Archive for the Rag Mags Category

Your Retro Fix

Posted in Advertisements, Hotties, Photos, Rag Mags, Stylez, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2011 by effingjro

While I’m blathering on about magazine ads, here’s a fantastic one from Guess. Usually their ads are extreme and oversexed, and while this girl is certainly dressed to the nines, it’s sweet, not salacious.

Did people look like this in the ’40s? I mean, I know they weren’t constantly styled for photo shoots, and their waists weren’t the same circumference as telephone poles, but boy are those clothes great. It reminds me of the kind of photo The Sartorialist would shoot today (as opposed to the usual Guess fare – shirtless man in low-slung jeans humping on a woman in a studded bra with a beehive). Here are some genuine street style photos I found on The Fashion Spot.

That’s what the Guess ad is missing. HATS.


Tell me you’re not getting a Sex and the City vibe here. I think I spot a Samantha on the right…


Banana Republic: Too Mad For Mad Men

Posted in Advertisements, Found Item, In the News, Photos, Rag Mags, Rage Blackout, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Stylez, TEEVee, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2011 by effingjro

I was enjoying my normal Saturday routine: G&Ts on the lounge chair in the back yard with the latest men’s mags, when I came across this Banana Republic ad in GQ.

OK, fine, Mad Men. I dig that just as much as any of human being out there. I love the show, I LOVE the costumes – I even went so far as to download the characters’ individual playlists on iTunes – that’s how taken I am with a mid-century modern lifestyle (no, I didn’t not craft a personal Mad Men avatar, but I was tempted).

The thing is, Banana Republic has been going Mad  for three years now. They started out with a ‘casting call’ promo in 2009. Then they rolled out their capsule collection in 2010 (I remember this in particular because I urged a straight friend to glean his whole wardrobe here). And now, in 2011, they’re putting out a third collection, even though the next season of Mad Men likely won’t materialize until 2012.

This show caused a bit of a style revolution, and I’m totally in favor of gents getting more dapper. The looks – a few of which I’m posting below – are still great, if extremely grey.

No arguments here, even if they are eschewing some of the preppier, Pete Campbell flourishes for The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit-style tailoring and homogeneity.

I just think it’s a bit lame that BR hasn’t come up with anything more exciting for the past three years than Mad Men. If I think your novelty capsule collection is starting to look familiar, maybe it’s time to change it up.

And for those of you trying to cultivate a little MM panache – try a vintage shop. It’ll be a whole lot more fun.

When Playboy Was Hip

Posted in Advertisements, Found Item, Hotties, In the News, Man Appreciation Post, Photos, Rag Mags, Role Models, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by effingjro

Yes, there was a time when Playboy was fodder for a wider audience than truckers who can’t access porn on the internet.

I picked up this magazine in June, because I can’t let a vintage rag go unpurchased, and was pleasantly surprised by how urbane Playboy used to be. Read the text at the bottom of this cover: Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein were both contributors, something that would never happen today. This edition features a big panel discussion on religion in America, a nice satirical piece that stereotypes the readers of Esquire, Playboy, Reader’s Digest and other magazines, and a pretty comprehensive installment on nudity in film.

A little excerpt from Shel’s piece.

Since Playboy‘s visibility is mostly relegated to reality TV and tabloid stories these days (Did you HEAR what Crystal Harris said on the Howard Stern show? Hef only lasted two minutes??) it’s nice to look back at a time when the magazine was actually a bastion of sexual liberation. For all the claims that Hugh Hefner is a misogynist, he was a big proponent of loosening sexual mores – and birth control, too. Also, there was a time when Hef wasn’t so wrinkly.

And if you’re looking for something a bit raunchier, click here for a NFSW peek at June 1967’s Playmate of the Month. I bet SHE wouldn’t spurn Hef’s marriage proposal.

When Pabst Was Posh

Posted in Advertisements, Hotties, Man Appreciation Post, Photos, Rag Mags, Role Models, Trivia, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by effingjro

Yeah, bet you never thought you’d see PBR on the tennis court. Well this ad hails from a more congenial time, when Pabst took their blue ribbon seriously. It’s a pretty posh ad, and I’m especially referring to that white tennis sweater (which I wish to God I owned, who can sell me one of those, I can’t find them anywhere). Now I was a little thrown by how they kept putting “Pancho” in quotes, because no one does that anymore, and it almost seemed racist(?)

But because we have the internet, I read Wikipedia. Turns out his name is Ricardo Gonzalez,  and he was a truly badass tennis player – he won the US Championships twice and Sports Illustrated said of him “”If earth was on the line in a tennis match, the man you want serving to save humankind would be Ricardo Alonso Gonzalez.”

[It should probably be "If earth WERE on the line" and "the man you WOULD want" and really, if earth were on the line, you'd be saving more than just humankind. Geez, SI, so anthropocentric (most syllables ever used on this blog, I'll bet)]

Also, “Pancho” was a looker.

Way better-looking than he appears in that PBR ad. In fact, in addition to that tennis sweater, I’m going to add his sneakers to my shopping list. “Pancho” Gonzales: fashion icon?

Anyway, now PBR is mostly for hipsters, but we can look back in envy at the days when it was a country club beverage enjoyed by handsome Mexican-American tennis pros.

