Fashion

My Worst Fashion Purchases of 2020

I have looked through my archives like 25 times and I cannot seem to find a post like this from last year. Did I not do one? I did one for 2017 and 2018, and everyone always asks for it, so I’m surprised I can’t find one for 2019.

Anyway! This is where I share some of my worst fashion purchases from the past year and analyze why they didn’t work out for me, when I clearly thought they were worth buying at the time.

Before beginning this type of post, I always feel the need to make this disclaimer: If you bought any of these off of my recommendation, please don’t feel duped.

These aren’t bad products; they just didn’t happen to work for my personal style and lifestyle, or with the rest of my wardrobe. They may have worked out great for you; in fact, if you bought them, I sure hope they did!

My Worst Purchases of 2020

#1. Lululemon Swiftly Tech Racerback 

I bought a few of these Lululemon racerback tanks last spring, and I really thought I liked them, but they always slid down and showed my sports bra in the front. Drove me nuts. Once I discovered the Athleta Momentum Tanks, I bought a couple of those and donated these.

It’s really a shame b/c they weren’t cheap, but I just couldn’t deal with them anymore, and once I found a workout tank that fit me perfectly, I knew I’d never reach for the old ones again.

(And no, I didn’t usually wear them with a regular bra showing like that — this picture was just for the try-ons.)

#2. LOFT Shirttail Open Cardigan 

Early last spring, right before lockdown, I attended a funeral and found myself without a proper topper for a conservative blouse and pants. My black blazer seemed too businessy (I’m not even sure I had purchased it yet at that point, now that I think about it) and I didn’t have a good basic cardigan.

Immediately after that, I bought this lightweight shirttail cardigan to have on hand for those types of occasions. Well, I’ve never worn it!

I’m holding onto it, because I hope to find a need for it this spring and summer, but I’m including it in this list because it hangs in my closet, mocking me. I hate having things in my closet that I don’t wear, but I feel like the second I get rid of it, I’ll regret it. So there it sits.

#3. BLANKNYC Suede Moto Jacket

I know some of you purchased this, so don’t hate me for including it in my worst purchases list, but I think I only wore it once… actually, I didn’t even wear it once. I was going to wear it out to dinner with friends for “Galentine’s Day” last year, but it started raining, so I had to take it off and wear something else.

I’m sure it had something to do with lockdown happening and having nowhere really fun to go, but also, the color is just very limiting. I don’t tend to wear this color in the fall, and it’s obviously not a summer jacket, so that leaves this awkward time between the holidays and springtime, when I do love to wear pink, but it’s often too cold for just a suede moto.

I still have this jacket hanging in my closet, but I’m wondering if it’s time to pass it on.

#4. Sofft Somers III Sneaker Mule

I know, a lot of you love these, and honestly, they’re really good! I just didn’t gravitate to them that much. I think it’s the camo… I dunno. I just always reach for my P448s when I want a slip-on sneaker.

Also, they are a little wide for me, so I always felt like my feet were swimming around in them, even though they stayed on okay.

At the end of the day, I just don’t end up wearing this style of shoe very often. I had a black leather pair last year that I liked a lot at first, but eventually passed on.

Again, this isn’t to say that I don’t recommend them… I just don’t reach for them, myself. They happen to be still in stock and 60% off, so if they work for your life and style, definitely check them out!

#5. Rag & Bone Dre Slim Fit Ankle Boyfriend Jeans

I wanted to like these jeans, and they’re really comfortable, but I always felt sloppy when I wore them. Plus, they do that annoying thing in the crotch area… as you can see here in this picture. Drives me bonkers. And they’re also baggy in the rear.

It’s possible I could have gone down one more size, to the 26, but that seems crazytown! These are the size 27, and I’m normally a 28 or even a 29 in some styles. I expect the waist would be tight in the 26.

At any rate, they are currently sitting in the “maybe” pile in my bedroom, until I decide what to do with them.

#6. Alo Yoga Freestyle Sweatshirt

I don’t know why I kept this; I think I knew better at the time. It came in a Trunk Club, and it was towards the beginning of lockdown, and I guess I was sucked in by the cozy, slouchy vibes. Plus, it is actually really good quality, so I liked that.

