If you follow our biweekly feature Your Shopping Cart, you know that we have some eerily good intel on what things you all are buying. It led us to think that, as Strategist editors, we could turn the tables and highlight all the things we’ve been buying ourselves. As you’ll notice, it’s both a blessing and a curse to be a Strat editor; we’re picky, but sometimes we just have to get on with it (it’s online-shopping expertise meets IRL needs). Below, what we all bought in March.
Alexis Swerdloff, Strategist editor
My friend Matt was gifted this book by designer Mary Ping for his birthday, and I was so jealous, I had to buy one for myself as it is the most Strategist-y book I ever did see! It’s super-dramatic ’80s photographs of objects that have “It” — the Spalding rubber ball, Ivory soap, a Lacoste polo shirt, the English bull terrier, the Hershey’s Kiss — coupled with fun (somewhat weird) descriptions making the case for each one. If we were ever to make a Strategist book of our greatest hits, I would want it to look like this.
I am super lucky to have a washer and dryer in my apartment, but the whole thing is a bit worse for wear, and it definitely takes about two whirls in the dryer for my clothes to fully dry. So I was super intrigued by the Woolzies dryer balls that Simone Kitchens wrote about. As she predicted, these jovial guys have cut our dry time down to one-and-a-half whirls.
It hasn’t arrived yet, but I am super excited about the Harley Viera-Newton x Champion cherry-adorned sweatshirt that I just purchased. Harley’s younger sister is our very own Rio, of course, and I like to support any Viera-Newton whenever I can!
Jason Chen, deputy editor
Terre is the only scent I’ve ever used down to the bottom of the bottle, but replacing it with another one is a big commitment. For now, I’ve put my Old Spice on pause and replaced it with this guy, a subtler (and cheaper) way to wear the citrusy, green, just-a-bit-dirty fragrance.
This is getting embarrassing. I bought this shirt in navy and hunter green seven months ago; one month later, I bought it in gray. A few months after that, I also bought it in white and amber. This season, COS, in its infinite wisdom, brought the shirt back in a brighter green and this rust color, which is a bit redder than the amber. I bought both of them. If you’re keeping track, that’s one shirt in seven colors. Here’s why I like it so much: It’s a little loose without being oversize, and short enough to wear untucked or with a cazh front tuck. The sleeves are trim without being tailored, and the best part is that it’s half-cotton and half-lyocell, which gives the fabric this heavier weight and a nice drape. If it feels too big when you first get it, don’t worry; it shrinks slightly after the first wash.
More white sneakers. The folks at New Republic (which I’ve already gone on record as being a huge fan of) were kind enough to send me their new Kurt sneakers, which I have been wearing almost every day since receiving them. The profile reminds me of the Saturdays’ Dereks, but they’re more lightweight. What’s particularly great is that they’re easy to slip on and off without unlacing, which of course means they’re the ones I’m stepping into as I’m rushing out the door in the mornings.
Book club this month is reading the new Hollinghurst, so I picked that up, too. In typical fashion, I haven’t finished yet, but I am enjoying the time warp to 1940s Oxford (I think I’m giving away how much I have yet to read).
IT IS SNOWING TODAY. Ugh, the wacky winter/spring weather not only made me miserable but also made it impossible to just grab my seasonal coat and walk outside — I never knew whether it’d be frigid or balmy. I needed a quick solution for keeping all available options right by the front door, and this easy-to-assemble one has worked great.
Margaret Rhodes, senior editor
Judi Rosen, queen of butts. There’s a bit of a Judi Rosen fan club at the New York office, and among the Strategist team in particular. The fandom is more than deserved. At her Greenpoint shop, Judi sized me up, gave me a pair of these indigo wash jeans (she says you can wear them for several days and they won’t stretch out), and I bought them moments later. These are easily the best jeans I’ve bought in … maybe ever.
Rio’s recent posts on products for all hair types were fantastic, to say the least. I have a recommendation to tack on, for anyone with long, color-treated, dry locks: R+Co’s High Dive. My hairdresser frequently suggests it. It’s a great everyday moisturizing treatment that sinks in really nicely, smooths out puffy hair, and never feels sticky or heavy.
My 30-year-old skin has finally started to dry out, which I kind of love (just looking at Clean & Clear’s oil-absorbing sheets gives me post-traumatic anxiety over middle school), but this winter was harsh, and I found that I kept waking up with super-thirsty skin. I’ve had my eye on this stuff for a while, and am a sucker for anything that claims “legendary healing powers.” It’s been great: It’s got oils in it, but dissolves into skin easily and gives me a good balmy glow.
Is it okay to buy stuff from American Apparel, now that Dov Charney is long gone? Either way, I did because, like a true millennial, I have a deep bond with the company’s supercheap party basics. It recently had a 40 percent off sale, so I snagged a couple of easy weekend-wardrobe items.
Simone Kitchens, senior editor
Last summer, I went to Georgia O’Keeffe’s house in Abiquiú, New Mexico. Everyone must visit. It is insane and will make you want to throw out all of your furniture and start over. The adobe house is pretty sparse, but it is selectively stocked with all this highly familiar mid-century furniture (possibly trades from her other famous artist friends, our guide hinted). I noticed that she had this Noguchi lantern hanging in there. I had always been a little indifferent about them, but in that moment, I got onboard. Then a few months ago, I got an email that the Primary Essentials started stocking them. They can be a lot, so I started with the lowest-priced one, an entry-level table lamp that I actually like better on the floor. I liked it so much, I got one for my desk, which isn’t blessed with a ton of natural light. It now creates this cozy, glowy living-room feel. I bought the round one at TPE; the wonky one I ordered from the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City. Same price.
