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I love to shop. I love it as much my dog loves to play.
Over the course of my shopping career, I have stumbled upon a few products that not only have made my life easier, but have also lasted — and continue to last — me for years, and are still in impeccable shape. And that's despite heavy, if not everyday, use! From a savings standpoint, the lifespan of these staples has meant more money in my pocket. From a sustainably standpoint, I sleep peacefully knowing I'm not contributing as much to landfills as I could be.
Similar to my list of products that have traveled the world with me and are still going strong, some of these items cost a little more up front. Still, any extra money spent has been well worth it. From my trusty 15-year-old Oral-B toothbrush to my unfailing 8-year-old CHI flat iron, these are the products I can't (and don't want to) imagine my life without.
Below are my top 10 investment pieces that have lasted me years — and don't look like they're headed for retirement anytime soon.
The year was 2009. I was spending my summer off from college working at Lululemon. Not knowing how long I'd have them, I bought my first pair of Speed Up Shorts (admittedly, I had a generous employee discount). I've been wearing them ever since! Given I'm a travel writer, they've touched down in at least 40 countries on five continents. They currently come in 17 colors and sizes 0-14. They also come in a low-rise, 2.5-inch inseam.
It's embarrassing, but my Oral-B electric toothbrush is circa 2007. In fact, I'm pretty sure I received it as a high school graduation gift. Obviously, since then I've replaced the head several times (replacements are cheap). But the bones of this brush, and its motor, are still holding up despite more than a decade of being used twice a day. I recommend it because I know it lasts for years. I think dentists recommend it — Oral B claims it's the No. 1 dentist-recommended brand — because it does the best job cleaning your teeth. Case in point? I haven't had any cavities or fillings in 15 years.
True story: My ex-boyfriend rescued my current beloved Keurig out of a dumpster. The former owners were moving so they just tossed it. Eight years and a cross-country move later, it still satisfies my caffeine cravings every morning. While the model I have is the Keurig Classic — which has an impressive 4.7-star rating from more than 78,000 reviews — if it ever goes kaput I want to try the K-Slim (4.6-star average rating from more than 38,000 reviews). It's only five inches wide so it will free up some counter space.
A few months ago my poor friend I was traveling with had to put up with me whining for days that I'd lost my Tweezerman tweezers. Fortunately, I found them in the washing machine. Despite being put through the wringer — and the washer — they're still sharp! I think it's because they're made with stainless steel. If you're like I used to be — balking at the idea of spending more than $5 on a pair of tweezers — just know you get what you pay for. These little guys have a 4.6-star average rating from more than 16,400 reviews and are the 4th bestselling tweezer on Amazon.
I've had my CHI flat iron through three presidencies! I keep waiting for the day when I turn it on and it doesn't heat up as fast. That day has yet to come. On Amazon it has a 4.5-star average rating from more than 9,000 reviews. A two-year protection plan is available for $3.99. But you likely won't need it.
If I add up all the money I've spent on hot yoga classes since 2014, it would probably be $8,000. But only $100 of that was for my mat. That's because after failed attempts at using $20 yoga mats, I finally invested in the Manduka PRO. It doesn't look quite as good as new (I sweat a lot and it's schlepped back and forth between my house and the studio), but it's still not crumbling or fraying the way my former mats would. On Amazon, the Manduka Pro has an impressive 4.7-star average rating from more than 6,200 reviews.
There was a time in my life when I wouldn't dream of spending more than $40 on a pair of boots. But, then I fell in love with a look — the SOREL Joan of Arctic Wedge — that I couldn't find for less. So, I splurged. Three years and two pairs (I had to have them in multiple colors) later, I still have no regrets. They're my go-to dress boots for fall and winter. I love all of the compliments I get on them, especially when I'm pairing them with my favorite $20 t-shirt dress. On Zappos they come in seven colors.
Don't get me wrong: I love my $22 fleece sandal slippers in the warmer months. But from fall to spring, my feet can be found in these shoes. Between the solid soles and reinforced toes, they look like they're designed for the outside elements. But the micro-fleece fabric and memory foam footbed make them feel like they're designed for relaxation mode. I dread the day Keen stops making these. Although I've had my current pair since 2018, and they're still holding up despite being well-lived in.
I wish I had known about Naadam back in 2013 when it was founded. Instead, I discovered it a few years ago when I got my first $75 Essential Cashmere Sweater, one of Shop TODAY's 15 cashmere sweaters under $100. Since then, I've worn my sweater everywhere from Dubai to Down Under, and it's still the softest thing I own. With proper care — hand wash or dry clean — I can see it being something I eventually hand down to my future daughter. That will give me an excuse to buy a new one! It currently comes in 20 colors and sizes XXS-XXL.
Even though I'm the proud owner of the bestselling O'Cedar microfiber mop (which I've had since 2018), I can't seem to part ways with my Swiffer Wet Jet for simple clean-up jobs. I got it back in 2013 when I lived in North Carolina. I don't love that it requires batteries, and I have to buy refill pads and solution. However, I do love how well it works. I also get so much satisfaction peeling a dirty pad off. Sadly, I don't get that with a wringer mop. This 16-piece Swiffer Wet Jet set has a 4.7-star average rating from nearly 32,000 reviews.
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