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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in June

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist

If you follow our monthly feature “Your Shopping Cart,” you know 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 staffer; we’re picky, but sometimes we just have to get on with it. (It’s online-shopping expertise meets IRL needs.) Below, what we bought in June.

Kelsie Schrader, managing editor

I’m an idiot and learned at age 27 that sunscreen expires, so the face sunscreen I’ve been diligently applying most days this summer has not been as effective as it should be. I know the experts say once you hit SPF 50, you can’t really get any better, but since I’ll be spending a ton of time in the sun this holiday weekend, I figured I’d go hard with this bottle of (not-expired) SPF 70.

Jeremy Rellosa, writer

I bought two new pairs of Feiyue Fe Lo 1920s: one in ivory, the other in white and green. These simple sneakers have been my most-used shoes in June mainly because I can wear them for just about any summer occasion including going the gym. (I’ve written about the 1920s in our roundups of the best men’s and women’s workout shoes, praising them for their sleek design and flat construction, the latter of which makes them great for weightlifting.) At just $25, the 1920s are absolute steals — on par with Costco food-court deals. One of the pairs was on sale for just $12 (another jaw-dropper). I just hope inflation doesn’t come for the 1920s like it did for dollar-slice pizza.

Arielle Avila, writer

I mainly shopped for fun summer tops on the Real Real this month, but I also bought a couple of practical Strategist-vetted items. I ended up buying the $10 running belt that contributor Diksha Basu wrote about. It’s been ungodly hot and humid out, so I haven’t used it for running yet, but it has become a necessity while walking my dog, Maggie. I usually wear bike shorts without pockets on our walks, and my iPhone fits perfectly in the main compartment. There’s also a smaller pocket meant for lipgloss and keys but which I store poop bags in.

I also ended up buying this portable charger, which has been recommended by Suki Waterhouse, Jacqueline Novak, and my own colleagues many, many times. The all-in-one charger and battery is as revolutionary as they’ve said, and I wish I had bought it sooner. I don’t understand why all portable chargers aren’t made like this.

Maxine Builder, editor

I told myself that the Salomons were too trendy, that I have too many pairs of ugly slip-on shoes and trail-running shoes — but then I did it. And much to my chagrin, these absolutely rule. The bungees make me feel like I’m back in kindergarten and living in the 22nd century. Same goes for the rave candy colorway. They’re also just very comfortable sneakers with strong arch support for my narrow and weak ankles, and, unfortunately, you will be seeing me wear them all summer long.

Jen Trolio, senior editor

My older daughter and I both have long, straight, thick hair that stays wet for hours after swimming or showering, but we don’t always have the time or desire to blow-dry, especially in the summer. These microfiber towel scrunchies let us go to sleep with wet hair or leave the house without giant damp spots on our backs, absorbing excess water just like a hair towel but in a much more publicly presentable fashion. I opt for a low, sleek bun when I’m wearing one, and when I take it out of my hair, my ends are usually damp enough for further styling but nowhere near dripping. They come in black, white, leopard print, and a few other designs — but I recommend the rainbow-sherbet-esque Sunset Tie-Dye print.

Jenna Milliner-Waddell, associate editor

Between Father’s Day and my dad’s 75th birthday, I had a lot of shopping to do for him this month and was at a complete loss. He didn’t ask for anything, doesn’t really need anything, and what he really wants (a vacation) I can’t afford. The Saturday before Father’s Day, I found myself aimlessly walking around Soho when I stumbled into Uniqlo and found a few items left from the Marni collaboration. He’s someone who always keeps a sweater or a jacket in the car, and when I saw this in such a fun colorway, I thought it was perfect.

For myself, I picked up these sandals from the Outnet. The low heels I bought in April basically converted me to being a low-heel person. They looked just as good with everything I’d typically wear a more uncomfortable shoe with, so why bother with the pain and embarrassment of hobbling around at the end of the night? I was on the hunt for more just like it but knew I wanted a tie-up design. When I found these still in my size, I snagged them. I’ve worn them several times already, and while they feel like flats on my feet, I still look dressed up.

