Women's monthly magazines:
Happy to More!

This page gives profiles of women's monthlies, many of which are known as glossies or slicks because of their high production values and upmarket editorial. Some weeklies – such as Grazia and Riva – are included because of their attempts to establish themselves as weekly glossies. The main index page is here. The titles – past and present – are arranged alphabetically on the following pages:

Main women's monthly index page.

Women's magazine sales (1938-59).

Happy first issue cover  

Happy [closed]

Northern & Shell, monthly, May 2005 – March 2007
A magazine devoted to shopping, which covers fashion, style, beauty and interiors, with Eilidh Macaskill as editor and Mark Hayman as creative director. High production values with glossy, heavy cover. Dennis failed with home shopping magazine PS in 2000. Closed in March 2007
Northern & Shell profile

Harpers Bazaar 1936
A copy of Harper's Bazaar from January 1936. It was priced in dollars, French francs and shillings

Harper’s Bazaar (UK)

National Magazines/Hearst UK, monthly, 1929-1970; 2006-
Harper’s Bazaar dates back to 1867 in US. It was bought by Hearst (owner of NatMags) in 1912. It launched in the UK in 1929. In 1970, took over Queen and became Harper’s and Queen until 2006, when it reverted to the old name, by which it was known everywhere else in the world.

According to the NatMags website, the company 'took over Queen for free, in return for a commitment to give the printing contract for the newly merged title to owner Michael Lewis... Circulation was boosted, and advertising soared. It has been generally judged to be the only truly successful "marriage" of two titles in the women's market.'

Glenda Bailey was US editor-in-chief from May 2001 until 2020. Before that, she edited the US edition of Marie Claire (since 1996). Bailey made her name launching the UK edition of Marie Claire at IPC in 1988. Her first editorship was Honey in 1986.
Hearst UK profile

Harpers & Queen cover April 1971
Harper's & Queen,
April 1971. Helmut
Newton photo of
an uncredited
model wearing
Biba make-up

Harpers & Queen

National Magazines, monthly, 1970 – 2006
Title created when Harper’s Bazaar took over Queen in 1970. Reverted to old name in 2006.

Honey magazine 1964
Honey from 1964. The main cover line read: 'A girl's best accessory is a man'
Honey final issue 1986
Honey final issue, September 1986 under editor Glenda Bailey: note the large 'collectors item' cover line

Honey [closed]

Fleetway/IPC, monthly, Apr 1960 – September 1986
Seminal fashion magazine for young women in the 1960s and 1970s. Regarded as the first teenage magazine. Honey was founded by Audrey Slaughter (though only writers and photographers were credited) for Fleetway Publications Ltd (Fleetway House, Farringdon St., London EC4). The fifth issue identifies Jean McKinley as editor who wrote the first editorial:

'We're at your service and happy to be so. You're so gay and you get such a bang out of life.'

Tag line introduced in Oct 1960: 'For the teens and twenties.' By 1962 this had become: 'Young, gay and get-ahead.' The term 'gay', then meant uninhibited and did not take on the US meaning of homosexual until the 1970s.

Honey has been credited with encouraging young journalists, photographers and designers. The first issue ran photographs by George Koenig, Terence Donovan, Desmond Russell, Nigel Redhead, Julie Hamilton, Michael Ward, Basil Davis and Michael Williams. Cover credits were only given from issue 3, but Redhead, Jean Chevalier, Leo Aarons, David Bailey and Shiavone are acknowledged in the first year.

The November issue (8) has a double-page spread headed 'We'd like you to meet a few of the talented people who helped us with this issue.' These included: photographers Don McCullin, Euan Duff, Victor Singh, David Bailey, Nigel Redhead and Eric Wilkins; illustrators Sirriol Clarry, Bill Banks and Michael Heath; and writer Barbara Gaskell.

The magazine took over Woman & Beauty in 1964 and at its height sold 250,000 copies a month. Sales slid in the 1980s with the Jan-Jun 1980 figure of 214,349 falling to 158,438 for the same period in 1982, a drop of a quarter.

In May 1986, IPC announced Honey's closure and it was merged into 19. September was the cover date on the last issue, which featured an article on the best of Honey and promoted it as a 'collectors item'. The Times quoted publisher Heather Love as saying that the reason for the closure was the lack of co-operation from the staff with new editor, Glenda Bailey. She had been appointed in January to give the magazine a new direction. Bailey later went on to launch Marie Claire.
IPC profile

Housewife magazine cover, March 1939, issue 2
Second issue of Housewife magazine in March 1939
Housewife magazine of May 1955, promoting a Constance Spry feature
Housewife cover of May 1955, promoting a Constance Spry feature
Housewife cover of March 1956 featuring a Rosemary Hume cookbook
Housewife cover of March 1956 featuring a 16-page Rosemary Hume cookbook of cheese recipes


Hulton/Longacre Press, monthly, 1939-67
Housewife was launched by Hulton, publishers of the phenomenally successful Lilliput and Picture Post, just before the Second World War. It was a competitor to Good Housekeeping, which it overtook in sales in the 1950s.

