This Month In The Lady Mags: Inexpensive Fashion And Bland Celebs

Not sure if you want to spend $3.99 on this month’s Vogue? Don’t worry, we’ve got Leonora Epstein, Frisky contributor and former lady mag slave, here to tell you exactly what’s up on sex, love, and relationships front in each month’s crop of lady mags.

Even though editors finished their July issues months ago, this month feels like the lady mags are already enjoying their Summer Fridays by stickin’ with the usual tricks. This month features recession fashion (again) and a few celebs you haven’t thought about too much in the past year. Still, July and August are the months magazines were made for, so would you really want anything too serious?
Becki Newton is on the cover of this “Everything under $100!” issue, which is filled with the normal mix of editors’ picks, 50 percent of which are rad, while the other half is eh. (A page on “fairy clothing,” however, is horrific.) Surprisingly good articles: “Blazers and Shorts” gives quick tips for rocking a great summer office look; and pp. 32-34, “The Webpages,” is a huge list of affordable online stores that I actually ripped out of the magazine to pin on my bulletin board full of passwords, reminders, and references.
Grade: A-

Dear Vogue: Why are your celeb profiles as painful to read as getting through part eight of Anna Karenina? July features Sienna Miller, who you momentarily consider becoming interested in again, until you realize you have four pages left and already you’ve learned nothing (she ate a pizza, she had a smoke). Apparently, Miller is starring in some G.I. Joe movie (oh God). Wintour’s attempt to battle the recession (“Steal of the Month!” coverline) comes in the form of a two-page spread of items under $400. Otherwise, worth a purchase to check out excellent cultural news stories on Katharine Weymouth, publisher of the Washington Post and review of Venice’s new modern museum (I wanna go!).
Grade: B

In a rare move, Cosmo features Lauren Conrad twice in one year (she also graced the November ’08 cover). By now, we’ve heard just about all we could about “The Hills” secrets, so nothing new in finding out it was staged and she left because she was dunzo. A sensationalist headline, “Virgins In Cosmo!” delivers wholesomeness through accounts of girls and their reasons for not having had sex yet. While on the boring side, I have to actually say, smart move, because that’s what I’d like their 13-year-old readers learning about. Of course, the cover also touts a naughty sex Q&A…
Grade: B-

Sandra Bullock looks positively slutty in her cover shoot, but her interview is fun, published as a dialogue between her and Anne Fletcher, Bullock’s friend and director of “The Proposal.” “Your Body’s Best Bra” on p. 56 may deliver some useful info. The rest of the dating, self-improvement, and sex articles, I glazed over (nothing new). However, there’s one amazing read, about a mail-order bride who really found true love.
Grade: C+

Get your fashion from Lucky this month—InStyle’s focus on celeb photo collages rings a bit stale because you’ve already seen all these pics on blogs. This month, the magazine feels a bit sparse (lots of white space), and skews older through safe nautical outfits and a Michelle Pfeiffer profile (although she is 51 and looks in-effing-credible). We do give them props for a small feature on one of our favorite mancrushes, Ryan Reynolds, who gives a short Q&A about his personal style.
Grade: C

This month is the “L.A. Issue” that promises Hollywood secrets (how Us Weekly of you). It’s not quite what you expect, though. There’s an ab workout from celeb trainers and tips for being happy (huh?). One juicy article which may draw you in is on detox diet dangers, tackling the “super skinny movment” in Hollywood, providing accounts of women who juice cleanse for days at a time, and addressing the disconnect between heath and results. There was also some article about an 8-minute workout, but I skipped it when I saw pictures of yummy-looking food a few pages forward, which I found were recipes from swank L.A. eateries (stomach grumbles).
Grade: B