I Tried On 14 "Famous" Fashion Items IRL—Here Are My Unfiltered Thoughts

More often than not, what the fashion world crowns an It piece and what we actually want to own are two very different things. As a digital fashion editor, I'm constantly scouring the internet to uncover these buzzy It pieces, and in doing so, I've become acutely aware of all the latest items to earn cult status. (I've even created a column to tell you all about them each month.) What I've learned is that more often than not, these "famous" items tend to not be the most wearable—all for the 'gram, you know?

So I recently made it my mission to test-drive some of the most famous fashion items in person and give them my brutally honest review. Would those Bottega Veneta sandals be comfortable to walk in? Would those Gucci sunglasses look too over-the-top? I went out to a few retailers like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue in search of these beloved garments I'd seen in street style galleries and Instagram feeds galore, and after hauling armfuls of options into my dressing rooms and snapping the pics to prove it, I can honestly tell you which items lived up to their hype and which ones simply didn't translate as well in person.

From the sandals seemingly every fashion person owns to several Insta-famous dresses, scroll down to see the dressing-room shots of what I tried on, and find out which pieces are 100% worth it.

What I'd Buy

I've adored Cecilie Bahnsen's frothy tent-like dresses from afar for a while now, and even though fashion's cool girls manage to make them look so good, I fully expected this dress to swallow me whole. The shape is far from body-hugging, but I actually loved the way it fell, and the tie details at the back were a charming touch. I'm officially adding this to my wish list and plan to wear it as the model did with a pair of oxfords.

So Selena Gomez did not steer me wrong with this glorious Ganni number. The ruched bodice lies in such a lovely way, and the neckline deserves a closer look (so elegant). I also liked that the satin fabric has a bit of stretch in it, which makes it one of the most comfortable cocktail dresses imaginable.

The perfect leather-looking pants? I think yes. Nanushka's faux-leather pieces are all over the fashion front right now, and after trying on these buttery-soft pants, I can totally see why. They were surprisingly lightweight, and after wearing them around the dressing room, I was less than thrilled to get back into my rigid jeans.

I'd be lying if I said these were completely comfortable. They sort of pinch in between the toes and are about half an inch higher than I'd like them to be, but I'm still including them in my "would-buy" section since they're obviously very cool and hit on so many current shoe trends like square toes, crisscross straps, and well, anything Bottega Veneta right now.

Hello, dream dress. First of all, anything in a pleated fabric like this is bound to win me over. Secondly, the woven buckle at the back of this dress, which you can sort of see in the mirror's reflection, is incredible. Chocolate brown is not exactly a color I'd choose for myself, but I was delighted to by how lovely this actually looked.

Okay, out of everything in this edit, I'd buy this dress right away, and that's saying something considering I tried on some lust-worthy items. It's so stunning because it's such a simple dress, yet it's all in the details. Take note of the square neckline and nipped-in waist. I can already imagine styling it with ankle-tie sandals on a trip to Italy.

This dress makes me feel like a more fun version of myself, and I love that about it. I'd seen this silhouette all over Insta in the stiffer jacquard fabric, but I enjoyed how the satin version softens the drama of the sleeves a bit, so it's definitely more wearable than I thought it would be. Also, the buttons on the neckline and cuffs are even better from up close.

Staud recently came out with a mini version of its beloved Bissett bag, and it's even cuter than the original while still being able to hold a decent amount.

Meet Meghan Markle's favorite handbag brand that recently landed at Nordstrom. Each one of its structured bags is sophisticated, and while Markle herself is a fan of the neutral versions, I thought this wavy checkerboard print felt really fresh and fun.

Retro "granny" glasses are all the rage right now, and I was astonished that this pair didn't make me look bug-eyed. The shape was just the right amount of oversize, and the color hits on the overarching '70s trend, so I'd say these are all-around winners.

What I Wasn't Sold On

Maybe it's because I've seen this bag one too many times on my feed or because I was already charmed by the mini version, but this bag didn't excite me as much as I'd hoped it would. I still like it, but it's probably just not for me.

I wanted to love this dress so badly since it looked stunning on the rack and it has a cool texture, but it didn't have the same edge to it that the black Cecilie Bahnsen number from above did, probably because the shape is slightly different. 

I think this might be the epitome of an "Instagram dress," i.e., cool in photos but hard to pull off in real life. It makes quite the statement but felt too babydoll-esque on me.

Unlike the other sunglasses from above, the shape of these oversize shades overwhelmed my face. Sunglasses are such a personal item, though, so I wasn't terribly discouraged. I know at least several cool girls who pull these off really well.

Related Stories