It launched the careers of many household names, including Constance Spry (flower-arranging), Rosemary Hume (founder of the Le Cordon Bleu London cookery school), and Phyllis Digby Morton (beauty and fashion). TV chef Mary Berry took a qualification at Le Cordon Bleu and became food editor of Housewife in 1966 (and food editor of Ideal Home in 1970-73).

The editor in the late 1950s was Laurie Purden, who would go on to edit Good Housekeeping from 1967 – the year Housewife closed.

In the Moment magazine front cover 2017
Launch issue cover of In the Moment magazine (July 2017)

In the Moment

Immediate Media, £5.99, monthly, June 2017 (July cover date)
Immediate Media, the Radio Times and BBC Top Gear publisher, launched In the Moment on 22nd June, with a 116-page first issue and July cover date. The title aimed 'to help women make the most of every day with mindfulness, creativity and wellbeing'.

The focus was on 'positive' features and stories with a 'light-hearted approach' to inspire readers. The magazine's USP – unique selling point – was Take a Moment, an eight-page, handbag-sized mini-magazine, with a 'soothing' drink recipe, short story and puzzle. The first issue included a choice of ready-to-frame prints and card templates for pocket-sized 'greeting boxes'.

Cath Potter, Immediate's publishing director, said interest in mindfulness had 'grown enormously' in the past five years with people 'crying out for ways to slow down and tune out. In the Moment recognises that being more mindful doesn’t need to be heavy-going, and that it needs to fit within your lifestyle.' As part of the launch, promotional pages were run by the publisher's other magazines, such as Simply Crochet and Mollie Makes, alogside its Youtube page Such cross-promotion has been a vital technique for publishers going right back to the Victorian era.
Immediate Media profile

In Style magazine 2007
Cate Blanchett on the cover of InStyle (April 2007)

In Style (UK)

IPC Media, monthly, March 2001-2016
Launch by Time Life of the US, which placed it with IPC Media when parent Time Warner bought IPC in 2001. Celebrity lifestyle, beauty and fashion with high production values. While it did not make the same initial splash as Glamour, has established itself. Editor Dee Nolan (who also launched Metropolitan Home in 1990). In April 2007, InStyle launched a handbag format version and a website

In October 2016, Time Inc UK announced the closure of InStyle magazine with the December issue and its 'relaunch' as a 'digital first' product. Its headline circulation figure was 123,076 copies, but only 33,000 of those were sold at the full £3.99 cover price and 35,000 were sent out free - a classic example of how ABC circulation figures can be deceptive.
IPC / Time Inc UK profile

Lady's World magazine 1910
Cover of Lady's World in February 1910. The magazine ran this cover design from at least 1902 to 1921
Lady's World magazine 1915
Cover of Lady's World magazine with a double issue for Christmas 1915, hence the 6d price. The cover was by Laurence Miller

Lady's World

Macdonald and Martin, 6 Essex St, The Strand. Monthly, Dec 1898-Sept 1926

The format was similar to the Strand with more than 100 pages of editorial an issue, plus advertising. The printer was W Speaight & Sons, in nearby Fetter Lane on the other side of Fleet Street from Essex Street. Advertising for The Lady’s World in the Harmsworth magazine in 1899 put the sales at 150,000 copies a month. The cover price was 3d in 1915, but had doubled to 6d by 1920.

Macdonald and Martin also published Our Home, 'the best penny paper in the world'.

London Life october 1965
London Life – first issue under editor Mark Boxer
London Life Ian Drury cover
Ian Dury drew this London Life cover image of Tony Bennett for a profile by Benny Green. The words picked out in stripes against a flowery wallpaper background read: Tony Bennett / Royal / Variety / Mon 8 Nov / Palladium / 8 PM
London Life December 1966
London Life with the cover line '1966 was a very good year' – but possibly not for the magazine with a change of editor

London Life [closed]

9 October 1965-1967. Illustrated Newspapers. Weekly entertainment guide
This weekly entertainment guide is included here because it incorporated the Tatler title and so linked the 1960s version of the women's monthly until it was revived a couple of years later. The editor was Mark Boxer, who had spent three years launching and establishing the Sunday Times Magazine; before that he was art director of Queen, and later became editor of a rejuvenated Tatler in 1983 (the British Society of Magazine Editors has a special achievement award named after Boxer).