To the Ladies of 1915

Posted in Advertisements, ART, Films, Found Item, Hotties, Photos, Rag Mags, Stylez, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2010 by effingjro

Whether you were protecting your dolls from geese…

Or talking up dudes at the music hall…

Or presciently interpreting Lady Gaga’s bubble dress…

(Sorry Olive, you may have sported this look in 1915, but people will still say you’re derivative of Lady Gaga. You might as well be Kesha.)

Or playing a dangerous vamp in the silent film  ‘Bella Donna’…

(This movie was lost, but based on the reviews I found online, The New York Dramatic Mirror thought “the sandstorm could have been made much more realistic” (hyper-realistic, guys, with a little CGI) and Photoplay called it “a tale of violet-scented villainy, of gold-plated murder,” which just sounds great.)

Basically, whatever you were doing in 1915, you were doing it well (except for Olive).

A Saturday Evening Post

Posted in Advertisements, ART, Photos, Rag Mags, Reading Rainbow, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2010 by effingjro

I bought myself a Saturday Evening Post from April of 1960.

(And this is a Saturday evening blog post – get it?)

As usual I haven’t read much of it because I keep getting distracted by the pretty pictures. They’re mostly gorgeous paintings, with a few poppy photos thrown in for good measure.

SO good-looking, right? I wish ads were still made like this. As a bonus, these images are pretty much analogous to the ads they made in the first season of Mad Men, since that season was set in 1960. Yes it’s lame, but I like to pretend Don Draper helped out with these. Or maybe Peggy. For comparison, here’s an image of Peggy’s promo board for Playtex:

Stay tuned for some sick car ads. Featuring a Cadillac El Dorado(!)


Posted in Hotties, Photos, Rag Mags, TEEVee with tags , , , on September 10, 2010 by effingjro

This should have been on the blog the day it was published, and just because it’s late doesn’t mean it’s not awesome.

So much woman. Read the Esquire interview here.

Boys’ Life

Posted in Found Item, Rag Mags, Reading Rainbow, Vintage with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2010 by effingjro

Bought the December 1950 of Boys’ Life in a fantastic flea market the other day. I almost picked up about 3 working radios from the ’40s-’60s, but I’m not quite ready for that investment yet. Here is the Winter Wonderland cover (which looks especially beguiling in this July weather). As a Where’s Waldo exercise, try to spot the girls in the homosocial bonding scene.

Babes in Boyland

Babes in Boyland

Don’t worry, I will obviously pick apart this magazine for all its homoerotic content in upcoming posts.

Lonny Makes Me Feel Better

Posted in In the News, Photos, Rag Mags, Soul-Crushing Materialism with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2010 by effingjro

Screenshot from

If you didn’t catch this drift, I spend a lot of time stressing about The Future of Print and worrying that I won’t be able to work for magazines because they’ll be completely subsumed by the iPad and if no one’s paying for content then no one’s paying for my paycheck and etc. You’ve probably caught that drift. Then I stumble upon excellent blogs (see the right hand column of this page), and websites like Contributing Editor (remember this?) founded by former Details editor Matthew Edelstein, and feel better.

Today while reading the NY Times I found another online magazine founded by two ex-Conde Nast employees – it’s an interior design (or ‘shelter’) magazine called Lonny. I’ve been flipping through it (virtually) this morning and really enjoying the content. Even more impressive are the interactive, online features you’d never be able to enjoy with a print copy – zooming in on images, or clicking advertisements and instantly being directed to the advertiser’s site. It’s one of those times when the convenience of the Internet doesn’t compromise quality photography and writing. Hooray.

You should read the Times article to get the full scoop on how the editors (from the recently folded Domino) got together on this project. The article also references Issuu, the web platform Lonny uses, which looks like an incredibly straightforward and intuitive way to publish a magazine online. I am heartened.

Anyway, this post was just a lot of links, but you should click on them. Here’s another screenshot from Lonny.

Hey I have that book!

What Stokes the Stoker?

Posted in Advertisements, Critical Theory, Found Item, Rag Mags, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Vintage with tags , , , , , , on June 9, 2010 by effingjro

I always confuse ‘stoking’ and ‘stroking’, which results in a lot of misplaced double entendres. Anyway, I meant to do this for Memorial Day and missed my goal. Here are a few old advertisements from the Saturday Evening Post dating from WWII. I bought a stack of these at a garage sale five years ago and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. Except for clothes, cigarettes and pizza.

From hand drills to bomb drills in one easy step.

Pre-Atkins Era

Big & Tall section

I encourage you to click on these photos to enlarge and read the copy that goes along with it. It’s really interesting to see what magazine writing sounded like in the ’40s, and even more interesting to see how private commercial interests latched onto the war effort as a means to sell more products. You think of WWII as all patriotism and ticker tape, but clearly advertisers made the war work for them as well.

Blog Crush: Contributing Editor

Posted in Rag Mags with tags , , , , , on January 6, 2010 by effingjro

Wish the Acrop looked like this...

Not so much a blog as an online magazine, Contributing Editor is one of those joints that are trailblazing the way for online publishing. From what I understand, they keep a pretty lively circulation of photographers, stylists, models and writers. Everyone’s a contributing editor, but there’s not much of a masthead. I’m a big fan of the Editor-in-Chief, Matthew Edelstein. He used to work at Details, and I definitely see the correlations between those old editorials and the stuff he’s coordinating now.

Damn boy.

And because it’s online, you get a lot of edgier photos without the pricetag of a coffee-table magazine or European import. Check it out!


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