The Best Things We Bought in 2021 & Why You Should Absolutely Buy ‘Em All in ’22

Summer Cartwright
The Best Things We Bought in 2021 & Why You Should Absolutely Buy ‘Em All in ’22
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images.

Scroll To See More Images

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, STYLECASTER may receive an affiliate commission.

Well, 2021 came and went like a fever dream. And by that we mean a night of cold sweats, shivers,  discomfort and restlessness. Ah, what a gift to live “during this period of uncertainty.” But, listen. Not everything about this past year was completely terrible. I mean, it gave us Olivia Rodrigo’s incredible record, re-introduced us to the resurrected trend of truly cringe-worthy couples and once again made Uggs cool (though I’m more of. a Crocs gal, if I do admit).

Throughout the last 12 months, we’ve all learned a lot about ourselves—and have memorized every potential symptom of Covid-19 and its many, many variants in the process. We’ve also learned about what things we can do to make our lives spent mostly at home more enjoyable. For me, this meant buying some workout gear to do some at-home pilates classes so that I could get my body moving and make my mind happy once a day. It might seem trivial to equate purchases to joy (they say money can’t buy happiness, after all), but when we’re all cooped up inside and don’t have much of a social life outside of it, the things we buy for ourselves and our homes can really make all of the difference.

So, with that in mind, our team put together a list of the absolute best things we bought in 2021. We’re all some major shoppers, so this list is not short by any means. We built it up in hopes that some of the things that made us happy could do the same for you.

These items include everything from butt-lifting tights to a Le Creuset dupe that can help new cooks perfect delicious dishes on the first try. You’ll see everything from makeup to jeans to workout gear to cleaning supplies. All of which have made an impact on our daily routines, and have kept them from becoming entirely mundane. Check them out below.

 Thirty48 Gliding Discs

Courtesy of Thirty48.

Thirty48 Workout Pack

It seems like gyms have opened, closed and re-opened 25 times this year, and that uncertainty is something that I didn’t want to deal with, so I started doing more at-home workouts and fell in love with a few in the process. But, like all workouts, they become boring after a while. To keep my at-home pilates and sculpting classes more interesting, I bought this pack of gliders and resistance bands. They take any workout to the next level and, though the pack comes with seven items, it costs under $20.

– Summer Cartwright, E-Commerce Editor 


L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation

Courtesy of L’Oreal.

L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation

As a beauty buff, I never thought I’d find my perfect foundation at the drugstore—but this one pleasantly surprised me! It feels lightweight like a tinted moisturizer, but gives me just enough coverage for my acne scars. It sits on the skin so beautifully, friends have said they can’t tell I’m wearing foundation. I buy my shade in bulk. Oh, and it has SPF 50!

– Bella Gerard, Fashion & Lifestyle Editor

J.ING Dennis Wide Slit Hem Jeans

Courtesy of J.ING Dennis.

J.ING Dennis Wide Slit Hem Jeans

These are hands down the pants I’ve received the most compliments on. The denim is sturdy, but the baggy fit gives my legs extra breathing room. I like that I can wear them alone or layer a pair of leggings underneath them for when it’s chilly outside. Though a little long for my 5-foot-5 frame, I adore the oversized fit, the edgy rip in the middle and trendy slit hems.

– Katie Decker-Jacoby, E-Commerce Writer 


Food Network 5-qt. Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven

Courtesy of Kohls.

Food Network 5-qt. Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven

I love food, but I never really cooked a proper meal beyond reheating frozen Trader Joes meals until the pandemic. When January 2021 rolled around, I knew I needed to upgrade my old, flimsy cookware with something better. I chose this Le Creuset dupe for its price point and its hundreds of positive reviews, and it hasn’t failed me yet. I’ve used this Food Network Cast Iron Dutch Oven almost every day since I bought it in January, and it still looks and feels like when I first opened it. Plus it’s turned me from a chronic PostMater to an amateur home cook.

– Jason Pham, Senior Entertainment Editor 


Classic Semi-Opaque Tights

Courtesy of Sheertex.

Classic Semi-Opaque Tights

When I saw the $100 price tag on these Instagram-famous tights that claim to be indestructible, I was definitely skeptical. But after wearing them four times in one week where they had every opportunity to rip and snag but held up through it all, I was a full-on believer and am now telling all my friends to buy them. When you do the math (hey, it’s kinda fun when it involves shopping!), these game-changing investment tights will actually save you hard-earned Benjamins in the long run. I easily buy five or so pairs of cheap tights a year at $10-$20 a pop, so over time, you’ll spend less if you just add these ones to your cart. Plus, you’ll save yourself the stress of repeated fashion mishaps. Psst: They’re 40% off rn, which is super rare, so it’s time to stock up.

