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on June 9, 2002
This magazine has really grown on me of late, for a lot of reasons. Glamour and Cosmo don't appeal to me as much, partly due the the drop in their quality, and partly just due to the fact that I'm not in their target age group. Marie Claire has far more articles that are in line with my interests. They attempt to cover real issues that have an impact on women's lives. They are able to write stories about the status of women in the world (i.e. their Taliban articles) in a way that makes the information accessible without treating the reader like you are stupid and totally oversimplifying. I also like that not all the models look anorexic, and they don't inundate the reader with diet advice, or articles on sex and how to find/get/keep a man. This is still a light beach read compared to a hard new magazine, but it's far better than most other magazines in this genre.
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on March 9, 2003
Marie Claire is the best womens' general interest magazine in the U.S. today because:
1) It still has the fluffy/girly "Cosmoesque" articles we can't help loving (i.e. "What are his p.j.'s telling you?") -- which the upscale fashion magazines (such as Vogue) won't cover -- but it presents these in a much more respectful way than Cosmopolitan (or even Glamour) would. ~For example, in an article entitled, "How long should you wait to get married?", a handful of couples of differing experiences simply explain what worked for them. There is absolutely no commentary; readers are to take these first-hand accounts and decide how they feel about the issue for themselves. (This is how Marie Claire does most of its articles.) This is in direct contrast to the Cosmo approach which, no doubt, would have included a timetable to follow and games to play to make it happen, all under the authoritative voice of some quacky, pseudo-"expert".
2) It has intelligent stories about women around the world. These are very eye-opening and mind-expanding, and often offer information on how the reader can get involved with the issue presented.
3) Its fashion coverage is extensive and top-notch for a magazine that is not solely dedicated to fashion. It presents trends and how to wear them in the real world, as well as a wide array of pieces for every shape and budget. (For my purposes, it serves me better than the upscale fashion magazines.)
4) It only uses models for (some of) the fashion spreads. All other articles feature the ("real") people who are explaining their experiences in relation to the articles' topics. This provides for a much more realistic perception of the body.
Considering the above, I still find it amazing that Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan are published by the same group!
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on February 10, 2010
I'm disappointed with the new direction that Marie Claire has taken. I remember reading this magazine just a few years ago, and it was full of fashion advice that I could actually use.

Not anymore. I suspect it's fashion director Nina Garcia's fault, but unless you are the kind of person who can drop $650 on a sweater or a couple thousand bucks on a dress, there isn't a whole lot in this magazine that you can use, nor is there very much that you would actually WANT to use. For example, my latest issue highlights floor-length tulle skirts paired with denim jackets. Where am I supposed to wear that? The "101 Ideas" section in the front is full of very pricey designer clothes; many items are so expensive that the caption simply reads, "Price Available on Request." Seriously, how useful is this for the majority of Marie Claire's readers? Marie Claire focuses on clothes you could probably never afford, with only a few "bargains" thrown in.

