JCPenney Catalog Style – 1971

Hello friends!

I posted a couple of groovy photos from my vintage 1971 JCPenney catalog that I found while organizing my office the other day, and have been captivated by it ever since.  This stuff is just too funny not to share, and I’m so happy that I held on to it!

So, here we go – a look back at JCP style circa 1971.

One of the trends I noticed throughout the catalog, was the idea that “More is More”.  See Exhibit A below.  Blue carpet in the bathroom, along with a blue toilet rug, toilet seat cover, tank cover, wastebasket cover, tissue box cover, toilet paper cover and even a SCALE cover.  That was a first for me – I have never seen a scale cover before, have you?  The only problem I see with it is that it’s covering the wrong part of the scale – you know, the part that displays the weight! 😉  As an added bonus, these items are available in a rainbow of colors, and don’t forget the added bow embellishment!

Or there is this lovely Pepto Bismol look (with a round scale cover):

In keeping with the bathroom decor, evidently some women in the 1970’s loved their towels so much that they wanted to wear them.  So they did.  And yes, the caption says, “Towels so beautiful you’ll want to wear them!”

“If only I had this towel dress in avocado green…”

Lots of options in the toilet seat department as well – available in all of the “now” colors.

The “More is More” trend, along with liking your home decor so much you want to wear it, carries over to the bedroom as well.
Do you aspire to be an interior decorator?  Grab a pair of scissors and some Contact Paper and you’re on your way!

I mean, seriously, what more do you need, if you have Contact Paper?  You can dress up your cabinets, update your walls, cover your furniture – the possibilities are endless!

When you’re finished coating your home in Contact Paper, you can move on to installing vinyl flooring in your kitchen. 
Who knew that the only thing you need to do to differentiate between Mediterranean vs. Contemporary style was to add a handle to the middle of your kitchen cabinets?  How much do you want to bet that this woman’s outfit matches her kitchen appliances?  After all, it matches her range hood and the vinyl flooring she just installed.  
You also have the option of installing some cool saloon-style doors in your home – your choice of colorful inserts!
And then we have this creepy clown motif for the kids in the house.  Seriously, my son would have to go into therapy if he had something like this in his room.  When asked what his greatest fear is, he’ll tell you without hesitation – clowns.
And what 70’s child didn’t have a bike with a banana seat?  Oh, sweet memories…

And for the older kids – hanging out in feet pajamas and ponytails, eating popcorn and listening to some albums on their record players on a faux hide rug makes for a perfect evening.  But like the page says, “Don’t be alarmed, the faux hide rugs don’t bite.”  Whew!  What a relief!
We can’t talk 70’s and not include fashion.  Look, this dress is available in all styles in case you can’t make up your mind!

I had to giggle a little bit at this “cloak” – I don’t think my husband would mind if this came back in style, now that he has a daughter. 😉

The Partridge Family called.  They want their clothes back.

The guys weren’t immune to bad 70’s fashion either.  I’m still trying to understand what these three could possibly be talking about.  Perhaps this was the beginnings of The Village People.

And then there’s this sexy little number.  Didn’t he date Marcia Brady?

So there you have it!  Hard to believe so many of these styles were so mainstream, isn’t it?  I hope you enjoyed this time capsule as much as I did! 


  • Reply
    Crystal (
    January 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Wow! That pink bathroom reminds me of my grandmother. She even had a padded pink seat cover that whiffed out air when you sat on it – lol. Love your new blog header.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Oh my gosh. Those are scary and I do remember some of them. I think I had that first floral bedspread and the matching shower curtain. Ugh! the 70s really weren't pretty.

  • Reply
    Kelly S
    January 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Hilarious but really brings back some good memories of childhood. Grandmas house & we had saloon doors like that at the lake house:)

  • Reply
    Kim @ Savvy Southern Style
    January 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Oh, I remember it all too well. We had a linoleum floor very similar to the one shown in our first house.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for the laugh! That is GREAT! I wonder what people will be thinking 50 years from now about our style.

  • Reply
    Rasonda @ Lake Cottage Dreams
    January 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I dont know whats worse, the clowns or the carpet in the bathrooms. They are both scary in my book. Thanks for the blast from the past.. so fun!!

  • Reply
    VictoriaVM @ Frankfully
    January 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    These were great!! I loved each and every page you posted! That's a real keepsake! Who'd ever have thought an old catalog would be a keepsake? Is that why I hoard the ones I have now? 🙂 The all-blue bathroom is amazing! 🙂

  • Reply
    April Hoff
    January 10, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    These are too funny! The sad part is, my parents JUST GOT RID of their mustard-yellow toilet from this era…yikes! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Shine Your Light
    January 11, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    HILARIOUS!! Thanks for sharing – that was so fun!!!!! Reminds me of my grandma's house circa 1970s…..the fuzzy toilet seat cover!! LOL!

  • Reply
    Nancy Esmade
    January 13, 2013 at 4:05 am

    cool blog..keep on posting your great ideas

    bathroom accessories

  • Reply
    Carmel @ Our Fifth House
    January 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    This is so funny! All that carpet in the bathroom gives me hives! Can you even think of the germ factor – ewwww! But I'm not gonna lie – I think the contact paper on the cabinet fronts is kinda fun – like maybe for a laundry room. 😉

  • Reply
    February 4, 2014 at 1:00 am

    O those darn "now colors"! We had the mustard color in the half bath and the moss color in our full bathroom when we bought our house a few years ago! Ughhh

  • Reply
    May 9, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I posted a couple of groovy photos from my vintage 1971 JCPenney catalog …

  • Reply
    August 20, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Thanks for the laugh!!! Not only were the pictures great, but your comments were hysterical!

    • Reply
      August 20, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Heather! I still laugh when I look through that catalog – what were people thinking?!?

  • Reply
    March 1, 2018 at 6:31 am

    I woke up needing a laugh and you provided one! (My cat is now looking at me funny😺) I hope you had as much fun writing this as I had reading it. I thank you!

    • Reply
      March 1, 2018 at 7:21 am

      I’m so glad Andrea! I got such a kick out of this catalog – still do! I’m so happy that I held on to it – such a great piece of history!

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