But I never really liked the color, and the high neck and the overall baggy fit with the huge arms just wasn’t flattering in the least… I know that’s not the point, but still.

I think I only wore it once or twice, and then I never found myself reaching for it again. Unfortunately, it had been washed and worn so I couldn’t return it, and it ended up passing it on to a friend.

#7. Coach Courier Bag 

This bag was probably the biggest disappointment of the #NSale, and I know a lot of you bought it as well, so I’d be curious to hear how many who bought it kept it.

I really wanted to love it. I like how it’s not heavily branded, the shape is different than anything I have, and the quality is there. But it’s so bulky, and it didn’t sit well on me at any length.

I tried adjusting the straps several times, but I just didn’t like how it wore, so I ended up selling it or returning it, I don’t remember which.

#8. LOFT V-Back Tie Waist Jumpsuit

I’m laughing because I posted this look back in July, and it’s still available! In fact, it’s only $19.99.

This jumpsuit is really cute in theory, but the fabric felt and looked cheap to me, and whenever I sat down, the seam up the back went places the sun don’t shine.

Let’s just say, it was very uncomfortable.

Maybe I needed the 6, but I feel like that would have looked too voluminous. At any rate, I wasn’t able to return it because I held onto it too long, so it got donated.

#9. Mother Insider Crop Jeans

These were actually a purchase from 2019, but I’m realizing as I write this post, it’s too soon to judge whether most of my fall purchases from last year are going to be worn or not. But these…. these have been a struggle since I bought them.

I’ve styled them for several photo shoots, but I don’t believe I’ve ever actually worn them. Every time I try, I feel ridiculous, and I go back to my trusty black skinnies. As I look at them here, I do like how they fit through the hips and thighs, but that kick flare and the crop length just seems so awkward to me.

I keep thinking if I keep them long enough, I’ll end up wearing them and liking them because they are rather flattering and very much on trend, but… so far, no dice.

#10. Mother The Stunner High-Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans

And while we’re on the topic of jeans, I loved the fit of these. I also got drawn in to the idea of this bright, cheery shade of red for spring and summer, but I never wore them.

I think this is a “know thyself” situation. I don’t like to stand out; I prefer darker, muted colors and understated looks, and while these are cute as can be, they’re just not me.

Plus, and I know some of you don’t want to hear this, but colored jeans — at least bold colors like this — aren’t really on trend right now. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear them, but if you do, they should really fit your personal style.

I also think the part of the country in which you live is a factor in such matters. In the south, these jeans might not stand out quite so much, but here in the gritty northeast, neutrals and muted tones are much more commonplace and on trend at the moment.

#11. Splendid Rive Sandwash Tank Dress

And finally, another example of a situation where I got drawn into a look that just isn’t me. This time, it wasn’t the color, but the style. When will I learn?

I loved this dress, or thought I did. It came from Trunk Club, and it really is great quality and felt so good on. But slouchy dresses, wether maxi-length or otherwise, just do not flatter me or suit my style aesthetic. I always wish I was that girl, but I’m not.

So this hung in my closet for months, and I tried wearing it several times, usually when hosting casual summer gatherings on the deck — I may have worn it once for such an occasion.

Finally, one night when I put it on to go out to dinner, and my daughter told me I looked like I was wearing a beach coverup, so I put it in the giveaway/donation pile.

In Conclusion

I’m sure I could go on because I make SO many purchases in a year, I can’t possibly keep them all. I do try to make wise decisions and return what I can, but some things you have to keep around for a while before you realize you just aren’t reaching for them.

Feel free to share your worst purchases of 2020 in the comments. I’d love to hear!

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134 thoughts on “My Worst Fashion Purchases of 2020

  1. I couldn’t wait to read this post and I enjoyed it so much.  I just love your writing style (“where the sun don’t shine”… :o)).  I hope you keep the BlankNYC pink suede jacket.  It’s beautiful on you.  I bought the more drapy/thinner BlankNYC jacket in gray and also pink.  I’ve only worn the gray one once…but I’m keeping both for better times.   I’m trying to be less ruthless in purging what I haven’t worn this year.  Here’s to hoping the vaccine will be widely available by summer, and we can create outfits again!

    1. I am going to at least hold onto it through this spring, and see if I have an occasion to wear it. I might, if restaurants stay open and we don’t get sick. I also have that grey drapey BlankNYC jacket and I’ve only worn it once or twice. Again, hoping for more reasons to wear it this spring.

