Top 10 Fashion Essentials Of The Year

The Rank & Style 2020 Fashion Award Winners Are Here

The Rank & Style 2020 Fashion Award Winners Are Here

It's no secret that 2020 wasn't exactly a big year for fashion. Many of us spent our days wearing more sweatsuits than regular ones, and if we felt like treating ourselves to something new, chances are it came in the form of a beauty buy. (At-home gel manicures, anyone?) All that said, we did still make those necessary closet purchases: a great pair of jeans, a cozy cashmere crew, a bra that could take us from home office to virtual happy hour—you get the picture. Curious to see which of these essentials—out of all the ones ranked and approved by our data-driven algorithm last year—outshined the rest, we tapped our lovely merchandising team to give us the deets. Ahead, we're sharing a list of the 10 most popular fashion buys of 2020 in every category, all of which you bought, loved, and raved about nonstop. From the loungewear you lived in to the leggings that single-handedly carried you through quarantine, keep scrolling to discover and shop the buzziest fashion buys of the year. Opening image: madewell.com

Love our Rank & Style Fashion Awards? Be sure to check out our Top 10 Beauty Award Winners next!

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January 22, 2021

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Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings

Grecerelle Short Sleeve Split Maxi Dress
Rank & Style Approved


Grecerelle Short Sleeve Split Maxi Dress


WHY IT WON: From beach coverup to date-night dress, this is easily one of the most versatile frocks in the game. It also comes in multiple colors and prints to choose from, so you don't have to limit yourself to just one. But best of all? It has pockets. We're not surprised it has over 30,000 rave reviews.

STYLE WITH: This beauty is totally seasonless—you can pair it with ankle boots and a leather jacket now and chic sandals in the summer.

Spanx Bra-llelujah! Unlined Bralette


WHY IT WON: Few bras are as hardworking as this one. it's made with special straps that totally eliminate back fat, plus it's wireless, free of hooks, and easily slips on over your head. And don't let the word "bralette" fool you—this baby is as supportive as it gets.

HELPFUL TIP: Reviewers say this bralette runs small, so we recommend ordering a size up if you're between sizes.

Felina Sweatshirt And Jogger Lounge Set


WHY IT WON: Nothing's better than sleepwear that does double duty in the waking world. This ultra-warm set can keep you cozy while you lounge, but it's cute enough to pair with sneakers and wear around town.

WHY WE LOVE IT: "I recently purchased this adorable lounge set and love it! It's so soft, and the space-dye fabric is a nice touch."—Beth Zerdecki, CMO

Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee


WHY IT WON: No wardrobe is complete without a great-fitting tee. This super-soft, slub-knit option has a just-right length that's perfect for tucking and untucking alike, and to top it all off, it isn't the slightest bit see-through.

STYLE WITH: Next time you're stumped on an outfit, pair this best-selling tee with dark denim and simple gold jewelry for a classic everyday look.

Baleaf Active Joggers


WHY IT WON: There are athletic joggers, there are lounge joggers, and then there are these wonderful joggers. The cozy material makes them great for lazy days, but the sweat-wicking technology makes them an excellent pick for walking the dog and trail hiking, too. Oh, and did we mention they're under $30?

USERS SAID: "My infatuation with these pants has not waned. In fact, I have since purchased two more pairs for my sisters, who now understand that I wasn't just being dramatic these past few months. Buy these pants."

Adidas Originals Stan Smith Sneaker


WHY IT WON: Iconic as they may be (thank you, Stan Smith), these are some of the most comfortable sneakers you can get your hands on. Couple that with the fact that they literally go with everything, and it's no surprise they ranked as our #1 sneaker of 2020.

AS SEEN ON: Celebs are all about these chic white sneaks—Meghan Markle included.

Everlane The Original Cheeky Jean


WHY IT WON: These top-rated jeans have the look of authentic denim, but the touch of stretch makes them way more comfortable. They're also made with Everlane's signature Happy Pockets that sit higher and closer together for a lifted, bouncy look, so they're practically guaranteed to make your bum look perfect.

HELPFUL TIP: The women of Everlane HQ like to wear these jeans two ways: one size down for a tighter fit in the seat, or their true size for a more relaxed look.

SPANX Faux Leather Leggings


WHY IT WON: Spanx's faux leather leggings are a fan favorite for good reason. They're just as soft and cozy as traditional leggings but are even more flattering thanks to the built-in control top, and they work just as well for nights on the town as they do for lazy days in.

USERS SAID: “Seriously. I will never buy another pair of leather leggings—real or fake. These make your legs look great, suck in any lower belly fat, and lift your booty! I'm a size 27 in jeans and ordered a medium, and they're perfect."

Everlane The Cashmere Crew


WHY IT WON: A good cashmere crew is a must, but many of them come with quite a hefty price tag. Everlane uses certified Grade-A cashmere from Inner Mongolia, but they sell it at the same cost that most retailers sell Grade-C. We're talking $100 a pop, people.

WHY YOU NEED IT: Everlane's cashmere crew is more durable and pills less than other options on the market, so you'll be able to keep this stunner in your closet for seasons to come.

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings


WHY IT WON: Leggings can be a tough thing to come to a consensus on, but this might just be the most crowd-pleasing pair on the web. The material is flexible and comfortable but holds you in like shapewear, and they can take you from gym to happy hour in a heartbeat.

FUN FACT: These leggings have 6,000 reviews and a nearly perfect five-star rating on Nordstrom. That's how you know they're good. 

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