sunday circular

8 Products That Delighted Us Last Week: From Kornacki’s Khakis to ‘Herbal Xanax’

Photo: Retailers

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 Sarah Cooper’s favorite underwear, fleece-lined jeans for him and her, and a good deal on John Derian décor.

Steve Kornacki’s khakis

While November 3 came and went without an official decision on the election, “lots of folks (or at least MSNBC viewers) did seem to quickly come to an agreement on one thing,” says our writer Louis Cheslaw. “Steve Kornacki’s tireless, county-by-county forecasts stole the show. After seeing our friends at Vulture debate whether Kornacki’s ‘butt looks especially good or we’re just slowly being driven mad,’ we found ourselves taking a closer look at the political correspondent’s bottom half to see if we could identify the pants covering it and whether they had something to do with making it look as good as our colleagues imagined it did.” Cheslaw shot an email over to Kornacki’s producer, who “answered with two words: ‘The Gap!’” After combing the brand’s pants for any that matched the color of Kornacki’s, Cheslaw landed on just two styles, eventually eliminating one with a “distinctive curved line of stitching next to the fly, something Kornacki’s pair does not have.” (No detail goes unnoticed when you shop as obsessively as we do.) The remaining Modern Khakis, however, come in five different cuts. Ultimately, Cheslaw deemed this straight-fit style the one: “While I can’t say for sure, based on the pant creases I’ve seen around Kornacki’s thigh (and the fact he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to drop from baggy to slim fit in one midterm cycle), I’m calling it for straight fit. The pair he wore this year simply does not appear roomy enough to be either of the wider-legged relaxed or athletic cuts, but they also seem to have more room in the leg (at least from the above-the-knee footage we’ve seen) than a skinny cut would provide.”

An oldie but goodie from Everlane

In combing our archives to find all Everlane the stuff we’ve written about for our new guide to shopping there, we rediscovered this cozy sweater that a lot of our staffers own. Strategist audience development manager Mia Leimkuhler is one of those staffers. “When the temperature drops, I practically live in my Oversized Alpaca Crew sweater,” she has said. “It’s lightweight but still really warm, and the slightly fluffy texture reminds me of the angora sweaters my mom used to wear.”

A good deal on John Derian décor

While lots of the delightful (and delightfully priced) things from John Derian’s latest collection for Target have (as we predicted) sold out, last week we noticed the stuff that has not is now even cheaper after Target put it on clearance. “At just about $3 a pop,” we write, “these fall-appropriate plates would make for a budget-friendly addition to any gallery wall.”

Sarah Cooper’s favorite underwear

From $15
Photo: retailer

The way the comedian (and dupe for our 45th president) tells it, you may never need to buy a pair of underwear again after subscribing to this intimates club that she can’t live without. “I wore the same underwear for like ten years. It was really gross underwear that my ex-boyfriend bought me for Valentine’s Day. I just never got rid of it because I never buy underwear. This club basically sends you really high-quality underwear every month. It’s beautiful. It has really high-end brands, but I never look at that. I’m just like, ‘Oh, this is so pretty.’ Now I have this amazing collection of underwear that I love. I actually like picking out the pair that I wear each day.”

‘Herbal Xanax’

Those are the two words that naturopathic doctor Maura Henninger used to describe valerian root, the very potent herb in this tea. “When taken at bedtime, it’s particularly great for those having trouble falling asleep due to racing thoughts,” she told Strategist writer Hilary Reid, who recently spoke to experts (including herbalists and aromatherapists) about the best calming teas for those looking for a natural way to take the edge off.

The shampoo and oil that keep Mike Colter’s beard ‘luxurious’

“Because I don’t have hair on my head, I realized that I really should treat my beard hair well,” the actor told us when we spoke to him about the things he can’t live without. “Together, this shampoo and oil keep my beard luxurious. I met the person who founded the company on a red carpet. She and her friend had just started it and asked if I would try their products. I wasn’t really looking for anything at the time — I had seen beard oils before, but I never invested in any. But this stuff makes such a difference. The shampoo gets a really good lather and cleans the beard, while the oil makes it really soft. And they smell really good.”

And fleece-lined jeans for him and her

“Being from California, I don’t do well in the cold — which I define as anything below 60 degrees,” says Strategist junior writer Kayla Levy. “With five New York City winters under my belt, I’ve tried just about everything to stay warm, from wool underwear to ski masks.” One particularly tricky area to insulate, according to her: “The upper-thigh-to-calf portion of my legs, between the hem of my down jacket and the top of my wool socks.” It was while rummaging through a Park Slope women’s clothing exchange that she found her solution: A pair of fleece-lined men’s hunting jeans. “Like sweatpants, they’re cozy enough to wear while padding around the house, but like Levi’s, I can pair them with basically anything in my wardrobe when I go on a walk around the park,” writes Levy, noting that most (non-fleece-lined) “denim is too thin on its own to keep you warm in freezing temperatures but is too thick to layer on top of long underwear without bunching.” While her exact pair is no longer available, she rounded up a handful of similar styles, including these L.L. bean ones for her (“a more form-fitting option”) and him (“looser-looking and cheaper”).

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.

8 Products That Delighted Us Last Week on the Strategist