  2. Bought and returned the black Coach bag…..gorgeous but too heavy.  Oh I also bought the pink moto…loved it but thought where in the world am I going to wear this, back it wen to Nordstrom (too bad cause I got it for a steal.). Loved your post today!

  3. I loved this post.  It made me laugh.  I have a lot of the same issues so I could really relate!  Thanks for sharing!!

  4. My worst purchases? I bought a few Amazon sweaters featured by a few younger bloggers on Instagram that turned out to be poor quality and after one wash (in cold water) they’re all stretched out and/or pilled and just sloppy looking. I have decided to be more intentional about clothes buying in 2021. My closet needs some cleaning out, as I’m embarrassed to say I have a ton of items I’ve bought and have never worn. I also bought your pink suede moto and returned it. I took it to wear on our anniversary weekend in San Diego last February and wore my black leather jacket instead. The color is pretty in theory but hard to style….at least for me. 

    1. I agree, those Amazon sweaters always look way better on the young fashion bloggers. When I fall for one, I’m always like, SERIOUSLY? This is the same sweater? I like the pink moto better with ivory tank and blue jeans and taupe pumps, which is how I was going to wear it the night I went out with my girlfriends and it was raining. I will try it again when the weather warms up. I love it over the all black look, but I don’t see myself wearing that anywhere around here.

  5. I have the Sofft Camo sneakers & love them. Wear them A LOT & they are very comfortable. Some things work, some don’t.😊

  6. What a great post! Although, those items were cute or looked good, it’s interesting to hear why they don’t work for you.   I haven’t purchased much this last year since I wasn’t going anywhere, but I did buy a heavy hooded cardigan sweater with a fun Faire Isle pattern and I haven’t worn it once!  I thought it would even just be fun to wear around the house for warmth and it never fit quite right, and I never reach for it.  I just put it in the donation pile yesterday!  And now I really should go through my closet yet again and be ruthless about what else I really never reach for.  I try to keep the tags on my purchases until I wear them for the first time and decide I love them, but sometimes it’s not until later on that I decide something isn’t for me.  Thanks for the inspiration and advice!

      1. Yes, those return policies can get you!  I need to get in the habit of wearing something new around the house a little right when I get it, so I can really tell if I’m going to like it, before I stash it in the closet.  Ha ha

  7. I enjoyed reading this post. It’s nice to know that even bloggers aren’t always happy with purchases. I like the reasoning that you give when you’re describing fit and reasons for rejecting or keeping, especially on the try on haul posts.  I’d actually like to see the misses posts more often than once a year.  Maybe once a season as you find what you’ve not worn from your closet. 

  8. I agree with the idea of keeping the pink moto jacket. I am sure you will wear it eventually. It was actually one of my all time favorites last year and I would wear much the same if going somewhere, which we are not! It is my first time commenting and wanted to add my two cents.

  9. I love these posts, so thank you! I bought the R&B Dre jeans and LOVE them. Actually, I got them and the AG boyfriend jeans and was going to return the Dre’s but kept them because they looked so cute on you! I’m a little surprised you aren’t wearing the #9 Mother jeans because they could not look more flattering– you should definitely take those out for a spin! And I like the red jeans too, but I agree– I wouldn’t feel comfortable in them either. There’s such a fine line between staying in your comfort zone and stretching outside of the box, and I think it’s good to do a little stretching now and then, even if it doesn’t work out. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who ends up with a few regrets from time to time, but in the big picture it’s not a big thing… especially when you can pass it on to someone else who will appreciate it more! 🙂

    1. I always fall for boyfriend jeans in summer, when I can wear with t-shirts and sandals, but then I never really like them for fall with boots and sweaters. I should probably hold onto them till next spring/summer. But that crotch thing is annoying. I’m not sure what is up with that. I only see it in pix, maybe it isn’t noticeable in person?

      1. I didn’t notice the crotch thing until you mentioned it, and even then I don’t think I’m seeing it quite the way you are. My proportions are different– heavier legs, slimmer hips– so maybe this style just work better for me. I wear them all winter scrunched up over Uggs or with sneakers or even with refined combat boots. I’m a little older than you, but my personal style is definitely less grown up, so there’s that too 😉

  10. That was a fun post to read. I don’t remember seeing one from 2019. Thanks for the humor and being honest. It’s refreshing for sure.