Emma Wartzman, kitchen and dining writer

When I recently arrived home after a trip to L.A., my big Monstera floor plant that I’d purchased for cheap at my local hardware store was looking worse for the wear. (No hate to my local hardware store, which is one of my favorite places.) If I’m being honest, it was also somehow attracting tiny flies, which was obviously disgusting. Anyway, it had to go outside immediately. I promptly walked to a nearby Sill to replace it with something new (because even though the Sill is arguably way too expensive, it does have an incredibly nice selection). The exact plant I ended up buying — a philodendron selloum — isn’t listed online at the moment, but she is happy and healthy and thriving (and there’s a bunch of other easy-to-care-for philodendrons available on the website).

After holding on to a pair of cute but basic Warby Parker sunglasses for years, I decided it was time to invest in a second pair just to change things up. I stumbled upon Izipizi at a little boutique while walking around Brooklyn and couldn’t believe the frames were only $50. I have an olive green version of these — I can’t find my exact color online — but there are so many fun options, and the quality is amazing, especially for the price.

Winnie Yang, senior editor

I don’t find myself collating actual pieces of paper that often these days, but in the last few instances in which I had to organize some documents, I’d been frustrated by the janky, ineffectual staplers occupying too much space in our junk drawer. They either jammed or merely nibbled at the paper, leaving a trail of bite marks but no actual stapled pages. I finally had enough and got myself the Zenith 548. I’d had my eye on a different Italian-made stapler, the Ellepi Klizia 97, for years, but the Zenith’s patented anti-jamming mechanism is what sold me on the slightly pricier 548 (and it has a similarly endearing cetacean look too). I like the heft of this stapler’s all-metal construction, the fun two-toned blue enamel (it also comes in anItalian-flag color scheme and an array of solids), and the satisfying kerchunk of the stapler doing its job the way it’s supposed to.

I’ve cycled through various brands’ linen sheets and pillowcases over the past decade in my never-ending search for the ideal bed setup, and while flax will always be my favorite, I’ve lately grown a little fiber curious. In addition to a pair of hemp pillow cases, which turned out to feel very similar to a heavier-weight linen, I bought a set of these cotton-gauze cases during a rare sale. I love the wrinkled texture and undone appearance, and this airy four-layer fabric makes for an exceptionally soft and inviting landing place for my head at night and nap time.

Ambar Pardilla, writer

It takes a lot to delight someone who has a jewelry collection with more than 200 pieces. This Catbird ring did with its perfectly tied bow that’s reminiscent of one you’d see pinned to a pre-Revolutionary courtesan’s resplendent pastel-colored gown. (Yes, I recently rewatched Marie Antoinette.) The ring is so tiny, which is what makes it perfect for everyday wear — I haven’t taken it off since it arrived.

If you read last month’s Strategist Haul, you’ll notice that this is my second Salter House piece as I head toward compulsive-shopping territory. If the shorts set I bought before reminded me of being a long-lost Lisbon sister, this nightgown is what I’d wear as an Emma extra. I’m in love with the high square-neck and bell-shaped sleeves. But, really, I bought it for the embroidery, which includes a little boy with a lamb and a plum-tree branch.

Erin Schwartz, writer

Informed by Liza’s ode to her relationship-saving Eufy 11S and a poll of my friends who own robot vacuums, I went ahead and bought the Eufy 30C Max last week after returning from vacation and finding myself without motivation to sweep up the dust that had collected in my absence. I found it on eBay for $76 — and unlike the less expensive 11S, this model is WiFi-enabled to work with an app, and its suction is a bit more powerful. Man, this thing rocks. I could not contain my glee as I watched this little guy zoom around my apartment, gobbling up dust bunnies and dried bits of calathea flowers. I did have to Eufy-proof my space a little bit — it chewed on loose chargers before I lifted them off the ground — but all told, I’m thrilled to automate away a chore I hate.

