Penney’s catalog from 1977 reveals fashions as bodacious as Rod Blagojevich’s hair.

December 16, 2008


I know this item has been making the rounds but a cheerful ditty seems like a welcome respite from corruption and recession.

My good friend, Mike Coffin, who is founder and Chief Creative Officer of Yield in Austin Texas, sent me a file containing pages from the 1977 JC Penney catalogue, and folks, they are priceless. According to the equally amusing commentary, the old book was found while doing home repairs. Stuck behind the eaves as it were.

The finder’s take on these incredibly fashion backward photographs is pure gold. One caption reads: “Here’s how to get your ass kicked in high school.” I urge you to Google ‘JC Penney 1977’ and view the entire PDF. (For technical reasons -or my own ignorance- I couldn’t load the whole doc here.) Incidentally, if anyone knows where this document originated, and who the inspired commentator is, please let us know.

As an aside, yours truly appeared in a Sears print ad waaaaay back in the day. My father worked on the account for now-defunct Stern Walters and Simmons advertising agency, and there, he’d finagled my brother and I into the shoot. I believe we were modeling the “Geranimals” collection. I’m not kidding. If I can locate this Postaer flotsam, I will post it forthwith.

Meantime, enjoy a few outtakes from Penney’s. Perhaps it’s just the inspiration for your Christmas shopping.


5 Responses to “Penney’s catalog from 1977 reveals fashions as bodacious as Rod Blagojevich’s hair.”

  1. Jason Fox said

    Is this the one that has the super-old-school VHS camcorder? If not, I’ll dig that up for you.

  2. I want the blue outfit on the guy in the right corner of the cover. Pretty snazzy.

  3. Andy Webb said

    The thing to remember is that people 30 years from now will be looking back at 2008 catalogs and laughing at today’s styles.

  4. SRP said

    No shame if you wear timeless clothes. But, who among us, doesn’t deviate from time to time, especially in the creative department?
    I’ll bet tarted up blue jeans and ironic t-shirts don’t age well.

  5. Andy Webb said

    This raises timeless questions that each of us must ponder, like Tower of Power did, probably right around the time of the JC Penney catalog:

    “What is hip?
    I’d like to know!
    What is hip?
    Is it in the style of your hair?
    What is hip?
    Is it in the clothes that you wear?
    What is hip?
    I’d like to know.”

    Fashion retards like myself will go to our graves with such questions unanswered.

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