The Best Things We Bought This Month

Just in time for the holidays, our staff weighs in our their favorite November purchases.

Athleta Crewneck Sweater


“This asymmetrical sweater from Athleta, in two colors. Pima cotton and machine washable? Please and thank you.” —Kristen Hinman ($36 from Athleta)

Avrum Pedro Ximenez Sherry Vinegar

“I think most people don’t realize what a difference a good vinegar makes. Over Thanksgiving, I saw all the crappy, cheap vinegars my mom had in her pantry, so I bought her a bottle of my favorite sherry vinegar. It’s a little sweet and complex—not at all sour and astringent like the generic, bottom-shelf sherry vinegars you might pick up at Giant or Safeway. I use it in salad dressings, but also to add a little zip to pasta dishes or soups. I even put it on cottage cheese with tomatoes and cucumbers for breakfast, but I’m weird like that.” —Jessica Sidman ($11 on Amazon)

Kold Feet Socks

“This is the time of year when your sock choices take on grave importance, and these Amazon house brand socks, while so ugly they should be illegal, are all I want to wear. They’re cushioned, so you can wear them with boots all day, and they wick away sweat and condensation. Plus the bottom is thick enough that you don’t need slippers on a bare floor, but not so thick that you feel like you’re walking on pancakes.” —Andrew Beaujon ($20 for six pairs from Amazon)

Anthropologie Cable-Knit Cardigan

“This girl loves a sale. So even though I was heading off on a mini-roadtrip last Friday, I hit a few stores in Penn Quarter at 8 AM (The Black Friday golden hour! So peaceful…relaxing, even). My favorite piece in the haul: this weekend-y cardigan from Anthropologie, which has officially replaced my Rivet and Thread sweatshirt as the softest thing I own.” —Ann Limpert ($138 from Anthropologie)

Ayele & Co. Sunscreen and Skin Essence


skin essence

“My favorite things I bought this month were a sunscreen and an essence both from Ayele & Co, a black-owned company originally from Maryland and formerly known as Bahi Cosmetics. Their products are sooo luxurious. The essence does exactly what it says it does—my dry skin loves the hydration boost it gives. I love that the sunscreen is clear and doesn’t leave a white cast on my skin (you’re supposed to wear SPF year round, and it’s a total myth that black people don’t need to wear sunscreen).” —Adia Robinson ($17 and $20 from Ayele & Co.)

Red Leather Jacket

“The best thing I bought this month was a red leather jacket from the Value Village in College Park. It’s fun, bright, and warm and was $15.” —Katrina Schmidt (Similar option: $29 on Ebay)

Clarks Chukka Boots

“I’ve been looking for a pair of brown, boot-like leather shoes I can wear to work for quite some time now. I’m a size 14, so finding anything that fits is the eternal struggle of my life. Lucky for me, right down the street from our office, there’s a Nordstrom Rack—aka NORDY RACK—with a small corner in the shoe section dedicated to sizes 13 and above. No one else is ever looking for shoes that big, so it feels like I’m stepping into a personalized shoe closet. Last week, I went in looking for holiday sales and found exactly what I was looking for—a pair of Clarks in my size and 36 percent off. Talk about a holiday miracle!” —Elliot Williams ($70 from Nordstrom Rack)

Everlane Micro Rib Turtleneck

“I’ve long been on the hunt for the perfect black turtleneck. Up till now, everything I found was either too thick or had a floppy neck, which was a deal breaker (you have to have optimum neck coverage when turtlenecking). This one is so perfect, I just ordered it in another color. The micro rib fabric is form-fitting, but not too tight, making it ideal for tucking into skirts or high-waisted jeans. And I’m happy to report there is maximum neck-tautness, keeping my throat warm and allowing me to live out all my Slim Aarons, après-ski-chic dreams.” —Mimi Montgomery ($35 from Everlane)

Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker

“This state-of-the-art coffee dispersement device deploys cutting edge hydro-soluble filtration technology and innovative gravity-assisted osmosis processing, combined with an acute heat application phase, to transform dihydrogen monoxide into something that tastes almost identical to real coffee, where it can be accessed by a custom-designed liquid containment vessel.” —Ben Wofford ($26 from Amazon)

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.