It’s October… and it’s 1972 again

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Hey, hey!  Can you stand another one of my mega-nostalgic posts about 1972?  My last one took us down the Memory Lane that was August 1972, courtesy of Seventeen magazine.  I’ve also shown you issues of Seventeen from July and December of that year.  It’s fun.  Useless, but fun.

As I’ve mentioned before, I bought a six-issue lot of these mags on eBay a while back and have really enjoyed seeing them again forty-some years later.  I decided not to write about the September issue because it wasn’t all that interesting.  There weren’t many funny ads and the clothes were mostly pastels that looked more spring-like to me.

But let’s wallow in fall season now.  This issue, oh my gosh.  I remember pouring over it time and time again.  Several reasons — I’d just started high school.  My birthday was coming up and I was no doubt makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice, things to ask my parents or my sister for as birthday presents.  I was making lots of money for a 1972 teen babysitting (50 cents an hour!) and loved spending it on clothes and makeup.

Mostly, though, I was ready for a change.  Junior high was behind me and I wanted to look stylish.  Like many girls of the time, I’d been growing my hair out for years just to have it long, whether it was flattering or not (Hint:  It wasn’t.)  I wanted a new look SO BADLY.

Let’s start with the cover.  For this and all pictures, click on any one for a larger view.

October 1972 6

This girl, Ingrid Boulting, had everything I didn’t — clear skin, shiny smooth hair, pretty makeup.  I was in the throes of teenage acne, I wore braces, and I wore glasses.  I mean, just call me Igor and get it over with.  Seriously, my hair, while long, was super-oily near the roots and dry & frizzy at the ends.  Oh, the ends.  My split ends had split ends.

I coveted this model’s Levi’s denim jacket… and you know what?  I got one!  It was all the rage in 1972.  I made it even groovier by embroidering the entire back of it.

There were few nail polish ads in this issue but lots for makeup.  Revlon released a new small collection called “Little Red Foxes”:

October 1972 2

Yes, this was the look — fever-bright cheeks along with matching lips and nails.  They said you didn’t have to match everything, but we knew they didn’t really mean it.  The three blush colors were Brownberry, Russet Pear, and Peach Blush, while the lip & nail colors were Sly Red, Foxy Brown, and Little Red Russet.  Don’t think I bought any of these at the time; I thought of Revlon as more for older girls and women, plus it was a little out of my price range.

But here’s something I did buy (by the way, don’t ask me how I can remember all these details; I just do):

October 1972 3

Model Season Hubley was another girl I wanted to emulate.  “Your Face” by Coty had foundation in the tube, a matching coverup in the lid, and cost all of $1.75.  Bizarrely, when I saw this ad again after 40+ years, I was hit hard with the memory of how it smelled.  Why do I remember that?  Scents are very, very powerful in evoking memories.

This two-in-one product is a great idea.  They should bring it back.  Except nowadays I’d be trying to cover up dark circles instead of acne.

Speaking of scented products, here was a favorite of the season:

October 1972 5

C’mon, who else remembers these Yardley lip glosses?  They really did smell like apples!  Yummy.  Don’t think I bought any but my sister had the McIntosh Red one.  That’s model Evelyn Kuhn, by the way, one of the supermodels of the ’60s and ’70s.

How ’bout some eye shadow?  If you think we’re buried in brown and neutral shadows these days, blue ones were the late ’60s/early ’70s equivalent.  Everyone wore blue eye shadow, didn’t matter if you had blue eyes or not.

October 1972 4

Hey you, wear a bright sky blue shadow plus a cobalt blue plus a blue eye liner for good measure.

There weren’t nearly as many clothes spreads in this issue compared to the Stylezilla issue that was August’s back-to-school one.  Here’s one though.  I’m pretty sure I wanted everything.  As in past issues, the clothes were mostly bright and/or plaid.  No plaid shortage here.

October 1972 8

Another dose of plaid came in an ad for Butterick, the sewing pattern company.  As I mentioned before, these old mags are full of ads relating to sewing, which all us girls learned to do back then.

October 1972 7

Ah, large-scale plaid plants, the style that flatters NO ONE.  Well, this model looks good.  Note his pants — the widest of the wide-wale corduroy.  They look like they’re made out of corrugated cardboard.  I see he got his Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin Plaid via his jaunty vest.