I post a lot about clothing, so it feels statistically significant to me that I have never gotten as many Instagram messages asking about a new garment as I did with these black-and-white jeans by New Zealand designer Georgia Fielding, which I have been calling my “cool jeans” less and less ironically. I found the brand while searching for a pair of black pants; though they’re not exactly what I had in mind, I fell for the curved pockets and cowboy-chap-like color blocking. They’re also great summer jeans with sturdy but lightweight denim, breathable enough to wear to the beach. Best of all, since the brand makes items to order, you can diverge from standard sizing and email them your measurements at no extra cost — thrilling to me as a jeans-sizing neurotic. That results in about a four-week lead time, but for jeans that fit perfectly right out of the package, I would and probably will do it again. [Editor’s note: The price is an estimated conversion of New Zealand dollars to U.S. dollars.]

Crystal Martin, senior editor

I have a truly peculiar shower set up in the apartment I’m renovating: The water sprays across the bathtub horizontally. It’s a ridiculous quirk of prewar building plumbing that means I needed a rain-can shower head (so that water would spray down rather than out — and beyond — the tub). But I also wanted a hand shower in the same head. It may not sound like much, but apparently this is a lot to ask for. This Delta shower head is the only option that’s not a thousand bucks. I searched for hours and hours (literally) to find this thing. And success! The hand shower is magnetized, so it snaps in easily. The water pressure is perfect. The rain can is adjustable, so if I don’t want water pouring straight on my head, I can angle it a little. And, as a bonus, it’s actually nice looking.

I really hope adults aren’t sleeping on American Eagle. It’s a teenish store, certainly, but this dress is just one of many, many cheap and cheerful items I’ve gotten from them. I love a summer sweater. So a summer sweater dress is next level. The knit is really breezy. The bright orange stripes are delightful and look good with my skin tone. The quality is good: 100 percent cotton. And there’s always, always a sale at American Eagle — and loyalty points that earn discounts. And birthday coupons. In fact, I only paid $18 for this dress.

Louis Cheslaw, associate editor

I’d first read about On’s Cloudstratus back in 2019, when we called it the status gym sneaker — then again in 2021, when it showed up in our guide to the best running shoes (status notwithstanding). After months of nudging from my trainer to try On’s technology, my splurge this month was a new pair of running shoes. As tester Karen Iorio Adelson wrote, On is known for its “open tubes of rubber on the outsole (the brand calls them “clouds”) that compress upon impact and bounce back when you take off.” I can confirm that the bounce is real: On my very first run with them, I finished my 5K in just over 23 minutes, compared with my typical 24:30.

I went to a Brooklyn Cyclones Minor League Baseball game this month. If you haven’t been, make a plan to go: For $15, you get views of Coney Island’s amusement parks and the ocean, fireworks after the game, and sing-alongs to classic rock all the way through. I also learned they sell this great cap, which is adjustable, comfortable, 100 percent soft cotton, and more low-key than a Yankees fitted.

Brenley Goertzen, intern

I bought this doggy water bottle for my Australian Shepard mix. When we’re on walks or away from the house, she’s afraid of drinking from typical water sources such as human water bottles or garden hoses. She absolutely loves this water bottle because it dispenses water into a bowl-like top. I can also return excess water to the bottle for later by releasing the squeeze. If your pup is extra thirsty, like my parents’ 150-pound Great Dane, the growler size holds 44 ounces. (There are also two smaller options if that sounds like too much water for you and your pup.)

For years, this has been my favorite moisturizer for intense hydration and glowing skin. In the past, this brand was unavailable in the States, and as the daughter of two Canadians, I would stock up on this gel whenever I was north of the border because it’s sold in most drugstores there. But now you can order Biotherm’s products through its online site created explicitly for American residents. While the packaging has changed, the formula still has the same unique plumping effect without being greasy. It’s incredible in the winter for chapped, dry skin, but it’s nice in the summer, too, if you’re a sun worshipper like me and prone to accidentally roasting your face. (I’m just speaking from experience.)

Liza Corsillo, senior writer

I bought other stuff this month, but the only thing I want to talk about is these frozen chocolate-covered banana and peanut-butter bites. I am somebody who wants dessert every single day. But I also know that too much sugar puts me in a bad mood and makes me feel generally blech. Plus I get married in a month, and I’m trying to look and feel my best. So when I found these dark chocolate bites, I was stupidly excited. They have just five grams of sugar per serving, and they taste amazing. Most nights, I don’t even miss having ice cream.

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.

The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in June