Best Buys of the Year from My Stylish Friends

influencer best buys

I know I am not the only one constantly inspired by and influenced by her friends. And this weird year, a lot of that inspiration and influence happened online through Instagram, texts, Zoom calls, and reading reviews on Facebook and when they have them, blogs. I decided to reach out to some of my friends who have an online presence: bloggers, Instagrammers, business owners, podcasters, and more and asked them to share their favorite purchases from last year.

I figured if these amazing women inspired me, they may also inspire you. And their responses were so fun and so varied! Fashion, cooking, books, technology, and even new furry members of the family were shared. And I think these answers really show how the year 2020 changed us and our priorities.

If you want to get to know these women better, I have shared their Instagram accounts as well as their website/blog/podcast/channel. I think they're fantastic, and I hope you do too!

I enjoyed gathering these responses from my friends, and I hope you enjoy them! And if you have a favorite purchase from 2020, do share in the comments and inspire others with what may be their favorite purchase of the New Year!

Kim Mitchell: Instagram | Blog

San Francisco

kim mitchell tibi cargo pants
Kim wearing her Tibi metallic cargo pants

“My favorite purchase of 2020 are the Tibi silver metallic cargo pants. Tibi is one of my favorite brands, and I remember seeing photos of this show and thinking there were the coolest cargo pants ever. Pre-COVID, I saw myself wearing these as a new take on cocktail attire. I considered not getting them because where was I going out? But they really are very versatile, going from dressy like here, comfortable for working from home, or dressing down in sneakers. Maybe they seem a bit impractical, but they're fun…and that's what clothes should be all about.”

Tanvi Ragosti: Instagram | Blog

Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Tanvi 1

“The best purchase of 2020 for me has been the APL Performance Sneakers (TechLoom Wave). They were on my wishlist for years but I had not been able to hit ‘buy’ due to the hefty price tag ($245). However, once the COVID-19 lockdown ended and I started to take stock of what I had done during that time, I had realized that I was consistent and disciplined about my home workouts. I felt the need to reward myself to keep going for the remaining of the ‘demic (since there was no end at sight at the time). In mid-summer I hit ‘buy’ and got myself a pair in white which I had intended to only use indoors for my HIIT workouts.”

“Boy, oh boy I cannot tell you how glad I am with these sneakers. They are lightweight, with just the right amount of snug and are super comfortable on my wide-toe feet. I have been wearing them every-single-day and have already got the value for the money spent. Bonus: they are easily washable in the washer-dryer at home. I would highly recommend these to anyone who does a lot of high intensity training and/or is looking for a stylish yet comfortable pair of sneakers which aren’t chunky/bulky.”

Sara Watson: Instagram | Blog

Toronto

livelovesara toronto
Sara wearing her new jacket and sneakers

“When the lockdown hit at the beginning of March I, like many others went on a shopping hiatus. It was scary and stressful and I usually shop when I am stressed so I had to adapt.” 

“Fast forward to May. Spring was in the air, sunshine and warmer weather and I was feeling uninspired with my wardrobe even though I wasn't leaving the house much. I wanted a pair of new sneakers, but not any sneakers. I wanted the Veja Rio Branco in white which was impossible to find anywhere in my size. Then I came across them at a local retailer, but they were blue.”

“A bright blue called Swedish blue, and I didn't like blue. I have never liked blue. I would actually describe it as my least favourite colour, but for some reason, I instantly got that rush that you get when you know that you have found a special piece.”  

“So I bought them, and they are my most worn shoe ever. Two weeks later…
I was searching through Etsy and I came across a jacket by ClassicRockCouture that had been on my wishlist for YEARS. It is handcrafted but looks vintage and I wanted one so badly but could never justify the purchase for myself…until then. I was feeling inspired again thanks to the shoes. It comes in several colours, but I chose blue. I thought 2020 would be the year of getting fit for me, but it turned out to be the year where I learned to love blue. “

Grace Atwood: Instagram | Blog

Brooklyn

grace atwood

“It's hard to say what my best purchase of 2020 was. New dining room chairs? My air fryer? Needless to say, 2020 was a year of time spent at home, and when you are single and live alone, anything that made staying home feel a little bit better was a winner. I'm going to go with these cozy slouchy socks, though. They are the absolute most comfortable and weirdly make me feel safe, secure, and cozy while wearing them at home during lockdown. They also transport me back to my youth of growing up in the 80's / early 90's. I've now bought two sets and cannot recommend them enough.”

