sunday circular

7 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Postcards to Picnic Blankets

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

At the Strategist, we write about hundreds of products every 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 the vast online-shopping universe this past week — including an expert-recommended stretchy wrap for newborns, some flattering swimwear, and some Father’s Day inspiration.

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A lightweight men’s tee

For a list of the very best white T-shirts for men, we could only rely on Strategist writer Chris Mandle (he has a collection of 48, and counting). To supplement his own extensive knowledge, he recently reached out to a panel of style experts, three of which recommended this T-shirt from COS. The tee is lightweight with “a Parisian cut, a slight roll at the sleeves, enough length to French tuck — and it’s lightweight, so it hangs off the shoulders nonchalantly,” says Papier CEO Taymoor Atighetchi. Finlay Renwick, editor at Drake’s Diary, adds that the “slightly slimmer” tee is ideal for layering.

Surprisingly affordable swimwear

We recently spoke to stylish women about where they shop for swimsuits, bikinis, and cover-ups, and Gabby Beckford, who runs travel and lifestyle website Packs Light, told us she’s a “die-hard customer” for the swimsuits by Matte Collection. The majority of the brand’s swimsuits and full bikinis come in at under £30, and Beckford now owns six different styles. “They’re just so darn affordable and high quality,” she says. “[I] recommend the brand at every chance to my audience: young travellers in their 20s and early 30s who want a beautiful suit without a hefty price tag.”

A classic picnic blanket

May marks the official beginning of picnic season. As well as light lunch and a lawn game or two, no picnic is complete without a great quality picnic blanket, so we compiled a list of the very best. This blanket from Dexon has three water-resistant layers, space for four people, and comes rolled up with a handsome leather strap.

A two-way stretch baby wrap

Photo: Izmi

“Newborns love the closeness, snugness, and security of stretchy wraps, as they are entirely supported by the fabric,” explains Zoe Woodman, a carrying consultant and founder of the Sling Consultancy. “Stretchy wraps can seem a bit of a faff to get to know how to use, but they are worth getting to grips with. Once a wrap is tied on, you can leave it on all day and take the baby in and out as needed. You can also easily feed in it without taking the baby fully out.” Both Woodman and Sarah Claridge, baby-wearing consultant, recommend the Izmi as their wrap of choice. It uses moisture wicking technology to keep the baby cool, and has a two-way stretch, making it easy to use in either a front-facing or hip-carry position.

A podiatrist-approved foot roller

As Father’s Day approaches, we’ve looked back through our archives to find 48 gifts for every type of dad, like this massaging foot roller. We think it would make a great gift for a dad that could do with a bit of pamper-time. It was first recommended to us by three podiatrists as an effective yet inexpensive foot massager. Junaid Ahmed, a podiatrist at Feet for Life, says a wooden roller is a far gentler option than electric massagers, as it gives the user complete control over how much pressure you’re placing on each area of the foot. For more Father’s Day gift ideas, read here.

Some postcards for bookworms

If you’re on more of a budget this Father’s Day, fear not — we’ve also compiled a list of delightful gifts for less than £20. For a dad that’s unapologetically nerdy, we discovered this box of graphic design postcards, based off of Penguin’s collection of sci-fi classics. The set contains 100 cards referencing classic books from authors such as J. G. Ballard and H. G. Wells.

A backpack made from recycled water bottles

Photo: Roka

“If you love weekend escapes to Europe but don’t want to pay for a checked bag, then this is ideal,” says digital travel creator Rebecca Selkirk. The Finchley by Roka is available in three sizes, but Selkirk recommends the large, which has a whopping 20 litre capacity (plenty of space for essentials, and even some wiggle room for a tripod and camera). Plus, each bag is made from 13 recycled bottles, and is durable as well as water resistant, so will last for years to come.

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.

7 Things That Delighted Us Last Week