Monday, February 27, 2012

A Treasure Troves of Seventeen Magazines– Part One

A couple of weeks ago, we were at an estate sale, as I am always on the hunt for some great vintage jewelry, where I found a vintage fashion jackpot!  After I had shopped the jewelry cases, I decided to browse around this very interesting, eclectic home.  As I stepped to reach for a sweet Joseph Original figurine, my foot caught something under the table.  Curiosity, being what it is, inspired me to lift the tablecloth and see what it was I kicked.  There lay stacks of magazines, but what really caught my eye were the thirty-two teen fashion magazines, Seventeen, from the early 1970’s.  

I graduated in 1969, worked for “The Bon Marche”, which eventually was called “The Bon”, and was later bought out by Macy’s.  As a teenage girl, I always looked forward my subscription to Seventeen Magazine to arrive in the mail.  Mom enrolled me in the 12 week fashion etiquette course that was sponsored by Seventeen Magazine at the Bon Marche.  I credit that course for my love for all things sparkling, fun fashionable clothing, and my years of being a hair stylist.

March 1972 - Seventeen Magazine Cover
Needless to say, when I found these magazines, I started filling my box with them.  I could hardly wait to make my purchase and get home to browse the articles, the fashions of that era and to see if I could find any jewelry ads.  My husband hauled the box from the truck and into the fifth-wheel as soon as we arrived home; and he was none-to-happy that I had made this purchase all in the name of self gratification and was afraid that I might not be willing to get rid of them quickly. 

January 1972 - Seventeen Magazine Cover

At first glance of these vintage fashion treasures, I was a little disappointed that there was very little jewelry being shown, but then I began questioning how fashion was influenced by that hippie, flower children generation of the late 1960’s, a sexual revolution which opened the door for women to begin discussing subjects like abortion, birth control and equality in the work force with a louder voice, the Vietnam war  and general unrest as young people continued to rebelled against the main stream establishment. K.C Library, online makes the following comments regarding influence in trends:

The chaotic events of the 60's, including war and social change, seemed destined to continue in the 70's.  Major trends included a growing disillusionment of government, advances in civil rights, increased influence of the women's movement, a heightened concern for the environment, and increased space exploration.  Many of the "radical" ideas of the 60's gained wider acceptance in the new decade, and were mainstreamed into American life and culture.  Amid war, social realignment and presidential impeachment proceedings, American culture flourished.  Indeed, the events of the times were reflected in and became the inspiration for much of the music, literature, entertainment, and even fashion of the decade. (

August 1972 Seventeen Magazine
One of my favorite terms in describing the late 1960;s and early 1970’s fashion and style is “Funky and Fun”; and the term refers to color, styles, fabrics, architecture, literature and interior decorating.  The idea of complimentary colors gained a whole new meaning; recycling of furniture and useable puts today’s recycling claims to shame (well maybe not, but it gave a run for the money); and literature became interpretation of strange hallucinations or dreams.  The end result was garish colors and mix matched plaids; heavy fabrics and designs with over exaggerated ribbons, bows and embellishments.  Granny dresses returned, hot pants were hotter, and the bell bottoms got wider.  Here are a few favorites:

September 1974 Seventeen Magazine

Wide Leg Wool 1970's Pants - RogueRetro
Seventeen Magazine - July 1974
August 1974 Seventeen Magazine

 The fashion statements in the early 70’s were made with heavy wools and tweeds in the winter, where the Pantsuit became a very popular look; in the summer we saw homemade crocheted hot pants, as well those sexy leather or blue jean ones; and in the spring and fall, we would pull out the baby doll and the granny dresses.  Shoes were not delicate slippers, but heavy, chunky elevating shoes that were anything but feminine.
 1970's Crocheted Hot Pants Etsy Shop 2ndlookvintage

