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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in October

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

If you follow our monthly feature “Your Shopping Cart,” you know we have some eerily good intel on what you all are buying, so we felt it was only fair that, as Strategist editors, we would 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 on staff at the Strategist; 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 October.

Maxine Builder, editor

I’d heard good things about Megababe’s natural deodorant, so I grabbed a stick of the brand’s Smoothie Deo a few months ago. (It was the only one at my local Urban Outfitters, and I needed it.) I liked the formula, which neutralized my body odor, but the fruity fragrance wasn’t my favorite. So when I ran out earlier this month, I picked up the Geo Deo instead. It’s just as good at combating odor as Smoothie Deo, and I much prefer the eucalyptus-and-cedarwood scent.

Lauren Ro, writer

I wanted to re-create this look from the Miu Miu x Church’s collaboration, but it’s surprisingly difficult to find sheer tights in fun colors. I finally tracked some down at a dancewear company called Jule. They’re footless, but they’re basically the same blue-green shade. They do have a back seam, which takes a little skill to get straight, but I’m hoping to pair them with my new Veda x Reformation leather skirt soon. I also bought them in a mauve-y purple that’s equally nice.

I don’t like using silicone serveware for food because it ends up retaining odors and soap, so when I saw this stainless-steel plate in a picture my friend sent of her son (who happens to be the same age as my younger boy), I had to ask her about it. After trying and hating so many others, she said it was the only plate she has bought with strong enough suction to actually stay on the table despite her baby’s best efforts to chuck it. And she’s right: It stays glued to the table. (Removing it is a cinch by way of a tab my Solomon has yet to discover.) It’s also very well made, though I wish it were a little larger. I bought these utensils to go with it but ended up giving them to my older child since they’re too long and sharp for baby hands, and they ended up being perfect for him. (I’ve been on a quest to find preschool-age-appropriate utensils that are just the right size; so many are too small.)

Ambar Pardilla, writer

I know, objectively speaking, that $23 is a ridiculous amount to pay for mouthwash. But as a lover of Marvis toothbrushes and toothpastes, I’m in the target audience for this. The words strong mint on the bottle are a little lie. The mouthwash has that nice tinglingness, but I don’t smell like I just downed a tin of Altoids! And my breath has never been better.

I like a silly little thing, and this is a silly little thing. It’s nowhere near Christmas, I’m not a real “Christmas person,” and still, I bought two of these North Pole–themed glasses in the tree shape. (An Anthropologie manager told me the juice glasses are a big hit.) It actually looks as though each cup is covered in tears, which is something I can get behind as more of a Halloweenhead myself.

Rachael Griffiths, writer

It’s been nonstop drizzle in London for the past two weeks, so my flatmate and I have spent October evenings cozying up and starting Game of Thrones from scratch. For our nightly endeavors to Westeros, I’ve been brewing up cups of Whittard’s salted-caramel hot chocolate. It’s thick and creamy without being at all sickly and is the perfect post-dinner sweet. I’m definitely going to gift a pot or two to friends this Christmas.

Emma Wartzman, kitchen and dining writer

I’ve been on the hunt for a cozy quarter-zip for a bit now. A few weeks ago, I found this old story Liza Corsillo wrote, and while I’m skeptical of buying clothes from Amazon (I’d never done it before!), she had me sold, especially given the affordable price. Lauren has a couple too, it turns out. Thanks to their advice, I got the “pepper” shade in a size small (it’s kind of hard to parse out given that these are in men’s sizing and the measurements seem to vary from color to color, according to the reviews). It arrived the other day, and it’s supersoft, has an amazingly worn-in look and feel, and fits well — it’s roomy but not oversize — except for the length, which is longer than I want. Liza hemmed hers herself, and mine was delivered to my tailor recently so he can do the same.

From $101

One of my favorite Brooklyn stores, Front General, opened a second room to shop in. I stopped by the other day and perused its now-even-larger selection of vintage Levi’s. The third pair I tried were simply too good to walk away from: they’re the perfect length, soft, and the exact right amount of faded, and they make my butt look great.

Erin Schwartz, writer

Holiday season at the Strategist starts in August, but for me, it starts in October, when a cluster of family birthdays gets me thinking about gifts — and gift wrapping, my favorite holiday craft. Buying a few rolls of Carta Varese Italian paper is a newish holiday tradition, and I made my big Etsy order this month after spending an embarrassing amount of time adding and removing items from my cart to curate a set of patterns that will look nice together in a stack. (My favorite source is the Etsy store 32 Degrees North; it also has a separate online store with roughly equivalent prices. This store stops shipping in early December, so if you’re inspired, order early.) The densely colorful offset prints with Renaissance geometric designs make any gift feel special. Although I try to get different patterns each time, this year was my first repeat purchase: I reordered this red-and-black pattern that I bought last year, which reminds me of an abstracted bandanna print. It’s a great any-occasion paper that’s also plausibly Christmassy.