– Tamara Kraus, Commerce Manager


FlexiSpot Desk Bike

Courtesy of FlexiSpot.

Flexispot All-in-One Desk Bike

If there’s one thing that has inspired me to stop working from my couch (or, let’s be real, my bed), it’s this Flexispot All-in-One Desk Bike. What I love most is how comfortable and ergonomic all of its components are. The desk’s height and distance are completely adjustable, whereas the seat is wide enough to avoid getting sore. The best part? It also doubles as a standing desk for me whenever I need a break from peddling.

– Jenzia Burgos, Entertainment Editor


Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

Courtesy of Elemis.

Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

I really don’t know how I ever lived without this moisturizer. I can feel it working its magic on my skin the second I put it on—’rejuvenating’ is the best word I can think of to describe it! I’ve turned my boyfriend, my best friend and all of my cousins onto Elemis, and we all agree that the moisturizer is 100 percent worth a splurge.

– Bella Gerard, Fashion & Lifestyle Editor

Ganni Stripe Thin Software Jersey V-Neck T-Shirt, Stripe

Courtesy of Ganni.

Ganni Stripe Thin Software Jersey V-Neck T-Shirt, Stripe

I don’t make it a habit of buying $95 T-shirts but I had my eye on this modern version of the preppy tee for months. It looks cute for casual hangs and even with dressier clothes. Now, I reach for it so often that it has a great cost-per-wear that makes me feel less guilty for spending the money. And it’s half off now so I might need another color.

– Elizabeth Denton, Beauty Writer

Superfood Cleanser

Courtesy of Youth to the People.

Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser

One of my 2021 skincare missions was to find a cleanser that helped keep my oiliness at bay, without completely stripping my skin. I started with the sample size bottle and recently graduated to the regular one, because I’ve found that it really does do the trick. It’s gentle, foamy and packed with the best of the best in antioxidants: kale, spinach and green tea. My skin always feels squeaky clean after washing and ready for all my other skincare products. 

– Katie Decker-Jacoby, E-Commerce Writer 


Hyness Fabric Shaver

Courtesy of Hyness.

Hyness Fabric Shaver

I was moments away from retiring a bunch of leggings and sweaters from my closet before a friend recommended trying out a fabric shaver to get rid of all the extra pilling on those pieces. This little Hyness shaver easily brought those clothes back to life!

– Jenzia Burgos, Entertainment Editor


adidas Originals Festival Crossbody Bag

Courtesy of adidas.

adidas Originals Festival Crossbody Bag

After originally snagging this bag as a last-minute solution, I think I’ve used it in some way every single day since July (it’s December, people). If you’re not the type to carry a purse, but still need *pockets*—this is the one for you. It keeps things casual and functional, yet, somehow still makes you look cool AF? I don’t get it either, but it’s the cold hard truth. It’s the ideal on-the-go bag, whether you’re headed to the gym, jumping on the train, or carrying in 5 bags of groceries. It’ll stay out of the way, and still do what needs to be done.

– Samantha Caccamise, Social Editor


Soda Women's Red Reno Western Cowboy

Courtesy of Soda.

Soda White Cowboy Boots 

I have more luxe black cowboy boots, so when I wanted a second pair in trendy white, I reached for a much more affordable version. These faux-leather boots are surprisingly comfortable and I get tons of compliments of them. People are shocked by the price. 

– Elizabeth Denton, Beauty Writer

POREfessional: Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray

Courtesy of Benefit Cosmetics.

POREfessional: Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray

No, but I never thought I could love a setting spray the way I love this one. Not only does it keep my make-up on, but it keeps it looking flawless no matter what I’m up to. And when you’re running around the city in a face mask all day, that’s a big deal! I’ve lost count of how many friends have purchased this after borrowing mine.

– Bella Gerard, Fashion & Lifestyle Editor

Vornado Personal Air Circulator

Courtesy of Vornado.

Vornado Personal Air Circulator

If a fan could feel like air conditioning, this is it. New York City summers are brutal, so when my boyfriend and I moved into our new apartment, we knew we wanted a fan that could cool us down and circulate air throughout our space. As someone who is perpetually hot, I love the Vornado Personal Air Circulator. It’s quiet but powerful and cool enough that we didn’t even need to turn on the AC during some of summer’s hottest days.

– Jason Pham, Senior Entertainment Editor 

SKIMS Fits Everybody Cami Bodysuit

Courtesy of SKIMS.

