What's Good: 17 New Things I Tried That I'm Recommending to Everyone

What's Good is a Who What Wear column where our senior editor Kristen Nichols shares her latest recommendations. Each month, discover fashion and beauty finds, worth-it treatments, vetted travel spots, and more.

As an editor, it’s part of my job to try new things. I always have my eye on the latest drops in fashion, on-the-rise designers, what’s emerging in beauty, and the buzzy new things everyone is talking about. While I spend plenty of time staring at the latest trends from the runways and writing about the cool-girl brands that are having a moment, I also make a point of test-driving them myself to see what’s actually worth the hype—and make a point of sharing them along the way.

Ahead, I’m diving into some of the new things I tried recently that I’m recommending to everyone. From new fashion staples I’ll be wearing for years and beauty products that have earned a spot in my medicine cabinet to things I’m reading and spots I’m visiting, these are the editor-approved recommendations I need to share with you now. I’m picky, so I promise all of them are worth it.

1. HommeGirls Shirt

The latest HommeGirls’ zine has a permanent spot on my coffee table, and I can’t get enough of the brand’s cool “borrowed from the boys” aesthetic. I’m equally enamored with its beautiful menswear-inspired pieces. While I’ve been eyeing them for some time, I just ordered this crisp French blue and white striped button-down shirt and it’s perfect. Simple yet expertly tailored and constructed, it’s exactly the type of investment staple I’ll have in my closet forever. Now, I want to collect each of its stunning pieces. Founder, editor, and designer Thakoon Panichgul has created something special here.

2. N°1 De Chanel Lip and Cheek Balm

I have been trying to find a new lip color since the one I used for years and years was discontinued. I’ve tried out so many formulas and shades that left me disappointed, but that all changed when I swiped on the just-dropped camellia-centric tinted balm from the N°1 De Chanel collection. Dabbed into my lips (and sometimes my cheeks as well), the fresh shade adds the perfect dewy glow and a finish that is shiny without being too glossy. Here, I’m wearing it in the color 1 Red Camellia, which looks like a deep cherry in the jar but goes on in the perfect shade of pink. If you need further proof of why it’s worthy of a spot in your makeup bag‚ all of the products from this line are sustainable and developed from over 10 years of research.

3. COS Bomber Jacket

Bomber jackets were everywhere in the mid-2010s but fell out of popularity a few years ago. Now, we’re seeing them make a big comeback—especially updated takes like this leather style from COS that I recently added to my closet. It has an upsized silhouette with wide-cut sleeves and a padded exterior that reminds me of a style my dad used to wear when I was growing up, lending it a cool, retro vibe. All in all, it’s the perfect jacket for so many occasions.

4. Who What Wear Collection Polo Dress

Reworked preppy fashion is one of the major trends for 2022 and I’m one of the biggest subscribers. With polo tops and khaki pants in full force, it feels like a return to my high school uniform days—albeit one where I get to make the rules about what I’m wearing. While I plan to experiment more with new takes on scholastic attire, I’m already wearing this polo dress on repeat. I can always get behind cozy pieces that also feel polished.

5. New Balance 550 Sneakers

In the last year or two, I’ve evolved into a sneaker person—in part because my wardrobe has become more casual and practical now that I’m spending so much time working from home. While there are a number of styles I have stocked in my closet, my New Balance 550s are the shoes I’m recommending over every other pair. After Aimè Leon Dore’s founder, Teddy Santis, did a collab to resurrect New Balance 550s, the sneakers soared to cult status last year. The ALD collab version is hard to find (and a bit pricey if you do), but I got my hands on the OG 550s, and they were definitely worth the hunt.

6. Sophie Buhai Choker

I go through phases with my jewelry and will wear the same pieces for seasons—or even years—at a time. Currently, the piece on constant rotation is this choker from Sophie Buahi, one of my favorite L.A.-based  designers. While I wouldn’t consider myself a major choker person, I can’t get enough of this silk version finished with sculptural sterling silver drops at each end. I never realized just how versatile it would be, but it has proven to be exactly what I want to throw on with everything from an easy button-down top to a dress for an evening look.

7. Pernille Teisback x Mango Suiting

Pernille Teisbaek’s collaboration with Mango got me excited because it’s packed with all of the things I want to wear. One of the things I instantly eyed was this skirt suit set that taps into both the micro-miniskirt trend as well as the boxy blazer one. The best news? This set is on sale right now, so it’s the perfect time to scoop it up.