I’m cooking an ambitious meal this weekend with two dear friends to go through several pounds of fish, and we will also be using a lot of Kewpie, the king of mayonnaise.

Kitty Guo, writer

I’ve been hunting for knee-high boots since last fall but just couldn’t manage to find anything that fit my very specific, very nitpicky criteria: subtle heel, no hardware, genuine leather, and a rounded square toe to accommodate my wide, bunion-afflicted feet. Then, a few weeks ago, I walked into Assembly’s LES storefront and spotted these Tubo boots from Hopp Studios. The moment of stepping in and zipping up was near magical; the boots ticked off everything on my checklist, were comfortable to wear right out of the box, and featured a sleek, streamlined silhouette that I knew would pair well with pretty much anything in my wardrobe. Though they’re certainly pricey, I didn’t think twice before whipping out my credit card and wearing them out of the store.

I completely forgot to get my friend a birthday present until about, oh, an hour before his party. Luckily, there was a BonBon candy shop about two minutes from the venue, so I made a quick pit stop, loaded up this adorable gift box with an assortment of delicious chocolates, and arrived with a beautifully beribboned gift in hand. Crisis averted!

Brenley Goertzen, junior writer

I’ve been eyeing these Adidas Handball sneakers since the summer Chris Black told us they were the “underappreciated cousin of the more popular Samba and Gazelle.” They’re a solid addition to my sneaker rotation, and I must say the gum sole deserves bonus points for how comfortable the footbed feels on my walks to the grocery store.

I usually DIY my Halloween costume as best I can, but if I need to buy it (or parts of it), I try to pick quality items I can (hopefully) re-wear in a non-spooky setting. But because I’m based in Minneapolis, where temperatures are already dipping below freezing, I need to opt for the warmest available option. This year, my boyfriend wanted to fulfill his childhood dream of being Gotham City’s bat-inspired protector, which meant I could become the comic’s anti-heroine with nine lives. I decided on this catsuit from Skims, and next week, I can pair it with an oversize sweater and my parka when we go Christmas-tree shopping.

Jenna Milliner-Waddell, associate editor

CB2 Piazza Sofa
From $1,799
From $1,799

The first thing I do when I open my eyes in the morning is go on Facebook Marketplace. During a recent early-morning scroll, I saw someone selling a Piazza sofa for $250 who was offering to give it to anyone who could pick it up by noon the same day for $150. I jumped on it. It is by no means my dream sofa, but I have quickly fallen in love with it. It’s extra deep and lounge-y, and has the low-profile design I was looking for. And it was practically free compared with other things I was looking at.

From $129

I also snagged this Zara Home mirror for a discount on Marketplace in the 63-by-35-inch size. I thought I’d wanted something even wider, but this is perfect for my space and doesn’t make me look hideous, as my previous mirror did. The real hero of these secondhand purchases, however, is Lugg, which is basically a man-with-a-van app. It charges a flat fee for the truck and under $2 per minute for labor. I’ve used it several times in the past few months. It’s a game changer.

Winnie Yang, senior editor

This is one of the best things to have during Northeast winters when your kid’s main conveyance is a stroller. It’s so warm I find the kid usually doesn’t need a coat on cold days if they can stay in it while we’re outside. We had given our old one away, which I regretted pretty much immediately. I had been planning on getting a replacement and was happy to find it on sale for Prime Day.

This month, I bought a few books, the most significant of which is the first published work from Bill Watterson since the last Calvin and Hobbes strip ran 28 years ago.

Jeremy Rellosa, writer

I picked up this hat at an Only NY sample sale. I’m a sucker for retro-looking NYC-branded gear, and Only NY pulls off that aesthetic particularly well, especially with sports-related apparel (I like how this shirt, for example, feels inspired by old-school New York City Marathon tees.) It’s the hat I’ve worn the most this month.

On the topic of New York–centric products … I picked up this ceramic cup after spotting it in the MoMA Design Store gift catalogue. I’d always loved the classic design of the plastic-coated coffee cups I get at diners and bodegas, so it was cool to see a more reusable version. This month, I’ve been using it to drink my morning coffee, and during the holidays, I’m definitely going to gift it to my friends who live in New York. I think it’s a charming reminder of the everyday, familiar items we come across.

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 October