Marie Claire has turned into a snobby, useless imitation of Vogue/Elle. Its editors need to revisit the old axiom "know your audience." I will definitely not renew my subscription. If it had cost more than five bucks, I would be very angry that I had wasted my money.
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on June 17, 2002
Whenever I'd finish reading a magazine like 'Cosmo', I'd feel guilty for indulging in a magazine so obsessed with sex. But whenever I'd finish 'Marie Claire', I felt like I'd read something with quality without loosing any of the fashion and beauty advice (and even a little dating) that I love. The articles range from lingerie to skin care to guns to third world countries. It's the one magazine I can always read cover to cover. I feel as though I've actually learned something about life in other places and at the same time learned how to apply eyeliner more easily. While some magazines pride themselves on featuring models who are (gasp) size 4, 'Marie Claire' shows women with real bodies (there was a woman who was size 20 and proud) which makes me want to appreciate my body that way. The bottom line is the magazine has class and intelligence and plenty of it. If you get this magazine, you're not only getting fashion, dating and beauty, you're also getting a magazine with mind, soul and heart. And isn't that what we're all looking for?
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I love fashion, so I have to keep up with my magazines. However, the last issue of Marie Claire was the bloody limit. The magazine has morphed into the classic trifecta of women's magazine articles: relationships, self-flagellation, and exposes/fear factor stories. Marie Claire ups the ante by having the hubris to declare social justice a topic (hence, this issues's three-page pictorial about rural Brazilian prostitutes). Don't forget aspirational articles about entitled multi-millionare businesswomen (look in their purses!), as well as a puzzling juxtaposition of articles about plastic surgery/eating disorders, etc. followed by an article on what 800-calorie diet is the next best thing, or the latest cosmetic surgery procedures that will change your life. Their nod to "real women" is a pictorial usually quizzing college students across the country "What is your best feature?" ...and you can hear and see how Jade from Ottumwa, Iowa, loves her freckles and perfect bicuspids. Fashion has taken a severe back seat, there are very few articles about the fashion industry or designers. The fashion pictorials are uninteresting and many are straight-from the runway shots haphazardly curated throughout the magazine. Slap a female celebrity on the cover, and you're good to go. A bubbling cauldron of self-loathing, greed, envy and aspirational desperation awaits you- dig in!
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on October 26, 2001
Unlike Cosmo, Marie Claire is not only about how to please your man- it's actually written for women. Of course magazines like these are not literary masterpieces, but that's not why we read them. Marie Claire is great for reading on a plane, bus, train or anywhere else when you want something light and entertaining. the fashion tips are fun to read, the love/relationship advice is really aimed towards women's problems. of course there's the obligatory human interest piece which often seems out of place among pages of expensive clothing and mascara tips, but overall this is a great magazine.
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on April 29, 2002
When I sadly abandoned the mutilated "Glamour" when they changed editors, I was comforted by "Marie Claire." They used to be a bit thin on the subtance, but they've really developed into a GREAT read that I look forward to every month.
Marie Claire has GREAT articles on social issues that go into unusual depth for a women's magazine. This is a regular feautre, not an anomaly.
Marie Claire has recently gotten better about including reasonably-priced merchandise in the magazine, something you can't say about alot of other women's magazines. There are plenty of things under $100 that are pretty and fashionable.
I also like that when Marie Claire does a feature about how real women live their lives, it's not a collection of quotes or blurbs like Cosmo or Glamour, it really goes in depth.
I can't say enough about this magazine. It's a perfect piece of fun - there's substantive articles, fashion that is sophisticated but sensibly priced and a good dose of fun.
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on October 10, 2012
Things I like:

101 Ideas - some great ideas for my mood board, but definitely most items out of my price range as another reviewer noted.
Beauty section - Love hearing about new products, especially the Beauty Passport feature.
Books section - Picked up some great books based on these write ups.

What I don't like:

Bathroom Confidential - no thanks.
Always some scary facts about aging and info on all the new (expensive) procedures required to halt aging, literally this is in every issue.
No one over the age of 25 in the "What I Love About Me" section. What, no 40 year old's live in America? Or maybe they just don't love anything about themselves?
Issue always turns up at least 10 days after its available in store. ALWAYS! Why subscribe??!!
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on September 29, 2005
If I could only subscribe to one magazine, I'd pick Marie Claire in a heart beat. It offers everything other women magazine have, including love life, diet, beauty, fashion and celebrity. In addition, Marie Claire focuses on issues larger than the domestic US. Being an educated young woman, I am interested in real life issues that other magazines tend to ignore.

Not only does Marie Claire have the guts to discuss issues that are hard to read at times (domestic abuse, prostitution in Asia, weight discrimination, etc.), but they actually tell you HOW you can help. By listing numerous websites and phone numbers along with their article, it allows me to research the topic further and makes taking action just that much easier.

The cover of Marie Claire may not look any different than any other women magazine, but open it up and I guarantee you will see a difference.
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on July 28, 2007
Marie Claire claims to be written for "Women of the World," but the changes that the magazine has undergone since the new editor entered have taken this publication far from their self-proclaimed audience.
The stories have become increasing vapid and sensationalized. Worse, the quality of the writing has greatly decreased overall. How sad that the editors think that a mainstream Women's magazine has to be written on the level of Seventeen Magazine!
Hopefully the magazine will get through their current growing pains and become an informative and fun fashion magazine again.
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