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I mean, I don’t have a lot to say about 2020 as a year for fashion. It could’ve been amazing, but a worldwide pandemic took priority, so we ended up spending our time dressed down in sweats accessorized with slippers and face masks instead. That said, there were a few good moments prior to March 2020—the Grammys red carpet, the Super Bowl halftime show—and a couple more notable looks in the months that followed, so I was still able to muster up a list of the top fashion moments of 2020.
I’ll be honest, when I say “top,” I don’t necessarily mean “best.” Some are amazing, fire ‘fits that would top any and all Best Dressed lists, but others are simply the most memorable or iconic pieces that defined the year. I wouldn’t call tie-dye sweatsuits great fashion, but let’s be honest: They’ll forever be associated with this year. In my eyes, that’s enough to make the list!
From standout slays like Harry Styles’ Vogue cover to outfits I wish I could forget (cough, Carole Baskin and Emily In Paris, cough) the looks on this list are ones you definitely saw this year—and likely had some preeeetty strong feelings about. Same, babe.
With that, read on for the top 17 fashion moments of 2020: the good, the bad and the still-shoppable. Here’s to a new year, new trends and (hopefully) some new looks to obsess over. @Celebs, you’d better bring it in 2021! I’m counting on you.
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Ariana Grande’s Gray Tulle Grammys Dress
To be honest, Ari’s stunning gray Grammys look was pretty much the only gown that gave me chills this year. Giambattista Valli really brought the drama with that tulle, and the matching gloves? Chef’s kiss.
Billie Eilish’s Gucci Embellished Face Mask
Another great Grammys look was this head-to-toe Gucci moment on Billie Eilish. I love that she was wearing a face mask before it became mandatory—talk about foreshadowing. Also, I’m giving her Chanel ‘fit from the 92 Annual Academy Awards honorable mention, because it was equally fire.
Lil Nas X’s Pink Grammys Look
One more Grammys look, and then we’ll move along! Lil Nas served Cowboy Barbie realness in this hot pink ensemble, and I’m sad he didn’t get to wow us with looks like this all year long. I miss you, pre-COVID red carpet season!
J Lo & Shakira’s Super Bowl Halftime Looks
Two gorgeous women, decked out in metallics? I can’t find a single thing I don’t love about these outfits. Their Super Bowl halftime performance was probably the last bright spot of the year (kinda sad, since it happened at the start of February).
Carole Baskin’s Animal Print + Flower Crowns
Not necessarily one of the best fashion moments, but definitely a top moment in that it was hella memorable. As we all binged Tiger King simultaneously, we couldn’t help but discuss Baskin’s animal print-filled wardrobe, often accessoried with very unnecessary faux flower crowns.
Everyone In Tie-Dye Sweatsuits
I mean, a tie-dye sweatsuit is definitely the most-worn outfit of the year, don’t you think? When athleisure and tie dye combined, a cozy two-piece aesthetic we could all get behind was born. If you’re still looking for your perfect set, this one from Pull & Bear is a fan fave.
Beyonce ’s Black Is King Wardrobe
Even though IRL performances were all canceled, Beyonce’s Black Is King gave us a healthy dose of music, culture, fashion and general Beyhive adrenaline. Thank goodness for that.
Princess Beatrice’s Norman Hartnell Wedding Dress
This! Dress! Did! Not! Get! Enough! Hype! Borrowed from the Queen’s archive and updated with a few good princesscore details like those dreamy puff sleeves, this dress was the ultimate gown for Princess Beatrice on her big day.
Lizzo’s VOTE Dress At The BBMAs
Lots of celebrities spoke up and encouraged their fans to vote this year, but Lizzo’s Christian Siriano VOTE mini dress was definitely the boldest statement of all. Plus, she looked so hot in it!
Lady Gaga’s VMAs Face Masks
Fans weren’t sure if their fave celebs would be masked or simply social-distanced at this year’s very weird MTV Video Music Awards, but Lady Gaga served fashion and safety in a series of over-the-top masks that made her the only person worthy of the night’s Best Dressed list.
Harry Styles In A Dress On The Cover Of Vogue
This gave me so much life, I can’t even explain it. Styles has been outspoken about his love for fashion and his disdain for gender norms, and his absolute slay in this Gucci gown and tuxedo jacket made even skeptics turn into fans.
Brandon Blackwood’s End Systemic Racism Totes
Brandon Blackwood used this viral $70 tote to make a major statement and celebs like Kim Kardashian jumped on board right away. You can still shop it now and have a portion of proceeds donated towards funding Pro Bono legal aid via the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.
Taylor Swift’s Cardigan
Perhaps the most iconic 2020 piece of clothing next to the tie-dye sweatpant, no? This chunky knit cardi symbolized a brand new era for Ms. Swift, including both Folklore and Evermore, plus a million fan theories per album.
The Crown’s Take on Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress
Out of all the costumes praised in Season Four of The Crown, Princess Di’s wedding dress was the most hyped-up. Emma Corrin wore it well—sleeves that puffy aren’t easy to pull off, after all.
Kamala Harris’ White Victory Pantsuit
TBH, Vice President Harris could’ve worn absolutely anything to her victory party and I would’ve been thrilled, but her decision to wear a white suit (a nod to the suffragette movement) designed by Carolina Herrera (a female immigrant) with a pussy bow blouse? Iconic beyond compare.
Paloma Elsesser’s Vogue Cover
I didn’t think Vogue could top Harry Styles’ cover, but model Paloma Elsesser in a see-through, water-soaked slip? A major moment for the body positivity movement—plus, Elsesser’s reaction video was cute AF.
And The Worst: Everything From Emily In Paris
I am obsessed with this show and can’t wait for Season Two. What can I say? I love “so bad, it’s good” TV. That said, Emily’s wardrobe was so bad, it was bad. Period. Let’s hope she upgrades her look in 2021.