Reading The Magazines: The Best And Worst Covers Of October 2015

W.W.A.W.S. (What Would Anna Wintour Say?)

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s entirely untrue when it comes to magazines. That’s why each month, we’ll dissect covers far and wide using our patented Anna Wintour rating system.

It may be too late for the editors to heed our advice, but there’s always next month.

It’s October, and we’ve just come off a slew of huge September issues. This month, we see the usual influence of fall television, a few early nods to the Oscars and one milestone 1,000th-issue cover without a face on it.

And remember the old fashion editor axiom: If you put someone smiling on your cover, you’ll both turn into pumpkins!


Cosmo

October 2015 Cosmo magazine
Cosmo
You might be able to be basic and a badass, Lauren Conrad, but definitely not both at the same time while wearing that nightie. Also, aren’t all basic badasses required to be drinking PSLs in October? Tsk tsk.
Communication 16

Cosmo UK

October 2015 Cosmo UK
Cosmo UK
In the spirit of Halloween and football season we ask, “How many different images did they Photoshop together to achieve this quarterback aesthetic?” Was Caroline giving better face before or after they made her left arm/hand do that?
Communication 16

Details

October 2015 Details magazine
Details
Again with the weird anniversary choices (see next cover). Either do something special or don’t point it out. Nothing joyful about this cover. Nothing. Look, two of the cover models are trying to flee the shoot! (And take that purple nameplate with you!)
0.5 annas

Esquire

October 2015 Esquire
Esquire
You’d think you’d want a man on the cover of the 1,000th issue of Esquire. (Jon Hamm would have done nicely, Emmy win or not.) In another thousand issues, this one surely won’t make the list of best Esquire covers of all time. That said, Esquire’s covers are usually a mess of MAN teases, so this is a nice respite.
zero annas

Elle

October 2015 Elle
Elle
Selena Gomez just can’t catch a break. No one told her Gigi Hadid’s W cover last month turned out so well.

Communication 16
(Could be more but WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT, SELENA?)

Glamour UK

October 2015 Glamour UK
Glamour UK
What’s the difference between this photo of Anne Hathaway and any photos of a wet Komondor? Thousands of dollars of styling and good makeup.
Communication 16

Glamour

October 2015 Glamour
Glamour
Taraji’s cover takes the cookie of Glamour’s trio cover stars this month. Gina Rodriguez, you can touch your mouth, but not while it’s open. And damn, why’d Emma Roberts get the best dress?
Communication 16

British GQ

October 2015 British GQ
British GQ
David Gandy could get handy with us. Sam Smith is on another of their “Men of the Year” covers, but for our purposes: David Gandy.
Communication 16

Harper’s Bazaar

October 2015 Harper's Bazaar
Harper's Bazaar
The ’90s are so back that SJP has bangs on the cover of a magazine, and Sex and the City is free to stream for Amazon Prime subscribers.
Communication 16

Harper’s Bazaar UK

October 2015 Harper's Bazaar UK
Harper's Bazaar UK
Do yourself a favor: When you feel tempted to share that Labor Day meme from Serial Mom again next September, share this cover with Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery, instead. That way people won’t unfollow you on Facebook.
Communication 16

InStyle

October 2015 InStyle
InStyle
Congratulations—it’s hard to make Sofia look so boring.
Communication 16

Marie Claire

October 2015 Marie Claire
Marie Claire
If Vogue hadn’t put Lupita on the cover and W hadn’t raised our alert level with Claire, Sienna could’ve won the month with his one. Also, she has been starting over for YEARS. Get a new shtick, girl.
Communication 16

O, The Oprah Magazine

October 2015 O, The Oprah Magazine
O, The Oprah Magazine
Do as Oprah says, not as Oprah does (or dresses). And follow her on Instagram if you don’t already because it is marvelous.
Communication 16

Out

October 2015 Out
Out
This is simply an honorable mention because the only way to make us more excited for Freeheld was to shoot this cover. A photo composed like this would never be on Vogue, but still. Flawless.
Communication 16

W Magazine

October 2015 W magazine
W magazine
I accidentally typed “Claire Danes” first instead of “W Magazine” because hers is clearly the winner of the mag’s New Royals covers. (Also featured in the issue: An uncomfortable-looking Allison Williams and a shirtless Adam Driver.) This Inez and Vinoodh portrait is the exact mood of late September/early October.
Communication 16

Vanity Fair

October 2015 Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair
VF’s been doing a good job of keeping dead white woman off the cover recently (Sorry Liz, Sorry Di, Sorry Jackie), which is the reason I finally resubscribed. But here, Maybe Mark could have been doing something a little more, I dunno, antiestablishment? Like Snapchatting?
Communication 16

Vogue

October 2015 Vogue
Vogue
I hate to second guess Anna, but that September Beyonce cover was clearly just a warmup to this. Yes, Queen Bey may perform miracles for newsstand sales, but she couldn’t even give the magazine an interview. Lupita, meanwhile, answered 73 questions. Don’t underestimate the power of the Force, Anna.
Communication 16

Chinese Vogue

October 2015 Vogue China
Vogue China
Spreading Taylor’s #girlsquad message far and wide is easy when you’re Karlie. (To Tim Cook: What, no new Apple Watch with Hermes band? Hmm.)
Communication 16