This Month In The Lady Mags: November Issues Go Bad, Green, And To Hollywood

Have you ever noticed how, if one woman in a room is perusing a glossy magazine, all the other women in the room magically gravitate towards her and somehow end up reading over her shoulder? Let’s face it, with their gorgeous photo spreads, the splashy headlines and celebrity interviews, women’s magazines are pretty darn addictive. Just so you don’t have to plop down $3.99 on each and every November issue, we’ve scoured them all to tell you which ones are bringing you fresh stories and ideas, and which ones are just recycling the same old drivel. After the jump, six issues dissected and graded. Marie Claire
Hilary Swank looks like she needs a smeyesing lesson on the cover—and is she headed to a safari? To rope lions with gold chains? Because we love Hils so much, we’re gonna ignore that and head directly to the front-of-the-book fashion coverage which gets a thumbs-up for including lots of black lace and shiny things. Also, double props for the story “Mad Curves,” featuring Christina Hendricks in sexy clothes made in 2009. I loved the idea for the column “Big Girl in a Skinny World,” written by 220-pound stylist Ashley Falcon, but got a little sadsies at sentences like, “I’d need an elaborate pulley system and a can of Crisco to shimmy into the clothes I dress models in.” Interesting stories about the new breed of female bodyguards, an escaped female sex slave, and a woman who wore a strap-on and did her boyfriend from behind. Skip the “Savvy Girl’s Guide To Her First Thanksgiving” cause it’s boooring.
Grade: A-

Considering that this magazine doesn’t have those crazy things called articles, I’m always highly entertained by it. This issue features Rachel Bilson, whose closet I do actually want to burgle. Love the spread on “Star Trek” fashion and infinity scarves. They also have me kind of wanting to watch the Home Shopping Network for Lucky’s special capsule collections from Shoshanna, Rebeca Taylor, Tracy Reese and four others. The Fall Jewelry Guide is snoozy, except for the amazing page on black leather-covered jewelry.
Grade: B-

Watch out, ladies. The cover proudly proclaims that this is the “Bad Girl Issue: For Sexy Bitches Only.” Chances are that you fit into that category, so proceed. Inside, you’ll find a hand-written quiz from Kim Kardashian that says the most annoying part of growing up in a very female household is that, “My clothes are always missing and [there are] tampons everywhere! LOL.” A handy “Man Manual” has pullout cards you can keep to help you “Read His Lips,” “Decode How He Handles His Drink” and find out “What His Shopping Habits Say About Your Relationship.” There’s also a “Bachelor Blowout” featuring a beefcake dude from every state. Oh, and guess what he’s really thinking during sex? “Boobs, Boobs, Boobs.” The highlights of this issue: A feature on how to do your makeup like a “Twilight” vampire. Yeah, it’s that bad.
Grade: D

ScoJo is adorable on the cover, and we love her two degrees more after reading the Q+A with her, in which she reveals that she may drop off the map and open a bakery before she turns 30. But that isn’t even the most exciting part of the issue. That would be the story “Oh. Wow. These Bodies Are Beautiful,” which features seven gorgeous plus-size models, including Crystal Renn, fully disrobed along with a story about why size bias exists in the fashion industry when size 14 is what the highest percentage of women wear. Also love the Dare of the Month, “Whoa! Check Out That Cougar,” where a 70-year-old in a green pantsuit went around smooching young dudes. Oh, and there’s a new Jake on page 146. On the eh side of things, “The Two Second Way To Feel Prettier”—wear perfume—is a real let-down and we’re not sure why the magazine is yelling at us, “Bronzer Now!”
Grade: A-

Annoyingly, you won’t actually arrive at an article until page 96, when your fingers are already tired of flipping and you’ve spent a full few minutes digesting the yuckitude of the cover. Also not feeling the giant pat on the back which is the magazine’s coverage of their own Fashion’s Night Out event in September. Things got a little more interesting in the story “Moonlighting Models,” which profiles models who’ve gone on to design. I also want to eat a Uttwiler Spatlauber apple from Switzerland, since the mag tells me it might be the fountain of youth. Obviously, the fashion stories are gorg—especially “Midnight In the Garden of Good,” which prominently features clothes in lovely shades of green. However, I have to wonder if “green fashion” is the best theme for an issue of Vogue? Can hardly imagine Anna Wintour planting a garden.
Grade: B-

Elle has declared this issue the “Women in Hollywood Issue,” as if any issue of any women’s mag ever is anything but that. It kicks off with a power list, which to our chagrin pits Tyra Banks at the top but also introduces us to some really cool women behind the pop-culture scenes. Next, Joe Zee rates the outfits of ladies who showed up to the “Sex and the City 2″ casting call. The issue’s fashion pages are wonderfully eclectic, telling us to embrace everything from screen-siren animal prints to “Beverly Hills, 90210″ chic. I was fascinated by the story “Girl Crazy” about women who try to influence the gender of their babies by eating tons of calcium, etc. Also loved Nick Hornby writing about Carey Mulligan, who stars in his new must-see “An Education.” And the pièce de résistance of the issue: interviews with the likes of Katie Holmes, Emily Blunt, Julie Andrews, and many more.
Grade: A-