22 Readers Share the One Purchase That Was Worth Every Penny This Year

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As trite as the following statement may sound, it’s no secret that this year has brought about massive changes. Since the start of the pandemic, every facet of our lives has been altered, and the fashion industry was not immune. From large-scale calls-to-action to support Black-owned businesses in the industry to fashion brands pivoting their production lines to help with the pandemic, the industry witnessed a seismic shift in how fashion itself is seen. And that change isn’t just present on a macro scale: On a day-to-day basis, how the world dresses has been radically reimagined. Athleisure has officially been embraced, and people are putting on face masks every day to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and those are just two ways the world’s relationship to style has significantly evolved over just a few months.

Additionally, how we choose to shop and what we decide to buy during this time of unprecedented challenges has come to the forefront of many readers' consciousness. This is why we decided to reach out to 22 real women to share the one piece they bought this year that they feel was worth every penny. In truth, shopping may not be the most urgent thing on our priority lists, but taking the extra step to practice mindful consumption, support small brands, or invest in pieces that bring you joy means more than you think. Without further ado, the best fashion buys of 2020…

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(Image credit: @jeannine.roxas)

WHO: Jeannine Roxas

WHAT: Zara Oversized Black Leather Blazer

WEAR: Glassons Printed Flare Mesh Pant ($20) and Oversized Print Button Up Shirt ($40); Zara Faux Oversized Leather Blazer ($70)

A black faux-leather oversize blazer is the one item Jeannie Roxas felt was worth every penny this year. Her rationale: "It’s a piece that can truly elevate a look and will be in your closet to style forever. It's a classic item that everyone should have as an easy go-to.”

Shop Roxas's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @sarahkretzu)

WHO: Sarah Kretzu

WHAT: Prada Logo Leather Loafers

WEAR: The Andamane Evita Jacket ($665); Triarchy Mid Rise Straight Leg Jeans ($189); Prada Logo Leather Loafers ($850)

The rationale behind buying the Prada loafers this year? Sarah Kretzu says, "I wanted an everyday classic loafer to replace my go-to sneakers, and these are it. These are worth every penny because they elevate every outfit and have the perfect amount of style without being too trendy.”

Shop Kretzu's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @dionnekaliisa)

WHO: Dionne Kaliisa

WHAT: ASOS Longline Trench Coat

WEAR: ASOS Longline Trench Coat ($92); Boohoo Knit Set; Warehouse Hiking Boot ($120)

The best thing Dionne Kaliisa bought this year was her trench coat from ASOS. "You can wear this trench coat for almost any occasion as it can be dressed up or down,” she shares.

Shop Kaliisa's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @madeleinebuggekarlsen)

WHO: Madeleine Bugge Karlsen

WHAT: Arket Oversize Black Suit

WEAR: Cutler and Gross Rectangle Sunglasses ($257); Baum und Pferdgarten coat; Arket Oversized Wool Hopsack Blazer ($199) and Barrel Leg Trousers ($119); Adidas sneakers

Madeleine Bugge Karlsen gushes over her suit as one of the best things she bought this year. "This is a suit that is comfortable yet stylish. It's made with wool so that I can wear it all year round; the pieces also work well together or separately,” she explains.

Shop Bugge Karlsen's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @federica.labanca)

WHO: Federica Labanca

WHAT: Gucci Crystal Medium Chateau Marmont Jackie O Hobo Yellow

WEAR: Carolina Lemke sunglasses; Cendré Chloë hoops ($65); Vintage top; Brandy Melville sweats; Gucci Crystal Medium Chateau Marmont Jackie O Hobo Yellow ($1025); Nike sneakers

What’s the best thing to buy according to someone who doesn’t purchase many newer pieces but instead prefers vintage? Reader Federica Labanca discloses, "I never tend to buy seasonal pieces—my uniform is Levi’s, a basic top, and an oversize blazer. I love to invest my money in classic statement pieces, so I was elated when I got my hands on Gucci’s Chateau Marmont Jackie O Hobo. It’s sold out everywhere, and the colors and the print scream peak '90s Gucci.”

