I’m Torn: The Zoe Report

You’ve seen her work: the girls with big hair, big bags, and big sunglasses. Arms full of bangles, chunky platforms, skinny jeans effortlessly slung on the hips. Flowy, glamorous dresses accented with loads of accessories and a ton of bronzer: this is Rachel Zoe style.

While she’s had a substantial presence in the fashion world for some time, Rachel Zoe has recently gone very mainstream. With a Rolodex Crackberry of celebrity clients, a best-selling book, and a successful reality TV show, Rachel Zoe has hit the big time. Now, she offers us another glimpse into her stylish world with The Zoe Report–a daily e-mail newsletter featuring Rachel’s “favorite obsessions in the ever-evolving worlds of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle.” Sounds good! But do we like it? Read on.

Love It:
Sound Style Advice from a Pro: In late 2005, Rachel Zoe provided a complete style overhaul for newly-skinny Nicole Richie. Today, Rachel is responsible for putting together some of the hottest red carpet outfits for our favorite celebs. This is also the woman who started the big, bug-eyed sunglasses trend… Clearly, Zoe knows what she’s doing. R.Zoe picks out unique apparel and accessories and give suggestions on how to wear each and every piece. Who knows, maybe if you read the Zoe report, you’ll be the first girl on your floor who doesn’t look totally ridiculous rocking your studded jewelry, “shooties” or “jeggings!”

Parallel Universe: I’ll be honest–99% of the swag featured in the Zoe Report is crazy expensive, which could be depressing. I say could, however, because happily, Rachel has provided all of us un-blessed with a celebrity bank account with cheaper options to achieve the same style. And they’re cute! Even better, the “parallel universe” items seem to be just as expertly picked as Rachel’s pricier features–they actually look alike. There’s nothing more annoying than a “celebrity look for less” that showcases adorable clothing of the stars and then offers totally ugly cheapy alternatives, so I’ve gotta give Ms. Zoe some props in this area.

Daily Dose of ‘I Die’: It’s not just Rach’s style of fashion that’s unique – her vocabulary is too. So much so, in fact, that a Funny or Die video┬áparodying her speech patterns recently went viral. Not gonna lie, after watching The Rachel Zoe Project, I’ve started using the phrase “I die,” pretty regularly. Don’t even get me started on her use of “shutting it down” or “bananas.” Rachel is both ridiculous and hilarious, so getting my fix of her lexicon before breakfast pretty much ensures a good day. Mostly.

Loathe It:
Items featured: Although Rachel is a style maven, some of the pieces she offers are not exceptionally wearable, or exceptionally cute. Sequined leggings? Hot pink fedora? Really Rachel? Probs not. And while, for the most part, I love her take on accessories and apparel, when Rachel decides to talk “beauty” or “lifestyle” products, I’m inclined to look elsewhere for advice.

Advertise-y: I already get promotional e-mails from department stores and those pesky designer sample sale sites and truth be told, Rachel’s newsletters are not much different than those advert-emails: they all showcase new styles, and many times they are deleted, especially when Zoe is clearly just pimping Brian Atwood pumps. I want advice, Rachel! How-to’s! Not just another advertisement.

Incredibly Short: Part of the Zoe Report’s advertorial feel comes because of it’s length: it’s really. freakin’. short. There’s typically a few sentences introducing Rachel’s piece du jour, then a few more explaining exactly why she likes that style, then availability information, then “xoRZ,” which just looks awkward. I want more! I guess I’ll have to settle for reading Style A To Zoe or watching marathons of The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo, both of which are way better than these e-mails!

Do any of you receive the Rachel Zoe Report? Are you liking it? Let me know your feelings in the comments!

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