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Every month, we thoroughly examine the contents of GQ, Details and Esquire, so you don’t have to. This month’s breakdown—starring Taylor Schilling, worker drones, beer koozies, Sophia Loren, a nipple, optimism, former male models, swatting, hors d’oeuvres, bacon, George fucking Clooney, dominatrices and classic rock, sort of—now.

Behold, the month in men’s lifestyle journalism…

Page Count

GQ: 304
Esquire:178
Details: 188

Cover

GQ: Five possibilities: Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar Will Ferrell, James Gandolfini or Matthew McConaughey. As expected JT looks decidedly dapper, but McConaughey’s tie seems far too skinny.
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Esquire: George fucking Clooney. This is his eighth Esquire cover, folks. And the man still looks great.
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Details: A pensive and truly human-looking Christian Bale welcomes us to “The Hollywood Mavericks Issue.”
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Style

GQ: Wise words from Glenn O’Brien on the devolution of the worker drone uniform: “Pretend you’re someone wildly original when you’re getting dressed and, in a year or two, who knows? You might be.”

Esquire: There’s definitely some fine insight in “The New Rules of Winter Style,” but are we supposed to care about what former male models are doing with their lives? Because we don’t even a little bit—unless they’re building centers for kids who can’t read good.

Details: We’re not at all sure what “The Morning After” is meant to be promoting, style-wise, not in small part due to this particular errant nipple:
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Holiday Gift Guide

GQ: Touted as a “To: Me” gift guide, “Best Stuff 2013” somehow contains both a $6,000 ping-pong table and a five buck beer koozie. Highly questionable.

Esquire: Divided into sections such as “For the Man Who Reads The Economist” and “For the Man Who Enjoys Telling People He Doesn’t Own a TV,” this is the real winner of the bunch. Some solid options here. Also, some stuff we’re probably going to buy for ourselves. (See: Cole Haan Lunargrand Boots.)

Details: Like much of Deets, their guide is beautifully styled but lacks any remote form of context. Which is unfortunate, because the picks are undeniably nice.

Women

GQ: “Masters of Sexy: The Year in Babes,” starring, but not limited to, Emily Ratajkowski (pictured at top). And now another view of our favorite breakout model:
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Esquire: Addison Timlin, page 48, telling a joke she heard from Al Pacino on the set of a movie we can’t remember ever happening.
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Details: See nipple, above. Also, Jhené Aiko discusses her attraction to insecure guys on the last page. Score: 1 for insecure guys, infinity for everyone else.
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Food and Drink

GQ: Thai bar-snacks are given a seal of approval. Think soy pork skewers, fish sauce beef jerky, deep fried eggs… Wait, what?

Esquire: More snack endorsements! This time they’re classic, like rumaki, stuffed mushroom caps and steak tartare. Plus, a few hundred words on eggnog, because it’s already time to start thinking about that.

Details: “Men who eat one to three servings daily of processed meats like bacon have poorer sperm quality than those who don’t.” Take note.

Sex

GQ: In “The Hot 100: Westeros,” Talisa Stark surprisingly only drops 11 rankings, 2 below Brienne of Tarth, despite being the most dead ever.

Esquire: Out-of-context dominatrix stage direction of the month: “Beatrix packs up her duffel—cuffs, ducts tape, crop, hydrogen peroxide, bandages, iPod speakers.” Quite the list there.

Details: In a recent “swatting” incident (definition here), police discovered Corey Feldman at home with not one, but two lingerie-clad women. Nice.

Cars/Gadgets/Travel

GQ: In a ringing endorsement of the Vespa 946, the gents describe its “tapered panels” as “stretch[ing] like Sophia Loren’s legs.” The two, for comparison, now:
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Esquire: And now, it’s time to field test a Google Glass. The verdict? Great for Texas Hold ‘Em. Not great for picking up women.

Details: Audi, Jeep and BMW now have diesel automobiles on the market. And no, none of them are 16-wheelers.

Entertainment

GQ: Life advice from 2 Chainz’s cookbook, #Mealtime: “Serve warm, lean back, vibe out.”

Esquire: Alfonso Cuaron and J.C. Chandor talk the enduring quality of film, and the blurring of lines between television and movies. As the directors of two of the bleakest films this year, these guys oddly seem like optimists.

Details: Meryl Streep is about to play a drugged-out angry matriarch in August: Orange Country, coming out on Christmas. Frankly, we’re excited to see her off her Iron Lady high-horse.

Profiles

GQ: Men of the Year 2013, with bits on the post-McConaissance, Kit Harrington and the year’s sparkliest dark horse, Michael Douglas as Liberace, among others.

Esquire: Clooney, for the 900th time. But also Scott Raab chats with Sir Patrick Stewart, yielding this wisdom: “The great test for any girlfriend is, ‘Can she explain the offside rule?’ If she can, she’s a keeper.”

Details: Hollywood Mavericks. Taylor Schilling, Patton Oswalt, Christian Bale and more actors, directors and otherwise movie-people that are changing the game as we know it.

Serious Journalism

GQ: Some very interesting, albeit terrifying, stuff—most notably the piece on Inspire, the jihadist, Al Qaeda-published magazine you wish you didn’t know existed.

Esquire: Patient Zero. David Granger’s preface to the piece made us tear up; we can’t even fathom what reaction the entire thing is going to elicit. We’re saving this one for somewhere less public.

Details: The award for best story title this month goes to “The Return of Classic Rock,” a good read on the resurgence of crack cocaine in the mainstream.

Goddamnit, Lamar.

—S.P.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Stephen Praetorius