I realize I haven’t been as funny or as snarky with this issue as I have with ones past.  I just can’t do it ’cause I love it.  Stick it in my coffin with me when I’m gone.

Good news in that early in my freshman year I changed from an ugly duckling into a slightly less ugly duck.  My braces came off, I got my hair cut into one of those fabulous new shag haircuts, and thanks to a new friend I started cultivating some actual wit which has served me well in life.  Also, thanks to this friend, I was no longer embarrassed about being a bookish, straight-A student, something I’d been teased about in the past.  Yep, it was an autumn of revelations.

I’ll leave you with the back cover of this October issue.  Remember this slogan?

October 1972 1


10 responses »

  1. Ah…memories! I was 10 when that issue came out, so I wasn’t reading fashion mags quite yet, but I do remember all the blue eyeshadow of the era (I got some when I was 13-14 so the trend lasted a while despite flattering almost nobody). I also recall the plaid craze (I had a really fly plaid winter coat, lol). I thought that model was Season Hubley, so glad you confirmed it. I thought she was the epitome of feminine beauty back then. I don’t know if it’s my age or what, but I just love reminiscing; I’m a nostalgic fool. Why does the past look so much rosier now than it probably really was? 😉 Thanks so much for posting this; I really appreciate the look back (and your witty writing style).

    • I’m blushing; thank you! I too admired Season Hubley tremendously — she was the main reason that, a year or two later, I got a super-short pixie cut. She became a decent actress too. I highly recommend the episode “Little Boy Lost” from the 1985/first season of The New Twilight Zone.

  2. Oh dear! When I see Seventeen (and other teen mag) ads from the early 70s, I think what a difference there was between those of us Boomers who were born at the other end (right after the War) and how much coming of age in the 60s shaped us. I was out of HS June of ’64 and was in college for a lot of the turbulent part of the 60s. The Beatles were new and all the rage my Sr. year of HS – we didn’t have Yardley of London cosmetics yet, but they were right around the corner – as was all those great fashion inspirations from Jolly old England! I have similar feelings as you do when I see magazine ads with clothing from the early 60s – about 1967. It’s funny how well a lot of us recall minute details of our high school days. Max Factor, Angel Face and Maybelline were big companies when I was in HS. I have to say, I am SOOO glad I was too old for all that goofy plaid that hit in the early 70s — tho I did see guys my age wearing plaid (they were draped in gobs of gold chains too and most of their plaids were not natural fibers – the 70s polyester was really horrible wasn’t it? I was a hippy by the Summer of Love in ’67 – that ended a lot of my make-up obsession except for tons of dark eyeliner! But by ‘your vintage’ here, I was all about what we now call grunge/boho, tossed with a little Halston for clean straight lines and a good sense of fashion taste. Oh, and the early 70s had no corner on blue eyeshadow! We were wearing blue frosted eyeshadow when I was in HS in the early 60s – and you matched your eyeshadow to your prom dress too! Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s and after he ‘heard’ about England and their fashions, Jean Shrimpton ruled! Before that it was Sandra Dee we all thought was the epitome of young, fresh-faced style.

  3. I love these posts! I wasn’t even alive until a few years after this issue, but hey! I love old magazines and ads. That foundation with cover up in the cap is brilliant. I would assume that is a today product….not from back then…

    I love the comments about the blue eyeshadow and daily servings of plaid.

    I must admit huge curiousity about the cover tease regarding Marriage Styles to Choose From… ???!!! (Ooh also new careers for women in TV and radio)…

  4. I was born in 1974 but I love looking at this stuff. It’s funny how the blue shadow & blue liner carried over into the 80s.

  5. Paula Broadway

    Dear Silver – I’ve been following your blog for a while, and I must say I enjoy the throwback posts the best. I was in hight school in the 70’s and I had Pot ‘o Gloss, Styx perfume in a pot, Bonnie Bell gel blush (that when I wore my dad always asked “Do you have a fever?”), and my share of bell bottoms! Thanks for the memories, and keep up the good work.

  6. I’ve been reading your blog for some time but this is my first comment. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the pics and commentary on vintage Seventeen magazines. You’ve inspired me to start stalking ebay for Seventeen magazines. I used to especially love the back to school issues and the holiday issues. Looking at the ads for beauty products they no longer make evokes such bittersweet nostalgia (Blue Jeans by Shulton I’m talking to you!). I hope you’ll continue to do vintage Seventeen posts. They are the best!!!


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