The magnetization direction switching is investigated in epitaxial Fe/Cu(100) films by spin-polarized scanning electron microscopy. We follow the transition from perpendicular to in-plane magnetization with both increasing film thickness and varying temperature. No variation of magnetic moment with magnetization direction change is found. A perpendicular stripe domain configuration is identified which evolves from the low-temperature single-domain state during the reorientation phase transition. © 1992 The American Physical Society.