Pin-up style – the style inspired by the Burlesque models of 1950s, Rockabilly and Hollywood glam. It’s a style that celebrates femininity through embracing your curves and flaunting your femininity –from glamorous hair-dos and gorgeous makeup to high heels and a hint of cleavage. Pin-up models appeared in many households across the world, usually in garages, where they were pinned up on the wall, alluring the curious with their breathtaking curves and angelic faces. Since then, the pin-up style has been popularized by many celebrity icons such as Jayne Mansfield and later Dita Von Teese. So, what exactly does a typical pin-up wardrobe consist of? Let’s look at some of the essentials for dressing in the modern pin-up style.
Pin curls, victory rolls, and faux bangs
First, let’s start with the hairstyles. Feminine and beautiful, hairstyles were usually made in a way that enhanced the beauty of the face and let the facial features take the spotlight. Shorter hair is usually swept up in neat updos or pin curls, while longer hair was usually done in a Hollywood starlet-inspired victory rolls or in a classic and elegant bombshell hairstyle. Bangs were usually curled up, and some pin-up girls also wore faux bangs with added accessories.
Bandanas and flower pins
Bandanas were worn most often, since they used to press and hold all the hair that was covered in hairspray. Bobby pins are a useful thing to have when doing retro-inspired hairstyles – by attaching the bobby pins to the bandana, you can rest assured your hair won’t move and fall apart. Flower pins were another staple in the typical day to day look of pin-up models, and they were used to accentuate the femininity of the pin-up girl wearing it.
Bottoms and dresses that accentuate curves
Pin-up girls were the ones to embrace their curves by wearing skin-tight pants and skirts. Pencil skirts, high-waist skinny jeans, shorts, and capri pants – all of these were worn by pin-up models to emphasize their curves. The same goes for dresses – they needed to be tight at the top to accentuate the waist, creating that hourglass shape. If you can’t get your hands on some vintage pieces, don’t worry. There are many modern pin-up dresses you can find online that translate that vintage vibe into hot and modern garments.
Feminine tops with prints or patterns
Classic pin-up girl tops are usually tight, with subtle decolletage for a hint of cleavage. The typical pin-up girl wardrobe consisted of button-up shirts, tube tops, halter tops, and bustiers. There were also many sailor-inspired pieces. As for the prints, they varied from polka dots and cherry prints to leopard prints and stripes. You could also see checkered blouses, and the palette usually consisted of red, blue, black, and white.
Red lips & nails
One of the staples of pin-up style is the color red. This fiery hue symbolizes love and passion, so it’s no wonder pin-up models wore it so often. Red lips and nails emphasized the femininity in pin-up girls, but you can play with different nail art to bring attention to your nails. Add cherry or leopard print to spice things up, or copy the style of Ditta Von Teese by wearing half mon nails. Stiletto nails with red tips are another way to celebrate pin-up style and draw all the eyes on your hands.
Neat brows and winged eyeliner
When you look at the faces of many pin-up models, you’ll notice that most of them have rather thin and neat brows. Since their hairstyles tend to push the hair away from the face and let facial features take the spot, your brows need to be in perfect condition. As for the eyes, when in doubt – wing it! Go with classic winged eyeliner or add long, faux lashes to get that dolly look.
Platform pumps with prints or bows
If you look closely, pin-up girls’ legs are one of the focal points of every pin-up poster. Shoes were used to elongate the slim legs of pin-up girls, and their shoe closet almost always consisted of platform pumps or wedges with straps in red and black or covered with prints such as polka dots, cherry and leopard print. Shoes with lacy bows were another popular staple in every pin-up girl’s shoe closet, and for models who preferred something a little bit comfier, two-inch peep-toe pumps would do the trick.
There you have it – seven pin-up essentials you can’t do without. Use this list as an inspiration to express your passion for all things vintage and pull off the perfect pin-up girl look.