Do You Still Read Magazines?


Back in 2006, when I started Coco’s Tea Party, I quite literally gorged myself on magazines, reading all the major UK and US titles as soon as they hit the newsstands. This obsession with glossy publications lead me to study fashion journalism at university and also encouraged me to start blogging.

But somewhere along the line I stopped reading as much, and now I can go for weeks without purchasing a magazine. The local newsagent no longer knows me by name, and I’ve cancelled all of my subscriptions.

I still love reading print publications – you can’t beat the feeling of glossy paper beneath your fingertips – but somehow nothing feels quite as fresh and inspiring any more. And this is in no way unique to print publications – in the last six months I’ve gone from reading 50+ websites and blogs a day to around 10-15.

So what the hell is going on? Because I know I’m not the only one reading less. Is a lack of time to blame? Is there too much choice out there now? Has everyone’s fashion content started to look the same? Are we too distracted by Twitter and Instagram? Is there nothing left to write about? Or have we just become lazy?

These questions are constantly buzzing around in my mind, because writing about fashion is the only thing I’ve ever done/wanted to do. And I hate the idea of a world without magazines and blogs. So I’m really keen to hear your thoughts on the subject. Are you also reading less? Why do you think that is? And which publications are you still loyal to? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @cocosteaparty

  • Stevie

    It’s always reassuring to have others voicing this observation. I feel the same. I just feel less interested in the magazines that are available- these days I *always* regret buying ELLE, Vogue or one of my old ‘go-to’ glossies. I fine them vapid. I still favour magazines like The Gentlewoman and wish that didn’t stand alone as- what is it my eyes- the only crediblly intellegent womens magazine. ELLE can bang on with it’s feminism campaign all it wants but I don’t buy that technique! I think a lot of it is the fact we were 15-16 when we started our blogs/ were in the middle of magazine obsessions and of course wants and needs change but I also just feel so uninspired by our options!

    Stevie x

  • Toni Cathryn

    I too have curbed my enthusiasm for magazines (expense plays a huge part) but mainly because I share many of the feelings expressed in here >>>
    Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion, as do the others but their book and online platform is well worth a read

    • cocos_tea_party

      Yes, there is still SO much nonsense in magazines! It’s impossible to read anything without rolling your eyes at least once.

  • For me the price of the magazines kind of stopped me buy them. Now I get all my fashion inspiration from blogs, which show more how things are worn on the street and which I can follow according to my own style. Blogs just feel more “real” to me. I would find some amazing editorials every once in a while in a magazine, but most of the times the style was not me, so I would pay quite a lot of money a month for something I was not interested in.
    Magazines used to be my source for inspiration, but now fashion blogs have taken that place.

  • Claudia

    I used to buy 4-5 magazines a month about a year or two ago. Now I limit myself to 2 (usually Elle and Women’s Health, sometimes Vanity Fair or Vogue). The reason I stopped buying so many was because the content of a lot of them became boring and full of adverts; a total waste of my hard-earned money. I mainly get my fashion fix online now- I definitely follow more blogs than magazines.
    Blogs are always updated almost daily and keep up to date with trends and events, whereas magazines only publish their findings a month or two later… they are definitely falling behind in terms of who’s up to date with the fast pace of the world we live in.

    • cocos_tea_party

      I think where magazines succeed over blogs though is in the 1,000+ features. I still love Vanity Fair’s reporting, and would say along with US Vogue it’s the magazine I buy most often at the moment.

  • I think a lot of content in magazines has become too safe! I used to sub to ELLE & Vogue but have since cancelled both subscriptions as I just got fed up and bored of the same stuff being churned out season after season.

    I adore the health sector magazines which are having such a huge comeback at the moment because the content is so fresh and much more real!

    Blogs will always have a special place in my heart so long as the content is genuine.. there’s far too many out there now that have sold out to PR’s and sponsored content… which is such a shame because Blogs are the place for being real and genuine, not giving in to Advertisers wants and demands!

    Kirsty x

    • cocos_tea_party

      So true. Although most of the blogs that are daily updated are now written by full-time “career” bloggers, so I think sponsored content is fair enough when it’s carefully selected and fits in with the blogs overall vibe.

