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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in March

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers

If you follow our biweekly feature Your Shopping Cart, you know that we have some eerily good intel on what you all are buying. Which 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 Strategist 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.

David Notis, writer

I love wearing my Darn Tough socks with boots, but if I’m wearing a low-cut shoe or desert boot, I like having something a little more interesting. I bought a few pairs of Anonymous Ism socks earlier in the winter, and they’ve become my favorite socks. I recently did a Marie Kondo–fueled sock-drawer purge — starting with the easiest things, this was hard enough — and my general guiding principle is to get more socks like those Anonymous Ism ones. That means doing a lot more laundry because these aren’t cheap, but I’m okay with that. These are made from really thick cotton, so they’re warm enough for a mild winter day, and they’ll probably work in the spring too because the weave is pretty loose. I like that they’re a little wild, but still subtle. (I also bought them in green which they call “khaki” but I think it’s more of a yellowy-green.)

Jack Black Beard Oil

I am sort of growing a beard. I don’t know. It’s only been about two weeks, but I’m a wimp and get really uncomfortable and itchy after like five days of not shaving, so I’m already babying my little stubbly beard more than most people who have long, actual beards. Still, even if the beard oil isn’t strictly necessary, I think it’s helped a lot with dryness, and it gives the hair a nice healthy sheen. It’s super-lightweight, has a kind of citrusy, barely noticeable scent, and it absorbs quickly so it doesn’t make a mess. Also, the pump-style bottle is a lot easier to use than those ones with the glass droppers.

I’m not sure if this is actually healthy. I think it is. I hope so, because otherwise I’m just drinking a really weird dark-green thing every morning for no reason. It was on sale and I bought it on a whim because it’s never on sale. I mix it in water every morning and it’s become a fun routine. The taste is intense — not the most pleasant — but it’s bracing in a nice way when you’re still waking up. I’m hesitant to say, “I feel way healthier since drinking this,” because I’m obviously not a medical professional, but I really do think I’ve had more energy lately, and it has all the ingredients everyone is always telling me are important, so there must be something to it?

Jason Chen, deputy editor

Our dog got too big for his puppy bed, so I upgraded — this one looked lofty and well-padded (it’s got a regular layer and then an egg crate foam layer) and the dog LOVES it.

Photo: ©Mario Simon

I wanted a slightly oversized T-shirt for the summer, and this on-sale Carne Bollente white tee fit the bill (I like that the sleeves almost hit my elbows). Some of the CB graphics are too much, but this one’s just the right amount of perverted.

I’d actually gotten Rebecca Makkai’s book in December but didn’t feel right about including it in my haul until I actually finished it. Yes, it’s as great as everyone says. Buy if you’re interested in getting misty on the train.

Oh, MAN. This is probably my favorite thing I’ve bought in a long time. I get the dog’s food in these giant 33-pound bags, and could not find any storage container to keep it in until I discovered this guy. It’s a bin that holds 80 cups — about ten two-liter bottles’ worth — of stuff, and I can easily get about a third of my giant bag of kibble in there. What’s nifty is that it has two wheels for easy carting, and a clever little window lid so you know just how much is left. Great for bath salts, too.

Alexis Swerdloff, Strategist editor

I certainly did not need another striped long-sleeved T-shirt, but I couldn’t resist this little number from H&M. It was the blue and yellow cuffs that did it for me. And the fact that it was $10. So I got two of them.

Uniqlo had a site-wide free shipping promo earlier in the month, so I got a few things: a pair of extremely cute and soft train-adorned pajamas for my 6-month-old son (the snaps have the most pleasant snap to them), this sweet little romper set (stripes!), and this crisp gingham blouse for myself that works really well, I think, with high-waisted pants.

I’ve been in the market for a good tinted moisturizer with SPF protection, and since I generally like how lightweight my BareMinerals under-eye concealer is, I thought I would give BareMinerals’ very well-reviewed Complexion Rescue gel cream a shot. As I had hoped, it literally feels like wearing nothing, and blends right in.

Not the most exciting purchase, but my son’s cradle cap wasn’t getting better (we’ve affectionately been calling him oatmeal-head), and I had heard good things about Mustela’s cradle-cap-specific foam shampoo, so we ordered it. And it works! He has a few little bits of “oatmeal” here and there, but it’s mostly gone.

But my biggest purchase of the month was an “exersaucer.” An exersaucer is basically a little activity station that we can plop him in and he can occupy himself with a zillion doodads and gizmos. I put him in one at my friend’s house and he legitimately was almost hyperventilating from happiness — I felt I couldn’t deny him one. Most are full-on hideous and take up a ton of space, but I found one that can fold up (almost none of the ones out there can fold) and is not so offensive if we keep it out. It may not be as “fun” as some of the others on the market that sing and bounce, but, truly, he has no idea and is happy as a clam noodling about in this.

Karen Iorio Adelson, writer

They’re not the most sophisticated bedding around, but I swear by jersey sheets. You can have your starched cotton and crinkly linen, I’ll be nestled in my T-shirt soft bed. My old ones needed replacing so I bought these in the heathered-oatmeal shade. They’re just as soft as I expected and they look nice, too.