sunday circular

8 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Dog Collars to an Essie Clambake Dupe

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

We write about hundreds of products each week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked some of our recent favorites: expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and very good deals we uncovered while trawling through the vast online-shopping universe — including an organization expert’s soft-sided suitcase, the slippers Tawny Cypress wears in public, and the replacement for a beloved nail lacquer that took five years to find.

A Prada-like backpack for relationship people

As someone with three roommates who’s also trying to date, Strategist contributor Annie Hamilton carries a backpack because “it helps to have all of your belongings with you at all times.” During her past year of escapades, Hamilton tested out a new backpack to coincide with each of her new boyfriends: a Mont-Bell, followed by a Jansport Right Pack, then this tiny Hedgren that might mark the start of something new — and a bit more serious. “It’s kinda like Prada but you could soak it in the rain if you wanted to, because it’s not Prada,” she says, adding that it’s about the size of a large chapter book.

Tei Shi’s (and Kate Berlant’s) portable “steam room”

When we spoke to Tei Shi about the things she can’t live without, she mentioned this humidifier, which she heard about from the podcast Poog, hosted by Kate Berlant and Jacqueline Novak. Like Berland, Shi began using it before her shows and says it opens her throat and gives her voice enough moisture to feel loose and flexible.

A spot-on dupe for Essie Clambake

After Essie’s Clambake polish was discontinued in 2017, Strategist contributor Caroline Weaver began a five-year hunt for a replacement. After trying more than ten formulas, Weaver spotted the dupe — Juicy from French nail-polish brand Kure Bazaar — on a friend in London. She describes it as a vibrant, dense red-orange, and says it “only requires two coats for total opacity and is free of the nasty things often found in nail polish. Plus, it can last a whole week when applied with a good base and top coat.”

A glass that smiles back

If you’re in search of non-boring drinking glasses, these Neal Drobnis “vessels” each resemble an abstract smiley face and come recommended by Strategist writer Erin Schwartz. After receiving one as a birthday gift, they purchased another because each glass is “very thick and thus stays cool, and the blobby shape makes it easy to grasp — like a sippy cup.” Available in three sizes, every pattern is handblown, and, as Schwartz puts it: “They look more intentional left hanging out on a table or a bookshelf than a standard drinking glass — more evidence of the theory that you can eliminate clutter by just making your clutter cute.”

The washable slippers Tawny Cypress never takes off

We’re big fans of comfy shoes, and so is Tawny Cypress, who calls these Birkenstock slides one of her favorite things. She appreciates that the inner sole can be taken out and washed separately so you’re not washing an entire slipper. “I’d rather wear them than any other pair of shoes on earth,” Cypress says. “I’ll wear them out to lunch, too. I don’t care.”

A “blingy” collar for Carlos Huber’s dog

In the latest installment of Steal My Registry, we spoke to Carlos Huber, perfumer and founder of Arquiste, about the fancy tableware and even fancier dog collars he and his husband added to their list. Huber says this leather collar is similar to those seen on Saint Bernards and Bernese Mountain dogs on postcards of Switzerland — which makes it extra funny that theirs is worn by the couple’s mini-dachshund, Chorizo.

An expandable suitcase to keep your belongings in check …

As seen in our roundup of the best rolling luggage, this soft-sided Tumi suitcase has been a go-to for Jane Stoller, author of Decluttering for Dummies, since 2014. “It’s done almost 500 miles — I actually use it almost every weekend as I drive frequently between my homes in Canada,” she says. Stoller points to this case’s zipped compartments, large mesh zip pockets, compression straps, and hanger bracket as key features for organization, and she says it can also be monogrammed.

… and a kitschy towel for when you get to your destination

Summer may still be a few months away, but it’s not too early to refresh your beach-towel pile — and Brooklinen launched a limited-edition collection you won’t want to delay clicking “buy” on. Designed by six New York artists, this one features classic city motifs like a dollar slice, an ice cream cone, and a pigeon. Made of 100 percent cotton, it’s even thicker and more absorbent than the brand’s Classic bathroom towels.

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 Things We Loved: Dog Collars to an Essie Clambake Dupe