The Best and Worst Magazine Covers of September 2016

It's fashion's biggest month!

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

Ah September—the biggest month of the fashion year. And if this collection is any indication, we can look forward to a Kristen Stewart-lead revolution, the continued barrage of all things Kardashian/Jenner and lots of sequins. (Yes, please).

Vogue

Vogue September 2016
Vogue
Let’s get this out of the way: While we might feel stronger about all the Kristen Stewart covers below, there’s nothing more quintessentially fashion than Vogue’s September issue. Maybe putting Kendall’s cleavage out front will mean record newsstand sales, but we would have opted for one of Mert and Marcus’ more lush location shots. Still, there’s no disputing that she’s the perfect cover star for this moment.
5-ANNAS

Glamour

Glamour September 2016
Glamour
Bella Hadid must’ve been a close second to Kendall for that Vogue cover, and she reigns here in this stunning juxtaposition of pieces. Isn’t she just the best?
3-ANNAS

T: The New York Time Style Magazine

T The New York Times Style Magazine September 2016
T The New York Times Style Magazine
Stewart is all over the place this month, probably because she has three films coming out this fall. The Times decided to do her up in all black, and she shines brightest in this fabulously comfortable Chanel number.
4-ANNAS

V Magazine

vmagfall-1471958079
Gorgeous, of course. Only, why couldn’t it be Troye with no pants on?
3-ANNAS

Flaunt

Flaunt magazine
Flaunt magazine
Daddy Usher comes out of the shadows to make you feel all sort of ways (and not just about that coat).
3-ANNAS

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan September 2016
Cosmopolitan
Come on, Cosmo, Gwen Stefani doesn’t need this. She’s never going to agree to be on the cover of your magazine again, so enjoy it while it lasts.
1-ANNA

Dazed and Confused Korea

Dazed and Confused Korea September 2016
Dazed and Confused Korea
Confused? Yes. Dazed? Meh. Maybe curious how Brooklyn is floating in air like that.
HALF-ANNA

Vogue Australia

Vogue Australia September 2016
Vogue Australia
This is a pretty perfect fashion image that just happens to star Selena Gomez. The collision of all the graphic elements is pretty flawless, but it’s all a bit too muted. That big, thin “Brave New World” headline isn’t the punch this needs to really bring it home.
2.5-ANNAS

Men’s Health

source_mens_health_september_2016_usa
Okay, so you have to put a painting of Mark Wahlberg on the cover. But why keep his shirt on? And what’s with his facial hair—is he going to be announced as the new Wolverine?
1,5-ANNAS

Essence

Essence September 2016
Essence
We. Love. Uzo. And this is the perfect look on her.

This is also the perfect September cover: Looking forward to the season ahead but still wistful for summer days. And for once we don’t mind the cover star interacting with the magazine logo.

3-ANNAS

Elle Canada

Elle Canada September 2016
Elle Canada
Couldn’t Elle have gotten Justin Trudeau to rock this look? He would’ve been more convincing with this nostalgia and worked those lace sleeves better.

Also: We’re pretty sure doing yourself better involves never using “situ” or “inspo.”

1,5-ANNAS

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair September 2016
Vanity Fair
Oh, we didn’t know they were going to make another Ex-Machina! But seriously, robots really do have more life in them than this photo.
2-ANNAS

InStyle

InStyle September 2016
InStyle
For the second autumn in a row, pink is a big player. We like the subdued background of this beautiful shot of Kerry, but can we find a new hook for her already, editors? Every interview is her “most revealing yet.”
4-ANNAS

New York

New York September 2016
New York
Winona is riding this comeback wave, and thank God. This is a cover many would have laughed at a year ago, but we hope there are even stranger things in store for Ryder. And for one of fall’s best fashion issues.
4-ANNAS

Harper’s Bazaar

Harper's Bazaar September 2016
Harper's Bazaar
Just. No.
giphy
Giphy
2-ANNAS

Elle UK

Elle UK September 2016
Elle UK
So many things to love about this array of covers, which the mag started teasing months ago. Looking beyond the most boring K-Stew cover this month, we have to say Hari Nef wins this lot. (Also, she’s the first trans woman on the cover of the magazine!)

Bonus points for commissioning a fun embroidered cover, Elle UK.

3-ANNAS

Latina

Latina September 2016
Latina
This feels just a little too much like Macy’s ad. Don’t look at us like that, Eva! It’s not our fault.
2-ANNAS

Out magazine

Out Magazine September 2016
Out magazine
Freckles. Deliberately imperfect eyebrow grooming. A chunky knit sweater. We’ve seen a hundred of these late-August/mid-September photos on Grindr, and we will always love them.

All right, Colton, you win—we’re swooning. Hope you’re happy.

1,5-ANNAS

W

W September 2016
W
It’s like Rihanna is angry that this is the fashion moment she was chosen to represent.

Like, during the shoot, she dared the editors to drizzle gold nail polish down her cheek and hang an earring from her lips AND OMG THEY DID.

2.5-ANNAS

Nylon

Nylon September 2016
Nylon
Remember how much we said we loved New York magazine’s Winona Ryder cover?

Yeah, we’re gonna go look at that again.

3-ANNAS

Elle China

Elle China September 2016
Elle China
It’s like someone asked “What if vampire Bella took up modeling?”
3-ANNAS

Esquire UK

Esquire UK September 2016
Esquire UK
“Everyone wants me, and it’s exhausting,” Cara told everyone multiple times during this shoot.

2-ANNAS

GQ

cam newton
Something is off here. I think it’s the lighting—it’s giving Cam Newton, who is a handsome man, a face like a jack o’ lantern. Save it for the October issue, GQ.

2.5-ANNAS

The Rake

the rake
Cudos to Jonah Hill for looking so well put together here. (Those eyes!) But shame on The Rake for going with such a blah font.

And who thought gray-on-gray was a good idea. We GET it, you’re straight!

3.5-ANNAS

Glamour UK

Glamour UK September 2016
Glamour UK
No, it’s not just you, Chloe—we have to talk about this Illuminati dress. Why not stand up so we can see more of the awesome sequin work? (Do you have Scurvy?)

And easy on the Photoshop, people. Do you really have to use a different face and body on a 19-year-old?

1,5-ANNAS

Marie Claire

Marie Claire September 2016
Marie Claire
This may be what they were going for with the Glamour UK cover: The contrasting surface really helps gives some depth, and we’re loving the graphic pattern on SJP’s dress.

Yeah, this is definitely what they were going for on the Glamour UK cover.

2.5-ANNAS

WSJ magazine

WSJ September 2016
WSJ magazine
Meryl brought two dresses to this shoot: The one she’s wearing here (with that fabulous hat) and the one she ended up wearing to the Democratic National Convention. Both are…
giphy1
Giphy
2-ANNAS