SKIMS Fits Everybody Cami Bodysuit

Discovering the SKIMS Fits Everybody range was truly the best thing to happen to my wardrobe in 2022. All my undies are from the Fits Everybody range, and this bodysuit? It’s ridiculously comfortable, but also makes me feel super snatched. 10/10. 

– Bella Gerard, Fashion & Lifestyle Editor

Lidded Glass Jar Crackling Wooden Wick Candle Vanilla and Bergamot

Courtesy of Target.

Lidded Glass Jar Cackling Wooden Wick Candle

Frankly, I just don’t think we’re talking enough about wooden wick candles. While a cozy scent it always spectacular‚ there’s something magical about hearing cackling wood while the snow falls outside. I’m personally biased to the Vanilla & Bergamot scent, but there’s plenty of options to suit whatever vibe you’re going for—and all I’m saying is, you should absolutely go for it. They’re right at Target… what do you have to lose?

– Samantha Caccamise, Social Editor

The Organic Cotton Cropped Tee

Courtesy of Everlane.

Everlane The Organic Cotton Cropped Tee

After eyeing Everlane for quite some time, I decided to finally give the brand a go in 2021. Needless to say, I have been so impressed with everything I’ve bought from them. Everlane’s great quality, cute styles, affordable prices and sustainable and ethical practices has me forever coming back for more. I’ve worn this cropped tee while lounging at home, while running errands, and even to nicer occasions, because it’s just that versatile. I have a few other amazing Everlane basics, but this one’s a true standout.

– Katie Decker-Jacoby, E-Commerce Writer 


Marc Jacobs The Tote Bag

Courtesy of Marc Jacobs.

Marc Jacobs The Tote Bag

What I thought would exclusively be a work bag has turned into my take everywhere (and anywhere bag). Whether I’m going away for a night, catching a flight or heading to the gym, this tote is durable enough to take with me (TFG). It’s spacious without being too bulky. Not to mention, the top zipper makes it an easy contender over luxury totes like the Louis Vuitton Never Full… Because gorgeous, gorgeous girls do spill all of their things.

– Samantha Caccamise, Social Editor


The Moonlight Dress

Courtesy of Revolve.

Selkie The Moonlight Dress

After drooling over the brand forever, I bought two Selkie dresses this year—luckily, both during big sales. The Ballerina pink Moonlight Dress is especially cute with my white cowboy boots!

– Elizabeth Denton, Beauty Writer


 PhoneSoap 3 UV Cell Phone Sanitizer

Courtesy of PhoneSoap.

PhoneSoap Cell Phone Sanitizer

After a few months of spritzing my iPhone with alcohol and ruining expensive cases with disinfectant wipes, I decided to bite the bullet and get this PhoneSoap Cell Phone Sanitizer. This nifty little device uses UV-C light to completely disinfect your phone—or keys, credit cards and anything else that fits. I use it all the time and it makes me feel a lot cleaner when reaching for those high-touch items.

– Jenzia Burgos, Entertainment Editor


Bodum French Press

Courtesy of Bodum.

Bodum French Press

I’m of the believe that your coffee experience can make or break your day. After a year of working from home, I realized how blah my morning routine was—you don’t get a ton of motivation when your drip coffee spews out the side of the machine, as well as into your cup. So, after being introduced to the world of French press coffee, I invested in one myself. The machine itself is sleek and so simple to use, and it produces an incredibly flavorful batch of brew every time I use it. Coffee novices and those who are technically challenged will be shocked by how simple it is to grasp the steps of this device. Using it has allowed for me to slow down a bit in the mornings and de-stress before work. It’s something I’ll never not have in my home, no matter where I move.

– Summer Cartwright, E-Commerce Editor


Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Lugged Boot

Courtesy: Converse.

Lugged Chuck Taylor All Star Converse

As someone who comes in at only 5’2”, I can use all of the help I can get when it comes to making my legs look just a *touch* longer. These kicks have become my ride or dies this past year—so much so that I now own them in three different colors (and no one can stop me there). I’ve never had a pair of sneakers that get so many compliments, from every age and gender. And not to go too hard, but they’re comfy enough to get you through Lollapalooza… so, they can actually do it all.

– Samantha Caccamise, Social Editor


 Aqua Notes Water Proof Note Pad

Courtesy of Aqua Notes.

Aqua Notes Waterproof Note Pad

The shower has always been where I come up with some of my best ideas, yet I also have a bad habit of forgetting those ideas by the time my shower’s over. Enter, this Aqua Notes Waterproof Note Pad. Now I use it every day, and it has helped me stay so much more creative and on track.

– Jenzia Burgos, Entertainment Editor

 

share