top 5 fashion magazines

As a female who is an aspiring photographer/fashion designer/artist/anything aesthetic, I have always been a collector of magazines. I have copies of Vogue sitting around my apartment (in tatters because I collage with all my magazines) from when I was in elementary school. I can't get enough of the glossy pages filled with beautiful images and how reading small chunks of their text makes me feel so much better about not finding the time to sit around and read an actual book. Now I want to share with you my top 5 fashion magazines.

1. Almost a year ago I was extremely surprised when an issue of NYLON appeared in my mailbox. A month later when it came again I was even more surprised. Somehow I managed to end up with a free 6 month subscription to this magazine. I had never read NYLON before my free subscription so I am very grateful that I ended up having a chance to check out this magazine. I love it! The photography in this magazine is beautiful. It isn't what one might usually expect from a magazine, the photography is creative (think Lomography - Holga, unconventional, dreamy images) at times and not the crisp airbrushed images usually seen gracing the pages of mags. The clothing in this magazine is always fun and quirky. I can't seem to get enough of it. The December/January 2008 issue featured Mary Kate Olsen as the cover girl and one of the photos taken of her for this magazine is one of my favorite photographs I have ever seen. If you haven't checked out NYLON, I suggest you do it now, it is a great magazine for the MTV generation. They have their finger right on the pulse and there are always some interesting finds in there. They even have a worthwhile website: NylonMag.com.

2. I have been subscribed to Marie Claire for about a year and a half now. My first impression from looking at the cover before becoming a subscriber was that this magazine was targeted towards an older audience than me, but upon further investigation I discovered what a truly great magazine it really is. They always have great people on the cover (i.e. Tina Faye, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and the month that Sex and the City the Movie came out, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon each had a cover shot) which of course means great interviews with those same people inside. Another thing that I love about Marie Claire was that they were involved with the VH1 show, The Shot which was a reality show about becoming a fashion photographer. I usually do not read sections of magazines where readers write in with questions, but in Marie Claire, there is a section called Cubicle Coach that I actually do read because I work in an office/cubicle setting and the advice is right on. You can get a brief taste of what the magazine is like at MarieClaire.com, but this is one of those magazines that are better as a magazine than they are as a website.

3. BUST Magazine almost didn't make my list because I had to think long and hard about whether or not I believe it even is a "fashion magazine" and I have decided that it is. The confusion for me is because there is so much going on in this magazine that amazes me that the fashion element falls out of focus for me. Issues are packed with "How to..." guides, "Do It Yourself" projects, artsy stuff, crafty stuff, and even recipes. From the exterior, one might write this magazine off for looking too "feminist", but in reality it is a magazine that really sets itself apart from the rest and I haven't seen any man-hating going on. This is a great magazine for creative-minded, intelligent women. Who says you have to be a grandma to be crafty? This magazine will show you how to make your own bikini, jewelry, and all kinds of other edgy things. It will keep your mind busy and shortly thereafter, it will keep your idle hands at play cooking or crafting. There is nothing more rewarding than having something beautiful and unique to wear that you have made yourself. Check out their website: Bust.com, it is in a blog format which I also love!

4. Cosmopolitan has changed the way that women look at sex. When you open the glossy pages of this magazine, it is unlikely that you are looking at it for the fashion, but it is in there (hidden in the volumes of sexual advice). These glossy pages are covered in high quality information and there is no doubt about that. If you are into quizzes that reveal your personality type, there has been one in almost every issue of Cosmo I have bought. If you are a fan of the magazine, you should check out their website Cosmopolitan.com. It is free (which is what the internet is all about anyway right?) and full of blogs (Bedroom Blog, Joe Hottie, Sexy Beauty Secrets, Cosmo Quickie Blogs, The Making of a Cosmo Girl, Secret Celebrity Diaries), columns, quizzes, and a forum so there is hardly any reason to even buy the magazine other than for the photos.

5. Glamour is another must-read fashion magazine. The absolute highlight of Glamour is of course the "Dos and Don'ts" section. I love to go back and look at issues from years ago because the "don'ts" are ten times more hilarious now than they even were back then. Another thing that I love about Glamour is the Health & Fitness section. Health & fitness and fashion should go hand in hand, but a lot of the time they don't. I know that I am out of shape so if I can get a magazine that covers all of the bases like Glamour, then I know I have a winner. This is another magazine that has an astounding website - Glamour.com - that makes you feel like you don't even need to buy the actual magazine.

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