I went into Uniqlo a couple of weekends ago looking for a black mock turtleneck, which it did not have, but I left with five navy things. I like a hat, especially in the morning; it gives direction and shape to my puffy hair, but they can be tricky. This one feels safe: Slouchy, a little faded, and like something an off-duty Obama would wear. After a week of wear, the navy, cotton-linen scarf looked immediately not-new, very crinkled, and honestly, a little more expensive-looking than its $9.90 price tag. This navy, boxy cropped T-shirt: I got two. They were $9.99 in the store, guess the price went up. Nice weight, good crop. Their 50-color-way men’s-sock wall is impressive, so many colors, and I ultimately went with a couple packs of the marbled navy.
The thing about curly hair is that it’s really fun to talk shop, but at the end of day, you’ve got to figure it out on your own. No one’s curls are the same. That said, I did feel wildly compelled to buy this instant detangler after Ashley wrote about it. Tangles are my downfall; they can throw off my day in more ways than one. The minutes I lose manually unknotting my hair are the difference between me making it in a little early or slinking in a little late. This morning’s shower was my first test run, and I am excited to report that this stuff (really, truly, quickly) works on my hair, too.
Earlier this week, I noticed that Margaret had this bouncy, netlike back contraption strapped onto her chair. She said she inherited it from Jason, who was originally inspired by Maureen. When I pressed Margaret on whether or not the thing worked, she Slacked back: “I can say confidently it’s worth $20.” And now I can, too.
Lauren Levy, senior writer
In Europe, they don’t call them sample sales, rather, archive stores. And instead of three-day hectic madhouses teeming with half-naked shoppers rushing to grab designer tees off of endless racks, they’re civilized shops open all year and refilled with pieces from past seasons, one-off samples, and other archival designer detritus. There’s one for Acne in Copenhagen, where I was earlier this month, so I bought a jean jacket for under $200 and felt really lucky and accomplished. There’s one for Vetements in Zurich, where I also was, but everything there was still too crazy expensive to justify. Anyway, the jacket’s a little oversize and in a light stone wash that I can’t find anywhere online, so I think (and hope and pray) that it might be a rare one-off-sample thing. Here’s this other Acne jean jacket that I found for everyone else …
Katy Schneider, associate editor
In my “dining room” (better known as the room that’s not my bedroom), I have four wooden folding chairs that are handsome and space-saving and slightly mid-century-modern-looking (they look like these). I love them! But they’re not the coziest-looking nor the most comfortable. To solve that, I purchased two of these Icelandic sheepskin throws that I found on Etsy. I like them because they’re shaggy, not too white (like the faux-fur Ikea ones), and are very reasonably priced for real fur. The downside is, they ship from Poland, which takes an inordinately long time.
After many months spent watching everyone I know purchase these slimy gold patches, I finally gave in and bought some for myself. I know you probably have them already, but if you don’t, I highly suggest putting them on (cold, straight out of the fridge), turning on Queer Eye, and settling into your couch with a snack. The best spa in New York will then be Your Apartment.
Lori Keong, writer
After receiving a sample of this Kopari natural deodorant recently, I loved it so much (it smells light and sweet, works very well, and has the smoothest texture of any natural deodorant I’ve tried — it’s coconut-oil-based) that I went to top up, but was dismayed to see that it was sold out everywhere. I almost considered contacting the seller directly, I was that desperate. So when I saw that Kopari was back in stock at Nordstrom a few days ago, scarcity mode kicked in, and I bought several at once. Try it, and thank me later.
I always ask for a second opinion when I have multiple items open in a shopping cart, so when Need Supply was having a sale, I sent a friend three items that I was mulling over that were exactly the same color of navy blue (what can I say? I’m a uniform shopper). I decided on this pajama shirt, since it’s been my dream to live that Julian Schnabel fancy-pajama life. It’s been the one item of clothing that I’ve gotten the most compliments on recently, so I feel like I’m doing something right. My pajama top unfortunately sold out, but I like this one with polka dots, too.
Every time someone asks me where to get cheap, nice bathing suits, I always ferry them to COS (according to conversations with other Strat readers, it seems like we’re all COS-swimsuit shoppers). And since I’m a one-piece fiend, and stocking up for the summer, I scooped up this V-neck style in a delightful shade of navy blue (ha) the last time I was in the store.
Maxine Builder, writer
I felt inspired after this month’s Get It Together Week, which meant I spent more money than I’d like to admit publicly on OXO pop-top food-storage containers that were glowingly recommended by two of the professional organizers I talked with about kitchen and pantry organization. My all-purpose flour, my coffee beans, and all of my sugars — including granulated, brown, and raw — now have a picture-perfect home with an airtight seal, and I have a glowing sense of self-satisfaction every time I open my cabinet doors. (Rather than get the full ten-piece set, I recommend buying what you need for what’s in your pantry. The 0.9-quart food-storage containers fit a pound of sugar pretty perfectly, and the four-quart size is the right size for a five-pound bag of flour.)
These new Madewell skinny jeans have helped me conquer my anxieties about wearing skinny jeans. They’re true to size (meaning I don’t have to size down, a psychological win) with a super-high waist that doesn’t gap at the waist and goes all the way up to my belly button, just the way I like. My one concern is that they might go out of style after a season or two, since there’s some trendy distressing and an undone drop-hem, but I’ve worn them nearly every day since I bought them, so I’ll get my money’s worth out of them, even if I retire them later this year.
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