I was sharing some of my thoughts with members of my favorite jewelry collectors Team on Yahoo, The Jewelry Ring, and got this response from fellow jewelry collector and friend Robin Deutsch:
“I was just watching the movie ‘Boogie Nights’ last night that took place in the 1970s, and was period perfect to a "T". I forgot about the Nik Nik polyester shirts and prints and ugly platform shoes and all the horrors that I thought were so gorgeous and hoped would never go away LOL. It made sense that heavy, glittery jewelry would be so out of place with these fashions.  It's always interesting to see the fashion along with the jewelry, of any period in time, to make one understand how they very much went hand in hand.”
Robin was right on many levels; she make some very good points - 1) we loved those looks!  2)  They seem ugly now, but back then we were hip!  3) The fabrics and designs were absolutely gaudy and loud and heavy; to wear thick, bold or glittery jewelry (unless it was a big puffy matchy match silk flower brooch! 
So my final thought:  "It was just too far out, absolutely groovey to go through these trippy magazines!"  I am not done sharing some of the discoveries and memories from this era.  So, until my next post, you can look forward to more jewelry and fashion thoughts in Part 2 and Part 3 of A Treasure Trove of Seventeen Magazines!
Below are some examples of great 1970's Jewelry from The Vintage Jewelry Sellers on Etsy:

du Saye Jewelry on Etsy

Vintage Jewels and More

The Jewel Seeker on Etsy
Delightfully Vintage


  1. I actually remember the "mime" or "clownface" issue of 17! And the elephant leg pants we wore or the super low hip-huggers with wide, wide belts and a short top. Of course, there was the crocheted bikini, too. And LARGE jewelry. We did the whole surfer look, too - coral chip necklaces, shell necklaces, great big hoop earrings - with long gauze skirts, hirachi sandals, and unshaven legs. (...grew up in SoCal)

  2. Thanks for this "blast from the past"!

  3. Wow, thanks for a great article. I honestly would have thought that the pictures were maybe exaggerated for the magazine but now know that is what was hip then. It makes me wonder what I would think of looking at Seventeen from when I was that age. Fun. Can't wait until part 2 & 3.

  4. How "Funky & Fun!". Love getting to see some of your new found treasure!

  5. This is a terrific post about 70's fashion! It is very interesting to read particularly because I was born in the early 70's and it is cool to see what was popular with young women when I was just a baby. Thanks for the great writing & visuals!

  6. Oh, what a wonderful stroll down Memory Lane! How well I remember and surprisingly, I still have some of my clothes from the 60s and early-mid 70s!

    I wore a pair of green tapestry pants and a brown ribbed sweater a lot! I remember the peasant and granny dresses, the leather vests, the India print dresses and gauze tops. Tie dyes ruled!

    I wore moccasins and funky shoes with big heels. Our jewelry was mostly peace signs and long, dangly earrings or seed bead rings, bracelets and necklaces . . . or ones we made with leather and/or wood. Very strange.

    I will have to post some photos of my clothes . . . and my husband's clothes, too. Oh, we wore leeather, braided belts and I still have my Maxi coat . . . lost my peacoat though. How I loved that!

    As "someone" once said, "What a long, strange trip it's been!"

    Thanks for a wonderful article!

    1. I forgot about moccasins. had them and loved them.

  7. What a fun read! Keep up the good stuff...(:

  8. Loved this post -- had my share of bell bottoms and platform shoes. thankfully no crocheted hot pants. Did own some very warm pants and loved my boots. Still love boots . . . and I admit still loving platform shoes (and they aren't as bad for your feet as spiked heels!) Give us more!

  9. LOVE IT!!! I so wish I had been alive in the 60's and 70s! I love the clothes and fashion trends!! sadly i was stuck with 80s fashions :-(

  10. Enjoyed this - so many memories!

  11. Oh, so many memories!! Thanks for sharing this even though it does remind me of how many years have passed since I wore all those clothes....

  12. loved this thanks for the hard work - :))) your the best

  13. What a great find - I love the crocheted hot pants photo! Just one question: will you be selling those Seventeen Magazines after you scan for jewelry?!!

  14. i appreciate your post. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  15. Hi, Do you know if you have a copy of the Seventeen Magazine dated November 1974 ?