London Life aimed to banish the crusty old society world of Tatler and herald the new Swinging London. It typically ran to 56 or 60 pages for 2/6, with heavier coated pages used for the feature articles in a central section. It was published every Thursday (covering the Sat-Fri dates on the cover) from Elm House, 10-16 Elm St, London WC1. Its stated aim was as a 'comprehensive guide to the entertainment scene: films, theatre, restaurants, night life, music, sport'

The magazine was initially printed by Sun Printers in Watford, and East Midland Litho, Peterborough and bound by Sun Printers, Watford and London. By June 1966, the printing had moved to Gale & Polden, which had its London office at 28 Craven St, a road just off The Strand with strong literary connections – Moby Dick author Herman Melville and Benjamin Franklin, the printer and publisher who became one of the American Founding Fathers, both lived there.

In that year, Boxer left. The 10 September issue has a list of credits: Ian Howard was editor; picture executive was Jeremy Banks; the art editor was Tony Page; Patrick Brangwyn was production editor.

For the 6-12 Nov (1965) London Life on the left, Ian Dury drew a cover image of Tony Bennett for a profile by Benny Green. Words in the background are picked out in stripes against a wallpaper background. The concept was carried through to a double-page spread showing the performers at the Royal Variety Performance that year. The colour centre spread was devoted to a 'pin-up': in this case, 'Barbara Windsor, in a dress of Plantagenet splendour, designed by Oliver Messel, for Lionel Bart's Twang!! The musical is based, freely and with baroque improvisations, on the Robin Hood legend.' The photograph was by Terence Donovan.

There was a men's weekly called London Life, which was published for about 50 years until 1960. It was printed at 31 Craven Street. The Tatler London Life printer was Gale & Polden, at No 28, almost next door.
London Life 1965-1966 (Tatler) magazine cover checklist

looks magazine cover 1992 december
Looks at the peak of its sales in December 1992
Looks January 2000
Looks with Madonna on the cover for its January 2000 issue

Looks / Celebrity Looks [closed]

Emap/Emap Elan, September 1985- February 2002
Emap spent £500,000 on the launch of this fashion, beauty and haircare monthly aimed at young women aged 16-24. The launch included £400,000 spent on TV advertising and 400,000 copies of a preview issue were given away with the 18 September issue of Just 17. The first issue cost 70p for 96 pages with a print run of 200,000 – an industry rule of thumb would suggest the company was aiming for a settle-down circulation of 140,000. Ramune Burns was the editor under editorial director David Hepworth.

It was an immediate success with a first ABC figure of 137,017.

Burns left in July 1988 and took up a launch editor post at contract publisher Redwood on BBC Holidays 89. Morag Prunty took over the editor's chair.

Table 1 lists the main teen magazines in 1988.

Table 1. Teen titles in 1988
Title Publisher Frequency Price Sales
Smash Hits Emap Metro weekly 50p 767,540
Just 17 Emap Metro weekly 50p 306,207
Looks Emap Metro monthly 95p 195,082
Jackie DC Thomson weekly 30p 192,976
Mizz IPC fortnightly 50p 190,523
Company National Mags monthly £1 181,568
19 IPC monthly 90p 160,030
Number One IPC weekly 45p 146,980
Girl IPC weekly 40p 132,039
Blue Jeans DC Thomson weekly 32p 84,895
Girl IPC weekly 40p 83,323

In 1989, Mandi Norwood was appointed editor of Looks. (By January 1991 she was in the editor's chair at Company, taking over from Gill Hudson.)

By 1992, Looks was selling 231,083 but this was the peak of its sales. In December 1997, Emap Elan repositioned the title in an attempt to boost sales, which had fallen to 151,000. Eleni Kyriacou became editor. The magazine was redesigned with more emphasis on celebrities and reader make-overs. Publishing director Delyth Smith said the approach was driven by changes in the teenage magazine market, with the success of ‘baby glossies’, such as Emap's own It's Bliss and Futura's Sugar. In December, BBC Magazines announced the closure of its TV spin-off style magazine, Clothes Show. Earlier in the year, Emap had relaunched Just Seventeen as J17, taking it from weekly to monthly.

In May 2001, Looks changed its name to Celebrity Looks, though editor Margi Conklin said the change just reflected what had been the case since 1998. However, in February 2002, Celebrity Looks closed.

Marie Claire first issue
Marie Claire – launch editor Glenda Bailey had overseen the closure of both Honey and Folio when she got the job launching the title
Marie Claire cover with Kylie Minogue
Marie Claire – softer look in March 2005 with Kylie Minogue

Marie Claire (UK)

IPC Media/Marie Claire Album, monthly, September 1988 -
Joint venture between British and French groups. Launch editor Glenda Bailey had overseen the closure of both Honey and Folio when she got the job launching the title. Bailey – now at Harper’s Bazaar in US – made her name with this launch. After a slow start in the UK in 1988, it grew to challenge Cosmopolitan as the top women's monthly in the early 1990s, when it was famed for its intelligent approach with reportage and serious features. However, sales of both titles since overshadowed by Glamour.

A measure of social change in Britain was a cross-dressing article in the first issue that focused on the male royals. Just a Paris fashion makeover of the Queen got Nova into hot water in 1968. According to the book Nova 1965-75, 'The pictures were retouched in New York and promptly impounded in Britain on their return. They were finally released only with further retouching to lower the hemline and the sanction of Buckingham Palace.'

Available in cut-down A4 and 'travel-size' (in London commuter area) since September 2004, when it also cut its cover price from £3 to £2.50. Made a big fuss of running Brad Pitt on the cover and before him David Beckham.

Original version founded in France in 1937 by industrialist Jean Prouvost. One of France's leading up-market women's magazines. First international edition was Japan in 1982. US edition began as a bi-monthly in March/April 1995 and went monthly in September 1995.
IPC profile

Mirabella Murdoch launch issue
Mirabella - disappointing launch from Murdoch Magazines

Mirabella (UK) [closed]

Murdoch Magazines/News International, monthly, September 1990- May 1991
An attempt by Rupert Murdoch to launch another of his US titles in the UK, following the success of New Woman. Mirabella was a magazine designed to appeal to stylish, older women. In a controversial move, the launch issue was priced at £1 (usual cover price £2.20). The editor was Lesley White. Promotion included a 48-page insert in copies of Murdoch's Sunday Times newspaper distributed in the South-East (an idea used for the launch of Murdoch/Hachette’s Elle). Isabella Rossellini was on the cover, though this related to a disappointing single-page feature. In what appeared to be a spoiler, the October issue of National Magazine's Harpers and Queen, which appeared in the shops two weeks earlier, also had the Blue Velvet actress on its cover. Mirabella’s picture caption could be read as a riposte to H&Q: ‘The true Isabella. Much copied, never bettered.’

News International closed Mirabella in May 1991. It then sold Murdoch Magazines (Car, Supercar Classic, New Woman, Sky and TV Guide) to Emap. No official circulations figure had been recorded, but Mirabella was reported as not selling well and as a new title requiring investment would have been difficult to offload at the time when the country was in recession. The title was originally launched by Murdoch in the US in 1989. Grace Mirabella, a former editor-in-chief of US Vogue was identified as the magazine's namesake and was the title’s communications director.
News International profile

Modern Woman August 1953
Modern Woman in August 1953 – 'The magazine that keeps you up-to-date'
modern woman cover 1962 feb Sylvia Syms
Modern Woman cost 1/9 for 92 pages in February 1962 and was stapled. Sylvia Syms modelled for the cover, which was shot by John Adriaan on what looks like a film set

Modern Woman [closed]

George Newnes (later part of IPC), 1925- (1960s?)
Printed by Sun Printers in Watford.

Modern Woman was based around fiction, fashion and lifestyle features. Its sales peaked in the mid 1950s at about 230,000 copies.

In 1962, Modern Woman was published on the 5th of each month. In the February issue, all three short stories were bought from the US:

  1. 'I'd go anywhere with you' by Catharine Boyd. It was illustrated by Bob Peak, a US film poster artist – he did the early Star Trek films!
  2. 'The indifferent guest’ by Wilma Shore. This was illustrated by Bernie Fuchs who painted J.F. Kennedy.
  3. ‘A man of few words' by Dorothy Mackie Low. Illustrated by Joe Bowler, another US portrait painter.

Among the articles was a profile of Nancy Mitford article, discussing her book on etiquette, Noblesse Oblige. It quotes her as saying that the idea for U and non-U came out of a throwaway mention in an article for Encounter (the anti-communist, Anglo-US monthly that later turned out to have been funded by the CIA).

Other features were horoscopes by Leon Petulengro and a list of advertisers. Only 16 of the pages were in colour.

More! first issue cover April 1988
More! - launch issue
More! magazine 1988
More! – 16-page fashion extra with the first issue. Centre spread was a double gatefold


Emap London Lifestyle, fortnightly, 6 April 1988 -
Women's lifestyle/fashion title for 16- to 24-years-olds. Most readers are single and at university or working and living at home. Sales stood at 277,000 at the end of 2005 and 271,629 at end of 2006 (though the title had gone monthly by then). In July 2007 it was announced that the title was to go weekly from September.
Emap profile