This Month In Lady Mags: Bundling Up For November

It’s November mag time, but that doesn’t mean fall weather is in the forecast. Escape from the windy, cold reality of the world with a mix of vacation clothes and sunny celebrity interviews that this month’s lady mags are offering up. After the jump, we’ve rounded up the highlights from each magazine, so you can see which is worth your $3.99. Glamour

Glamour knows you are easing into fall, so the mag’s keeping things simple this issue. Fashion stays cuddly this month with cozy sweaters and coats that make me want to go outside and snuggle up to a color-changing tree. The articles inside address things like lady love rules, dealing with adult acne, and whether “friends with benefits” can really ever work. My favorite piece was by a writer who pulled a “Supersize Me” and only ate food she saw on television for a week. The results? SCARY.

Also check out the piece about Army wives who make money as surrogate mothers while their husbands are away. But the Taylor Swift interview is everything you have already heard: She loves love, writes music about boys, and is still polite about the whole Kanye thing. Overall, Glamour isn’t packing any major punches, but is perfectly digestible. Ideal for some browsing during a pedicure.

Grade: B+

Marie Claire

Instead of getting you snuggled into winter clothes, Marie Claire is totally disregarding the change of season. Instead of sweaters, this mag is throwing out bold-colored vacation wear and punched-up accessories that get my heart racing, but my brain blathering on about how impractical it all is. This issue also contains a helpful guide on the must-have makeup looks that are right for your skin tone. On the darker side, a story about the mail-order bride who gets set up with a monster of a man is a necessary reality check. One that helps you realize how fortunate you really are, and how much you don’t know about the world.

While my cashier at Duane Reade was far from enthused about Victoria Beckham gracing the cover of this month’s issue, the former Spice Girl gave an honest interview. She admits that she looks like a bitch in photos, but says that’s just because she is showing her tough side against the paparazzi. In the story, she tries to show some softer energy, talking about her role as mother and fashion figure. Victoria is also pretty frank about knowing her man David is quite the catch and often finds that she is telling herself, “You done good, girl,” while admiring a naked Becks on her bed.

Grade: B+

Elle

This Elle is packed with so much content that my head is still spinning. The November issues brims with interviews and profiles. My fave: a look at James Franco‘s book debut, Palo Alto. The main focus of this month is all about ladies in power, starting off with the appropriately named “The Power List,” which categorizes all the ladies who are big names—whether it be as lawyers, executives, or animators—making big money in the biz.

The cover story focuses on starlets who have been headliners for years. And frankly I am sick of some of them—I am looking at you, Kate Hudson and Gwyneth Paltrow. The blurbs about each actress are informative but overall lacking the “wow” factor that makes me want to read the whole section. Though fashion takes a back seat for this issue, there are some worthwhile spreads, including the trends section that breaks down French style in a series of equally adorable and elegant looks. In the end, I left this issue having learned nothing new about Kate Hudson, but dying to buy dozens of Parisian-inspired pink dresses.

Grade: B

Essence

For a lady mag, Essence never shies away from big issues, and this month they hit it hard. There were the usual helpful girly tidbits, like how to rock leather gloves with an outfit and where to find the sexy single men. But the rest of the pages are dedicated to the unwieldy beast that is race, tackling a variety of discussions and problems that are present in America today. The must-reads for me were the investigation into Obama hate groups and what to do when your boss is blatantly racist. The rest of the “Race of America” section varies in poignancy. The printed round table discussion on why race still matters—featuring figures like Soledad O’Brien and Al Sharpton—stays honest and electric, leap-frogging through a variety of issues that are all met with strong opinions.

This busy crossfire makes the cover story on actress Kerry Washington rather weak. The sad two-page spread spends more time talking about her upcoming projects than anything of actual substance. You leave knowing about her retreat to India before working in Hollywood, but most of the content could be gleaned from her IMDb.com page. To end on a positive note, make sure to check out 74-year-old Ernestine Shepherd on page 79. This lady is sporting a six-pack and rock-hard arms that would make Madonna jealous.

Grade: B+

Cosmopolitan

Have you missed Cosmo? Don’t worry, it hasn’t changed. The Katy Perry cover is far better than the belly button-less disaster that was Britney Spears. This issue features some of the usual help on how to make your man happy in bed (actual headline: “First, Take Off His Pants”), but also takes some playful jabs at the menfolk. On page 59, the mag asks guys try to draw a woman’s reproductive organs—it turns out both terrifying and hilarious. And they’ve also put together a feature called “S**t My Boyfriend Says,” featuring gems like “Do you get off when you insert a tampon?” Sigh.

While being hard on men, Cosmo also features some men that aren’t hard to look at, lining up 50 studly bachelors from across the country; though, we’ve learned it’s best not to read all of their interviews. By some bizarre act of God, Ian Somerhalder lost out to Alex Rodriguez as the top celebrity bachelor. But lucky for me, Ian got his own fashion spread where he could be the brooding, blue-eyed beauty that he is.

Meanwhile, Perry keeps it chesty but toned down in her interview by wearing a selection of muted nighties. The interview, on the other hand, stays lively, making Katy come across as a well-developed 9-year-old. The piece did offer some adorable insight into her and Russel Brand‘s relationship, including their mutual love of kittens and how Perry used sky writing for the first time she said those three little words. Jeez! Between the boobs, girl-on-girl kissing, and awesome stunts, Perry is making it hard for us other ladies.

Grade: C+

Lucky

My senses were attacked when I picked up this month’s issue of Lucky. Ed Hardy scents started assaulting my nostrils. And my eyes were saddened to see that the usually approachable-looking Kristen Bell was blasted with makeup and decked-out in some kind of glorified velour track pants. Not a very good way to be greeted by a magazine that is all about style. Luckily for Lucky, the inside was a different world from what I saw on the cover. Bell offered up her favorite things, some of which were surprisingly affordable—hello, $5 dry shampoo. The fall jewelry guide left me with a long list of accessories that might come into life with my next paycheck, especially those from the brightly colored “party” section. But some of these must-haves cost insane amounts of money I don’t have. It is always a letdown when you fall in love with an item that is presented like it should be easily attainable. Damn you, $4,000 dollar bracelet!

The the rest of the issue shows you fall’s essential coats, tights, sweaters, and jackets while remaining in the realm of financially possible. I now have an Old Navy trip in my future, to check out a luxurious red wool coat which is matched with a lovely $90 price tag. Rashida Jones ends this issue curling up in all the different sweaters you have at your disposal this season. At least Lucky isn’t trying to ignore the fact that autumn is here.

Grade: B

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