I wish I had thought of this idea years and years ago. I wish I had kept just one magazine from every year of my life. I started looking at them when my mother would buy a McCall's or Ladies Home Journal. When I was seventeen I bought my own.
I could have started with those sixties Seventeen magazines, that had a certain smell (a good inky smell), were oversized, with articles about letting the boy feel smarter and Breck shampoo ads. Through my young adulthood I could have set aside just one issue a year. They could be Glamour, (the late) Madamoiselle, followed by (the late) House & Garden, Cosmopolitan, Ms., (the late) Apartment Life, even an issue of Playgirl. Later I could add Working Mother, (the late) Working Woman, several years of Vogue, Elle, and Allure.
But I never thought of it. Life was going too fast and I moved too much. It would be a weighty stack of 30 or 40 magazines I’d be lugging around. Still, wouldn’t it be fun to see a 1974 Glamour, a 1982 Vogue, a 1988 Gourmet, a 1996 Metropolitan Home?
So my advice to anyone younger is to start saving. Just one magazine for every year. A trip through style.
Above: 1967 and 1965 Seventeen covers courtesy of Seventeen Magazine. View a slide show of covers from 1944 to present. 1968 Vogue Magazine cover courtesy of Journal of Magazine and New Media Research. 1975 Apartment Life cover courtesy of Ready Made.com.