wear them around the house and slide them on when I mask up for a quick errand.” “In terms of denim, jeans with stretch are crucial for comfort. You know, when I want a break from my joggers.” “I apologize in advance that these are on backorder, but they’re worth the wait. I managed to snag one of the last pairs of the chunky-sole version earlier in the season, and they’re my favorite shoe purchase of the year, by far. They’re so comfortable and especially cute with a pair of ankle socks.” “I love modern diamond rings that you can wear every day, and this one checks all the boxes for me. It makes a statement on its own, yet it’s thin enough to make it perfect for stacking. It’s a bit of a splurge, but with 14k gold and diamonds, it’s absolutely worth it.” “I don’t know why it took a pandemic for us all to realize that sweat shorts are a wardrobe essential, but here we are. In fact, these may be my most-worn item of the year. I love that they’re basically exactly like sweatpants (fleecy material and all), and now they come in cute colors like pink and emerald green. I only have the gray, but it may be time for a re-up.” “This was my cheapest yet most satisfying purchase all year. I have dandruff and previously never felt like I could get rid of it completely, even with prescription shampoos. But this little guy has done the seemingly impossible and alleviated my flakes when I use it to massage in dandruff shampoo.” “I’m obsessed with Christy Dawn’s signature Dawn dresses. They’re so comfortable and easy to wear, even for working from home all day long. For Southern California winters, I wear them with sneakers and a cardigan. I especially love that they’re made ethically and sustainably in Los Angeles.” “I haven’t worn a full face of makeup in many months, but I do still like wearing concealer to cover up my post-acne marks. This one by Koh Gen Do is my new favorite because it goes on really smoothly and covers up very well.” “This year, I’ve been all about these loose, ripped jeans that take direct inspiration from ’90s denim.” “I’ve been living in these shoes and can confidently say they’re the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever worn.” “I’ve documented my love of jumpsuits and have been recommending this one from Frankie Shop to everyone.” “After hearing literally all of my colleagues rave about this serum, I decided to give it a try. As someone who *used* to be frugal with her beauty products, it did shake me a little to pay $166 for this bottle, but after using it for a week, I fully understood the hype. It makes my face extra glowy and smooth. It has woken up my tired and dull skin so I look more presentable during Zoom meetings! This was my favorite beauty buy of quarantine, hands down.” “I bought this during the early Black Friday sale and let me tell you it has changed my life completely. That is not hyperbole. It made me realize that the only thing my old vacuum was doing was push around dirt. The first time I used the Dyson in my apartment it sucked up so much dirt that I was both disgusted and thrilled, and I vacuum every week, so it’s not like I never clean my space! This device seems to get every single speck of dust and then some, and the cordless situation makes it so easy to use.” “After going all-in on at-home workouts at the beginning of quarantine and then falling off my routine, I decided to up my fitness game by splurging on a Peloton bike. Yes, I gave into the craze, and I don’t regret it at all. Just having the bike makes it so easy to work out every day, which I’ve done for the past two months. And can I just add that I’ve never worked out every day in my whole entire life? I feel so much stronger and energized. The classes are so fun, and knowing that I spent a good chunk of change on the bike really pushes me to keep up with my goals. I also love that with my membership I can try other classes like yoga, strength training, and meditation for some variety.” “I’m normally not one to succumb to the hype, but in the case of Simonett’s viral multi-wear crop sweater, I’m so happy I did this year. It’s just such a beautiful and unique knit, and supporting a rising Latinx-owned brand makes it all the better.” “I’ve loved revamping my space during quarantine, and I’m super happy I found this midcentury-modern lamp this year. It’s come in handy every time I want to snuggle up with a book, and it just looks so much more expensive than it actually is.” “Frankly, the only thing that’s been keeping my skin together this year is Peach & Lily. I’m specifically obsessed with its reboot surfacing mask, which has been the hero I didn’t know I needed when it came to combating mask acne, stress acne, and all quarantine-related skin dilemmas.” “Without a doubt, day after day, the only thing I consistently put on is this pair of hoop earrings from Maison Miru. How I lived so long without the perfect hoops, I’m not sure.” “This is hands down the coolest piece in my closet right now. Made from the most buttery soft leather, it’s the slouchy blazer of my dreams and makes me feel like the star of my own ’90s rom-com. I’ve had it for maybe two months now and have already worn it too many times to count.” “Yep, this was the best $90 I’ve spent all year. Other than the fact that this knit is a trend piece right now, I consider it to be the ideal WFH piece—throw it on over a tee or tank for an extra layer when the A/C kicks up without committing to another layer.” “I lusted after this beautiful frame bag for so long, and I’m pleased to say that I finally made it mine. The structured shape feels so polished, and it has an overall timeless quality to it that has convinced me I’ll be wearing it for years and years.”