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 August.
Lauren Ro, writer
Up until this weekend, I hadn’t submerged myself in a body of water — natural or otherwise — all summer because, I don’t know, life got in the way. Still, for whatever reason, I felt the need to buy a new swimsuit. This time, I wanted a simple one-piece to hold it all in that also didn’t cost over $100. So I turned to Andie, a direct-to-consumer brand that launched last year, for its reasonably priced options. Because I have a short torso and am insecure about my back, I went with the Amalfi (which the website’s handy Fit Finder tool also recommended) for its cami-style straps, low neckline, high-cut back, and elegant silhouette. I was between sizes, so I ordered two (Andie offers free shipping and returns) and went with the larger one, which fit like a dream. The other day I took it for a swim at my local pool and felt sleek and secure, like a sexy water mammal.
I first learned about the Nashville-based made-to-order clothing company Elizabeth Suzann from my husband, of all people, who had heard an econ podcast about its sustainable and ethical business model. With a focus on natural fibers, Elizabeth Suzann offers timeless pieces for women, like swingy linen tees, tunics, jackets, wool sweaters, and breezy bottoms, each made to order in-house, which means lead times are currently at six to seven weeks. I ordered the staple Georgia Tee in navy, a boxy linen top, and the Josephine Vented Shell in ivory, which has cap sleeves and a box pleat in the back, in June and received my order this month. I love the structure of the Georgia tee and how I can pair it with a voluminous skirt without looking too precious. Although the pieces aren’t cheap, I’m confident that they’ll be with me for the long haul.
Maxine Builder, writer
There’s something about the return of fall that really gets me going on a self-improvement kick, probably some vestige of back-to-school nostalgia. I usually buy a bunch of new pens or a new planner to scratch the itch, but this year, I went big and bought a guided gratitude journal called the Five-Minute Journal. Every morning, it directs you to write down three things you’re grateful for, three goals for the day, and a daily affirmation, and yes, it’s absolutely as cheesy as it sounds. But I’ve been liking the practice so far, as an easy way to collect my thoughts and be more mindful that’s less boring to me than ten minutes of meditation. My boyfriend says I seem happier and less stressed-out since doing it, but it’s still unclear if I’m a better person or not.
I am, however, officially a hat person! This $90 felt Stetson hat that I found in the hunting section of L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine, is the fedora I never knew I needed. The brim’s wide enough to give me enough coverage, but not too big as to make me feel totally goofy, and the gorgeous, neutral tan matches almost any outfit. I’ve been referring to it, lovingly, as my dumb starter hat because now that I know how good I feel (and maybe even look?) while wearing it, it’s only a matter of time before I amass a whole collection.
Karen Iorio Adelson, writer
After reading rave reviews of R.O. Kwon’s debut novel, I bought The Incendiaries thinking it would last me through Labor Day weekend, but I ended up finishing it in two days. The novel centers around a charismatic cult leader who sets up shop on a college campus, luring in emotionally and spiritually vulnerable students. When two young lovers become enmeshed in his inner circle, Kwon’s writing takes on a mounting sense of dread that kept me, as a reader, similarly bewitched.