Shop Labanca's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @blackmaroccan)

WHO: Safya

WHAT: Cow-Print Shoulder Bag

WEAR: Vintage blazer and bag

Whoever said the best pieces to invest in had to be new didn’t know how to shop like Who What Wear reader Safya. "The best thing I bought this year was a baguette bag with a cow print from a thrift shop for only $12,” she reveals. "It’s so fun to wear and will zhuzh up a simple outfit! The shape reminds me of the iconic Fendi baguette.”

Shop Safaya's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @matildemantini)

WHO: Matilde Mantini

WHAT: H&M Faux-Leather French Coat

WEAR: ASOS earrings and sunglasses; H&M Faux Leather Trench Coat ($99) and Collared Rib-Knit Sweater ($35)

If you want to spend those dollars wisely, adhering to the advice of our Rome-based reader Matilde Mantini is a good start. "Faux-leather trench coats are one of the hottest trends for fall/winter, giving us that groovy ‘90s-meets-Matrix vibe. They have become an honorary staple piece,” she emphasizes.

Shop Mantini's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @georgia_3.0)

WHO: Georgia

WHAT: Zara Platform Leather High-Heel Ankle Boots

WEAR: Vitaly necklace; Cartier bracelet; Mejuri Dôme Bracelet ($95); Zara top, Midi Pencil Skirt ($40), and Platform Leather High-Heel Ankle Boots ($229)

You know those boots you see once and buy on the spot? For London-based reader Georgia, her platform Zara boots were love at first sight. "This year was seriously boot heavy for me. I’m running out of shoe space—it’s ridiculous,” she states. "Boots are so versatile and easy to dress up or down, so having a few stand-out pieces can give any outfit an edge, and my favorite happens to be a pair of limited-edition Zara platform boots. Honestly, If you don’t own a pair of platforms, you better change that now!”

Shop Georgia's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @xo.shru)

WHO: Shrutika Gavane

WHAT: H&M Flared Suit Pants

WEAR: SheIn top; H&M Flared Suit Pants ($50); White Fox Havana Heels Clear ($39)

The value of an excellent pair of black trousers is something women around the world can attest to, especially reader Shrutika Gavane. Sharing from Pune, India, she says, "I love how versatile this pair of trousers is and how I can dress them up and down depending on what I want. These fit perfectly at the waist, and I love how they flare gently at the bottom.”

Shop Gavane's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @filipa_simoes)

WHO: Filipa Simoes

WHAT: Bottega Veneta Jodie Knotted Intrecciato Leather Tote

WEAR: Mango trench coat; Zadig & Voltaire sweater dress; Bottega Veneta Jodie Knotted Intrecciato Leather Tote ($3350); Rekken boots

The one item London-based Who What Wear reader Filipa Simoes swears was worth every penny? "My Bottega Veneta Jodie bag. I wear it every single day. It’s my best friend,” she muses. "It’s such a practical bag as it’s easy to style and has lots of space. Featuring the iconic BV intrecciato design, it leaves me feeling like a supermodel in the ‘90s—a must-have this season.”

Shop Simoes's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @megsircar)

WHO: Meg Sircar

WHAT: Converse Canvas Platform Chuck Taylor All Stars

WEAR: Vintage oversize T-shirt; Converse Canvas Platform Chuck Taylor All Stars ($70)

According to reader Meg Sircar, investing in brands you love is the best way to spend your money. "I decided to purchase these shoes because I had loved the Converse brand for quite a while, and I believe in spending money on timeless brands,” she explains. "I think this purchase was worth every cent because from the second I saw them I never questioned if I should get them. They felt like a part of me from the very beginning.”

