The Best and Worst Magazine Covers of July 2016

This month: (Nearly) naked celebs! (Sexy) Zayn Malik! Amy Schumer by Annie Leibovitz (again)!

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

The dog days of summer are here, so it makes sense we’ve got some naked cover stars this month. And while it’s a great month to be a battle-hardened female leader in the Seven Kingdoms, we can’t forgive all the editors out there for the gross oversight this month that is the absence of Absolutely Fabulous’s Eddie or Patsy from a single cover!

Somehow we will press on, sweetie darlings.

California Style

California Style Summer 2016
California Style
This looks like Homeland’s Carrie Mathison was planning on infiltrating a Cirque de Soleil troupe. Maybe you should have just stayed on your side of the looking glass, Mia.

We can tell you’re not digging this look, either.

1-ANNA

L’Uomo Vogue

L'Uomo Vogue July August 2016
L'Uomo Vogue
This second-generation Beckham is making a name for himself as a Gen Z tastemaker, but if this look is indicative of the new legacy of youths today, they still have some growing up to do.
1,5-ANNAS

Elle

Elle July 2016
Elle
If only these women had come to dominate the comedy world 30 years ago, when mainstream magazines would have worked with them to create fashionably absurd conceptual covers that made you think as much as they made you laugh.

Still, that Leslie Jones shot is everything.

2.5-ANNAS

Esquire Singapore

Esquire Singapore June/July 2016
Esquire Singapore
Bill Murray is game for anything, and we love that. Esquire has one of the strongest visual legacies in the business, including the iconic “Passion of Muhammed Ali” (RIP) cover from 1968.

3.5-ANNAS

Vogue UK

Vogue UK July 2016
Vogue UK
We’re all for Renee Zellweger’s comeback, and her adorably low-maintenance pose here. What we’re not so sure about is having her on the cover with the words “ageless,” “age-proof” and “living forever.”

Also not a win: Her vinyl-tablecloth-formerly-known-as-an-Easter-dress look.

1-ANNA

ESPN Magazine

ESPN Magazine July 2016
ESPN Magazine
Miami Heat shooting guard Dwayne Wade said he had to overcome a fear of being naked—and of being judged—to pose nude on the cover of the magazine’s annual Body Issue.

We’re certainly glad he did.

2.5-ANNAS

Glamour

Glamour July 2016
Glamour
We took a point off this month’s issue for missing the obvious chance to reference Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with that headline, but otherwise five out of five fire emojis for Serena’s flawless look.

Indeed, no one’s interruptin’ her grinding.

3-ANNAS

Marie Claire UK

Marie Claire UK July 2016
Marie Claire UK

Nothing about this cover is relaxed or fresh—not that lip ring and especially not all that retouching. But Rebel is one of few leading ladies who can properly invoke the proper “Oh?” face to get you to turn to that threesome feature.

1-ANNA

W Magazine

w magazine eva green
W magazine

We’re despondent over the end of Penny Dreadful, but Eva looks radiant on the cover of W, where her striking features and limpid eyes are highlighted.

It makes us eager for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which, we suppose, is the point.

Communication 16

GQ Japan

GQ Japan July 2016
GQ Japan
This is just an outtake from the American GQ shoot back in March, but it’s a refreshing reminder that you can zoom out a bit on a cover star and still make it look good.

Everyone likes the occasional sexy ankle shot, no?

2.5-ANNAS

GQ

GQ July 2016
GQ
We don’t have time to list all the times we’ve “never seen Kim like this before.” C’mon, GQ, wasn’t there another story you could have illustrated on the cover.

9/11 murder conspiracies, Christian sex scandals, guys in bathing suits—anything!

1,5-ANNAS

Harper’s Bazaar UK

Harper's Bazaar UK July 2016
Harper's Bazaar UK

Emilia Clarke continues a not-so slow burn across the newsstand after Me Before You and another season of Game of Thrones .

While we’d do without that ribbon in the back, it’s the perfect vacation look for the Mother of Dragons.

3.5-ANNAS

British GQ

British GQ July 2016
British GQ
This had an entire Anna before we considered that awful “Man Up!” headline. If you mind your body enough, you too can have arms the size of your head! #TotesMasc
HALF-ANNA

Paper Magazine

Paper magazine Summer 2016
Paper Magazine
Sexy Zayn is redundant, Paper. Also, there are much better things we can think of to do with Zayn’s mouth than have him be a human fog machine.

But hey, nice lighting.

2.5-ANNAS

InStyle

InStyle July 2016
InStyle
Which came first: Booking Jessica Alba or that “Honest to coolness” cover line?

Alba is chilling at the Four Seasons Lanai in as Victoria Beckham dress that doubles as a cat toy. You wanna bet that 30-day food plan includes some of her Honest Company baby products?

2.5-ANNAS

InStyle UK

InStyle UK July 2016
InStyle UK
Judging by this Sophie Turner cover, the best way to celebrate feeding your husband to his dogs is to go full-on Florence and the Machines.

3.5-ANNAS

Vogue

Vogue July 2016
Vogue
Not everyone gets photographed by Annie Leibovitz twice in one year, and styled as a old Hollywood screen siren both times.

We wish the styling and make-up here was a little more modern—perhaps embracing her beauty without a “nudge nudge” for once.

3.5-ANNAS

Vogue Korea

Vogue Korea July 2016
Vogue Korea
Posh looks great here, obviously, but that’s all we’re willing to concede after all those rumors that she won’t show up for a Spice Girls reunion.

That. Is. Tacky.

2-ANNAS

Dazed

Dazed Summer 2016
Dazed
This cover is the opposite of Paper’s take, positing Zayn as a post-boy-band-sex-object. And who doesn’t like a stud in leather?
2-ANNAS

Goodwood

Goodwood Summer 2016
Goodwood
Male model, style entrepreneur, daddy… whatever you want to call him, David Gandy is definitely lickable—er, likable.
2.5-ANNAS

Interview Germany

Interview Germany Summer 2016
Interview Germany
For being such a “new man,” Jack O’Connell sure fancies the past. He hits the big screen next in the 17th-century period film Tulip Fever and then the WWII drama HHHH with Mia Wasikowska.

That’s fine, as long as spend some more time channelling the sailor vibe we’re getting from this top. The shirt, that is.

1,5-ANNAS

Essence

Essence July 2016
Essence’s two cover daddies pull off something rare for men’s mags—a true candidness in styling and pose. You’ve actually got to loosen up a bit, like Omari and Maxwell here, to pull it off.

Cover school is in session, people, and they’ve got all the class.

2.5-ANNAS