best bets

From Hilary Swank’s Greenhouse to the Most Desirable Socks

Illustration: Lalalimola

An all-over-the-place assortment of stood-behind products culled from this very website that appear in the December 19 issue of New York Magazine.

Best in Class

An Extremely Giftable Bathrobe

When it’s mid-December and you can’t figure out what to buy for the people in your life whose tastes you’re entirely unfamiliar with, it’s time to consider a fail-safe classic—like, say, a bathrobe from Coyuchi, the more-than- three-decade-old California company consistently recommended by interior designers and various experts for its extra-soft bedsheets, towels, and robes.
Coyuchi’s shawl-collared Cloud Loom Organic Robe is admittedly pricey, but according to the many people we spoke to on the subject, it’s worth it. Because it’s made of the same long-staple cotton found in the brand’s best- selling bath towels, it’s exceedingly, unusually fast-drying. “It doesn’t sacrifice weightiness for absorbency or vice versa,” says wellness coach Daphne Javitch. And the Cloud Loom just feels right. According to Reshma Patel, founder of now-closed jewelry store Quiet Storms, “It’s the dreamiest robe out there.”

Trust Me, I Should Know

The Best Gifts to Buy Before They Sell Out, According to Trend Forecasters

At the Strategist, it’s become an annual tradition to talk to experts to uncover the hottest items of the holiday season before they sell out. Last year, such gifts included highbrow-lowbrow collabs like Fendi x Skims, Bubble Clogs from Simon Miller, and bright balaclavas. Below, some of their predictions for this year’s bunch. —Ambar Pardilla

What I Can’t Live Without

Daniel Kwan’s Massage Tool

“I go really hard with this; it’s kind of gross. You can hear the muscles breaking down. The cool thing is there’s all sorts of knobs. Sometimes I’ll do the ball of my foot. Even right now, talking about it is giving me this withdrawal feeling that I need to be working on my neck.”

Molly Yeh’s Baby Carrier

“The Tushbaby is a lifesaver—a back-saver. I’ve used it with both of my kids, and one is in, like, the 96th percentile for weight. They perch on top of it, then I can hold on to them really easily with one hand. Plus I use the pockets all the time. I put my phone in there, lip balm, and random Barbie shoes I’m picking up off the ground because they’re a choking hazard.”

Hillary Swank’s Greenhouse

“We live at 9,600 feet and grow fruits and veggies all year round in this thing, even in freezing conditions. The windows open and close automatically based on the temperature outside. Our neighbor in Colorado invited us over for dinner, and we saw it in their yard; you can design the inside in whatever way your heart desires, and in the middle of theirs, they had a table. It was so cozy.”

Our Shopping Cart

The Hole Punch One Editor Uses to Save Sagging Belts

XOOL Leather Hole Puncher

Deeply unsexy, maybe, but this leather hole punch has been so useful. I noticed my favorite belts slumping forward at my waist, especially worn with jeans I had taken in. This punch lets me add a couple of new holes with a rotating head of varying widths. Now, the black leather Mango belt I recently picked up that’s a size too big (my size was out of stock) sits just right. —Tshepo Mokoena

Please Advise

Some Cold-Weather Running Gear

In his latest column, Chris Black responded to a reader who needed help choosing some clothes for winter runs. Here, three of his suggestions.

“You gotta protect your paws, and these Nike gloves do the trick in a very simple way. The silicone grip allows you to check your Strava mid-run with ease. A must.”

“Leave it to the Canadians to keep the dome covered. Unfortunately, this beanie was worn by Frank Ocean a few years ago, but it is affordable, super-warm, and comes in a handful of colors. The classic Arc logo cannot be beat.”

“Before the upsetting trend of finance bros rocking them to Equinox, running tights were mostly worn by runners braving cold temperatures. These have no unnecessary bells and whistles.”

Assistant Files

The Socks One Assistant Had to Buy for 25 Clients

We asked six assistants to tell us about the most memorable,
unusual, or hardest-to-find holiday gifts they’ve had to buy, including Marcella, whose boss is the CEO of a production company and who was asked to buy Comme Si socks for 25 clients—and wasn’t provided shoe sizes.

“It was one of those moments where you have to keep your composure, like, ‘Oh, no problem,’” Marcella says. She first asked colleagues who had worked closely with the clients to guess their shoe sizes, then found all of the recipients on Instagram. “I’m looking at their feet, screenshotting pictures, and blowing them up,” she says, explaining that she used a photo of her own foot for scale to estimate the women’s sizes. “People would walk up to my computer like, ‘What are you doing?’ I’m like, ‘Listen, mind your business.’” (For the men, she figured that even if the medium/large was too baggy, it could be worn with boots.) Marcella then made a mood board to gauge which colors would go best with each client’s aesthetic and referenced it to assemble everyone’s custom three-pack when the socks arrived. She ended up getting all of the sizes correct.

This Thing’s Incredible

This Fold-Up Case Lets Me Travel With Six Pairs of Glasses

When traveling, most people bring a pair of sunglasses. Not me—I bring an entire wardrobe of eyewear to match various outfits. I used to have different cases bouncing around my suitcase, which was annoying because I had to open each one to find what was inside. Then I discovered this handy, foldable glasses organizer. There are six triangular pockets, and when the case is rolled up, the base of each section becomes a lid for the one below it. It takes up about as much space as a Dopp kit. —Alyse Whitney


A Rolling Luggage Matrix

Soft shell and hard shell cases for every budget. —Rachael Griffiths


Polycarbonate hard shell, under $300.

Polycarbonate hard shell, over $300.

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.

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