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This Month In The Lady Mags: The Epic Mags Of September

The September issues of women’s magazines are on newsstands now. So which of these extra heavy beasts is best for taking in fall fashions? After the jump, we’ve rounded up the highlights from each magazine, so you can see which is worth your $3.99. Allure
I’ve been so overloaded with Kim Kardashian popping up everywhere that I sort of just saw a blank void on this month’s cover of Allure. Her interview doesn’t reveal anything new except that she is hairless and was voted “most likely to lie about their ethnicity” in high school, whatever that means. The gems of this issue lie in the less advertised articles. A piece about the psychology behind why Tiger‘s mistresses look the way they do, and why Woods went for them is honest and intriguing for a story that has been out of steam for months. As usual, fashion and beauty dominate most of the content, some of which is helpful like tips on how to finally master sexy military style. And then there is the unnecessary, such as a six-page article on skin and a study on eyebrows around the world.
Grade: B-

Marie Claire
I’ve become so used to Mary-Kate Olsen‘s bag lady look that I was shocked to see her bare legs in Elle. Equally revealing was MK’s interview, in which she not only talked about her childhood but the amount of dedication she and Ashley put into their clothing line, The Row. Still, I refuse to pay $250 for a t-shirt. Speaking of things I refuse, I was underwhelmed by what Marie Claire had to offer fashion-wise. Most pages featured faux fur, fringe, feathers, and camo—all things that make me go “meh.” But then again, I’m no Nina Garcia. The most startling article in the issue was “Still Waiting After All These Years…” which is about the rape of Heather Lazaro that was made even more tragic by the fact that her rape kit was not tested until 13 years after her horrific attack. She is one of thousands of women who have been waiting years to get results from their kits, only to discover they have been destroyed, forgotten, or misplaced. I feel enraged and heartbroken I didn’t know about this sooner.
Grade: B+

Vogue
The September issue heavyweight Vogue is back in its usual 700+ page splendor. Even Halle Berry knows it’s a big deal. The stunning actress has been trying to keep a low profile but admits in her interview, “There is no way I could say, ‘No, I’m not going to big in the biggest issue of the year.’” Of course all that heft is filled with fashion galore. This issue is all about curves—whether it’s a person’s shape or clothes. Two articles look at different ends of the style timeline, with one focusing on the feminine ’50s form and how it is affecting fashion today, so naturally Christina Hendricks is mentioned. The other article explores how the popularity of the curvier Victoria’s Secret model is already making changes to what’s on the runway. Keeping with the ’50s theme, the nostalgic photo spread “Sweater Girl” re-educates you on why breasts have also been dubbed sweater puppies. And If you are looking for a little fun among the mounds of pages, than “Monsters Inc” is a must-see. It’s a spread populated by brightly colored fur-covered Gumbys that I am guessing have a person inside. It must have sucked to be the model who booked that photo shoot.
Grade: A -

Elle
The slimmer Elle clocks in at just over 550 pages. The alternate black-and-white cover with Javier Bardem sharing a smooch is heart-tickling enough to make me want to see “Eat Pray Love.” Her interview offers up a sassier Roberts than I expected, matched with photos for each stage in her film’s journey. I can’t help but notice that she looks a little uncomfortable in “Eat,” which would be my most natural stage. You know what isn’t natural? A 16-year-old pop star and a Kardashian pretending to have a relationship, but unfortunately that is exactly what’s going on in Kim and Justin Bieber‘s shoot called the “The Graduate.” Modeled after the movie, the shoot reeks more of uninterested mother with son—not older seductress and her prey. Fashion-wise, Elle was extremely satisfying—dare I say more than Vogue? Their trends section is full of playful “Star Trek” and cathedral-inspired gear. Looking at the “Fall Shopping Guide,” with all of its dark brown and green hues and serious cuts, had me a little disappointed. But that’s just because I have yet to accept that summer is rapidly melting away.
Grade: A -

Harper’s Bazaar
Bazaar also decided to go black and white for the cover with an image of Jennifer Aniston channeling Barbra Streisand. This mag’s fashion predictions for the fall: short heels, lots of leather, the color red, leopard print, and simple shapes. Inside the mag, Jenny Sanford pens an article about how leaving her cheating hubby was the right thing to do. A few pages later, Calvin Klein interviews adorable Marc Jacobs. In one of the photos you get a great look at his butt crack. But this issue was all about the photo spreads. In addition to the “Funny Girl” homage, there’s a hilarious one with Rachel Zoe playing off her “I Die” catchphrase—it has images of designers like Vera Wang and Michael Kors trying to kill her and the whole thing feels very Hitchcockian. Also awesome, a spread with the men of “Bored To Death”—Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Zack Galifianakis—modeling fall clothes in comic strips. Very cool.
Grade: A

Essence
Essence is always a relief after drowning in the perfume samples and snobbery that accompany some of our other lady mags. This issue kept the focus on real people with its “Money Dares” section, providing anecdotes on how everyday people dealt with financial pickles, like paying off $17K worth of debt. Eek! As a sometimes glitzy girl, having a guide to mix metallics into your wardrobe without looking like a disco ball will definitely save me from some embarrassment. Meanwhile, the clothes in “Fall Finest” were nice, but I couldn’t stop looking at the model who must be a Tyra Banks-and-Naomi Campbell love child. Otherwise, most of this month’s issue was dedicated to creating its own version of People‘s “50 Most Beautiful People.” Except that instead of focusing on beauty, this is about ladies who are actually creating change. See, I told you Essence could be refreshing
Grade: A

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