For months I’ve been anticipating the release of the R.J. Cutler film "The September Issue", which chronicles the making of and masterpiece that was Vogue magazine’s September 2007 issue. It’s rare to find a 30 second YouTube clip of Anna Wintour, the magazine’s longtime editor-in-chief, let alone two hours of footage, interviews and behind-the-scenes intel surrounding the year’s most anticipated issue. I’m particularly excited to see the personalities behind the decisions that fill 800+ pages with tweed coats, tall boots and other fabulous fall accessories (never mind that 700 of those pages are equally delicious ads). For example, who suggested Marchesa for the cover among all of the other influential designers who made big splashes with their fall lines that year? Considering the number of fashion magazines filling my mailbox monthly, I fully expect to spend at least one lazy Sunday morning poring through thousands of pages of September-issue fashion in the next few weeks. And I’m bound to get at least a little frustrated when I realize I cannot afford all three of the boldly colored designer topcoats suggested by one of the ultra savvy contributors. (After all, I do live in Dallas now, where “fall” lasts approximately 30 days before transitioning to temperatures we call “spring” up north.) So how can I avoid being overwhelmed by this season’s items that are missing from my closet? A while back I came across an article discussing how to read a newspaper. The author acknowledged how daunting the pages of small print can be for someone who doesn’t regularly read a paper. And there seems to be an unwritten rule that a newspaper must always be read in its entirety. But what about the headlines that simply don’t interest you? Must you read those stories, too? Apparently not; instead, the author suggested, view the newspaper as a buffet to be enjoyed at your leisure and according to your taste. Read as much or as little as you like and feel no guilt. I’ll take a similar approach to reading the September issues this year. The magazines’ responsibility is to pack as much information (and advertising) about the season’s trends as possible into a single text. Even as a self-professed fashion junkie, I am under no obligation -- and probably shouldn’t, in any case -- rock every trend Wintour, et al. offer up. Rather than brainstorm ways get my hands on a $2,000 black-on-black TechnoMarine watch, I’ll skim the wristwatch trend page and get to the stuff I really want, like these statements about necklaces. And I won’t feel a drop of guilt about it.
Kasia Benson is a corporate associate with Andrews Kurth in Dallas. She is also the founder of Wardrobe Peace, which provides sensible, “use what you’ve got” wardrobe consulting services to lawyers and other busy professionals.