Magazines, Blogs and More: Where I Get Inspiration and Check Out Trends
I’m not exactly huge on following trends, per se, but I did get my start in fashion journalism, so personal style is pretty huge for me. So, when my friend Zach asked me where I go for fashion/trend/general inspiration and to get a sense of what’s going to be cool in cycling fashion, I was stoked to think about my answer. In short, I read everything. A ton of magazines, a million websites, a lot of rad Instagram accounts… But I wanted to put together a list of a few of the ones I really love.
Note: I can read a bunch because I use the Texture app, and it’s amazing. For $10 a month, you can download hundreds of magazines (plus a lot of back issues!). It’s 100 percent worth the money, especially if you travel a lot like I do and can’t carry physical magazines.
Bicycling: Of course! But seriously, the magazine is awesome and has grown so much in recent years. If you haven’t read it in a while, please try it, for me!
Women’s Health/Shape/Self/Health: I skim these on a monthly basis just to keep an eye on what’s happening in health and fitness pop culture and science that I may have missed, and I love seeing what clothes are trendy in athletic wear, because the colors and fabrics tend to move into the cycling industry a few months later. (For example, teal and mint are pretty out of sportswear now but still pretty popular in cycling kit.)
GQ/Esquire/Men’s Health: I actually do read GQ for the articles! Seriously, their features are always amazing. But also, I find that men’s fashion trends are more my jam than what’s in a lot of women’s magazines, with an emphasis on classic, neutral and well-cut pieces that barely change from issue to issue. Plus, you see what sports are ‘in vogue,’ i.e when GQ did a piece on Jeremy Powers about cyclocross.
Runner’s World: RW is part of the Rodale family that owns Bicycling, but I love it for it’s own merit… They have a rad ‘street style’ column that I almost always check out. To be honest, I often skip their long-form pieces, but their fashion spreads and short pieces are always good for inspiration and outdoor style trends, since most of the pieces are simple enough that its just a focus on colors and patterns versus tech. (Though materials are changing a lot these days too…)
Elle/Vogue/Marie Clare: Same as the men’s mags, I’ll only read or skim one or two of these a month, depending on if any of the headlines jump out at me. But I like seeing what colors and patterns are in the photospreads, and thinking about what that’s going to translate to in the outdoor industry.
Flare: I love a good Canadian magazine. Flare is their answer to American fashion mags, and it’s a bit more Euro and just a little hipper without going as far as Nylon and being so out there that you wouldn’t wear anything in it. Actually, of all the women’s mags, Flare has the most wearable photo spreads, in my opinion, and the fashions that are most likely to actually be worn on the street.
Chatelaine: Similar to Flare, it’s a Canadian women’s magazine, though it’s focused on a bit more of a mature audience. That said, I love reading at least one that’s meant for women older than me, so I can see what trends are carrying from young to old and seem popular across the board, to inform a bit about how I write about fashion in cycling since not all readers are my age.
Nylon: I talked about the great piece they did on Winona Ryder a few weeks ago, and it’s still one of my favorites, with an old-school zine vibe. I used to use it for layout ideas, and now, I just look at it for the general vibe and to see what the slightly edgier fashion set is calling trendy.
Outside Mag: A classic for a reason, but I think they’re great for forecasting trends in colors, materials, and the general attitude of the adventure-seeking masses for what’s in (gravel versus cyclocross, road versus mountain, neon versus patterns…)
Websites and Blogs:
The Impossible Cool: Old school cool kids from Sinatra to Audrey to Vonnegut, in photos and quotes. If you want classic style inspiration, this is the place.
Pretty. Damned. Fast.: I freaking love this edgy women’s cycling site, and pretty much everyone they interview is just so casually cool, even/especially in cycling kit. While I sometimes find it hard to look fabulous in spandex, the women on here give me hope that it’s possible.
Cooler: Surf style is the best way to see fashion and athletic wear combined, for some reason. Maybe it’s just because as a teenager—and now—my style is still somewhat defined as ‘edgy skater surfer chic’ despite rarely surfing and never skating. My only issue is that lately, surf style has gotten a boho makeover that I’m just not into, but the skater vibe is still alive and well on sites like Cooler.
Adventure Journal: Love their posts on being an adventurer, from photography tips to gear reviews. The photos are excellent and (dare I say) lust-worthy, and it’s a pretty aspirational site if you want to hit the road.
Un-Fancy.com: Capsule wardrobe done in neutrals? Heck yeah. I love Un-Fancy, and read it pretty religiously for the outfit inspiration and for the wardrobe styling tips that make me think about what I’m wearing a little more thoughtfully. It’s not current trends, but based on her readership, it’s a pretty good site for finding out what a lot of young women want to look like: simple, put together, and ready for anything.
Breakfast Criminals: For a fashionable (OK, lululemon-y) blog with great recipes and some healthy living chatter, I love this site. Yoga living with an edge, if you will.
MegBiram.com: Meg is a DC-based blogger with a serious love of neutrals. While this one isn’t fitness-oriented (though she occasionally blogs about fitness stuff), I love it because it does a good job of distilling current trends in fashion and beauty into a really neutral, minimal fashion and wardrobe that I appreciate.
HBFit: Who doesn’t want to be DJ and fitness guru Hannah Bronfman? (Follow her instagram if you don’t know who I mean.) For jet-setting fitness-heavy lifestyle advice, I love her, and her website HBFit is really fun, and has some great fashion and beauty advice for women on the go.
The Inertia: Similar to Cooler but more unisex while Cooler is more female-focused. Surf lifestyle at its coolest, with profiles of people I would like to be when I grow up.
Misadventures Mag: Similar to Adventure mag, but I find it a bit more ‘real’ and less aspirational (though there’s plenty of that as well.) But if you’re serious about wanting to do #vanlife, this has some of the pros and some of the cons, with pretty great outdoors style.
Refinery29: My daily dose of pop culture and fast fashion. If you want one site to keep up with ‘cool kid’ trends, this is the one.
Dirtbag Darling: A more women-focused version of Adventure mag, I love this one for the badass women featured, and the lifestyle advice that they offer for those into the #vanlife thing.
The Chalkboard Mag: Similar to Breakfast Criminals in vibe, but more fashion, more beauty, and a series of guest editors that keeps the style changing so there’s always something new.