Shop Sircar's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @samantheah)

WHO: Samantha Silcott

WHAT: Wild Fable Faux Leather Bomber Jacket

WEAR: Mejuri necklaces; Wild Fable Faux Leather Bomber Jacket ($30) and Cropped Cami ($3); Topshop jeans

Wondering how many iterations of leather can be on this list? Readers, like Samantha Silcott, believe in their value and longevity. "I love my faux-leather bomber jacket because it's super versatile and perfect for a Florida winter and fall,” she raves. "It is a timeless piece that brings a retro vibe, which I'm down for.”

Shop Silcott's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @mimi.orere)

WHO: Mimi Orere

WHAT: Jacquemus Le Chiquito Bag

WEAR: Sundarbay sweatpants; Adidas Originals Yung-1 Leather & Mesh Sneakers ($107); Jacquemus Le Chiquito Bag ($509)

Leave it to stylist and Who What Wear reader Mimi Orere to find both the best thing to buy and the best way to style it this year: sweats. "So many of us lived our lives in some form of comfort wear this year. And to make my trackies look luxe, I wear them like I would wear any other look I want to feel good in; by adding in fun accessories,” she divulges. "This Jacquemus bag helped brighten my daily walks/errands and breathed new life into my comfy clothes.”

Shop Orere's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @thestylishsoul)

WHO: Allison Romero

WHAT: Levis’s Faux Leather Ribcage Straight Pants

WEAR: Urban Outfitters coat; Prada Re-Edition 2000 Nylon Mini Bag ($795); Levi Faux Leather Ribcage Straight Pants ($128); Nasty Gal boots

Yes, another rave review for faux-leather pieces this year—can you blame our readers? Allison Romero gushes, "These Levi faux-leather pants are seriously the best pair of pants I've bought in years! They fit like a dream, the price point is accessible, and they can be styled a zillion different ways. I love that they're fitted but relaxed.”

Shop Romero's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @nlmarilyn )

WHO: Marilyn NK

WHAT: Bottega Veneta Embellished Leather-Trimmed Mesh Pumps

WEAR: Gucci sunglasses; Zara coat; ASOS pants; Bottega Veneta Embellished Leather-Trimmed Mesh Pumps ($890)

This year, anything from Bottega Veneta seems to be a crowd favorite. "Bottega Veneta by Daniel Lee has personally been the brand of the year for me, and the mesh pumps are just a glimpse of how he has transformed this brand. Although these shoes come with a hefty price tag, they are a statement piece worth having,” attests reader Marilyn NK.

Shop NK's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @mercedesmalana)

WHO: Mercedes Malana

WHAT: Wilfred The Cloud Puff Jacket

WEAR: Sportsman Cuffed Beanie ($6); Wilfred The Cloud Puff ($250); Vintage jeans

Coats are always a great way to spend that hard-earned cash, but if you’re not sure which one will give you the most bang for your buck, then you’ll want to heed the recommendation of reader Mercedes Malana. "Throughout all of 2020, the piece I feel was worth every penny was easily my puffer!” she divulges. "While living in Canada, it’s essential to have a warm coat, so I had to have it when I found this edgy marshmallow of a coat. It’s such a versatile piece that can be dressed up or down.”

Shop Malana's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @eemilyaaron)

WHO: Emily Aaron

WHAT: Agolde’s Criss Cross Upsized Jeans

WEAR: Zara Halter Top ($13); Agolde Criss Cross Upsized Jeans ($180); Nike Air Force 1 Sneakers ($90)

Jeans are always a great investment, and according to Chicago-based reader Emily Aaron, Agolde’s Criss-Cross Upsized Jeans are worth the splurge. "They are my version of the perfect pair of jeans: tighter-fitting at the waist and thigh and looser fitting below the knee,” she tells us.

