sunday circular

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Loafers to Leaf Scoops

Photo-Illustration: 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 trawling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including sustainable detergent sheets, an all ages pocket-sized game, and discounted covetable cover posters. (And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.)

Stylish, sneaker-like loafers

“Footwear has been in a sneaker-dominated choke hold for a long time, but that is changing,” writes Strategist writer Jordan Bowman. “Instead of being scoffed at as an uptight Sunday church shoe, loafers have once again become a go-to style reference point.” To find the best pairs out there, Bowman spoke to shoe makers, fashion directors, and plenty of other cool men about their favorites. These Blackstock and Weber loafers were recommended by four stylish men because their “chunkier, more modern, almost sneaker-like shape slots in easily with wide jeans, shorts, and gym socks, as well as suits,” says Jordan Bunker, a menswear writer and blogger. “You can easily see how a pair of Blackstock & Webers could be worn 24/7. You don’t call yourself ‘The Best F*****g Loafers in the World’ without being multifunctional.”

Space-saving, sustainable detergent sheets

“Detergent packaging is so much plastic and waste. And then, if you live in New York like me, carrying that giant plastic detergent container home is such a pain,” actress Piper Perabo told us when we spoke to her about the things she can’t live without. To alleviate said pain, she found these detergent sheets, “which are as thin as fabric-softener sheets that you’d typically throw in the dryer” and come in this “tiny” box that “takes up barely any space.” It reduces waste, and it also “helps when walking to the laundromat because I’m already hauling all my laundry, so to carry a heavy-ass bottle of detergent with me is just insane,” she says. “Imagine just putting two slips of paper in your pocket and you’re set. It’s incredible.”

An all-ages pocket-sized game

When packing for a trip, Strategist contributor Steven John asked a much overlooked but important question: “What do you bring to keep the kids entertained?” Since he travels frequently with his family, he’s tried dozens of products that promise to alleviate boredom. He found eight games and puzzles that are not only packable and entertaining for kids but fun enough for adults, too. Quixx, one of the games on the list, is one that John and his wife play on game night “with a glass of wine or plate of snacks ten times more often than we play it with the kids.” He writes, “Why? Because it’s genuinely fun (and they tend to slow us down).” The game is a mix of probability, luck, and being able to read your opponents, which he says makes for “a great learning opportunity” with the kids; “without them, things get heated.”

The tonal bedding taking over all-white sheets

“As the easy glamour of linen bedding becomes more accessible, we’re seeing new tonal bed moments, ones in which the duvet cover, sheets, and pillowcases may be different hues that complement one another, whether by color temperature or family,” writes Strategist writer Lauren Ro. It’s a shift from the “all-white bed that’s dominated every Instagram shot,” but it can be difficult to put together. To help, Ro consulted interior designers, bedding stylists, and other aesthetically minded experts for their advice. Along with suggestions, like going monochromatic, mixing materials, and going complementary, Ro also surfaced some ready-made options in case you don’t want to buy pieces separately. She loves this “intentional-but-unintentional look” of this curated set from Dazed but Amazed. It includes a valerian duvet cover, lagoon fitted sheet, and lilac-wine pillowcases, which she says is “like a pastel sunset.”

A repairing mask for damaged, double-processed hair

“Being a bottle blonde is relatively easy, but ensuring your super-bleached hair stays healthy and avoids breakage is actually a lot of work — perhaps more than people realize,” Strategist beauty columnist Rio Viera-Newton writes. She shared her “all-time-favorite hair-care products for super-dry, damaged, double-processed hair,” including this repairing hair mask by K18. “[It] works by delivering a patented amino-acid chain to the inner structure of your hair, replacing missing amino acids and regenerating the bond to repair your hair,” she explains, adding that a little goes a long way. And, more importantly, “my God, it works.” She uses this every other week and reports she’s “noticed such a big difference in the texture, softness, and general health of my hair.”

…and a repairing cream for compromised skin

If you’re dealing with extra-dry skin rather than hair, we rounded up the 18 best night creams recommended by dermatologists and facialists. Celebrity facialist Candace Marino brought up this repair cream for over-exfoliated, compromised skin, which she says “hits heavy with moisture, without the weight you feel with most creams.” Its biggest draw is its use of heparan sulfate, a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in the skin and is important for maintaining its health. “It promotes deep hydration, decreases inflammation, and stimulates collagen and elastin production,” she says, adding that it’s also noncomedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores).

“Dorky, low-tech” (and actually useful) leaf scoops

When Strategist contributor Sarah Z. Wexler moved to Portland from New York, she was “surprised by the near-constant leaf production of the oak, laurel, and maple trees in my yard.” She and her husband, Tony, spent hours and hours raking. When her husband came home with these leaf scoops, Wexler thought they were silly. “The dorky, low-tech scoops are bright-yellow, Pac-Man-shape plastic disks with a strap that you slip your hands through,” she writes. “They just seemed unnecessary: a tool to transfer piles of raked leaves into a compost pile or bag. We have hands and gardening gloves, don’t we?” But after some time, she finally decided to try them out for herself. “I am in love. Though they don’t help with the raking process, Leaf Scoops cut in half the time it takes to transfer leaves from piles into a compost bin, bag, or wheelbarrow,” Wexler reports. “On top of that, they’re actually kind of fun to use.”

A gooseneck kettle for a “gorgeous pour”

We scoured Amazon to find the best electric kettles, and found this less-than-$50 Bodum gooseneck kettle that reviewers rave about. One coffee drinker says that the gooseneck spout “creates a gorgeous pour that’s easily controlled for pour-over coffees,” and a tea drinker says it boils her water “in just a couple of minutes.” Plus, they note that it’s “also pretty enough that I don’t mind having it out on the counter for daily use,” echoing the sentiment of dozens of other reviewers who like how it looks.

Cozy, cotton French terry sweats

“Buck Mason, the maker of some of our favorite T-shirts, tank tops, and face masks, is expanding into sweats just in time for cozy season,” we wrote in our latest installment of Don’t Dillydally. The hoodie, cropped crew, and medium-high-rise sweatpants in the collection are made of cotton French terry and available in oatmeal, black, and olive. One Strategist staffer who was given a sneak peek of the sweats described them in two words: “So good.”

Discounted covetable cover posters

Last week, we launched the New York Magazine cover store, “where you can buy some of the iconic covers that the magazine has created over its 53-year history.” Available now are 50 covers from our archives, “from our very first issue from April 1968 to this year’s Fall Preview showcasing the cast of Succession.” You’ll even see “classic Milton Glaser illustrations, including “A Gentile’s Guide to Jewish Food” from July 1968 and “Why Everybody’s Talking About Gossip” from May 1976. The prices start at $19 for an unframed art print or poster and can be sized up all the way to 36-by-48 inches. Plus, if you’re a New York subscriber, you can snag these with a nice 30 percent discount.

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.

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week