    On a side note: You will enjoy your trip to Cape Coral this spring. I’m about 25 minutes away from there. Depending on what dates you are actually here, it probably will be gorgeous 70-80ish degrees. The spring breezes will be blowing and the sun will shine almost everyday. The palm trees and all the flowers are amazing!

    Things are pretty casual in Florida (although some people doll up), but you won’t need much jewelry or any fancy clothes. Shopping isn’t the best (not like you are accustomed to), so bring with you what you think you might want. Sunglasses, sunscreen and hats are always a great idea.

  11. I have a question about the Athleta Flurry turtleneck- is it warm enough with a vest to go running in 40*F weather? Does it hold in the heat? Is the fabric thick? Is it soft? I know it was several posts ago but I now could have a real use for it.

    1. Yes, for me it is. It’s medium weight and stretchy. I can do a vest with it in the 40s, but I need a jacket over it in the 30s. It also depends on how windy it is, of course.

  12. Loved your post!! I find as I get older, I’m learning to appreciate a style in others that I know is just not me, so less impulse buying.  Loved your story about your daughter’s comment on your dress, daughters are our best and most honest critics! 🙂. I agree with the others, keep the pink motto, it looks so good on you and hopefully you’ll have an occasion to wear it to.  Thanks for sharing!

  13. I bought and also returned those same Rag and Bone jeans–for pretty much the same reasons! They were huge, even in a size down, but even so, the style just seemed wrong on me, somehow, and I could not style them in a way that didn’t make me look like a Try Hard, if that makes sense.

    But that being said, it reinforced an important lesson: not everything that’s “in style” is a good choice for me.

  14. I bought the Loft light weight cardigan you have in the black. I got light blue. I just never grabbed for it and think I only wore once. It’s good to hear you do the same thing we all do……sometimes get sucked into something that isn’t really us. If I was you I’d keep the Mother crop black jeans and wear with your black mules and a white top this Spring or a white top with black polka dots. I’m just getting ready to look up black jeans in your post to find the raw hem skinnies you styled that don’t fade. I want them for my black mules and polka dot shirt? Were these skinnies I’m looking for Kut from the Kloth?  You answered back one time but they weren’t on sale. Want to look now. Nordstrom has some sales on black jeans now. Thanks. Fun post to see. 

    1. I have some Kut from the Kloth Donna black skinnies that I like a lot, but I can’t speak to whether or not they will fade because I haven’t had them long enough. My black AG jeans never fade.

  15. I loved this post. I too bought the long black cardigan and actually wore it today because a blazer or a coat was too much. I like the idea of keeping the tag on the item until you are sure
    you love it.
    You will enjoy Cape Coral area. Hopefully you will fall in love with Publix grocery stores. I live in Texas now but visit this area many times a year…and my treat is going grocery shopping and getting the bear claws from the bakery. haha

  16. Ha! This post made me laugh more than once. Kind of a “hello, what was I thinking?” Of which I have had many, I must say.

    One comment…most of the items you show make you look frumpy…Too baggy, or just some how age you ….. they seem liike you were in someone else’s closet.

    Pack them up as soon as you can, and go back to your skinnies and more fashionable tops…Yes you really do have a signature look. As you have said “if it ain’t broke….”

  17. Just a P.S.
    Are jumpsuits still “in”?
    I tried them the first time around (think the disco era) and I remember they were a nightmare when visiting the restroom!!

  18. Thank you Jo-Lynne! I guess that proves you’re normal like those of us who do the same exact thing. Ha ha. I decided to try on two dresses last week that I bought in July which still had the tickets on them. I still liked one of them but I wasn’t sure what I was thinking when I choose to purchase the other one. It’s an animal print which is a favorite of mine, but it had padding at the shoulders and it would be going back, but now it’s not returnable. I wondered if I could just remove the padding. Oh boy! Why do we do this to ourselves. 🙁
    That’s yet another reason why I like shopping at Nordstroms. You can return at any time. 
    Thanks for the humor and another great post.

