A compendium of Recomendo




Bra alternative

Over the years, I’ve had to buy a variety of bras for different types of dresses and tops (racerback, backless, strapless, etc.), but the most useful purchase I’ve made has been Nippies. I’ve had these for a couple years now. They are washable, reusable and so comfortable I forget I have them on. — CD

Silicone ring

I bought my husband a QALO ring to wear while he’s cycling/working out and he loves how it’s so well-made and comfortable. It’s made out of medical grade silicone and it doesn’t look like a cheap rubber ring. I like how it looks on him so much I want to start wearing one. — CD

Ten dollar watch

I wear a watch, not as expensive jewelry, but as a clock I find easier to inspect than a phone. I have four requirements for a watch: 1) Bold, easy to read numbers on an analog face. 2) Easy band. 3) Long battery. 4) Dirt cheap. The cheapest analog-faced wrist watch I’ve found is the Casio MQ24. It costs $10. I’ve worn most of the cheap ones (Swatch, Timex) and this one lasts the longest. (What usually gives out first on these cheapies is the winding stem for changing the time.) — KK

Better laces

I have replaced all my regular shoelaces with these no-tie Aktivx elastic laces. Ultra thin bungee cords snap the shoe closed without have to tie or untie. Instant on and off. Easy to slip foot out, yet snug when needed. Not too dorky even for dress shoes; in fact, they look cool. — KK

Non-iron shirts

All my dress shirts are now “Non-Iron” cotton material. I don’t know how this stuff works, but the ones I clumsily fold into my luggage, will unwrinkle shortly after I put them on. I use Non-Iron Oxford shirts from Land’s End and L.L. Bean, but most clothing brands seem to carry them. Eagle brand Non-Iron shirts are popular on Amazon. — KK 

Comfortable dress boots

I spent the last year buying and returning boots in search of a pair that come close to Lucky Brand Basel boots in comfort and style. I’ve gone through two pairs of them in black in the last 5 years and I finally gave up searching and bought an additional pair in brown. I love these because they’re stylish enough to solicit compliments, and they’re so comfortable that I can literally walk miles in them every day. — CD 

Foot petals

One of my favorite pair of sandals recently cut my heel open. These foot petals now prevent that from happening. They also keep my shoes in place and make them much more comfortable to wear. — CD

Authentic bling

My wife picked a small cubic zirconia synthetic diamond for her engagement ring. Because it is just one carat it looks like a diamond. Nobody can tell it is synthetic. Really. It cost $24. Real diamonds are a ripoff. — KK

Slip-on sneakers

My friend Cory Doctorow gave me a pair of Native Jefferson Slip-On Sneakers about 4 years ago, and I haven’t worn any other kind of shoe since. They are made from the same rubber as Crocs, but they look better. I don’t wear socks with them. They are very easy to slip on and off at airport security, too. — MF

Ironing hack

I rarely iron anymore. I just throw a wet hand towel and whatever wrinkled top I want to wear into the dryer. Then I run it on high heat for a little less than 10 minutes, and go about my morning routine. Some people use ice cubes. — CD

Cheap and fast glasses

If you happen to live in the Bay Area or in Southern California, I highly recommend getting your next pair of prescription glasses from JINS. At first I was overwhelmed by their huge selection, but lucky for me my best friend was there to help me pick out frames — and that was the most difficult part! Then I just showed them my prescription, checked out and came back in 30 minutes to pick them up. I was out the door with a new pair for just $80 including lenses. Faster than Warby Parker and way cheaper than LensCrafters. — CD

HomeClaudia Dawson