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!

This post contains affiliate links, and I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through one of my posts.

Join the Conversation

137 thoughts on “My Worst Fashion Purchases of 2020

  1. I love the idea of this post. I’ve got quite a few things mocking me too. I’m getting better about thinking if I’ll wear it more than once. I hardly bought in any clothing in 2020. I’d buy and end up returning because I wasn’t wearing it. Aye-yai-yai!

  2. Love this Post! So honest and realistic too! I have things I’ve purchased as well and wonder what was I thinking…..maybe wishful thinking? LOL
    But sometimes I may want to get out of my ‘comfort zone’ and get something a bit different – sometimes it works and sometimes…..not.
    BTW, you look great in all of the above, especially the black jumpsuit! But I know it’s important to FEEL good in something as well!
    Take care!

  3. I am laughing because I have #1 and it’s my favorite spring time cardigan. Especially in the house in the evening when it gets little cool. It fits my arms just perfect!  Perfect example of how different things work differently on each one!😉

    1. It really is a nice one. I think 2020 and having no where to go is partly why I didn’t reach for it. I did like it in the other colors – I would have probably worn those more.

  4. I would agree on your selections with the exception of the motto jacket. It’s a beautiful piece. I’d hold onto it and hope for an opportunity to wear it again. 
    Have a lovely day!
    Marilyn C

  5. I love when you do these posts. I think we all have pieces that we bought and then didn’t wear. It’s great the you talk about why the items didn’t work as it really gives us things to think about when purchasing. I especially like what you said about the style aesthetic of that last dress not working. I’ve definitely purchased things that were trendy and may have even looked good on me but I just didn’t feel like myself when I out it on so I never wore it. Btw, I really like those crop flare black jeans on you and the Moto jacket (color is so good on you)

  6. Inspired by this to really clean out the closet and forgive myself for a few misguided purchases along the way!  

  7. What an entertaining post!   I am sure we all have our regrets pile!  I giggled at #11, the Splendid black tank dress. You could wear in Florida in March as a….wait for it….a beach coverup!  😉

  8. 😀 I bought a jumpsuit that looks similar to this one & never wore mine either. I love the idea, but the whole disrobing thing when going to the BR just caused me to leave it hanging. Also had one of those swingy dresses- I don’t like the way they look on me- beachy or maternity? I guess bc I am so short waisted & straight. But I see them on others & think they are super cute.
    Thanks for the post! 

  9. maybe keep that dress that looks like a beach coverup (I agree with your daughter) for your trip to Florida

  10. Thank you! This was such a great post and I needed the reassurance that it’s ok to let some items go. My big fail of 2020 was the  Striped Cowl Neck Pocket Sweater from Loft. The neck doesn’t lay right and after washing, it pilled terribly giving it an all over cheap look. I’m adding it to the donation pile today!

    1. That’s too bad, I actually liked that one. But I don’t remember if I washed it… I know I wore it a few times. I think it got donated b/c I rarely keep LOFT stuff from year to year. They don’t usually bring styles back again (for linking on the blog), and the quality never seems to hold up for me. It’s a shame b/c they have nice styles.

  11. I love this type of post! And I love the Moto jacket and the black jumpsuit! So sorry those items didn’t make the cut, as you look great in both! I’m with Nicole…hoping you might sell on Poshmark! 🙂 Have a great day!

  12. Thanks for your honesty and transparency.  This post reinforces “Be true to thyself”.  I love Boho looks on other people but I look like I am wearing a potato sack if I try that.  I have wasted a lot of money buying items that work for others but not my silhouette or personal style. Too bad about that jumpsuit.  I love the look of it but it has to feel good as well as look good.  I agree that the colored jeans are a better look in the south or tropical destinations.  Don’t fit in as much in northern areas. 

  13. I loved this post.   We’ve all been there.  So refreshing to see that even people in the fashion world make mistakes too!

  14. Loved this post – so fun to hear you too have regrets on purchases.
    I did love the jumpsuit on you – looked fabulous in my book! I do understand the up the back end problem!!

  15. This has inspired me to go through my closet with an eye toward asking…why am I keeping this if I never wear it?  And…is it my style?  Will I ever wear it?  Is it the wrong color?  Is it physically uncomfortable to wear, like the Loft jumpsuit, which I almost bought but didn’t, I think because I knew it wouldn’t work for my body type?

    A few of the items I really thought you looked great in, but I understand it is you that has to make that decision. 

