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 October.
Anthony Rotunno, senior editor
I didn’t buy a ton of new things beyond the norm this month, given I’m still paying off everything my husband and I bought in China last month. However, I did get an Amazon gift card as part of a groomsmen gift from my brother-in-law, which I used toward a not so fun but necessary upgrade of our food-storage container situation. After reading up on the Strategist’s coverage, I went for this set of locking rectangular shaped containers from Rubbermaid and a larger set of similar-looking ones from AmazonBasics. The Rubbermaid ones are by far superior, locking seamlessly and securely, easy to clean, and sturdy but not heavy. I considered getting glass storage, but it just seemed less convenient for something I’d be commuting with regularly. Reviewers describe these as “glasslike,” which I would agree with, and both the vessels and lids are BPA-free, according to the brand.
I also used the gift card to buy this hand-painted pear made of alabaster. It was among the decorative stone fruits I recently found on Amazon, and honestly is as nice-looking as any other hand-painted stone fruits I’ve inherited from my mother-in-law or bought at John Derian, my favorite seller of beautiful things I never need but always want. The pear isn’t huge, but tossing it in a small bowl with a couple other fruits would make for a nice year-round centerpiece. And you can always add it to a bowl filled with actual fruit, too, until you’ve collected enough fakes for their own display.
I am a sucker for the New York City merchandise from streetwear brand OnlyNY (which has also produced limited-edition collaborations with New York Magazine). So when I saw that they released these tall socks sporting the MTA logo, I had to click buy. I can only hope that whatever money the MTA is getting from the deal is going toward fixing the subway.
Peter Martin, senior editor
I’ve only been on staff for a few weeks. My last job was at a real jeans-and-a-plaid-shirt kind of place, where work sometimes meant taking breaks from editing to play with an angle grinder in the workshop. Real durable-casual vibes. I was worried that wouldn’t fly here, so I did some preparatory shopping. Like back-to-school shopping, but swap the excited kid for a nervous adult man. One of my favorite things I found were these pants, which fit like jeans and match nearly everything like jeans, but unlike jeans, feel like I’m making an effort.
My nephew turned 7 this month. Aside from police cars, ambulances, and spicy noodles, there’s nothing he loves more than the military. At his birthday party, the cake was in the shape of a F-14 jet. When guests arrived, they were handed dog tags with cute ranks and titles. So I was pretty sure he’d like what we found for him: A kids’ version of the jacket pilots have worn since the 1950s, complete with patches. He was so excited to wear it to school the next day that he put it on over just his underwear as soon as he woke up. (He did eventually add a T-shirt and pants underneath.)
Lauren Ro, writer
Until someone invents baby socks that actually stay on, these little soft booties are the next best thing, apparently! My nanny told me about them, and then I started seeing them on every child under 1-year-old. They come in all kinds of colors and are great for keeping tiny toes toasty and protected. My 8-month-old doesn’t seem to mind them. Although, when I first put them on him, he kicked his feet up like a dog wearing shoes for the first time.
I’ve had my eye on this “chubby” lamp ever since a designer recommended it for a roundup I did on table lamps last year. Being on the smaller side, it was just a tad too expensive, though, so I waited, hoping it would go on sale. More than a year later, I finally took the plunge, when Anthropologie had a 25 percent off everything sale a couple of weeks ago. It’s now on sale again for a “limited time,” according to Anthropologie, making it a great opportunity for others to scoop the lamp up. Mine hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m looking forward to putting the blobby, vaguely Western-style ceramic guy on my bedside table to replace an old Ikea lamp.
After I found my perfect everyday jeans, I was ready to experiment with more interesting shapes. These Uniqlo pants are kind of the opposite of my straight-leg GRLFRNDs — they’re wide-legged and curved in a raw denim finish — so naturally, I had to try them. They’re really long, so I do have to get them hemmed, but they’re surprisingly flattering and actually lengthen my legs, just as the product description claims. And you can’t beat the $40 price tag.
Alexis Swerdloff, Strategist editor
I bought these jeans on a bit of a whim during Shopbop’s “event of the season” sale, and have hardly taken them off since. They’re stiff without being too constricting (they have a little bit of stretch), they’re just the right amount of flared, and have a worn-in without trying too hard wash. I’ve paired them with flats, sneakers, and look forward to trying them with a boot.
More often than not, if I’m leaving the house with my son, I have neither the time nor strength to tie my shoes, and would always rather just slip into a pair of sneakers. I wore my Ace & Jig x Keds slip-ons to the ground, and was long overdue for a new pair. I have quite a few white sneakers and wanted something all-black — these Vans felt dramatic and a little fashion. I actually got them on Poshmark for $20 because I am now a Poshmark addict!
I found myself confronted with a rather unsexy shopping conundrum earlier this month. We needed a new doormat, but it had to be shallow; our apartment is at the end of the hall with an apartment entrance directly around the corner so anything too long would impede on our neighbor’s front-of-door space. There are very few stout doormats out there that don’t say “home” in cursive or are adorned with pineapples, but after hunting around I finally found this scruffy guy. It feels a little English Country Home.
Liza Corsillo, writer
While investigating the Venn diagram of people who swear by Calzuro clogs (it includes surgeons, nurses, cheese-makers, artists, and one waiter who declined to comment), I realized I could use another pair. They truly are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn; I keep them by the door so I can slip into them on my way out to walk my dog. My first pair of Calzuros have ventilation holes in the top, something I loved this summer. But now that it’s getting chilly, I wanted a pair without those holes. My second pair of Calzuros brings the number of plastic medical clogs I own up to three: Two black Calzuros, and one dark-green pair from a brand called PLOGS that I found at a thrift store.
It makes me exceedingly happy to see friends of mine doing cool things in the world, and this book by Anna Hezel and the editors of Taste is a perfect example. It’s beautiful, funny, cozy to look at, and very well-researched. Hezel and her team spent six months testing every iteration of lasagna imaginable (as well as some baked pastas and lasagna-adjacent desserts) to bring this charming cookbook into the world. They even got Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, to write a blurb! In my opinion, it’s a perfect dad gift — and not just because my dad is an Italian-American man obsessed with pasta.
Hilary Reid, writer
My most exciting purchases this month happened mostly on eBay (a micro-houndstooth Agnès B. coat and some square-toed Bally boots) but one did happen at the 34th Street Uniqlo: this beige crewneck. A neutral-colored sweater might not sound like much of a thrill, but the cut of the sleeves is particularly good on this one. They’re not oversize, but they comfortably accommodate the long sleeves of a turtleneck or button-down worn underneath without feeling restrictive — a surprisingly hard thing to find! I’m thinking of getting it in gray and navy too.