Argos is a retailer that anyone in the UK is familiar with, but not many Americans recognize the name. Their catalogs (or, as they say over there- “catalogues”) are pretty similar to a JC Penny’s or Sears variety selling a mix of everything from gardening equipment and lava lamps to bath towels and Star Wars action figures. And, of course, they had models to help sell their wares.
Like Barker’s Beauties on the Price is Right who could make even a can of Folgers seem titillating, , these old Sears and JC Penny catalogs had all manner of pretty ladies modeling their home furnishings and braziers. Young lads in the US held their catalog foxes dear (especially the ladies of the lingerie section) and I’m sure the 70s/80s kids in the UK held their Argos models in similar regard. Argos definitely holds its own.
What makes them so special? Well, in casual interior decor pages, there’s not much to write home about (other than groovy interiors galore). And there isn’t a lingerie section – the most important part of a JC Penny and Sears catalog. I think the awesomeness lies in how they really “sexed it up” here and there. Whether it’s patio furniture or shower curtains, the Argos ladies had it going on.
I will admit – things start out a bit tame, but by the early 1980s, the Argos gals are really selling the hell out of some shower equipment! We’ll cover up to 1981 in this post, then continue into the remainder of the 80s in the next. And as with the Miniskirt Monday – if vintage babes aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty of retro-goodness to be found in these pages.
For each example I will include a “zoomed out” scan of the catalog pages and then a “detail” of the foxy catalog mama therein. Enjoy!
Argos No.10 1978 Autumn
That contraption looks dangerous. Good thing she’s wearing shades.
Argos No.11 1979 Spring Summer
Best workout attire ever: high waisted shorts and a bikini-top. One can only imagine the level of 1970s bouncing.
Argos No.12 Autumn Winter 1979
Argos bed linen models generally sleep in the nude.
‘1 System – 5 Shapes”….. written atop a woman’s nude soapy body.
Argos No.13 1980 Spring Summer
She’s workin’ it really hard, but he’s more interested in that scrumptious buttered roll thank-you-very-much.
If ever there were a catalog that smelled like pancakes, it’s the Argos catalogue.
Argos No. 15 1981 Spring Summer
Mixed drinks are not allowed in US catalogs.
Kid on the left: “Jimmy, your mom is a definite MILF.”
Just so you know, Google has hammered us (even thought there was no nudity). Looks like I have the last laugh – there’s plenty of pancakes to be had in the Argos patio furniture section.
By the 1990s, they’d just show the inflatable mattresses. Not so in the 70s and 80s – there had to be a catalogue honey in the picture.
Sears and JC Penny never had a topless woman tanning her boobs. Well played, Argos. Well played.
As I said, Argos ladies liked to sleep in the buff.