    On a similar note, I purchased the AG Mari jeans and worried that even though I went up one size, as recommended, it wouldn’t be enough. I received them the other day and I am thrilled. They fit like a glove, and even passed the mirror test. I was so excited, I just ordered the ones you mentioned that are on sale at Saks in a darker wash. And now, I am going to go through all of my jeans and try each one on with a critical eye and toss the ones that don’t meet the fit/comfort/my body type standard. Thank you so much for this helpful post. I think I will be able to better curate my wardrobe now. 

    1. That is awesome, I am so glad they worked for you! Definitely try stuff on, and with the tops and shoes you may wear with them, to be sure you know how you will style them. I still want to play around with mine some more.

  16. Enjoyed reading your post. Appreciate your honesty with regards to your purchases. Nice to know we are not alone in making those purchases we sometimes regret later. I like the tank dress….could be a great bathing suit coverup or lounging outfit for your upcoming  Florida vacation.

    1. Yeah, and I don’t know why I didn’t wear it more last summer for the same reason, since we have the pool. I did have a pink coverup tank dress, very similar style, but a little less voluminous, that I wore a lot. I think I just liked it better, and reached for it first, so this one just sat. Anyway, lesson learned! 🙂

  17. Love this post, since it’s a reality we all deal with. I still love those Mother crop flares on you…..I think you need to try them with a loafer and not try so hard to love them with boots, the fit is flattering on you 🙂

  18. Hi Jo-Lynne, this is a very interesting post! I have bought clothing thinking that the style would work for me but no. The big takeaway of this post for me is that it is okay to make a mistake, donate the item, and then move on. I currently have clothing hanging in my closet that I don’t wear but can’t bring myself to donate because they were expensive items. I need to accept this and donate them! Thanks Jo-Lynne!

    1. Yes, it’s hard to let go of things when you invested in them, but I always try to think of it this way. I’d rather donate or sell so someone else can enjoy it while it’s still in style, rather than let it rot in my closet for years, and then end up getting rid of it anyway. And when your closet only contains things you LOVE, it’s much easier to get dressed and come up with outfits. It’s like mental clutter to have stuff hanging in there with tags on that don’t really work for you. I came to this realization a few years ago, when I did the whole KonMari closet cleanout. It was very liberating. 🙂

  19. You could save the colored jeans for your FL vacation, like everyone is saying about the dress.
    I have copied your outfits with the boyfriend jeans a number of times (love that look), but my jeans aren’t really boyfriend style, and I like how they fit. I had to do a permanent deep cuff after I changed the car battery and got acid on them. Sigh.

    1. I could, except they both got passed on. 🙂 That’s the problem with being an obsessive purger that I am. LOL! But on the other hand, I will probably want to wear current items that I can photograph and link up. That’s another reason I ruthlessly purge. I’m always buying new things for the blog, so it doesn’t make sense to keep things I don’t love just in case. But that’s an occupational hazard, not necessarily applicable to everyone else. 🙂

  20. Even if you only wear the pink moto jacket once a year, hang onto it! It will never go out of style and the color is so good on you. I think you’ll regret letting that one go.

    1. LOL, that seems to be a popular opinion. I do think you’re right. I think the lack of wearing was more reflective of lockdowns during that time of year, than it being a bad fit for me or my closet.

  21. I always love when you do this kind of post.  Like the Try On Haul.  Good to hear what works and what doesn’t, and why!  Like the reviews for clothing I should have read!  Just purchased an Under Armor Hoodie.  It came in a nice shade of pink “speckled “. So I’m thinking more on the line of a heathered look.  Should have read the reviews… looks like I washed it with a box of tissues.  It’s covered with little raised white fuzz balls.  Went back and read the reviews- that was the biggest complaint.  Back it went!  So for you to point out your likes and dislikes is really a help for us consumers!  And yes, I do have several items that I have in the closet and “mocked me” as you say!  😉. They will be off to my consignment store when I do my next closet purge.  

  22. WAIT! I want to buy that pink moto jacket from you!! I’ve been trying to find that jacket for months, and it’s not available every time I look. If you would like to sell it, I’d love to buy it!! thanks for considering!

  23. I think the suede jacket looks great on you, actually. Love the color and think it would be a perfect completer piece for a somewhat chilly spring day.

  24. I love your honesty-that just like the rest of us, you sometimes make a purchase that doesn’t end up working out for you. 

