If you click around the site, Byrdie is doing some really cool things with shopping stories—there’s the NYC testing lab, thoroughly researched roundups on a specific product category, and love letters to our most-used products. So while my job responsibilities are more complicated than just this, it distills down to: I get to research, test, and review products on a daily basis for a living. Pretty cool, right? All this product testing throughout my career means that I now have high standards for the quality and performance of the things I use and a discerning eye for what is worth the money.
Like everyone else, I shop Amazon for the convenience and affordable prices, but have been burned a time or two by items that didn’t live up to my expectations, leading me to either return and start the search over or keep a product that I just don’t like. However, over the years I have uncovered some true hidden gems—those products that exceed expectations and are even better quality than the price may have indicated. There’s the longline bra I wear everyday that I am work from home, the only razors I ever use, and the running jacket that stands up to its much more expensive counterparts.
These are the 7 Amazon items that I have purchased on repeat.
- CRZ YOGA Womens Longline Seamless Ribbed Sports Bra
- Baleaf Fleece-Lined Water Resistant Leggings
- HGGE Womens Criss Cross Ponytail Baseball Cap
- Made for You by Bic Shaving Razor Blades
- 90 Degree by Reflex Women’s Running Track Jacket
- Marycrafts Women’s Pull On Stretch Work Pants
- Nalodu Hair Claw Clips
CRZ YOGA Womens Longline Seamless Ribbed Sports Bra
Shop now: Amazon.com, $22
I used to be a dress up for work everyday kinda gal. A business casual outfit, full face of makeup, and high heels was my uniform five days a week. Then work from home hit and I made some effort for the first few months. By summer 2020, I had leaned all the way into leisure wear. It was that time two years ago, I discovered this bralette. The longline length was enough coverage for me with leggings (I threw a t-shirt on before meetings) and it is so comfortable. I love the ribbed knit fabric and muted colors. It has decent support for daily activities, but it would be minimal for cardio workouts AKA the bounce would be real.
I now own three of these and all of them are in the wash when it's laundry day. It’s still my go-to for work from home days and casual looks on the weekend. This time of year, it is also the perfect bra top for under sweatshirts. The one downside: I wish this bra (and brand in general) came in a much wider size range.
Baleaf Fleece-Lined Water Resistant Leggings
Shop now: Amazon.com, $29 (originally $42)
Like the rest of the world, I am a huge fan of the hot girl walk. Most days, I put on a podcast—really into Celebrity Memoir Book Club right now—and walk for an hour after work to get outside and decompress. I try to maintain this habit even in the winter but finding the right outfit combo was key. I discovered these fleece-lined leggings last year and now own a few pairs. They’re the right amount of fleece without looking or feeling bulky, yet keep out the wind’s chill. There are double layered side pockets and a back zip pocket that I use for my keys and lip balm. All six colors of the leggings are 33 percent off right now—get your own pair for under $30.
HGGE Womens Criss Cross Ponytail Baseball Cap
I’m a huge baseball hat fan. It’s ideal for keeping the sun out of your eyes on a run or at the beach and it hides my messy hair when I’m running errands. The problem is for most of those activities, I have my hair pulled up, and my go-to is a high ponytail. This hat is the solution. There are two openings that let you style hair in a high, top of the crown position, or straight out the back. The technical, mesh fabric is quick-dry to keep your head cool and dry, plus there’s a sweatband inside the inner rim.
Most baseball hats are made for larger heads, this one was designed with smaller skulls in mind with a narrower brim and cap as well as an adjustable velcro back. The criss cross straps also conform to your head so it stays in place. I bought the goes-with-everything black first and recently added one of their more fun colors, sky blue, to my collection.
Made for You by Bic Shaving Razor Blades
Shop now: Amazon.com, $11 (originally $12)
As a beauty editor, I have tested many, many razors in my time. All of them worked—some better than others—but I wasn’t loyal to any particular brand until Made for You by Bic Shaving Razor Blades. It's a razor that more closely resembles traditional men’s options (but hair is hair, gendering a razor seems pretty silly), which I prefer for a close, smooth shave, with five blades and a metal handle. I don’t purchase many beauty products thanks to my job, but I have been loyally buying the 12-pack of replacement blades for close to four years now (and still using the original handle!).
I rarely get cuts or razor burn and the blade lasts many full body shaves before it needs to be replaced. I use this razor on my underarms and legs, but also on my bikini line. For that area, I need to start with a fairly fresh, sharp blade to prevent razor bumps, but this can get a super smooth canvas in just a few passes. It’s especially adept at taking my legs from winter wooly to beach-ready—the true challenge for a good razor.
90 Degree by Reflex Women’s Running Track Jacket
Shop now: Amazon.com, $38
I'm just going to say it: I am anti-dupe culture. Is that product really an exact replica or is it just cheaper with a vague likeness? With that said, this jacket bears a striking resemblance to the Lululemon Define Jacket. I also own that jacket and can say that while design details are similar, the fabric and quality are not the same—call this dupe debunking.
With that out of the way, I still swear by this Amazon jacket. The contoured seaming on the front provides a shape for the body other than rectangular. The nylon and spandex fabric really hugs my form and I never need to pull on the hem or adjust it mid-run. The front zip pockets are large enough for a phone and the thumbholes keep my hands and wrists warm. Plus, at under $40, it’s kinder on my budget too.
This jacket is my favorite for spring and fall runs, but I’ve gotten tons of wear out of it with the mild winter NYC is having this year. There’s currently 12 colors to choose from and more shades are occasionally added (my most-worn reddish brown one isn’t an option at the moment). The Bering Sea blue is next on my list.
Marycrafts Women’s Pull On Stretch Work Pants
Shop now: Amazon.com, $26
Like I mentioned, my desire to put on hard pants or a fitted dress has waned in the last two years. Even going into the office a few days a week hasn’t broken the bonds of my will to live fully in athleisure. These pants strike the perfect balance—they look like dress pants, especially when paired with an oversized blazer or silk button down, however they feel like office-appropriate sweatpants.
While the 4-way ponte fabric is supremely comfortable, I wouldn’t say they are yoga pants material as the brand claims. They feature an elastic waistband, have two slit pockets in the front, plus belt loops—if you really want to hide the stretch waist. They sit right at my ankles, however I’m 5’3, so these may not be a great option if you’re tall. For $26, it’s an easy decision to keep a few colors of these in my rotation.
Nalodu Hair Claw Clips
Shop now: Amazon.com, $8 for 4 (originally $9)
When the claw clip trend entered the scene, I ordered a cheap pack of clips on Amazon. I figured they would break quickly but it would give me enough time to decide if this was a trend worth investing in. Turns out that was a great idea, but not for the reasons I initially thought. First, it’s still kicking—both the claw clip and the hairstyle. I wrap my hair into a claw clip two to three times per week. I’ve noticed less damage and it's far cuter than a messy bun. Since they are plastic, I assumed these would break instantly, but I have shoved them in gym bags and brought them on vacations and they're still intact. To be upfront, the paint has chipped/discolored on the claws a bit, but my hair covers it.
I wore the metallic-looking colors all summer and fall and recently bought the tortoiseshell and neutral pack. I especially love how lightweight these feel in my hair. They don’t pull or drag through my strands like some metal ones I have tried. The claw-banana clip hybrid shape is also large enough for long or thick hair. These are definitely better quality than the price may indicate.