8. YSL Beauty Mascara

Admittedly, I don’t wear as much makeup now as I did a few years back. Working from home has really made me pare back and use just the essentials. While there are plenty of makeup items that are no longer in my everyday rotation, mascara is one thing I still count as essential. I’m always trying out new formulas, but it was this YSL Beauty Lash Clash mascara that won me over recently. It has one of those super lush brushes that gets the formula on every lash, plus adds volume and length—something I sometimes struggle to find all in one tube.

9. The Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley

André Leon Talley is without a doubt one of the most influential people I grew up with in fashion. His wit, impeccable eye for design, and vibrant presence in fashion always made an impression on me—and that was only magnified by his memoir, The Chiffon Trenches. After his passing, I downloaded it on Audible and couldn’t stop listening. Voiced by André Leon Talley himself, the book dives into everything from what happened at Vogue in the ’90s and ’00s, personal accounts of everyone from Karl Lagerfeld to Anna Wintour, and the politics of working in fashion. It’s a close look at what happened in fashion over the last fifty years, but also a highly personal story that gives an intimate glimpse into Leon Talley.

10. Stone and Strand Initial Necklace

From the puffy bubble letter shape to the long chain, there is so much to love about this initial necklace from Stone and Stand. It’s become one of my core everyday pieces to style with a crisp collared shirt like I’m wearing here. At $150, it’s such a great piece to buy for yourself or a special idea for a gift.

11. Gia Borghini Slides

Not to play favorites, but I can’t get enough of Gia Borghini’s stunning shoes, including its first collection with creative director Pernille Teisbaek at the helm. The standout style is these futuristic slides with Velcro straps and platforms soles that tap into one of my favorite shoe trends for spring 2022. Prepare to see me wearing these on repeat.

12. Morning Meeting Podcast

I’m a very dedicated listener to the Morning Meeting podcast from Air Mail and never miss a single episode. Each Saturday, editors Ashley Baker and Michael Hainey discuss the weekly news through the lens of culture, travel, politics, books, films, and more—covering all of the things people are talking about at the moment, weighing in with their personal perspective. I always walk away with a new restaurant to visit, a vetted TV show to watch, and insights into what’s happening around the world. Oh, and if you’re as big of a fan as I am, they even have a line of pajamas in collaboration with Alex Mill that you can order.

13. Ralph Lauren Sweater

My parents wore Ralph Lauren pieces regularly when I was growing up, and I still think about them—striped button-downs, polos, chinos, etc. They were cool in the ’90s and the exact same pieces are still cool to this day. Now that’s timeless fashion for you. I guess I was more influenced by that than I realized because I’m integrating some of those exact pieces into my wardrobe—namely, this cable-knit sweater that’s the perfect thing to wear with everything from suiting to jeans.

14. Ghia Apértif

I love a great cocktail as well as the ritual of it, but don’t always want to imbibe, which is why I can’t get enough of Ghia’s non-alcoholic apértifs. Its spritz and non-boozy spirits are so packed with botanical flavors that you feel like you’re sipping on a bona fide cocktail somewhere on the coast of Italy, even if it’s a bit closer to home.

15. Refine Turtleneck

I’m a big proponent of investing in great basics. While there are plenty on the market, Refine is a step above the rest. Case in point? Its newish line of jersey essentials that are truly that. This turtleneck top is one of the highest-quality and most well-fitting pieces I own and is worth every penny. 

16. Ven Store Blanket

Speaking of great investments, I can also say the same thing about everything from Ven Store. Experts at all things cashmere, its beautiful pieces range from clothing to accessories, including this beautiful blanket that will be accompanying me on all flights from this day on.

17. Dinner at Damian

Damian is the kind of place I could easily visit a hundred times. Located in L.A.’s Arts District, the restaurant is headed up by Enrique Olvera of Pujol fame. Every item on the menu is an inventive take on Mexican cuisine with dishes like duck al pastor topped with jalapenos and pineapple butter and ceviche swimming with sungold tomatoes and spicy kosho. The menu isn’t the only thing I loved here—the minimal, yet lush verdant interiors were striking and a fresh take on what L.A. dining can look like. Whether or not you make a reservation, you can also check out the chef’s cookbook. You can bet that I’ll be back soon.