We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favorites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly-launched gizmos, and the very good deals we uncovered while trolling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including a truly supportive bra (made by Rihanna), a task lamp you can put just about anywhere, and “mind-blowing” charcoal.
A truly supportive (and comfy) bra made by Rihanna
“Thirty minutes after I put it on my body, I purchased three more,” Rio wrote of this racerback bralette from Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage by Fenty, which a fellow D-cup suggested she try as a work-from-home bra. “I wasn’t blown away by how it looked on the site, but in person it’s easily one of the most flattering bras I own. In real life it’s lacy in a nice way, genuinely pretty on, and keeps my chest lifted (but not too lifted). Better yet, it keeps everything firmly in place without necessitating any adjustment or intervention, whether I’m lounging on the sofa, running to the grocery store, or going on speed walks around the neighborhood. When wearing it, I feel like I don’t have a bra on at all.”
An affordable poster to liven up a bare wall
In rounding up a selection of living-room décor from our ever-growing list of Black-owned businesses to shop, we came across this poster from Don’t Sleep Interiors, which we describe as “an online store started by designer Kori Miller that sells mugs and pillows” in addition to neat prints. “All of the items are inspired by Black culture and thought leaders throughout history,” we note, adding that “this modern take on a traditional barbershop poster features an African proverb.”
The ‘simple’ vibrator Phoebe Bridgers swears by
“I respect the gadgetry of the vibrator world, but I want something super simple. This one is small, so you’re not afraid it’s going to, like, explode out of your bag if you travel with it,” the musician, who just released her second album, says of the vibrator she can’t live without. “It’s a non-intimidating choice, whether you’re a beginner or not — I’m not.”
An (on sale) bucket hat that isn’t cheesy …
“Net-a-Porter is offering up to 50 percent off hundreds of items,” we wrote in a recent micro sale. One of them is this denim bucket hat that we note can help “prevent the dreaded mask tan” and, thanks to its simple aesthetic, you can wear for many summers to come.
… and a breezy linen dress to wear with it
In the latest installment of their series We Had A Store — We Don’t Anymore, contributors Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo ask, “What’s more appealing than linen?” The answer, according to them: “Deadstock linen, turned into a belted, limited-run Two Days Off dress.” The frock is one of 11 easy summer dresses Mazur and Cerulo have their eyes on — all of which, they note, are designed by Black-owned brands. If you like this one, they say don’t dillydally: “It’s always those unassuming, minimalist pieces that fly off the shelves quickest in the summer — people just want something simple when it’s too hot to think.”
‘Mind blowing’ charcoal
“It blew our minds” is quite literally what chef Andrew Henshaw says of this charcoal that he uses to grill vegetables and meats at his acclaimed Philadelphia restaurant Laser Wolf (which has now stopped dining service due to the pandemic). On a pre-pandemic visit to Laser Wolf, contributor Regan Stephens got the hot tip from Henshaw, who also told her that Thaan imparts just the right amount of smokiness while “also giving an umami taste — slightly sweet and savory.” After buying some herself, Stephens (who admits she’s no whiz behind the grill) says grilling her own chicken over Thaan “was an exponentially easier experience than any I’d had before. Plus, the chicken tasted worlds better — juicy and sweet with plenty of that rich umami flavor I remembered from eating at Laser Wolf.”
A task lamp you can put just about anywhere
“As we all work from home, a task lamp is undoubtedly a vital accent piece,” writes Chris Black, whom a reader asked to share his favorites. “The perfect marriage of form and function, the Ventosa LED Lamp can attach to your table (or any smooth surface) with a suction cup. Designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni and introduced back in 1962, it is timeless, practical, and chic.”
Two penguins that show kids love is love
In speaking to booksellers about the best books for LGBTQ+ families, two recommend this illustrated tale that we describe as “the true story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who, with the help of a zookeeper, are given an egg to hatch.” It’s the “all-time favorite” of Lisa Knowlton, the children’s buyer at 192 Books (where the title is a perpetual best-seller), who adds “it’s a perfect little story about kindness and love and a lucky little penguin who has two dads.”
And the only mouse you need in your house
At least according to four out of five experts we spoke to about the best wireless mouses (yes, that’s the plural in this case). The Logitech MX Master 3, according to one of those four, “is a perfect balance of being a normal mouse with all the features you want and nothing extra.” Another says part of this wireless mouse’s appeal is that “it’s a big mouse that doesn’t feel cramped, like an Apple Magic Mouse,” noting the Logitech also has a horizontal scroll that is “extremely helpful for the average person who is in Excel spreadsheets or editing web pages.”
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.