  19. My issue is I seem to purchase clothes in the wrong color tones.  Especially a sucker for a sale. Well anyway I’d take that pink Moro jacket off your hands though. Haha. 

  20. The pinky/rose suede jacket is so pretty.  You might not wear it as much as a neutral, but it adds an extra element for something special.  I’m not an expert, but I think it would look darling over a spring dress, like for Easter?  Being that it is kind of a floral color, I think maybe it could be worn through spring on chilly days.  Like with a white sweater that has navy or black stripes??  Also, for fall with olive green??  That might be tricky…a lot of extra color! haha It’s a nice jacket and looks very pretty on you. I loved the boyfriend jeans on you as well, so cute.   

  21. I LOVE this post. I know you’re human, but until I read this post I thought everything fit you great and that you loved your purchases. It’s reaffirming to know I am not alone with my 2nd thoughts and guesses. I too bought the Dre Slim boyfriend jeans and like you, they are not my favorite. I think most of my fails this year have been make-up since you can’t try it on at the store, but thankfully Nordstrom has a very generous return policy, so I am not bound to bad foundation. I definitely made more positive purchases than bad; all the right purchases are lounge wear and tennis shoes 🥰. My favorite tennis shoes are Kahru, they’re fun and comfy. Thanks again for keeping it read, Jo-Lynne – cheers! 

    1. Yeah, I was trying to think of bad makeup purchases to add to this list, but I couldn’t come up with anything I haven’t kept or liked. Seems my bad buys are usually fashion-related… or appliances, but that’s really going off topic, haha!

  22. I have that blank nyc jacket in a pretty tan and love it!   If you find it somewhere in a different color you should def try it!  I’d have the same problem with the pink,  it’s so pretty but I wouldn’t wear it often!   Although it might be cute up style it with a soft grey/pink look for spring.  White/ivory top, gray skinnies, and the jacket; alternately your winter white jeans and a light gray top/sweater.  Give it a try!

  23. I really enjoyed this post, you are good at describing what happened with the garment or the situation which which made the garment not work for you. I find the biggest problem that I have is that it doesn’t appear until I have worn the garment for a time, then the problem appears, itchy, saggy, rides up, binds in the wrong place doing different activities I have not tested it, etc. We can relate.

  24. I have that Lululemon tank in white and I never wear it.  It is so unflattering.  It also mocks me in my closet.  Workout clothes are so hard to find.  Not hard to find as much as hard to find absolute in love ones.  Ones I do, I tend to keep them for “nice” and not even end up working out in them.  I know, it doesn’t make any sense.  Ones to collect,,,,ones to work out in….

  25. LOVE THIS!!  And I so agree , when it isn’t my style and I buy it anyway – I never wear it🙄
    Glad I am not alone . Love your blog !

  26. My favorite quote from this post: I wish I was that girl.

    That is usually my problem when I don’t end up liking a purchase. I bought it wishing I was someone else! 😀

  27. Love this post! Fun to read, down to earth and love hearing your insights.  Also, I love your “Try Hard” phrase- I’ve incorporated it to help evaluate outfits!

  28. The Rag and Bone Dre get baggy in the butt on me also and a bit in the crotch. I have been drying them all the way in the dryer (which I normally don’t do with jeans) instead of dry flat and they fit well! I do like them in the spring/summer with sandals and a Tee!

  29. I too purchased the Nordstrom handbag you mentioned from their sale. I returned it due to all the reasons you listed! 
    I just read your blog on cleaning out your closet and your endorsement for the course Adore Your Clothes. I paid attention because I have grown to trust your recommendations . You truly feel it was helpful? 

  30. I think you are over thinking matching the pink motto jacket. If it is comfortable wear it more often, with everything. I really think it goes with a lot more but you are not used to matching that color. If you always match neutrals then matching color can seem uncomfortable but only until you explore it more:) Have a great week!

  31. I think you look amazing in the pink jacket. It’s so useful analysing why things haven’t worked out and hopefully avoiding mistakes in the future, but so easy to forget when shopping.

  32. Glad to read that even fashion bloggers make mistakes. I recently reviewed my 2019 Nordstrom purchases and there were quite a few of what was I thinking. 

    The Mother Insider Crop looks great on you, IMO. 

    I bought the Splendid dress and while it may not be the most flattering it is very soft and I’ll wear it around the house. 

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