We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favourites — 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 a perfume that smells like a “secret garden,” a kitschy lava lamp, and an adorable Halloween costume — for a dog. (And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.)
A pop star’s favourite baby bib
When we interviewed actress and singer Paloma Faith about her favourite things, she told us about these bibs from Liewood. “Most bibs let food fall down the neck and then the baby gets dirty,” she explains. “These are long-sleeved. They stretch from the wrists all the way up the neck, with a flap to catch the food.” The bib has a wipe-clean water-repellent surface, and is easily machine washable. Once her children are a little older, Faith is also planning to use it for painting sessions: “because it covers everything.” Liewood offer the bib in various prints, such as this cutesy sea-creature option.
A gale-proof puffer
Glaswegian hiker Zahrar Mahmood (who runs the Instagram account the Hillwalking Hijabi) needs a puffer jacket that’s hardy enough to wear while bagging a munro, but also stylish enough for her job as a chartered accountant. Mahmood recommended a versatile jacket by Sweaty Betty (the Base Camp puffer, which has since gone out of production). We suggest this similarly versatile jacket by Sweaty Betty. Its padding consists of 80 percent duck down to 20 percent feathers (the higher a puffer’s down percentage, the warmer the coat). Much like the Base Camp puffer, the reversible jacket is also versatile: You can choose between a matte or a high shine finish.
A hypnotic lamp
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to zhuzh up your bedroom, or for the finishing touch to make a new room feel like home, our guide to cheap-but-nice-looking bedroom accessories has some suggestions. For fans of kitschy mood lighting, you might want to consider buying a lava lamp — the space-age chrome finish of this option particularly appealed to us. It’s available to shop in three shades: red, blue, and a pink-and-yellow blend.
A signature scent (that isn’t Chanel No. 5)
Sable Yong, writer and host of perfume podcast Smell Ya Later, knows a lot about perfume. When we interviewed stylish women about the best (under-the-radar) scents, she told us about Aesop Eremia. Yong likens it to a “secret garden bursting out of urban concrete.” “It’s new buds and velvety flower petals climbing through the cracks of concrete after the rain,” she explains. “It feels fresh and wild.”
An aesthetically pleasing coffee maker
If you’re stumped on what to gift the coffee connoisseur in your life, we’re here to help. Staff writer Chris Mandle interviewed 15 coffee experts — including baristas, roasters, and coffee-shop owners — to find out the items that they’d be thrilled to receive. Tobias Tripp, global marketing director at Ozone Coffee identified the Chemex coffee maker as a particularly lovely gift thanks to its pared-back aesthetic. “It’s timeless and elegant,” he says of the Chemex, which is particularly good for batch-brewing coffee, and doubles up as a decanter for wine.
And some coffee to brew inside it
A thrilling trilogy
A well-reviewed dog costume
If you’re looking to take your pup trick-or-treating this year, they’ll need a Halloween costume. When we researched the best dog Halloween costumes on Amazon, according to hyperenthusiastic reviewers, 600 owners were fans of this Ghostbusters option. The iconic outfit comes equipped with a shirt and matching proton pack. It’s also available in a range of sizes, to suit a variety of different breeds. One reviewer said that their dog enjoyed wearing it so much, it has now become her “thunder blanket” on noisy nights. It joins the best-rated Batman, Jedi, and cowboy costumes in our roundup.
And some marathon-tested leggings
Julie Creffield, marathon runner and founder of Too Fat to Run, exclusively buys her leggings from Sturdy by Design. “I used to get terrible chafing on my thighs no matter what preventions I took,” she says. “These leggings have lots of stretch, and you can do the squat test in them and not reveal your underwear.” Creffield loves the “incredible” graphic prints — such as these palm-print options — each of which are available in sizes XS-3XL (UK 6-22). Another highlight according to Creffield is the “massive” comfortable waistband and drawstring.
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.