9 Must Have Items for that Killer Pinup Style Wardrobe

I frequently get asked from people what I believe to be the basics to a perfect beginner pinup themed wardrobe.  Here I share my nine must have items for you to achieve that killer pinup style wardrobe.


What I love most about modern pinup fashion is its emphasis on femininity, sexiness and confidence, as well as the fact that this classic style has been around for decades.  The origins of the pinup style came about since the 1930’s, when posters of sassy and seductive ladies (pinup girls) were mass produced in popular culture.


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I love to collect vintage sewing patterns from the 1940s and 1950s.  There’s something about the images on the front that makes me wish it was that time again and reminds me that I should have been born in a different era.  Going back through my collection it’s so easy to see that this style is known for its assents on your waist line, feminine silhouettes and classic necklines.  So, if you were blessed with that gorgeous hour-glass figure, which unfortunately I was not, you’re winning!

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When I started collecting pinup style clothing, I fell into a deep, passionate love affair with dresses.  You can tell my husband about this.  He knows!  To me, dresses would have to be my number one must have item in my pinup wardrobe.  Going through my vintage sewing pattern collection it’s clear to see that two main style of dresses were very popular.  These were the swing dress and the wiggle dress.

Swing Dress

The swing dress has a very characteristic by its fitted top and its flare at the hips.  This design emphasises your waist and creates that gorgeous feminine silhouette.  For that ultra-feminine look, I like to wear my dresses with a petticoat.  This added detail always makes me feel good and I am guaranteed to get compliments.  Good luck stuffing yourself into the front of your car though!  It’s a challenge for me to do it gracefully.


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Swing dresses are supposed to be fun, feminine and girly and can be dressed up or dressed down, so build up your collection of dresses in plain colours, polka dots, stripes, flower prints, checks and gingham, fruits and anything else that’s fun.

Check out my fabulous collection of swing dresses I have available in my store.

Wiggle Dresses

I’m not blessed enough to be able to wear wiggle dresses (too many fat rolls) at the moment, but that doesn’t stop me dreaming!  These dresses are firm fitting and tight (so tight you have to wiggle to move anywhere).  They’re designed to celebrate your curves by embracing those hips and screams hot and sexy!


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Click here to view my collection of wiggle dresses available in store.


Like dresses, there are two main styles of skirts that scream pinup; the circle skirt and the pencil or wiggle skirt.  These are also known for their assents on your waist and celebration of your curves.  Circle skirts can be worn as they are, but like dresses, I like to wear mine with a petticoat.  Pencil skirts need to place emphasis on your waist.  So any skirt that sits at your waist and shows off your curves would be a great start for any pinup wardrobe.


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Tops and Blouses

Tops and blouses in the 1940s and 1950s had a signature style neckline.  Classic necklines include the sweetheart neckline, off the shoulder neckline, halter strap necklines and boat neck necklines.  My favourite style neckline would have to be the sweetheart neckline.  Nothing says femininity more than that.


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Another must have, and a personal favourite of mine, is the cropped cardigan.  I like to wear my pinup style outfits with a cardigan for that extra bit of cuteness.  I’m also a bigger girl with more to love, so I feel much more confident when I wear a matching cardigan to my outfit.  Cardigans are also great for keeping warm when the weather is cool.


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Other must have items that I think create that killer pinup wardrobe is a pair of 1940’s high waist swing pants, which are perfect for winter.  A cute pair of capri pants are perfect for the summer weather and look awesome with heels.  Finally, a cute pair of high waist shorts are perfect for summer time fun.


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Must Have Accessories

To compliment my must have pinup clothing I have a range of must have fashion accessories.  Different combinations of these accessories allow me to create multiple outfits.

Petticoats and Stockings

I like to wear petticoats under my swing dresses and skirts to create that full skirt look and create even more emphasis on my waist.  I have a collection of go to colours in my wardrobe such as black, white, red and pink.  I have so many colours available in my store to start off your very own collection.


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Nothing else screams vintage inspired than seamed stockings or panty hose.  These are not high on my list but I know a lot of you ladies love to wear them.  They look super sexy and will turn heads.


Apart from a petticoat that I use to create that full skirt look, a chunky belt is also on my must have pinup style list and I think I have a belt in every colour possible.  Belts are a perfect way to create definition between your upper body and hips as well as draw attention to your waist.


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Hair Accessories

I love to wear scarfs, hair flowers, tie up headbands and hair bows and I have a large collection of these in different colours which I use to compliment my outfits.


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Finally, to top it all off I love to accessories with a cute vintage inspired hand bag.  The size really depends on your needs and what you like to carry but be careful of accessorising with bags that may be too bulky.  I’d highly recommend starting your collection off with a black hand bag as black goes with everything!


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I hope this guide is helpful for you in creating the beginnings of a killer pinup style wardrobe.  In summary, begin with anything that emphasises your waist, showcases your curves and makes you feel confident and sexy.

I’d love to hear what your must have items are in your killer pinup wardrobe.  Please share by commenting below.

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