What Is Town & Country?

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What is this?


We’ve never understood who the target demographic of Hearst’s Town & Country were supposed to be. Certainly not people who actually live in a town or countryside, but perhaps those who can afford to have a summer home in a grassy estate? Cafe society and young socialites, ostensibly, but are those people really subscribing to “old media” anymore? And isn’t cafe society as antiquated as print, anyhow?

Adding to this confusion is the strange hodge-podge of articles that are thrown into the magazine helmed by Jay Fielden. At times, the entirety of T&C is seemingly comprised of an island of misfit articles; rejects from other Hearst publications for one reason or another. Since Town & Country still needs to keep up the pretense of being a monthly glossy in order to keep the brand alive (the Wedding and Homes editions are still lucrative, and let’s not forget that it’s the oldest magazine in America!) we end up with a subscription that puts Greta Gerwig and Audrey Plaza on the cover one month, and summer camp fun the next.

Unfortunately, Town & Country is not online for us to link to articles, so here are this month’s articles featured in the curiously oddball society magazine, in no particular order:

1. Cover story about how summer camps are making a comeback. (Along with skirts, we assume.)

2. Emily Gould discussing the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey…sort of. She begins by talking about how the E.L. James’ bestseller fits into her concept of Sexy Books (as opposed for Erotica or Romance novels which Ms. Gould knows about since she used to write back covers for Harlequin’s Red Dress Ink Imprint, FYI), and concludes with an idea stolen from an SNL sketch about how moms only want to read the book on a Kindle. (pg. 48)

3. An advertorial spread on the art of packing, photographed by Tom Schierlitz. (pg. 113-121)

4. Hamptons’ book review (pg. 36-38)

5. Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s cardboard cutouts of Wes Anderson characters. (pg. 40-41)

6. A tribute to the club sandwich (pg. 122-123)

7. An investigative report on Polo Club founder John Goodman, who recently adopted his girlfriend. (pg. 125-131)

8. Two articles about skin purity in the Beauty section, including an essay by 32-year-old Florence Kane on why it was necessary (and perhaps frugal) to spend $1,000 on a White Caviar facial to get rid of “sunspots.” (Otherwise known as freckles.) The end result? “Hard to say for sure if those brown spots are fading.” (pg. 60-65)

9. Henry Alfodrs etiquette guide to having poor friends. Tips on “Bridging the gap” include bonding over truffle oil, salmon roe, and Prosecco.
10. Cats that live in hotels. (pg. 34)