Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, where we break out the top-ten products that you, devoted Strategist readers, bought in droves. Think of this as the tl;dr of the Strategist: If your like-minded brethren are buying these items, maybe you’d like to, too.
As we slowly inch toward summer, Strategist readers are stocking up on warm-weather essentials like sandals (this surprisingly cheap yet comfy pair takes the top spot yet again, followed directly by a pair of metallic Birkenstocks), powerful insect repellent (back on the list, in eighth place, for the first time since last July), and white T-shirts (this perennial favorite V-neck is back in ninth). Two newcomers make a strong debut this week — a subtle, musky perfume in third, and a stylish, affordable jumpsuit in fourth). We’ve also got a fair share of returning champs hanging on this week, like a moisturizing serum recommended by Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton (in fifth, down from second), a rose-gold lightning charging cable (in sixth, down from third), and a fancy lube (in seventh, down from sixth). Finally, coming in at No. 10 is a pillow for side-sleepers that’s back on the list after a week off.
These very affordable sandals (that have been mistaken for Margiela or Demeulemeester) debuted on the list at No. 1 last time and hold on to the top spot this week. Only days after writer Fiorella Valdesolo shared her incredible Amazon find, they fast became the top-selling item among our readers, with several colors and sizes quickly going out of stock. Valdesolo calls them “the ideal New York summer shoe,” because “they’re “deeply comfortable [and] able to securely carry me on the spontaneous flights of fancy that tend to happen more in the summer and so often require solid walking support.”
Another pair of very comfortable sandals, these “just kooky enough” metallic Birkenstocks were our tenth-place finisher last time after we noticed they were 40 percent off at Zappos. They’re only 10 percent off now, but lots of you are still buying them. We like that they’re unique enough to stand out in a crowd of similar styles but “without being too insane.”
Also recommended by Fiorella Valdesolo, this Egyptian musk oil was the only fragrance that she could tolerate during pregnancy — and afterward. She says it’s “clean and mellow and faintly soapy and significantly more refined than my former head-shop variety.” Plus it was reportedly “a signature scent” of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s.
Note: The Abdul Kareem oil is currently sold out, but Fiorella says she’ll also use this Kiehl’s musk essence oil in a pinch.
Even when Strategist editors are off-duty, we always have their eyes peeled for those unique finds and rare deals that our readers love. So when our deputy editor Jason Chen spotted this (very Reformation-looking) jumpsuit on his boyfriend’s sister-in-law, and learned that it was actually a cheap Amazon find, he was compelled to write a one-act play. Made from “a high-quality legging material — the fabric is a mix of polyester and spandex,” it’s flattering and looks more expensive than it actually is.
This moisturizing serum from Amazon’s new skincare line debuted on our last list in second place after Rio raved that it’s even better than a much pricier version from Drunk Elephant. She says, “As soon as I applied this serum, my skin looked and felt plumper and more moisturized instantly …I’ve never seen a hyaluronic-acid serum show its powers quite as fast as this lovely two-ounce, $35 serum does.” It’s down a bit to a still-respectable fourth place this week.
For under $10, this USB lightning cable (an Amazon favorite) is worth keeping in your bag for emergency charging situations. One reviewer raves, “I’ve ordered endless cables and they all work great for a week and then die. I decided to try this one since it had the lifetime warranty, and I’m so glad I did. It’s excellent and pretty much just like the Apple USB. It charges my phone in the car super-fast and even faster via wall charger.” And since it’s rose gold, you’ll always know which one’s yours in a sea of white cords.
We first learned about this very elegant-looking lube from Samantha Bard, co-owner of the sex-positive shop Shag in Williamsburg, who says it’s “one of the highest-quality silicone lubes out there.” Emily Morse, doctor of human sexuality and host of “Sex With Emily” on SiriusXM, is impressed that it has only two ingredients: “pure silicone with a trace of vitamin E.” This is its 14th appearance on the list, making it one of our all-time best sellers.
At the start of last summer, this tick-and-insect-repelling spray shot to the top of the list after Strategist managing editor Maxine Builder discovered it when searching for the best products to keep disease-carrying pests away. The spray works by protecting your outdoor attire: “Spraying your sneakers or hiking boots before going out into the woods is another solid tick-prevention technique. You could also spray gardening gloves, pants, shorts, or T-shirts with permethrin.” Now, with the buggy summer season approaching, it’s back on the list.
Elizabeth Rose, a server at Cafe Gitane, tipped us off to this top when we went on the hunt for the best white T-shirt for women: “I like the Everlane V-neck because of the company’s transparency. It’s an ethical issue — I like to know where the clothing is made. And I like this specific shirt because I wear a lot of necklaces, so the depth of this V shows them.” After a one-week hiatus, it returns to the list in ninth place.
Like the Everlane V-neck, this pillow is a reliable favorite that also took a short break from the list. Editor Jason Chen first discovered it when he tested out a wide selection of pillows designed for side-sleepers and concluded that the Wamsutta Extra-Firm was the most comfortable and supportive of them all: “Unlike other pillows that mistake plushness or fluffiness for support, the WEF didn’t sink as soon as I rested my head. Instead, it had a firm, satisfying spring — it’s a different sensation, but one I took to right away. And even though I didn’t do any measuring, my head felt more propped up from the mattress and sheets than with any other pillow.”
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.