Tashira Halyard: Instagram | Blog

Washington, D.C.

tashira halyard

“My favorite purchase of 2020 was my large Louis Vuitton agenda cover. It was a total splurge when I walked into Louis to replace my lost keychain. I timidly asked if they had any agenda covers and to my surprise, the sales associate said yes! They're literally always sold out and go for above the retail price on the resale market. It was a sign from the organization gods above that I needed it in my life lol. I stocked it with my favorite inserts from Cloth & Paper, a Black-owned business, and have been using it for project planning and goal-setting. I feel so grown-up and chic every time I use it!” 

Rachel Rosenthal: Instagram | Website

Washington, D.C. area

Rachel Rosenthal

“My best purchase of 2020 has to be the chest freezer that I purchased in late February. I know, a freezer doesn't sound like it could be on even a top 10 list of purchases but my husband and I talk about it at least every few weeks and how much we think the freezer has changed our lives for the better. When we started to hear about COVID, I suggested we purchase another freezer so we could start storing frozen food and meals to have on hand.”

“We aren't usually ones to keep a lot of extra food in the house but with COVID and not wanting to go grocery shopping often or go into restaurants, we knew we wanted to stock up. We have been able to keep our family of four nourished with the items inside and it is organized (I had of course I had to organize it!) by category of food.”

“We have saved countless trips to the grocery store, saved a ton of money on our food bills being able to see what we have on hand at all times and as a bonus (because it is organized) my girls can actually find something they want for dinner and help me cook it!”

Tonya Parker: Instagram | Blog

Virginia

tonya parker the real chic life

“By mid-March, it became very apparent that I would not be able to travel to see my daughter and her family for the monthly visit we had become accustomed to. I typically made the three-hour trip every three weeks to see my grandsons, but even before our stay-at-home directive was given my daughter had made it very clear that she wasn't taking any chances. Her consolation gift was the Facebook Portal. I loved it immediately.”

“Unlike FaceTime, you aren't holding your phone for a video chat and multiple people can be in the frame as it captures nearly the entire room and moves with you as you move around. But the best part is there are little filters that keep my grandkids engaged-they love turning into a meatball or having a frog sitting on top of their heads and I can read stories or play games with them as well.”

“I loved it so much I bought one for my mom immediately after receiving mine, and I gifted several to other family members this Christmas. Being able to video chat in such an informal and fun way has definitely brought us a little joy this year.”

Jamie Lewinger: Instagram | Blog

New Mexico

jamie lewinger more than turquoise
Jamie with Lagerfeld and Valentino

“My/our best purchase this year BY FAR was the addition of our new puppy, Lagerfeld – who was 100% named after the Designer and 0% after the beer (Lager is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel).”

“At the beginning of Covid, we had to put our beloved pointer/lab mix down. It broke our hearts but especially broke the heart of our Shih Tzu, Valentino. It took a few months for the two of them to get to know each other but now they are the very best friends and bring such joy to our home! *kind of nervous that Lager thinks humans stay home 24/7 though.”

Vivi N.: Instagram | Blog

Washington, D.C. area

vivi heart print and style

“A few years ago, I discovered Eeni Edit through a friend's post on Instagram. And to say that I'm a fan would be a huge lie – I am a STAN. Flat out. Her artwork of Eeni, an impeccably dressed world traveler, continues to bring joy to my life. Thankfully, she has an online store with products showcasing everyone's favorite fashionista.”

“So far, I've purchased a tote bag, phone cases, and desk calendars. But this year, I purchased her beautiful, well-thought-out 12-Month Undated Planner. I've deemed it my creative planner to help me sort out content for my blog and its social media platforms. It comes equipped with laminated tabs, vision board, notes, and cute-as-hell stickers. Hands down my favorite purchase of 2020. So much so, I gifted one to my sister for Christmas.”

Becca Freeman: Instagram | Podcast

Brooklyn

Becca Freeman

“2020 is the year I bought an airfryer, and yes: every meme you've seen about airfryer ownership is true. At first, I was unsold, most airfryer recipes are complicated and involve battering something, which creates too many dishes when the dishwasher is you. But I found my stride making roasted vegetables that were quicker and more crispy than roasting in the oven, turning frozen tater tots into a restaurant-caliber experience, and heating up any kind of leftover (seriously… ANY KIND from meatballs to pizza to salmon) and giving them a crispy new life on day 2.”

