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 some stompy Chelsea boots, some Japanese whisky, and a Strategist-approved fleece. (And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.)
A cheap (but expensive-looking) coat
Three years ago, Strategist editors noticed that a certain expensive-looking puffer (spotted on stylish Upper East Siders) was from Amazon. Since this revelation, we’ve kept our eyes firmly on Amazon, eager to discover other equally stylish-yet-affordable winter coats. As well as swishy parkas and jolly rain-macs, we spotted this rather lovely trench coat. Double-breasted, and in a classic camel shade, the woolen coat is available in sizes XS to 2XL. If you’re not a fan of the colour, there are five alternatives to choose from. We think it would look charming over a pair of jeans (and some chunky Chelsea boots) as we transition into the chillier months ahead.
Some autumnal boots to wear with that coat
On the topic of Chelsea boots, personal stylist Bee Stuart told our sister site about this chunky pair from Cos. “Most Chelsea boots stop right at the ankle, but these go two to three inches above the ankle, which really makes them unique and super-stylish,” she says. The boots have a stretchy elastic panel, meaning that they don’t sit too tightly on the legs — Stuart says she’s actually found enough room to tuck jeans into the boots. When she’s not in jeans, she likes to partner them with a pair of leather trousers. “They look so sexy and badass,” she says.
A cult Japanese whisky
When we interviewed drinks experts about the best whisky, bourbon, and rye, our specialists revealed that (Scotch-inspired) Japanese whisky has become increasingly popular in recent years. Distilleries such as Suntory and Nikka are now renowned within circles of refined whisky drinkers. One of the experts that we spoke to, Katie Groves, told us about the Nikka Yoichi Single Malt specifically. “This is genuinely one of my favourites,” she says. “It takes you on a journey, with many different layers of flavour all very elegantly put together. Some creamy sweetness, a little bit of spice, and a gentle coastal smoke.”
A (less expensive) elegantly blended whisky
Meanwhile, if you want to spend a little less, Roberta Hall McCarron, a Scottish restaurateur, told us that her favourite whisky is this blend from contemporary Leith distillery Woven — based close to her restaurant. “They are a great example of people doing the right thing for the right reasons,” she says. “Small batches of beautifully, carefully blended whisky that all taste absolutely delicious.” According to Woven, the N.2 blend “tastes happy”: meaning it’s “spicy and vibrant.” Hall McCarron says, thanks to the brand’s process of mixing whiskies in an “ancient” cognac cask, it’s “a great example of how good a blend can be. Bright, fresh and super drinkable.”
An expert-recommended console (that’s not impossible to track down)
Whilst the Nintendo Switch has been sold out more often than not since its launch, the Switch Lite is readily available to shop. The Switch Lite offers many of the same features as the Switch, only without the option of docking and connecting to your TV. Users can play beloved games such as Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon, in addition to vintage SNES games. Another bonus, you can pick it up in a range of giftable colours, from turquoise to coral.
A gift card they’ll actually use
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to gifting a console this year (or perhaps you’ve not been able to track one down), a gift card is a great alternative. With a Nintendo Switch gift card, gamers are given access to online head-to-head matches with players around the world. They’ll also be able to play a selection of classic games from the Nintendo archives, including classic Mario and Donkey Kong titles.
A wildly popular Mexican cola
Craft seltzers and sodas have had a boom in popularity over recent years. “[They] offer more of an artisanal product compared to your bog standard San Pellegrino or flavoured Volvic water,” notes Angela Hui, food-and-drink writer at Time Out. Missy Flynn, owner of Bodega Ritas in Clerkenwell, told us about the Mexican cola that’s wildly popular in America. “The key thing is they use cane sugar, rather than the flavourings and fake sugars in most fizzy drinks,” she says. As well as being big in the U.S., Jarritos is stocked in many Mexican restaurants in London, from Hermanos Taco House to Elephant and Castle’s Mercato Metropolitano. Alternatively, the soda is also available to shop at online retailers, such as Amazon, and Flynn’s own Bodega Ritas.
A Strategist-approved fleece
Our rubric Best of Brand focuses on everything that’s worth buying from a specific retailer (so far we’ve covered Glossier, Made.com, the Ordinary and more). While collating our Lululemon Best of Brand story this week, this fleece caught our eye. Strategist junior writer Chloe Anello says that the fleece is a “great lightweight” option, allowing her to banish a breeze, without overheating. The fleece is available in sizes 0-14.
And a dentist-recommended toothbrush, on sale
When we spoke to dentists about the best electric toothbrushes, five of them recommended this brush from Phillips. Dr. Chaw-Su Kyi said this model “has the same sonic technology you will find throughout the Sonicare range,” but for a fraction of the price. Whilst already inexpensive, the Sonicare brush is currently on sale, available at a very reasonable 25 percent off: £60 down from £80. You can pick up the brush in either pastel pink or pastel blue — but move quickly, as on the Philips website, it’s already sold out.
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.