  25. I loved this post! Thank you! I’m sorry you didn’t like them, but I’m so glad you tried the cammo-slip on because I love them. They are so easy to slip on when I’m taking the kids to daycare or wherever. I think a lot of us can relate to the know-thyself mistake. There are a lot of styles I WANT to love but they are just not me. I buy them sometimes anyway but then they just sit in my closet.

    1. I’m glad they worked for you! I think they are a good example of shoes I should have featured in a try-on haul b/c they’re great shoes, but then returned before wearing them since they didn’t fit me or my wardrobe all that well. I bought them in-store, and then I think I wore them right away, and realized that I didn’t love them as much as I thought I did.

  26. I always like these type of posts. It just proves that one man’s “trash is another’s treasure” :o) I have the mother crops from #9 and they are my all time favorite. I LOVE them! I have to stop myself from wearing them too much.

      1. I would say that I style them casually more often than dressy, but have definitely done both. I think it’s the footwear that you have to get right (for your taste and shape) in order to be comfortable in them. I have chunkier chelsea boots that I wear with them as well as dressier ankle boots for cold weather. Warmer weather I wear a white sneaker shape similar to golden goose and some sandals. I am a curvier hour glass figure, 5’6″ tall, and find the kick crop a nice balance for my shape. (flattering skinnies have always been tough for me to find.)

  27. Love this post and appreciate both your transparency and vulnerability. We’ve all made wardrobe mistakes. Love the pink moto on you. Keep it! 2020 (and sadly maybe 2021) may not be it’s best use years but you are a moto jacket gal and I believe you will wear it when going places and doing things is back in the norm. 

  28. I love knowing you make fashion mistakes too. I am one who bought the mauve mojo jacket and hope to come up with a few ways to wear it this spring. It is not something I would grab in the fall. 

  29. I have never left a comment before, but this post was so refreshing. It is so good to read something that was so honest and makes the rest of us feel normal. We all make misguided purchases and can feel guilty, so it’s good to read that someone who guides us in our purchases makes the same mistakes!

  30. Thanks for your honesty.  These reasons are the same that I find myself not wearing some of the items in my closet.  I think, in part, you aren’t alone.  this year has been a different year and especially the unused dressier items in my closet are feeling neglected.  You are lucky to have a daughter that’s honest with you too. 

  31. I loved this post! Makes me feel like I am not the only one who makes these type of purchases. Completely agree on the Lululemon tops. I learned not to wear them to yoga class unless I want to give everyone a view of “the girls”. Plus, their sizing is so odd to me. I feel like i have to size up about 3 sizes just to get a top to fit, I am normally a small in most tops, but I think I have to go all the way to a 12 in order for it to fit with that brand.

  32. Awesome Post…honest…and shows us you struggle with purchases as well. I did purchase the Coach handbag and love it. It hangs perfectly on me (I’m 5″9′) and the size is great for just my wallet and a few other essentials.

  33. What an interesting post! I can see why you’d be attracted to most of those items, and can also see why they didn’t work in the end. The one thing I think I’d hang onto, at least through the fall, is the moto jacket. I would think that color (which looks more dusty rose and less pink) and weight would be good for spring or fall. And it’s hard to judge by what happened this passed spring and fall, because life was so different. It looks like it fits you beautifully, and is a great color on you. I also think, per the comment above, I’d try the black pants with flats (not a fan of that cut with boots), but I also know what you mean by “know thyself”…so I probably wouldn’t try too hard. And next time you’re unloading LLL stuff, LMK! I don’t typically wear tanks, but could do it for early morning runs. It’s funny because the LLL swiftly stuff fits me so much better than the Athleta stuff, though I like both. Different bodies I guess. 🙂

    1. Yeah, it’s the boobs! 🙂 🙂 Also, aren’t you long waisted? I am short waisted. They were just too long overall for me, I guess. And I will hold onto the pink moto and Mother Insiders at least through spring. You are right, it’s hard to judge what I might wear this spring based on 2020.

  34. I bought the Coach Courier Bag in Brown and love it. I can’t believe it was on your Worst List 2020. For a smaller size purse love all the compartments, great quality.

  35. These type posts are one of the reasons you are my favorite fashion blogger to follow! Thanks for keeping out real and giving us so much to think about in our style choices. 

