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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in September

Photo: Courtesy of the vendors

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 for 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 September.

Jenna Milliner-Waddell, junior writer

Before working on our best cable modem and best Wi-Fi router stories, I had no idea what either thing was. But when I moved into an apartment by myself at the beginning of the month and suddenly things like setting up Wi-Fi all fell on me, all the reviews about people trying to escape their service provider’s monthly modem and router rental fees finally clicked. I didn’t want to fall into the same trap they did and knew I wanted to buy my own too. The Optimum guy set up the modem, but setting up the router was up to me, myself, and I — which also doubled as the perfect network name. Just like reviewers said it would be, the setup was simple and I was browsing and streaming in no time.

I recently worked on the best expert-recommended leave-in conditioners and what I gleaned from all my research is that I have low-porosity hair, meaning I have a tight cuticle layer resistant to moisture. I am always a little skeptical of hair-care products that aren’t specifically made for black women, but I had a sample of this bond serum from Sephora, and it promised to seal my strands. Hoping it would lock in all the moisture my hair is so resistant to, I gave it a try and racked it through my coily curls. TL;DR: I tried the sample and now the full-size version is en route.

Hilary Reid, writer

I did some fall shopping this month, which included buying this “sleeveless cardigan” a.k.a. vest from Agnès B. The Strategist once named Agnès B.’s snap cardigans as one of the few inoffensive office cardigans, and I couldn’t agree more. I have my black one with me most days, and now I’m excited to have this jaunty green one in rotation, too.

These look a lot like the vintage Levi’s that I already own, which is why I really didn’t need them and also why I absolutely had to buy them. It’s rare to find new jeans that look and fit like old ones — and I like the long, straight legs on this pair.

$22

This charger is the most practical thing I bought this month, and also what I’m most excited about. It’s a phone wall-charger AND a portable battery pack(!). You use it as you would a normal wall charger, and then remove it from the wall and take it with you as a fully charged portable battery. After Jacqueline Novak talked about it in her What I Can’t Live Without, I added it to my cart immediately.

I came across this book at my parents’ house and loved it so much I ordered a copy for myself. It’s from Alex Katz’s 1986 Whitney exhibition, and has a series of really wonderful cut paper collages of beach houses, piers, a bowl of olives, and people sailing and lazing on the beach.

Rio Viera-Newton, writer

If you’ve spoken to me in the last few weeks, odds are you’ve heard me gloating about my new salad lunchbox. I enjoy saving some money and bringing a packed lunch to work. But in the past, I’d found safely transporting my favorite lunchtime meal, a heavily dressed salad with hearty toppings, difficult to accomplish. I would either have to pre-dress my salad so that it could be reduced to one container and deal with a sad, soggy lunch, or I’d have to use a ton of different Tupperware and mini mason jars for my dressing, salad, and toppings. Not to mention, there were more than a few incidents of unfortunate spillage. But this Bentgo Salad Container changed everything for me. This two tier container keeps the greens and toppings separate (this is very important to me because I like to have juicy, garlicky black beans in my salad) and comes with a 3oz jar for dressings which inserts into the topping tray. This all-in-one container is also trustworthy enough to be transported on its side⁠ — I’ve been using this everyday for the past two weeks and it hasn’t once leaked in my purse. And you won’t believe: It also comes with an attachable fork! It’s never been so easy to bring my salads to work.