I l-o-v-e fashion magazines. My bookshelves (yes, that’s plural) are practically overflowing with issues I’ve accumulated over the past year. And while I’m swimming in copies of Vogue, Glamour, W, and more, my heart will always belong to my first love, InStyle.
Growing up, I vividly remember my mom receiving InStyle every month. Leftover issues usually migrated to the family room, where I would flip through them every once and a while in between television shows. At that point I had no interest in the articles, but was drawn to the images. I would tear out pictures I liked best, stuffing them into folders for safekeeping.
Later on, when my interest in fashion revved up, InStyle was my first window into the industry. I devoured every page, reading not only the articles but the wardrobe credits for the editorial shots as well. I thought the people who put the magazine together were brilliant, and considered their words the fashion gospel. During this period, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was editor-in-chief of InStyle, hands down.
But then I discovered style.com (rest in peace). And Vogue. And Glamour. And Marie Claire. Gradually, InStyle slipped from my view. It still arrived every month, but I shunned it in favor of what I thought were more “high fashion” publications. I was, you see, a magazine snob.
I try to make myself feel better by saying my attitude is not all that uncommon. I get the feeling that many fashion followers count InStyle out, thinking it is too “mom” to be a stylish magazine. The thing is, though, that InStyle is an incredibly informed, well-written, and, yes, well-dressed publication. Every issue is always full industry buzz, from Diane von Furstenberg’s monthly column to the interviews with designers such as Alexander Wang and Giambattista Valli. The magazine is also uniquely invested in the Hollywood side of the fashion industry: In October, the InStyle crew hosted the first annual InStyle Red Carpet Awards, which honored the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Ansel Elgort, and more for their scene-stealing looks.
But the best thing about InStyle is not the red carpet coverage or insider interviews. It’s the accessibility. The editors present trend in a way that makes you feel as if even toughest trends (looking at you, mixing prints) can be pulled off “like that.” Not only that, but the “Shop” pages are full of chic buys form budget-friendly brands like Topshop and J.Crew. I bought a leather midi skirt at InStyle’s rec last year, and its one of my favorite pieces.
Looking back, I am so glad that InStyle was my entrée into fashion. Its pages instilled in me the principles of dressing with confidence. They helped me to see that fashion is not a spectator sport, and that I and I are as much as part of that “world” as the buyers and editors. What binds us together, you might ask? It’s simple, really: We all love clothes.
The next time you find yourself at a magazine kiosk, pick up an issue of InStyle. Flip through the photos, read some articles. I guarantee you’ll like what you see.