  36. Love this idea for a post! I have a bag of donate clothes in my room as we speak that I’ve been digging from my closet for the last few weeks. If I don’t currently wear, haven’t worn much or have no plans on wearing… see ya! I’m tired of holding onto things that take up precious space in my closet that I can use for those clothing gems calling my name.. my two worst purchases for 2020 was a pair of button fly jeans from the gap! They ended up not being a great fit nor all that comfortable to reach for and also a tunic sweater everyone raved about from Amazon but on me it was a dress, out of shape and didn’t like the color!!! fortunately for me and my pocket book other items I bought and kept the tags on… well they got returned ASAP when I wasn’t reaching for them… I’m learning to not make quick buying decisions and invest in what I’ll truly wear.

  37. Good post! I bought the Sofft sneaker mules during the Nsale and love love love them. In fact, I wore the heck out of them in the fall and just purchased another pair! 

    1. Yeah, I know a lot of ppl loved them so sorta hated to include them, but they were definitely a purchase I was excited about and then quickly became disenchanted with once they were in my closet. In retrospect, they were an impulse purchase, not something I was actually looking for, and maybe that’s one reason they didn’t work out. I didn’t think it through or really need them. Hmm…

  38. I really loved this post!  Do you know why?  Because you show us that even fashion bloggers don’t always get it right when purchasing clothes for their closets.  I started going through my closet yesterday and pulled out six tops that I either have not worn, or that I realized they just aren’t what I enjoy wearing.  There is no reason to keep something hanging in my closet that I don’t reach for or really like wearing it.  I hope you are having a great day!

    1. I think fashion bloggers are probably more guilty than most for buying stuff that doesn’t work out b/c we are always trying to stay current and try new things. I know, for me, I’m still figuring out what works on me at 48 years old lol! I always marvel at the girls who seem to know that kind of thing instinctively, or figure it out when they’re in their 20s and 30s. Oh, well. It keeps me in blog fodder, haha!

  39. I loved this post. I thought that I was the only one that occasionally made bad purchases. At my age, I know what works on me and what doesn’t.  But sometimes I try to break out of my comfort zone and it doesn’t work. I do think that the Mother Insider crop jeans look very good on you., 

  40. What sports bra do you wear with your Athleta tanks? I’m looking to refresh my sports bras and am curious! I swore by panache convertible sports bras for years, but I’m interested in expanding my options. Love your blog!!!

  41. This was an interesting post, and I really wouldn’t have minded seeing the other items on your list.
    I had wanted a mustard-colored cardigan for a while and was so excited when I found one at Marshall’s. I bought it even though it was a large, and I tend toward medium. I quickly discovered it was too large but was too lazy to return it. Then I went on a diet and lost some weight, so it really would have swum on me. I found a mustard cardigan later at Old Navy (not nearly the quality of the one I bought first), but am sorta limited as to when I can wear it bc a coworker has a mustard cardigan, and we wore them once on the same day. Didn’t bother me, but I can’t vouch for her.
    I donated the original cardigan, along with lots of things I purged during an early Covid lockdown! Unfortunately, there were a few other bad buys in the pile to keep that sweater company.
    Your posts are something I look forward to reading.

  42. I’m happy to say I didn’t buy any of those items! But boy do I have a list of regrets. I’ve had very poor results selling things that were still new on ThredUP. I mean unworn still with tags. They just seem to evaporate into the ozone. When I contacted them they said they had too many of similar items or some such excuse. I used to patronize a local consignment shop but the pandemic killed her business. She said no one wants clothes that could make them sick. Sheesh. Anyhoo, I wonder if you might want to do a post specifically on how to sell stuff. 

    1. I always recommend Clothes Mentor or Style Encore — they will take what they think they can sell and give you cash on the spot. I prefer going that route. What they don’t take, you can donate.

  43. I look forward to this post at the beginning of every year! I bought the Sofft mules and wore them a lot in the fall and expect I will again in the spring. You’ve said you have narrow feet but mine are normal width so maybe that’s why they fit me well. Sometimes I buy stuff from Nordstrom that you recommend, and I’m not sure about it so I let it sit around with tags on for months trying to decide. I usually end up returning, especially this past year when I wasn’t going into the office or socializing much. When I want to get rid of something I’ve already worn, I usually give it to a thrift shop that doesn’t have consignment. I’m too busy, or lazy, to try to sell it online. It just seems like a lot of hassle and I don’t expect to get much money out of it. Once I tried selling clothes at a consignment shop, and they were so disorganized that they actually “lost” some of my clothes. I only made like $40 for 18 items; I only got 40% of the purchase price, which was low in my opinion. Some of my stuff included designer jeans. So it wasn’t worth doing again.

Want More?