      So much of what you see in magazines is also dictated by advertisers too, you just don’t realise it because it’s not disclosed. Every fashion cupboard I ever interested in I would have to call in lookbooks for all the magazine’s advertisers, as they would be featured in shopping pages and editorials above any non-advertisers. Whether or not they’re designs were nicer. It’s unfortunately just the way it works.

  • i definitely stopped reading magazines, mainly because there’s lots of great content online and i just about have time to read that. i’ve definitely cut back on blogs too, everything’s becoming really predictable and there’s not much variety. only catch up on my faves now 😉 xxx

  • Shay

    I think a lot of magazines end up showing the same thing so buying 3-4 different magazines is going to get you really similar content. Also, I know personally one of my favorite things about magazines is reading an interesting article and that’s a rare find nowadays. Especially when the major one is generally with some celebrity, but you tend to get the same celebrities appearing on different magazines in a very short time span, so they don’t really have anything new to say. In short, I’ll buy a magazine once in a blue moon if I like the cover styling or it’s someone I’m interested in reading about. Elle US for June was Angelina Jolie, who’s style I like and who I haven’t read much about lately. Otherwise, I haven’t bought one in months.

  • cocos_tea_party

    Wow 6 subscriptions!! I don’t know how you fit them all in

  • cocos_tea_party

    I love Into The Gloss too. It’s like a cross between a magazine and a blog, and that works so well!

  • Reina

    I LOOVE magazines and even though I rarely buy them at all I’m still interested to see who’s covering what magazine. I’ve been a subscriber to Marie Claire since I was in 6th grade (the subscription was by accident, and my mom disapproved for the first year because she thought the magazine was all about sex) and I’m in college now so I’m pretty attached to the magazine. I think Marie Claire has developed a really nice @work section with awesome strong and powerful women giving great career advice. Usually I’ll buy a magazine off the newsstand if its Jennifer Lawrence on the cover or the September issue if its Vogue (double header this year!) or ELLE. I’m seriously considering buying Angelina Jolie’s June ELLE cover because I think she’s stunning and I love the black and white.
    Honestly, I really just love the concept of a glossy, girly magazine. I could never imagine reading one off an e-reader because holding it (and books) is just so damn satisfying. My library does let you check out magazines so I’ll check out Glamour and InStyle pretty regularly, and sometimes Vogue.
    I do think that the whole fashion in magazines has become pretty standard, and I can get all of those beautiful editorials and images online. So I guess I read the magazine for the content and articles and unique features.

    • cocos_tea_party

      It’s interesting that the covers play a big part in what you buy off the newsstand. I never used to be like that, but now usually only buy magazines if I’m a big fan of the cover star (Jennifer Lawrence, Lena Dunham, Emma Stone etc)

  • Lack of time explains a lot of things… I still love magazines though!



  • Kim Louise

    I actually read more than ever! I now subscribe to Vogue and Elle, and I have picked up Porter, which I think was an interesting move into an apparently declining space. I like magazines that tell me something rather than telling me what to think. I won’t go near anything with diet or relationship advice in it. Oddly, the one magazine that I’d miss more than anything is the one I don’t pay anything for – Stylist. The majority of women I know think about careers and their lifestyle first, fashion second. And I think Stylist perfectly hits that balance.

  • Mar

    I couldn’t agree more. I used to read a lot of magazines, from Vogue to Bazaar, ELLE and Glamour but now they bore me to hell. Some articles and editorials are good but I feel they say pretty much the same. I buy the Spanish Harper’s Bazaar every month only because I’ve been purchasing it since its first issue and they look good on my shelves but it’s not that interesting anymore. I did though start reading Vanity Fair a few months ago and I do enjoy this one. Also, I’m probably too busy with twitter, facebook and instagram. Who knows anyway.

  • probe97

    I crave for the glossy touch and sweet aroma from new glossy fashion magazines and have become addicted to all those international glossy bibles only wish I could obtain some of the hard to get fashion bibles, then I would be in glossy heaven.