‘Own things you want to use forever’ is a statement that can reach far beyond the wardrobe, and we are always working to expand that focus to other elements of modern life. With this in mind, we started the Heddels Lifestyle Edit.
From homeware to kitchen goods and apothecary, this series will bring you our curated selections of some of the finest lifestyle and home products available today, from makers and stores which resonate with our philosophy.
In this special edition of the Heddels Lifestyle Edit, we will be focussing on lifestyle products that can improve your lockdown experience whilst navigating COVID-19. The pandemic means we have spent at least 50% more time in our homes and while lockdown has eased in many cities, for many of us, working from home is the new normal.
If you’re working from home, I’m sure your employer has sent you multiple desk-related emails which, so many words, state “we didn’t give a shit about your posture before but we do now.” Many of us are lucky to have space for a good desk or even a dedicated home office, but those that don’t need to find creative ways to look after their backs while working from home.
The last thing you need in lockdown is a bad back or wrist, so a lap desk is a better way to work if you’re using a laptop on the couch, armchair, or La-Z-Boy. Not only does it raise the laptop up to a convenient and comfortable height, it also allows the laptop’s fan to work the best it can. I don’t have any nifty statistics to show that a lap desk will improve your productivity, I can only say that it makes working from home feel a tad more professional.
You can get clever ones like the Manchester desk pictured above, which is Made in USA from American ash hardwood and is available for $90 at Cracker Barrel (yes that Cracker Barrel).
Now, gyms are closed. I know it, you know it, and those $400 20oz. raw denim jeans you bought in February which no longer fit around your gradually-expanding waist know it. Again, I have no stats or figures statements about general weight gain in lockdown, I just know that when I get up, I groan – something which has only started in the last few months.
What can we do? Run? That’s our editor, David’s, forte – not mine. Lift weights in your apartment? Maybe. A balanced routine of those would be ideal, but at the very least, you can get a decent yoga mat to stretch, meditate, or do some gentle movement on to get some blood flowing. You can obviously to this on a carpet or rug, but buying yourself a decent mat sets the intention and gives you a space solely assigned for warming your limbs up.
Go for something as recycled and/or sustainable as possible, ie cork or jute. They may cost a bit more, but they last just as long as the cheap, synthetic ones, and can typically biodegrade, like the YogaMatters ecoYoga Jute Mat pictured above. YogaMatters ecoYoga Jute Mat, available from YogaMatters for $53.
If you do happen to have a standing desk, a cute little plant that you can tend to is a mindful way to break the monotony of being static for large portions of the day. It can also help to boost your productivity. Now, this one I do have a statistic for! Research conducted by The Leesman Index (largest independent database of workplace effectiveness data) revealed that having greenery in the office boosts output by 15%. Obviously this can’t be directly translated to your home desk setup, but it’s promising, right?
If you don’t want to go all out on a bonsai tree, you can go for something a bit more modest. I’m a big fan of Chinese money plants (Pilea peperomioides). They’re low maintenance and their disc- shapes leaves always look impressive.
A Good Mug
For some, any mug will do. But if you have a beloved mug at the office that no one else is even allowed to look at, bring that energy into your home-office set up and take pride in your morning coffee.
The above mug by Nicholas Newcomb is handmade in Brooklyn, NYC, using traditional ceramic techniques. While any mug will hold your hot beverage, a quality mug will look better in 10 years/15,000 coffee’s time.
Nicholas Newcomb Handmade Camp Mug, $35 from Save Khaki.
Joggers / Sweat Pants
Whether you’re kicking it at home or working from home, joggers can make your lockdown experience a lot comfier – and a decent pair of joggers will also work with the rest of your quality garments for those essential trips out of the house.
The Heather Fleece Sweatpant from Save Khaki is a great example of a solid, good quality staple. Coming in a host of garment-dyed colors – they’re uncuffed – meaning they don’t have that sporty vibe and can be cuffed neatly if that’s your thing. Made in the USA, pre-shrunk, with a drawstring waistband, It’s hard to go wrong with these.
Save Khaki Heather Fleece Sweatpants, available from Save Khaki for $130
Craft Needles or Sewing Machine
Lockdown has spawned an unforeseen wave of ‘Sew Bros’. This slightly cringe moniker is given to those of us who have taken to making, adorning, knitting, or repairing garments at home during COVID-19, which, in fairness, is a solid way to spend the extra free time you may have due to lockdown. We recommend picking up a used sewing machine locally on Craigslist; for knitting or crocheting, Lion Brand has a good selection of beginner kits and patterns to get your first project off the ground.
Whether you want to try your hand at making some clothes, facemasks, or learn some repairing techniques like darning, why not pick up some gear to give it a go? We have a host of DIY guides here at Heddels and these days Youtube is basically a college tutoring anything from knitting to how to eat corn incredibly fast, the latter of which can be handy for a lockdown project.
Slippers / House Shoes
Many people have taken to showering and dressing in normal clothes each morning whilst working from home. I know that makes total sense but I also know a large portion of us will be wearing slouchy garb. We’re trying to strike a balance here, so you can always invest in some decent room shoes to make sure you’re grounded and ready to pop outside if you need to. I go to the grocery store in mine, so never any judgment here.
There’s dozens of room shoe options out there, but if you want pair you’ll actually cherish and want to use forever, I can’t think of a better option than L.L. Bean’s Wicked Good Moccasin. I’ve never owned a pair, but our editor, David, has owned three pairs – and I can’t put it better than him:
“I’ve waxed on about these before, and for good reason. Even before the pandemic, these are hands-down the shoes that I log the most hours in. They’re on my feet anytime I’m at home and not in bed. They’re easy to slip on, made of soft shearling that’s warm in the winter and breathable in the summer, cushioned and with a slim rubber sole for brief jaunts outside. This pair is about in the middle of its life cycle, the fur on the heels is the first to go, but they only need to be replaced once that leather breaks through to the padding. We’ve still got time.” – David in his Five Plus One Supplies article
L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasins, $79 from L.L. Bean
What are your lockdown essentials/lifestyle tweaks? Let us know in the comments!