I remember buying my first magazine. It was 2004 and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were on a dual cover of Seventeen. I was 13 and tagging along on a business trip with my parents over the summer. Being a part of the diehard MK & A generation, I asked my mom if I could buy the magazine. (I used to be at Walmart the day the new MK & A VHS - for the steep price of $20 - released every year, and I tried weekly to join their fan club. Weekly, my mom pleasantly declined my request). She said yes to the magazine, however, because all good habits start young, and my mom passed the magazine-loving gene right along to me.
From this point on, I was hooked. Seventeen, Teen Vogue, ELLE Girl. These later became InStyle, Vogue, and PeopleStyle. Stacks of magazines filled my room (not a hoarder...not a hoarder...maybe a hoarder?). I had a binder I kept in a pink, striped Merimekko bag my mom had brought me back from NYC as a souvenir. My binder was, for lack of a better term, my mid-2000's Pinterest. I would cut out anything and everything from my magazines and organize them by type; shoes, dresses, tops, jackets, patterns, shapes, brands. They each had their home, and I would flip through it dreaming one day I could be part of that world. Pinterest happened some time during my college career, and my binder collection lessened as my Pinterest boards grew. I still have my binder though, and it serves as some wonderful inspiration and helps remind me the passion was there long before the digital accessibility I am now met with.
Even though the fashion inspo world has transitioned a lot to places like Pinterest and Instagram, I still find magazines fascinating. Whether it's discovering new designers, online shops, reading a really interesting article, or to look through the ads and try to find the common themes and trends. While I am an avid Pinterest and Instagram user, sometimes the re-pins and reposts seem to make the content somewhat tainted for me. Magazines always remind me of the purest, simplest form of inspiration. They are handcrafted by so many different minds, and the content in them is specific to month, season, and time of life in our culture. They keep creativity alive for me, and they keep curiosity alive for me. They bring me much joy whether it be on the beach, in the bath, on a plane, in a waiting room, or in the car, you name it. Remember when all there was to do in someone's guest bathroom was reading their who-knows-how-old magazines?! What a dream.
Magazines have often times felt like the enemy. Why aren't you reading a book? Or the paper? Ummmmm...have you ever opened Vogue? Seriously, if you haven't, go find a Vogue and open it. It is a fashion publication not for the faint of heart. I'm newly 26 and only in the past few years will I even buy it because of its density. What was the enemy of my teen years now seems to be lessened by the digital world, which frequently gets most of the critiques. I'm no stranger to this world- I'm a product of the digital generation, owning an iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro.
When I think about the availability of everything that is now digitally at our fingertips, I still think back to teenage me, sitting on my bedroom floor, cutting and sorting photos from my Seventeen or Teen Vogue magazines. Digital media and print media compliment one another, but neither can totally replace the other. For me, it isn't necessarily the information, but the experience, that keeps me coming back to print. Whether it's books for you, or the newspaper, or you're a magazine reader like me, there's just something about it.
I can't help but think of Carrie Bradshaw, and Mr. Big telling her she might be the last person in New York that still holds a library card.
Big: Are you the last person in New York still taking out library books?
Carrie: I love the smell.
My Top 3 in Fashion:
1. InStyle || Best for all ages; best for engaging articles; most relatable/reasonable in price point
2. PeopleSTYLE || Best for on-trend, shoppable items at all price points
3. Vogue || Best for following the depth/meat of the fashion world, fashion forecasting, designers, and major influencers
My Top 3 in Home + Lifestyle:
1. Real Simple || Best for home tips, DIY tricks, easy recipes, & meaningful/inspiring articles
2. Better Homes & Gardens || Best for home inspo on a budget
3. Southern Living || Best for all-around southern everything
Coastal Living || Best for coastal style, travel, & eats, and highlighting unique coastal towns
House Beautiful || Best for home design, decor, and some major inspo
People || Best for travel days, celebrity gossip, pop culture
ProTip 1: Always better to subscribe. It's literally like Buy One Get Nine. Warning: watch for automatic renewal notices. They are sneaky.
ProTip 2: Things I use Groupon for: random massages, and magazine subscriptions. Around late November every year, Groupon starts advertising for discounted magazine subscriptions. While it is cheaper to subscribe regardless, the $5 price tag for 1 full year is awesome. But, again, beware of automatic renewal notices. They are sneaky, and it often looks like junk mail.