Why Not . . . Read the September Fashion Issues?
Wednesday August 10, 2011

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Every Vogue September 2010 issue

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”

– Dalai Lama

The much anticipated September issue from Anna Wintour’s Vogue fashion bible was something as a pre-teen I wasn’t privy to, but was able to at least observe that there was something very significant about it. I was baffled and in awe of the enormity of it and compared it to the size of my textbooks at the time. How could such a thing exist and more importantly, why does it exist?

It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I began to subscribe, and only ignorantly so, as I had heard it referred to endlessly in Sex and the City (yes, at this point in my fashion obsession, I was a follower), but with time and a passionate appreciation and love for fashion, I began to realize why, as someone who adores dressing up and expressing myself through fashion, this particular issue was worth my fistful of dollars.

In becoming aware of the trends, styles and tendencies each season, we as consumers learn the rules and then are able to break them effectively because it isn’t until we understand something that we are then able to confidently wear the current styles however we see fit or not at all based on our understanding of what works best on our individual physique.

Here is a list of what I have come to understand about the contents of the September issue of Vogue or any other fashion magazine that becomes available in August on the newsstands or arrives in our mailboxes.

Navigate the Trends

Unless you are involved in the fashion industry or have ample time to peruse the internet devouring all of the runways shows that take place in spring revealing the upcoming fall fashions, the September issues succinctly organize, categorize and summarize the leading trends for the upcoming fall season.  When you are able to understand what will be prevalently displayed in stores, you are better able to plan your fall shopping as you stock your closet, fill in the gaps and indulge in a few trends.  I can remember many times in the past when I created a list without being aware of what designers were optioning only to be disappointed when looking for certain items.

Eliminate Distracters

Once you are aware of the trends, designs, cuts and colors, you can then, based on your proportions, color undertones and lifestyle, eliminate immediately what not to worry about and focus solely on what will.  This will save you time, frustration and loss of sanity.

Discern Must-Have Classics

Within each season, revisited classics emerge – the trench, neutral colors, cardigans, collared shirts, shift dresses, etc., depending on what inspired the designer – and once you are able to recognize them, you can then decide which classics would be worth an investment for your closet based on what is missing from your 10 essential wardrobe items list.

Which Accessories to Play With

Every season, designers play with accessories, necklace lengths, handbag prototypes, the widths of belts and everything in between. While you may want to invest in a beautiful new tote, you may not want to spend excessive amounts of money on the necklaces or bracelets of the moment as they change it seems every year.  This is where knowing what the trend is comes in handy because then you can visit your favorite costume jewelry retailer, purchase a few trendy pieces, but not spend much money.

Become Color & Texture Savvy

Each new season always brings with it the desire for designers to play with texture and of course color. At this point, it is imperative that you understand which colors are most flattering for your skin tone (do you have warm or cool undertones?).  Upon understanding what works best for you specifically, you can eliminate the colors that won’t work and focus on what will. And always be willing to play with texture. By flipping through the seemingly unending pages of ads, editorials and articles, you can view numerous ways to wear and pair certain textures.

Heel & Toe Mastery

As with new cuts and styles in clothing occurring each season, so too follow the ever-changing types of toes and heels in the footwear that strut down the runways. Staying on top of this knowledge will alert you perhaps to styles you have tucked away in your closet that can re-emerge for some show and tell, or give you a reason to embark on a bit of shoe shopping therapy.

What to Place on the Wait-List

While it is enticing to want to purchase everything on your fall wardrobe shopping list in August and September, remember that each season comes to an end and with this end inevitability, so too comes the end-of-fall sales.  Determine what on your list will most likely be unavailable if you wait until the end, and on the other hand, what you can wait for and (fingers crossed) receive a deal of a bargain on come November and December.

If you are a someone who is a lover of fashion or simply just wants to look your best as you go about your daily routine, view the September fashion issues as refreshers on continually dressing well and exuding the fabulousness that you possess. How one dresses is an expression of what resides within them, so consider purchasing one or two September issues of your favorite fashion rags, carving out a few hours this month and making a list of what speaks to you.  Once you have that list, compare it to your specific Essential Clothing shopping list and continue to build a closet that possesses quality and a few trends. Happy shopping!

View the covers of the follow September 2011 Issues:

*Vogue US
*Vogue UK
*Vogue Paris
*Vogue Australia
*Elle UK
*Elle US
*Harper’s Bazaar US
*Harper’s Bazaar UK

Out of curiosity, for those of you who already religiously purchase the September issues, I would love to hear what you gain from this purchase and how it influences how you approach the new season.

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5 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Read the September Fashion Issues?

  1. Hello Shannon, from I love that quote from Anna Wintour. Since I’ve become a blogger, I have become so much more aware of trends and my own personal style. Thank you for this post and your newsletter.

    Lisa x

  2. Religiously is a perfect way to describe the rush of sheer fun and joy I get just seeing the September issues hit the stands. I felt the same way growing up when the August Seventeen issue, fat with possibilities and promises, hit the newsstands. I adore this post, Shannon, and especially since I was going to ask you to share with your readers which fashion magazines you routinely subscribe to. Since your passion is fashion, do you basically get them ALL or do you cherry pick on a seasonal or monthly basis? Inquiring minds want to know! Thanks for this totally wonderful post!
    Love, Kay

  3. Kay – I can completely appreciate your love for the September issues. I am now patiently waiting for my Vogue issue to arrive with the lovely Kate Moss.

    As far as which fashion mags I subscribe to. I have a list, but there are always others I would love to peruse through and do pick up on the newsstand since I don’t subscribe to all. Here is what currently is delivered:

    Vogue US
    Elle US
    Elle UK
    Harper’s Bazaar US
    Town & Country (more lifestyle, but always has fashion)

    Magazines I always look at and will purchase if for the major fashion issues:

    Vogue UK

  4. Thanks, Shannon, for sharing that info! If you haven’t checked out the September issue of Vanity Fair, I recommend it! There’s a charming 4 pg spread with stunners from the upcoming Wallis Simpson-Edward film (directed by Madonna!); those pages alone are worth the price of admission for me!
    XO, Kay
    PS–Must say I’m feeling rather like Snoopy on the mailbox waiting for my Vogue. When I asked the customer service center why I saw newsstand issues before my subscribed issue came, she calmly answered: “Oh, the reason you subscribe is to ensure you don’t miss an issue—not to be the first to get it.” I had to sigh. It looks like a winner, though! Thanks again, Shannon. I’ve only started to explore the Brit issues, but I loved the Sept Vogue with Kate the Great on the cover, too!

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