Shop Aaron's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @ambikadhr)

WHO: Ambika Dhir

WHAT: With Jéan Andy Dress

WEAR: Pilgrim necklace; Mango pinky ring; Missoma ring; With Jéan Andy Dress Forest ($239)

You know those pieces that are hyped all over social media? Some of them are worth buying into, or at least that’s the case with Ambika Dhir’s best purchase of the year. "Usually I reserve big spends for well-known brands, but as soon as I saw this dress, I knew it was something I needed in my wardrobe,” she confesses. "With Jéan is currently on their fourth restock of this dress—it’s not hard to see why! It’s the perfect green, and it's sharp shoulders and ruched waistline mean that it’s a dress that looks flattering on every body type. I can wholeheartedly say that I’ve never felt so confident and comfortable in a dress than I have in this one.”

Shop Dhir's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @nayelizabethh)

WHO: Naomi Parris

WHAT: Telfar Small Pool Blue Shopping Bag

WEAR: Aritzia top; Urban Outfitters skirt; Missguided boots; Poppy Lissiman Toxic Pop Sunglasses ($55); Telfar Small Pool Blue Shopping Bag ($150)

Unless you avoided the internet all summer, at some point you may have been acutely aware of the rise of one of the year’s biggest It bags: Telfar’s Shopping Bag. And the hype is backed up by Who What Wear reader and blogger Naomi Parris. "I love wearing any one of my Telfar bags. I’ve known about them for two years now, but the call to start buying Black made me reevaluate where I was shopping and learn to appreciate my people’s talent. This is the only (Brooklyn) Birkin you’ll see me with on the daily,” she preaches.

Shop Parris's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @divrav)

WHO: Div Ravindran

WHAT: Ganni Rubber-Trimmed Leather Chelsea Knee Boots

WEAR: Missoma earrings and necklace; Zara dress and Limited Edition Wool Blend Coat ($199); Bottega Veneta Cassette Padded Intrecciato Leather Shoulder Bag ($2800); Ganni Rubber-Trimmed Leather Chelsea Knee Boots ($545)

Chelsea boots have been dubbed one of the season’s most popular, and clearly, editors aren’t the only fans. Reader Div Ravindran confides, "I had my eyes on these Ganni knee-high Chelsea boots for a while and had to pick them up when they came back in stock. I am obsessed with the neon detailing on them, which makes the shoe so interesting to me, and it also adds a little interest to an outfit. They’re incredibly comfortable and worth every penny, in my opinion!”

Shop Ravindran's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @monicasanluis)

WHO: Monica San Luis

WHAT: Vehla Dixie Sunglasses

WEAR: Vehla Dixie sunglasses ($180); Madewell Medium Hoop Earrings ($18); Aureum Collective Chloe necklace ($80); Danielle Bernstein Patent Faux-Leather Moto Jacket ($90) and Patent Faux-Leather Pants ($60)

Any woman can attest to the power of finding the perfect pair of sunglasses, and for Monica San Luis, those just so happen to be from Vehla eyewear. "These sunnies add the perfect edgy and cool-girl vibe to any outfit! They are worth the hype,” she quips.

Shop San Luis's best fashion buy of 2020:

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(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia)

WHO: Aniyah Morinia

WHAT: Nike’s Palazzo Sweatpants

WEAR: Le Specs The Ginchiest Sunglasses ($79); Zara top; Nike Sportswear Knit Palazzo Pants ($60); Nasty Gal Flare for Dramatics Heeled Bootie ($32)

We don’t have to reiterate how this year has changed everything (including what we think is worth buying). For reader and social media expert Aniyah Morinia that statement rings especially true. "I'm not typically a sweatpants and sweatshirt kind of girl, but once we started quarantine back in March, I fell into the trap of buying all things athleisure,” she admits. "Just when I thought it couldn't get any cozier than a pair of joggers or leggings, I found these palazzo-style sweatpants that took my collection to the next level. I find myself gravitating to this pair more than the others in my closet because of the wide leg and pleated panels that give an elevated appearance all while giving me maximum comfort and warmth.”

Shop Morinia's best fashion buy of 2020: