The front and back covers of London Life, which appeared from 1920 to 1960, should suggest the dominant theme of this magazine. In the three issues from the early 1940s that we found at Jot HQ recently scantily clad young ladies feature prominently on two of the covers, while the third shows a lovely young thing in full pout. Between the covers images of more scantily clad ladies in the form of photos and line drawings jostle for attention with feature articles on such topics as corsets and shoes, paint-on stockings, and ear-rings. There are also serials featuring Tilda, ‘ the world’s most glamorous girl ‘.But most of each issue is dominated by correspondence from alleged ‘ readers ‘ discoursing on every aspect of dress fetishism from a penchant for corsetry , high-heeled shoes and long gloves to the pleasures of transvestism.
Compared with what can be found on the Internet today this material is pretty mild, but in 1932 the magazine was deemed too audacious for the Irish government, who banned it. However, during the war against Hitler ( who is mocked in one issue) a more sensible British government doubtless felt that it provided much-needed glamour for demoralised troops.
All tastes were catered for by the correspondents, including in one instance, a sort of male transvestism in which the correspondent recalls the experience of wearing a corset borrowed from a friend:
‘ He asked me if I would like to be laced, and suggested a comfortable tightness at first, and as it was a beautiful evening, we decided to go for a walk after I finished dressing. We went quite five miles, and I shall never forget how comfortable I felt; no sign of fatigue, and on my return I requested him to lace me in much tighter—and it was quite a thrill seeing what a small waist I could achieve. Needless to add that I have now spent some coupons on a pair of my own, and although I don’t wear them daily, I particularly delight in walking in them, and have become quite a tight-lacing fan.
“LACED.” Continue reading