A style with staying power, the Pin-Up look had a huge revival in the 1990s and 2000s and continues to influence the fashion of today and tomorrow. The concept of the pin-up girl goes all the way back to the 1890s and the drawings of illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, which featured tall, narrow-waisted women representing the ideal feminine form. The style that people today associate with pin-up girls is from the 40s, when men fighting in World War Two would “pin up” the illustrations of women in their bunkers. With some attention to detail, creativity and a little flirty fun, it’s easy to recreate a pin-up look for yourself with a few simple rules.
Clothing in the 40s reflected and accentuated the womanly figure, drawing attention to the shoulders and bust, small waists, and wider hips. Although women weren’t wearing corsets every day, they were
popular in pin-up fashion, along with high-waisted panties and other shape-hugging undergarments. You can create the base of your pin-up look with the Vintage Shapewear Bra By Grenier Lingerie and matching high-rise panty. Throw a vintage-style dress on top and you’re good to go. For something a little more hard-edged, build a look with the Mitsou Leopard-Print Camisole Corset by Arianne Lingerie. Add a pencil skirt and you’re on your way to
a 50s rockabilly look!
During WWII, stockings were rationed as part of the war effort, and some women even resorted to drawing lines down the backs of their legs to look like tights! This might be one of the reasons stockings and garters are particularly important in pin-up fashion. There’s also the added bonus that a simple pull of the skirt can reveal a flirty peek at those undergarments (often the case in the pin-up world). Stockings with detail on the thigh or garters and paired with a skirt with a hemline that goes just below the tops of the stockings will add a thrill to your outfit – and an eyebrow-raising tease for anyone who looks.
40s makeup had a very precise look, but luckily it’s easy to remember and achieve. Eye makeup was light, usually only on the top lid, finishing with mascara and eyeliner. Lips were very dark, generally dark red, but sometimes mauve as
well. Nails were also bright red. Blush was natural-hued and lightly applied. So all you really need to invest in to achieve this look is the right shade of red lipstick. See? It’s easy!
Curls were huge during this time period – pin curls, finger waves and ringlets were all the rage, and hair was most always shoulder-length or longer. This is probably the biggest challenge of the pin-up look, with curls being very defined and tight (sometimes problematic for the curly-haired folks) and a lack of styles for short or straight hair (a BIG issue). Luckily
though, retro trends in hats, fascinators, and feathered headbands can help out women who don’t want to bother with curling their hair. Add a vintage-style fascinator or feather clip, and you’ll achieve the look without the extra effort or hairspray.
Touches of Innocence
The most important element of the pin-up look is the touch of innocence. Pin-ups illustrations and photos have a humorous or innocent side, incorporating an “uh oh” moment or the girl’s unawareness into the story of the photo. This gives pin-ups a scandalous but energetic side. Sweet, even girlish details will greatly enhance your look. For example, you can pair an animal print camisole with a pretty white sweater to play up the feminine side. This spirit is what makes pin-up style multi-dimensional and
appealing, so get creative and have fun with it!
Do you have tips to looking pin-up ready?
Photo credits and sources
Pin-Up Girl with
Typically Pin Up Girl:
Dita Von Teese Makeup:
Research and Sources: