on fashion magazines (and this week’s pinterest picks and reading links)

Hello, friends!

I’ve got a giant stack of fashion magazines at home right now, as usual. I can’t keep up with them all. I was thinking about them the other day and how I “read” them.

Vogue is my absolute favorite. I subscribe to American Vogue, Vogue Paris, and British Vogue, and they each have their own personalities. I don’t like the other magazines nearly so much, and I think there are two reasons for this. First, most fashion magazines tend to focus on trends. I despise those lists of what’s in and what’s out. Instead, Vogue focuses on styling clothes–both classic and newer styles–in interesting and unusual ways, and on showing a point of view. After all, clothing is all about what we communicate about ourselves, isn’t it? We don’t necessarily need a big wardrobe or a lot of new clothes to express who we are. We just need a few key pieces that work well together, and we need to wear them in ways that work for us. Sometimes you just need to see how someone else pairs two pieces to make an outfit in order to get ideas for your own clothing. And yes, sometimes the styling in Vogue is completely outlandish. But it’s creative, and that’s what I love.

I read fashion magazines to see how silhouettes are changing. Because no matter how classic your clothing choices, those classics change over time. A collar or lapel might get wider, shirts fit snugly or oversized, trousers grow and shrink. Those aren’t trends, to my mind; those are changing silhouettes that affect everyone. They’re slow-moving style changes that stick around for a long time. But they’re still changing, and they affect how we dress and what we wear over time.

The second reason I prefer Vogue is that I don’t read fashion magazines to shop. I’m not interested in actually buying any of the pieces featured in the magazines (or almost any–in a moment of weakness I occasionally drool over a Bottega Veneta handbag), so shopping and the more trend-oriented magazines really don’t hold my interest. Most of the other fashion magazines seem to be moving toward selling direct to their readers. Lucky magazine bills itself as “the magazine about shopping” and tells you what to buy and where to buy it (and sometimes how to wear it). Harper’s Bazaar enables you to shop direct from their picks while also telling you what the latest trends are. InStyle tells you where to buy all the styles the celebrities are wearing. And I’m sure most fashion magazines would be chagrined to know that I’m not interested in buying, since they exist largely to sell these days. I’m interested in ideas and creativity, and Vogue has that in spades.

What about you? Do you read fashion magazines? And if so, how do you read them? Which are your favorites? Or do you think they’re just a waste of time? I’d love to hear your perspective on them.

We’ll be back next week with all sort of great things for you: a much-requested V-neck tutorial for the Metro Tee, more insights into our business from Todd, and don’t forget the Butterfly Skirt sew-along that begins on Monday!

Pinterest Picks

Is this not the cutest cactus pincushion? Follow the link for a tutorial if you’re interested in making one for yourself or a friend.


 june 12 cpinterest link


As you read this I’m on my way to Nashville to teach a fit workshop at Anna Maria Horner’s new shop, Craft South. Have you seen Anna Maria’s new fabric line, Loominous? It’s all yarn dye fabrics, and I think they’d be perfect for our Girl Friday Culottes this summer. Kind of like this:


june 12 epinterest link

How completely adorable is this Library Dress? Everything about it is so sweet and Scandinavian feeling.


june 12 epinterest link


Sara Fielke posted this darling Gallery Tunic from Nani Iro double gauze the other day. I’m considering this one for a Gallery Tunic of my own.


june 12 dpinterest link


Art Museum Vest and Trousers as shorts for summer? What a cutie! Perfect wedding attire, by the way.


june 12 apinterest link


Weekend reading links

  1. I find this article about mail-order wardrobe stylist services, particularly the algorithm behind the clothing selection process, to be completely fascinating. Aren’t we lucky we can sew our own personalized, customized wardrobes?
  2. If you aren’t already, chances are good that you’re going to be wearing more polyester in the future. And why that’s not necessarily a bad thing. (No, I’m not entirely on board with this. I suspect you aren’t either. There are so many things I don’t like about polyester, and not all of them can be refined with new technology and processes.)
  3. Looks like I’m not the only one who thought Beyonce’s Met gala dress was a bit like the emperor’s new clothes.
  4. The ins and outs of the second-hand clothing market.
  5. You may already know that I’m a big fan of Pocket, which allows you to save items you’d like to read for later. Pocket is the sole reason I don’t have about 300 open tabs on my internet browser right now. And this article makes me so happy: it turns out, Pocket has shown that our attention spans haven’t completely disintegrated. We’re still reading long articles.

Have a wonderful weekend!




  1. What is double gauze?

    I love fashion magazines, which bewilders my children as they see me mostly in jeans and tees and no makeup. But they are about possibilities!

  2. Gayatri
  3. MJ

    Thanks for the Pocket mention – I just signed up and am so excited about the possibilities. I had tried to use Pinterest for articles and that didn’t work so well.

    I really don’t read fashion magazines but I will take another look at Vogue since you had an interesting take on it in regards to inspirational sewing. There is a column in Oprah magazine (which I am a fan of) where they highlight a luxury item and explain why it is priced the way it is by breaking down the construction details and I always find that interesting. They’ve done things like a Burberry trench, Jimmy Choo black pumps, an italian suit jacket…that sort of luxury.

    And the link for the Gallery tunic was so useful! I’ve been eyeing that schoolhouse tunic for many years but was on the fence with fit since I am pretty busty. Now I know that I should get the Gallery Tunic instead!!

  4. Sarvi

    I feel like you only wear sheer/mesh clothing because you haven’t got the balls to straight up be naked. Just be actually naked! That would actually be edgy, and make a statement. Being 98% naked just makes you think the other 2% is one big hairy mole.

    I don’t read fashion magazines because I think I sort of don’t ‘get’ them. Your breakdown of the different concepts behind the different ones was useful. I can see why Vogue would be interesting. I like the crazy photos. Here’s a model in a part of Morocco that could also be [sand planet from Star Wars], maybe, where she is being served tea by a baboon butler, or something.

  5. Jerri

    I feel like a lot of bloggers send out emails just to send them but I truly love the emails I get from you. They are always full of great info and have purpose to them. Thank you!

    I made my first everyday skirt yesterday and I love it! I really think there should be a picnic shorts pattern for adults! Just so cute.

  6. I found the polyester article interesting. I see the merits of polyester, but I do not like synthetic fabrics, I find if I co-mingle the synthetics with the cottons in the laundry, the whole load has a wet dog smell even after being dried. It seems to be a lose all situation with fibre – what is the right choice? I pick organic cottons for sewing when I can find them, but when I buy retail, there aren’t a lot of choices. And viscose/rayons aren’t any better. Add into this my search for ethically made clothes that so much goes into my thought goes into my buying process, that I am hardly buying anything anymore. Which is fine for me, I have clothes that fit, but my growing children, well that is another story.

    Thank you for mentioning Pocket. I too have a ton of tabs open, well I did. Now they are in my Pocket.

  7. MC

    Hey! I know that cutie! He actually wore the vest and shorts to a wedding last night, so…yes.

    Sarvi- I laughed out loud reading your comment! All I could think about when I saw those strategically placed gems was what might be hiding under them! Great minds….

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