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 hoodie with a built-in mask, a precooked mail-order turkey, and some Nordic long underwear (that looks like fashion-y fishnets).
The costume-designer-recommended Nordic long underwear
“There are lots of ways to stay warm in cold weather: curling up with a blanket, sipping warm tea in front of the fire, not traveling to the Arctic Circle for a job as a costume designer on a film,” writes costume designer Stacey Berman. Fortunately, her Nordic colleagues introduced her to a special kind of long underwear called mesh layers. They look a lot like fashion-y fishnet tights, but they’re made of wool and masterfully wick sweat, keeping your body dry and warm. And while Berman won’t be filming any movies in Norway anytime soon, she’s betting these layers will be her secret weapon while outdoor dining and socializing in the frigid months ahead.
The fashion-designer-recommended socks
We found the absolute warmest socks on the market, recommended by people who spend a great deal of time in the cold. These, by Brother Vellies, are perhaps the dreamiest. Designer Batsheva Hay told us, “They feel like leg warmers that happen to hold your feet. They’re extra-roomy and soft and ’80s.” These socks also came up when we spoke to trend forecasters about the gifts sure to sell out this year, with one calling them “the coziest sock ever” and “perfect for a stocking.”
A (nearly) ready-to-eat Thanksgiving turkey
With Thanksgiving a mere week and a half away, food writer Nikita Richardson spoke to a handful of chefs and food pros about the best places to order turkeys online this year. Elle Simone Scott, executive editor at America’s Test Kitchen and founder of SheChef, Inc., told Richardson that if you don’t want to spend the entire holiday in the kitchen, consider a deep-fried turkey from Brooklyn-based operation Jive Turkey, which “has its very own cult following” and only has to be reheated on the day of. Best of all, the company ships nationwide.
The blush that Jennifer Garner’s been using for decades
Jennifer Garner, perpetually fresh-faced and glowy-skinned, revealed to us this week that she’s been using Stila’s Convertible Color Blush in Peony “as long as it’s been out. I don’t know if it’s been all of 20 years, but it feels close to that.” If that’s not a, well, glowing review, we don’t know what is. “I love it because you’re never going to put it on and look like a clown. It also layers up really nicely. You can use it to give some color to the apples of your cheeks, your lips, your eyelids, wherever,” she says, adding that while she doesn’t wear much makeup, she probably replaces this “twice a year.”
The meggings — excuse us, man leggings — inspired by bullfighters’ pants
“This year, I decided I was going to be the guy who wears leggings all the time,” writes Strategist contributor Alex Blynn. But he was largely unimpressed with the offerings: The many pairs he tried were either too thin or too tough, too tight or too stretchy. “After many months of researching and trying leggings with unsatisfactory results,” he explains, “a friend of mine — an experienced fashion publicist — suggested (the … creatively named) Matador Meggings,” which happen to be inspired by bullfighters’ pants. Blynn says they’re moisture-wicking, have a nonslip waistband and concealed drawstring, and, perhaps best of all, include a “contoured, removable (for easy cleaning) pouch that sits snugly in a small sleeve at the front of the pants” that, he adds, is “shaped to present one’s package in a most flattering (and discreet) way.”
The (faux) leather leggings that have earned a steadfast fan base
A very different sort of legging, this pair from Spanx came recommended to us by four separate cool people (one of whom was partial to the patent version) in our search for the very best faux-leather leggings. Our experts say these are extremely easy to get into — a rarity for a faux-leather legging — and have the comfort of athleisure with the look of leather pants. They’re available in a wide range of sizes, from extra-small to 3X, and the inseam comes in petite, regular, and tall. Plus, because they’re made by Spanx, they have shapewearlike compression that our sources were particularly enthusiastic about. Finally, at less than $100, they’re among the more affordable faux-leather leggings on the market, making them “the perfect starter legging,” says stylist Rasheena Liberté.
The status vinegar for drizzling and drinking
Richardson spoke to Daniel Sorg, the owner of the recently shuttered Regular Visitors — a beloved Brooklyn corner store — about “the experience of moving on (and moving south)” as he “highlight[ed] the holiday gifts he would have stocked if Regular Visitors were still around.” Among the many charming finds recommended by Sorg was this status vinegar, which he says is his “favorite condiment (I think it’s a condiment?) of this crazy-ass year.” He goes on to say that this celery vinegar, made by Tart Vinegar founder Chris Crawford, “should be in your glass in the morning (gut health), in your salad dressings at lunch, and in your cocktails at night. It should be on every countertop in America.” Coincidentally, this vinegar also made an appearance this week on our 99 Extremely 2020 Gifts (for Everyone, at Every Price), so you know it’s good stuff.
The moment-in-time T-shirt that you’ll keep forever
As writer Louis Cheslaw explains, this T-shirt, which was added to the official campaign store moments after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris finished their victory speeches on Saturday night, is a “historic shirt to own for a number of reasons: It not only features the first woman on a winning presidential ticket but also the only time (we pray) the winners are wearing masks and doing virus-conscious fist bumps to celebrate.” Plus, it’s union printed, made in the USA, and directly benefits the Biden Victory Fund.
The charming zit stickers that you’ll happily wear in public
In her sweep of the best beauty stocking stuffers around, our resident beauty expert, Rio Viera-Newton, recommends these “absolutely adorable pimple patches,” which she says are “not just cute little stickers” — though they are very much that — but they also happen to be “made of hydrocolloid, which helps suck the gunk out of a whitehead, leaving flatter, less inflamed skin by morning.” She suggests giving these to anyone “who loves pimple patches or who needs to stop picking their skin,” but we think they’d also be a great gift for anyone who might be suddenly afflicted with maskne.
The hoodie with a handily built-in mask
Do clothes with built-in masks actually protect against the coronavirus? That’s the question senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson set out to answer this week. After a handful of models and reality stars were spotted in masked garments, Adelson reached out to several infectious-disease doctors who were largely unimpressed. That said, Adelson says that while it “wouldn’t be [an expert’s] top recommendation for wearing indoors while in close contact with others, he says it’s probably fine if you’re outdoors and can maintain proper social distancing.” So while you’d probably want to double mask up while wearing this French-terry hoodie from Banana Republic, it looks awfully cozy, and, as Adelson notes, “terry is a thicker material that some research, including this Northeastern University study, shows is fairly effective for blocking droplets.”
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.