The October issues have gone on a diet. At least, they’ve slimmed down from last month’s fashion binge fest. So which one of these thinner volumes is the best to get you ready for fall? After the jump, we’ve rounded up the highlights from each magazine, so you can see which is worth your $3.99. Elle
It’s Elle‘s 25th anniversary this month, and the landmark pretty much drives this issue. As a way to play with hitting this big anniversary, Elle rounded up 25 promising 20-something ladies who are kicking butt at what they do. Some of the selected include Lea Michele, Lindsay Vonn, Anna Kendrick, Megan McCain and Gabourey Sidibe—who is one of this month’s glowing cover girls! The pictures have fun with old styles, but the segment is greatly lacking in any actually substance.
The rest of the issue is dominated by fashion and different approaches to this season’s must-have classics, which has left me drooling and aching to spend money on trench coats and tuxedo jackets. The issue once again celebrates its birthday by using old covers as inspiration for outfits and redesigning them with new styles. All the looks turn out pretty desirable, except for the clothes taking a cue from the ’80s neon swimsuit cover. Due to devotion to looking back at the past and how far Elle has come, this month’s mag is definitely lacking in some of the bold features that you usually expect. Grade: B
Oh, Vogue. I can’t explain how much easier it was to lug you back from the newsstand now that you are three pounds lighter. But that doesn’t mean you’re lacking. This month talk of style is limited to acknowledging rising trends, like of one my personal favorites—the use of chain in a wide variety of accessories.
With fashion taking somewhat of a break from its hot and heavy relationship with Vogue, I found myself more immersed in other articles. The look into the quickly evolving plastic surgery fad I will call “body Botox” is a haunting reminder of just how far people will go for their definition of perfection. This new fad involves injecting a variety of barely studied chemicals, fats, and other substances in almost every part of your body to have it look younger. What happened to people being afraid of needles?
The true gem in this issue is the profile on Carey Mulligan, solely because she seems like such a insanely likable person, spouting out witticisms and opinions in a way that is both refreshing and welcoming. I loved the line, “I don’t want to look like an actress; I want to look like a person,” in regards to what her workouts goals are. I sense a new girl crush coming on. Grade: B+
I have been preparing myself for this issue of Marie Claire, featuring Katie Holmes as cover girl. I thought I’d read the cover story and still feel certain that the Cruise-Holmes relationship is phony. But I finished believing every word that came out of her mouth about love and her family. If anything, Holmes just came across as tired, but personable and content, and I think that shows in her photos. While this rather brief interview was interesting, it was the love and sex section this month that really amused me. Highlights included an article on paying people to do all the online work of online dating and excerpts from the The Snuggie Sutra—yes, that is exactly what you think it is, sex with your Snuggie as a prop.
What did disappoint this month was fashion, with a focus on trends like nordic knits, shearling, and furs. I felt like we skipped a season or that I was being advised to become a lumberjack. The other major point deductor was a 12-page Walgreens ad disguised to look like magazine content. I know you advertisers are trying to be tricky, but 12 straight pages? Come on! Grade: B +
So we have had Lucky on the back burner for a little while, and now we are ready to let it come out and play. The mag brings its usual dose of fashion, this month helping people gear up for fall with irresistible rich colors like plum. What I found best for a poor, not-so-style-savvy college student like me is how accessible the style seemed in this issue. The content remained focused on prints, colors, and simple styles, instead of detailed outfits, which allows me the ability to easily mimic the looks without having to buy the exact items. Though I did figure out I have nowhere near enough cardigans or bags.
Speaking of purses, Lucky breaks down the must-have fall bags into five groups, which not only shows how certain styles best suit certain carriers, but also the impressive variety of options you have when looking for a cute carry-all or sassy satchel. Now, if only they weren’t all so pricey. Aside from this, Lucky doesn’t have too much to offer this time, with cover girl Ellen Pompeo revealing her pretty predictable style. Though she gets rather unexpected fashion inspiration from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Grade: B
I really have a problem when a celebrity photo shoot is labeled “grown-up” and “sexy.” There is just something inherently pervy about those two words together. Well, Glamour put me face-to-face with another one these shoots, this time focused on Lea Michele. I would say the photos are cute if anything, and probably only called “sexy” because she is sans pants for one shot. Anyways, the interview remains pretty superficial. Lea talks about how she loves the “Glee” cast, loves her family, loves her boyfriend, and loves to eat. Basically, the girl has got a lot of love in her.
The rest of the content in this issue is a mix of extremes. We are served up ways to pull off a black and white outfit and then a page later—BAM!—here are the brights you want to wear this season. As a girl who plays with both, I have no complaints. Then there are the articles, half of which have a Cosmo-esque tone such as “How To Get Over The Guy You Can’t Get Over,” which is sandwiched between some serious girl power articles. My personal favorite was a study that looked into the myths that breast cancer means infertility and that those diagnosed are getting younger. Glad to hear neither is the case. Grade: A-
Allure is bringing its A-game this issue with their annual survey of the best in beauty. They go all-out, segregating their picks into accessible categories—even giving the cheap stuff its own section to shine. For those who don’t want to flip through all those pretty pictures, there is a guide in the back that breaks down where every product can be found.
Amongst all the celebration for the best of the best, Allure made one no-no that stuck out to me. My beef is that the mag calls out Miley Cyrus for going by the Britney Spears playbook and unleashing her “inner tramp.” Yes, Miley has made an very obvious decision to go sexier, but that does not gives this magazine the right to use such careless and tacky language. Who didn’t have her “trampy” days when she was 17?
The other article of note was, of course, Blake Lively‘s cover story, in which she gushed about wanting babies and restaurants. But it was also filled with other fun facts, like that Lively always takes a cooking class in the places she travels to, and that her dad took her mother’s maiden name at marriage. Overall, she comes off as much less dramatic than her “Gossip Girl” character. But by looking at her favorite things list, you can tell she definitely has Serena’s expensive taste. Grade: A-