Tuesday, 14 August 2012

5 Problems with "Fashion" Magazines

Fashion blogs have been something of a revelation for me. I've always thirsted to know more about fashion, but somehow it always felt like it was a world reserved especially for the for the fashion elite, editor's, models, and so forth. I had no real idea of what to expect from the world of fashion blogging when I signed up. What I found opened a new world, it was as if what I had been looking for for years in fashion  magazines, was finally there. No more looking through countless pages of advertisements in order to find one small article, with a few small pictures of the latest runway show. I was finally able to get real objective opinions on what was coming out of fashion week, and what was trending on the streets. What I realized from this was how fashion magazines, even the most elite of them, are just a lump of paper.

I've never subscribed to a fashion magazine before, sometimes I'll find one lying around the house, so I'll pick it up and flip through it for a couple of minutes. The headlines on the front cover always seem so promising, latest fall trends, what designers are saying about this season's looks, but it always falls short. Not only is the table of contents spread out over three pages in the middle of the magazine, but there often isn't any article even remotely like the one advertised on the front cover. I never feel satisfied after reading a fashion magazine, there is no substance, it's all fluff.

Some people will argue that certain magazines are better than others, and that is true, up to a certain extent. For the purposes of this post I bought the latest copy of Elle, Harper's Bazaar, and then sourced out a Vogue from a couple of months back that I had. I've read each one of them, cover to cover, to figure out what the problem is with the traditional fashion magazine.

Irrelevant Articles

Irrelevant articles are something else I've found very unsatisfactory when it comes to fashion magazines. For instance, while reading Harper's Bazaar, I came across an article on vegans. I have to honestly say that when I buy a fashion magazine, it's not to read about veganism, it's to read about fashion. Another example is a story in Vogue on antidepressants, this has to do with clothing how? I would say that Vogue is the worst when it comes to irrelevant articles. On the April cover, of the six headlines, only one has even mentions anything fashion related. I'm not saying I want every single article to be devoted to what's in style, but the majority should be.

Celebrity "Interviews"


Celebrities have a huge impact on what we wear and what the designers create. For instance, Audrey Hepburn was a muse for Givenchy, and now more recently people like Kate Middleton and Lady Gaga are having there own influence in the fashion world. Fashion magazines capitalize on rich and famous people by writing about them. What ends up happening however, is that fashion gets sidestepped, and instead the articles focus around their life. An example would be in Elle, there was a questions and answers interview with Tom Hardy. Not a single question had even the remotest allusion to anything fashion, instead it played on how much of a romantic he is. Another example would be in Harper's Bazaar, with an article on the Ecclestone heiresses. I felt like this story was much better suited to a Vanity Fair type magazine. The main focus on the article was to explain to people that, just because they are rich, doesn't mean they just sit around all day.

Beauty&Lifestyle, Not Fashion

The beauty and fashion industry are very closely associated; however, in my mind, they are still two separate entities. Fashion magazines, on the other hand, seem to treat them as interchangeable. I find that too much emphasis is put onto the beauty side of things in a fashion magazine. Almost half of the articles in fashion magazines put their emphasis on beauty and/or lifestyle. In Harper's Bazaar there were five different interviews with women called Beauty Diaries which included diet, fitness, skincare, makeup, hair, and body. Like I've said before I'm not completely adverse to having a little bit of everything, but I still think fashion should be the bigger focus. There are already plenty of  magazines focusing on beauty etc. Another example is on the cover of my Vogue magazine. Of the six different cover stories, three are focused on beauty and lifestyle, with only one about fashion. 

Cover Story&Women

There are a selected few in the world with a truly unique sense of personal style, but that's not to say they don't exist. The women who grace the cover of fashion magazines are all too often the generic celebrity. Celebrities are fortunate enough to have enough money to dress in the latest designer clothes, it doesn't mean that they necessarily have the greatest sense of style. Celebrities on the cover of magazines are there to sell the magazine, editors cash in on their popularity. Because theses women don't have particularly interesting styles, they end up writing about their careers, their love life etc. Like the rest of the  magazine the cover stories tend to be just a lot of fluff and not a lot of fashion.


I would say the obvious problem is too many ads. I started counting the number of ads in the Vogue magazine, but stopped after it reached over 100, and I hadn't even gotten half way through the magazine. Of course I understand the purpose of ads, multimillion dollar corporations have to make money somehow. What I object to are some of the kind of ads. It's fine in a fashion magazine to advertise clothes, but what I don't want are dozens of Botox and anti wrinkle cream ads. Unlike a lot of people, I don't agree that beauty and fashion are in the same industry. Ads for Armani, or gucci are O.K. because they actually show CLOTHES, something not often found in fashion magazines otherwise.

