Lifestyle mags come in all shapes and sizes. With independent ones, there's something to suit how everyone loves to live. Here’s a guide to some of the best independent lifestyle mags on our shelves to help you find one that’s just right...
Old fashioned elegance, utterly modern
If you value your hand-thrown pottery, carefully carried home in your suitcase from a charming side street studio that you found in Greece as much as your iPhone, Konfekt is the magazine for you. A recently launched glossy seasonal title for women from the people behind Monocle, it celebrates old fashioned elegance while being utterly modern, as well as sharing Monocle’s obsession with the details that can make life that bit more beautiful. Refreshingly free of the North American bias of many magazines, it’ll transport you from discussions over dinner in Izmir, Turkey to drinks in Portugal’s Duoro valley, without seeming to break a sweat. No celebrity either: just interesting places and people. There’s no doubt it sells a kind of dream – of a relaxed, but refined, European lifestyle – but, sometimes (especially now?) that’s exactly what you might want to buy into.
Great long-form journalism celebrating women
There may have only been 23 issues of The Gentlewoman so far, timed to coincide with the S/S and A/W fashion collections for the last decade, but they’ve all been gems. In essence it celebrates women. But that bald statement doesn’t begin to describe the intelligence, forthright opinion and complete lack of PR puff common to most women’s magazines. Even the mixed paper stock – glossy for the photo shoots, uncoated for the features – breaks the rules. Yes, there are reams of high fashion ads but that’s how you make the money to publish good long-form journalism like this. If you like your mags direct, diverse and damn good, this is £8 well spent.
The Gentlewoman is published twice a year. £8
The value of occasional idleness
Perhaps it’s strange that the people most likely to benefit from The Idler are the people who won’t read it. The people who rush around with a million urgent things on their to do lists, but at the end of each week still feel dissatisfied with what they’ve achieved. The secret of The Idler is that it's not for idle people exactly, but people who recognise the value in taking some time to be idle. Slow down, potter, doodle, or sit looking at the clouds for an hour. You might find inspiration, solutions, resolutions or realisations. Or maybe not. What you will do is feel better for it…
The Idler is a bi-monthly. £9
Smart, hip and très international
Do you breakfast in Tokyo, stop for a lunch meeting in Zurich and end the day with a cocktail in Barcelona? No? Well, even if you don’t you can get a pretty good idea of what it feels like by flicking through Monocle. The thing is, Monocle is too good to be left to the jet setting business people who are its main audience. Monocle’s brilliance is that it avoids the obvious. It will take the road less travelled through familiar and unfamiliar cities, giving the reader a sense of what’s down the streets you might easily miss. It tells you what the locals really talk about. It also refuses to talk down to the reader, assuming an intelligence and interest that many magazines abandon for the lowest common denominator. Reading it makes you feel smarter, hipper and more international. Bon.
Monocle publishes ten times a year. Issue 146 September 2021 has just landed. £7
You can browse all available issues here.
For the aesthetically inclined
Kinfolk is one of those mags where reading it demands a bit of ceremony, placing it on the table and turning over each page from the top right hand corner like it’s a coffee table art book. Which it is really. Matte pages, oh so chic layout and sublime photography, it’s a real page stroker. Billed as a magazine for creative professionals, it can seem a bit lofty, but that’s its allure really. The fashion pages are more art than brands, the people (from astro-physicists to set designers) are fascinating, and the writing is superb, with features on both big ideas and small curiosities. If you appreciate the beautiful things in life, give Kinfolk a try.
Kinfolk is a quarterly magazine in its 10th year of publication.
Issue 40 is available on the shop here. £18
Oh is mag that believes in being kind to yourself and to the rest of the world. Its long reads are designed to take your time over, replacing rapid scrolling and snappy soundbites for thoughtful journalism about noticing the beauty all around, pausing to reflect and exploring ways to live a bit more gently. Always featuring gorgeous illustrations, doses of mindfulness and people making the world a better, more liveable place, Oh is an intelligent, thoughtful and playful companion.
Oh is published bi-monthly. £6
You can browse all available Oh mags here.
Taking time to live well.
The Simple Things does exactly what it says on the tin. If you like good things to eat, love getting out and about in nature, and feel joy at the thought of enamel camping mugs or the books from your childhood, then you’ve found your people with The Simple Things.
You won’t find news, celebrities or fashion spreads. You will find interesting cities and unusual places, curiosities and quirky people, nature, gardening, food and lots of seasonal ‘could do’ ideas.
It’s about taking joy from the small things in life, from your garden veg patch, to a cup of tea and a great piece of homemade cake.
The Simple Things is published monthly. £6
Browse all available issues here.
You can check out all our lifestyle mags here and stayed tuned for more guides on the blog.