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Vintage fashion photo inspiration from the Life magazine archives

eveing gown

checked dress


farm girl





at the bar

Recently, I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with vintage photographs and I thought I’s share some of them with you. Today’s batch is from the archives of life magazine, which can be accessed via google images. It’s an amazing collection of photos, many previously unpublished, which can be search by decade (1860s to 1970s) or by keyword. My only criticism is that when searching by keyword, it doesn’t actually tell you when each photos is from, and there’s also no information what the photo is about other than the title. maybe something they are working on?

Anyway, I’ve pulled out a selection of photos from searches using the keywords fashion and clothes. I’m pretty sure that all of them are fashion editorials – even the farm girl one is from a story on ‘farm fashion’. I love that so many of them show the models doing stuff, as was obviously the style of the times, as if the photographer has just happened upon them looking amazingly glamorous while going about their daily business. No staring directly into the camera moodily like today’s fashion stories!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lemondrop Marie 1 March 2010, 2:18 am

    I am almost drooling over the second dress and the whole third photo! These are gorgeous!

    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

  • Diana 1 March 2010, 4:07 am

    I saw these on you flickr! wow, i've missed out on so much it looks like!

    have you ever typed in 'library' in the life image archives? amazing!

  • Empress 1 March 2010, 4:37 am

    Love any and everything vintage

    If you like fashion blogs, and you have a second check mine out! http://truequeen.com


  • Louise 1 March 2010, 8:00 am

    These are lovely. I'm always partial to shoots that show women actually doing something apart from jumping in front of a white wall. My favourite is the ladies around the piano. So chic.

  • Retro Chick 1 March 2010, 4:41 pm

    These women look better doing the garden than I do when I'm in my best dress.

    Oh dear!

  • Chelsea 1 March 2010, 7:40 pm

    These photos are great! They make me want to wear big hats and hold bunnies.

  • WendyB 3 March 2010, 1:28 am

    Those three rabbits made me laugh!

  • M 6 March 2010, 12:34 am

    so glamorous!

  • Peldyn 6 March 2010, 3:45 pm

    These photos are so amazing! Thank you for posting them. I am now going to stalk the Life archives for fashion ideas.

    And those shoes, I think I am in love with all those shoes I see *swoon*

  • Karen @ Bobbins And Bombshells 6 March 2010, 7:34 pm

    Wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing.

  • Jessica 8 March 2010, 11:43 am

    These are beautiful images! I love vintage fashion and fashion history. It makes me wish people now put more effort into dressing, rather than pajamas to the grocery store!

  • Refluxo 9 March 2010, 12:58 pm

    good times