Fashion magazines are overrated, and don't deserve all of the hype they receive. The majority of the content found in these magazines would be just as suited to a celebrity magazine such as Vanity Fair. I don't want to have to work to find fashion in a so called fashion magazine, especially now that I've found the world of fashion blogs.

What do you think of the traditional fashion magazine? Do you prefer reading fashion blogs to magazines?


  1. I defenitely prefer reading blogs than fashion magazines :)
    have a nice day ♥

  2. I actually love sitting down with a magazine.. I get inspiration from their editorial photo spreads and I enjoy the articles that aren't always about fashion.

    xo Jennifer


  3. Wow!This is absolutely amazing post honey!Everything!;)

  4. people need to start realizing that it's not like a fashion magazine! pictures are chosen carefully from a massive bunch of pictures. There's make involved, professional that actually will make you look at your best. Not only that, nowadays with a little bit of help from photoshop, you can loose few pounds. Nobody looks like the fancy pictures in real life. There's the foundation of course, but that's just a flawless reality that unfortunately is meant to exist only on paper/magazine/jpeg


  5. I can see what you mean, I actually am subscribed to many magazines but never really get a chance to really read them. The one that stuck out to me the most about your points was the celebrity interviews. The photo you have about the billionaire sisters I read and really had no point, really bugged me.


  6. I've never really understood the fascination with magazines and so I am not surprised by what you've said here. I much prefer the world of blogging and networking with other real people rather than airbrushed models.

  7. As much as I love blogging, I have to blatantly disagree. Blogs are great for the latest and greatest - but you have to realize that a lot of that comes off the runway and that editorials are usually huge inspirations for blogger looks even though many bloggers don't always cite them. No blogger will ever replace the magic of a avant garde editorial in my mind but I do agree with you via celebrity interviews although all the magazines you've mentioned could be considered lifestyle (mags like ID for example focus more purely on fashion/art). I don't know if your copy of Vogue is US but there are pretty big differences amongst different Vogues and US Vogue tends to pander to the mainstream a little more.


  8. This is a great post and I like how you broke down the points!! I only have subscription to Glamour but I must admit I do like to read articles that aren't always about fashion. Glamour has great ones about strong women who survived violence or did something for the community. Its great to read about these people and how much they have accomplished, very inspirational. If you get a chance, please check out my blog http://glambrownie.com, would love to know what you think. XX

  9. Fashion blogs for sure! I of course love reading magazines, but I like the sense of immediate fashion with blogs! Great post- following you :)


  10. Nice post! These are amazing magazines.

    Much love from the SABO SKIRT girls!
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  11. I love reading fashion blogs much more than magazines!

    If you like it, follow my blog about life and fashion in LA, on Bloglovin'. Let me know in the comments and I will follow back ;)

    LA By Diana Live Magazine

  12. I like blogs more than magazines. There are so many amazing, inspirational people in the world :)


  13. yess, blogging is more interesting,
    we always can find amazing peple, with amazing style and a lot of awesome stuff,
    but in te magazines, everything looks similiar sometimes,


  14. My favourite magazines! ♥ Lovely photos! :)


  15. It really depends on the fashion magazine. I definitely agree with the ones you have been looking at, but there is some stuff out there that is a bit more artzy, and which I find to be a great inspiration. Such as this one from my own country: http://danskmagazine.com/
    The thing about the magazines is that they are written by professionals. Blogs are (usually) written by amateurs and consumers. Each approach has its merits: The professionals often have some insights that the amateurs don't. However, they can be too sleek, to impersonal, and I don't always agree with the kind of body image they convey...
    Anyway, thanks for the thorough analysis. It was fun thinking about.

    Sanne - Copenhagenish.me

    1. I took a look at the Dansk website, it is definitely more arty. It's true that sometimes bloggers don't have the professional know how of a fashion editor.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  16. Oh those covers look really lovely! :)
    All the best,

    Jana & Vanessa from charming Berlin ♥

  17. I recently bought the September issue of vogue and it was a waste of $6.00. 962 pages and it was mostly ads.

  18. Great post !

    Love your style and see you as such as good inspiration :) !

    I'm an instant follower of you now :)

    Please feel free to check out my blog if you have the time



  19. nice dress! :*


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