Buying magazines is nice. Browsing racks of thick, glossy goodness leaves you with a feeling like you should be in a movie right now because look at me browsing these magazines. Since I am very comfortable with my status as a try-hard poseur, I can confidently say I’ve bought magazines before with little intention to read them, it was just that they looked cool and I knew I would look cool buying them.
It’s a ridiculous thing, this life.
I do, in fact, also read magazines. I love them. I’m a massive book nerd deep in my core, but I love opening a mag and drooling over the editorials and fashion spreads. Even the advertisements are nice to look at (especially if we’re talking Vogue’s September issue. That thing is 40% adds and I live for it.)
One of the best things you can do is find a shop that has an extensive and somewhat odd selection of magazines. Chains are fine and dandy, but my preference goes to places that carry a lot international magazines. Honestly, the fashion spreads in those are just so much cooler. Independent places are key. When I lived in Kingston, I could trust Novel Idea’s small but wickedly awesome options. In Ottawa, it was Mags & Fags’ enormous selection of the hippest magazines you’ve never heard of. Here in Toronto, I’ve yet to find my Shangri-La of mags, but I’m always open to suggestions for good places.
SPEAKING OF SUGGESTIONS:
All magazines are fabulous, but some are more fabulous than others. In my time as a magazine aficionado, I’ve come across some mags that are, in my humble opinion, top notch. Here are my recommendations for some groovy reads.
Dazed (Formerly Dazed & Confused)*
Country of Origin: Britain
Dazed magazine is the quintessential cool-kids’ fashion magazine. The website has a lot of content you’ll see from other magazines: current events, cultural news, etc., but the magazine has eye-grabbing covers and interviews with some of the most interesting people in the industry you may or may not have heard of.
Extra points for expertly-styled editorials combining high and low-end fashion, with A+ photographers working their magic.
*Not to be confused with the excellent 1993 film by Richard Linklater.
Country of Origin: Scotland
In Bloom hasn’t been around long. In fact, the quarterly magazine only has three issues out to its name, but let me tell ya. Every issue so far is consistently gorgeous and unique. This is magazine I love purely for the editorials. When I first picked up an issue, I was blown away by the art direction and styling, and how the magazine is able to put such different editorials in the same issue and make it work.
Every single time I go back to flip through an issue, I weep for the fact that I will probably never style photoshoots as well as the contributors to this magazine can. I am (definitely not patiently) waiting for the next issue.
Country of Origin: United States of America
Fun fact: whenever I got my hands on a new issue of this magazine, I would immediately pop it off to my former roommate Selena, an industrial design student. Every time, I would burst into her room, flapping the magazine in the air going, “Bruh, you will LOVE.” Kinfolk is the only magazine on this list that isn’t a fashion magazine, or doesn’t regularly publish fashion spreads. I would call it a design and culture magazine for sorting purposes. And it is so fucking good.
It’s stupidly nice and every issue has a vague theme, such as “adrenaline” or “travel”. That should be pretentious but somehow it isn’t. The last winter issue I read had a one-page article on how the ways we carry and move our bodies change in the colder seasons. I liked that piece so much I got genuinely angry that it wasn’t me who wrote it. Super diverse content and wonderfully creative editorials. 10/10.
Country of Origin: Britain
Listen: I love this magazine. I love it so much I had dream that I worked there and when I woke up and realized it wasn’t true I actually cried. (It’s been determined in this post that I cry all the time.) Editorials, interviews, articles, everything about this magazine is top-shelf. My only complaint about it is biannual releases, but when you physically hold a copy and read it, you’ll understand why. I’m guessing this is a very expensive magazine to make, with different articles printed on different paper, all bound together in the same magazine. I can’t believe I’m talking about the paper, yet here we are.
It’s a thick magazine, filled with some damn good writing. There is advertising, but not as much as you would expect. Profiles cover everyone from actresses to athletes to scientists. There are some badass women interviewed for this magazine. It’s inspiring, beautiful and contains to-die-for fashion editorials. I’m not saying this part of the post is me screaming, “NOTICE ME,” at The Gentlewoman staff, but it pretty much is.