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

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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?


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!

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.

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

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.


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?

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.


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.

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.


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?


Male model, style entrepreneur, daddy... whatever you want to call him, David Gandy is definitely lickable—er, likable.

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.


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.

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