Alissa F.: Instagram | Blog

Chicago

alissa honestly relatable blog

“My favorite purchase of 2020 was this stationery. While a boring purchase, I've written three cards every single Sunday for a year straight and it has been life-changing.”

“Taking the time out of your week to send a note is one of the most intimate ways I've found to truly show how much someone means to me even when we can't be together. I've become pen pals with my 98-year-old grandfather and learned more about his life story he never shared before. Never, ever forget the power of a physical card and the power of it.”

Rosana Vollmerhausen: Instagram | Website

Washington, D.C. area

rosana vollmerhausen dc style factory

The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor is my best purchase this year.  ‘The voice of doubt, shame, and guilt blaring in our heads is not our voice. It is a voice we have been given by a society steeped in shame.'  Filled with gems like this, the book leaves you unsettled if you allow it to work its magic.”

“It has not only shifted how I view myself, but introduced intention into my thinking and action, which absolutely has impacted my work as a personal stylist and my approach to doing business. It also reminded me that as much as I have accepted as impenetrable truths about myself… there is so much more to learn.”

Elizabeth Pendergrass: Instagram | Blog

Washington, D.C. area

elizabeth pendergrass of district of chic

“One of my first purchases after COVID lockdown started was a pair of big buckle Birkenstocks. I love heels, but I had come to terms with the fact I'd be chasing a little boy in and out of the house for the foreseeable future. I knew I needed something I could slip on and off quickly. Of course, they're every bit as comfortable as I remember from the '90s and actually work pretty well with “fashun” looks, as well. I love them so much I ordered them in the shearling-lined clog version too!”

Libby Rasmussen: Instagram | Website

Washington, D.C.

LIbbylivingcolorfully
Libby with her El Cholo's Kid tote

“My favorite purchase of 2020 was probably my @elcholoskid XL tote bag! Made in Mexico from recycled plastic, this bag is like my Mary Poppins endless bag! Of course, I had to get it in the vibrant multicolor! It’s great for groceries, the beach (though I wouldn’t know!) or a weekend away. Highly recommend this bag and this brand!”

10 Comments

  1. January 5, 2021 / 1:06 pm

    Thank you for the feature! I loved reading about the other women as well. You are always such a source of empowerment! A true example of a woman who supports other women. Happy to know you!

  2. January 3, 2021 / 11:16 am

    Enjoyed this read! Thanks so much and Happy New Year.

  3. Nanette
    January 2, 2021 / 11:42 pm

    Fun read! Thanks!

  4. Nancy
    January 2, 2021 / 5:29 pm

    Love this post, thank you so much for sharing other wonderful women to follow. Honestly reading blogs and following Instagram accounts has been a happy spot for me while WFH during Covid for many reasons, one being a love of fashion and style. I think my best purchase so far during Covid has been a new Apple TV HD to watch movies, documentaries etc. Not a purchase but have used my library card weekly for both print and audio books.

  5. dmc
    January 2, 2021 / 4:31 pm

    Interesting purchases…but now I know why I follow YOU and not others. Nothing in that list that I’d buy. *smile*

  6. Sam M
    January 2, 2021 / 3:07 pm

    This was a fun collection to read through.

  7. Karen
    January 2, 2021 / 12:14 pm

    This was fun. Thank you for showcasing an interesting and diverse group of women, many of them are new to me, and if added a couple of new blogs to my reading list.

  8. Sandra
    January 2, 2021 / 10:20 am

    What a fun topic idea! All of their responses are so varied and true. I am interested in looking up both sneakers mentioned, the book, and the bag, I may need to take a second look. It also has me considering my favorite 2020 pandemic purchases…kitchen aid stand mixer, not technically a an air fryer but Cuisinart convection toaster oven, the adorable splurge mini crib (with wheels! we can move room to room!) for my first grandchild, numerous Sketchers sandals and sneaks for the memory foam….
    Hmmm….my list started with and is heavy on household items, I concede that is 2020; my purchases and priorities start and end at home.

  9. Pat
    January 2, 2021 / 9:00 am

    Thanks so much for connecting me with these influencers, particularly the Black women. Much appreciated!

  10. Leu2500
    January 2, 2021 / 7:49 am

    Oooh! The recycled plastic bag is so cool. Great colors & patterns.

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