How to dress pin-up style – and where to get the pieces!

Embrace your inner pin-up and start turning heads in a style that has stood the test of time. Here's how!

Pin-up fashion is one of those styles that will never get old.

How do we know? Because the cuts are classic, the fits are flattering and the colours match everything! From high-waisted everything to satin and ruched fabrics, pin-up style is daring, sweet and sexy all rolled into one.

We've put together this list of the top items you need in your wardrobe for a truly pin-up inspired outfit. And you can complete the look with our guide to pin-up hair and makeup.


1. Cigarette pants

One of the biggest focuses of pin-up fashion is the silhouette. You want to look curvy, hourglass-shaped and really emphasise your waist.

So cigarette pants are one of the best options out there because not only do they elongate the legs to make you seem taller, they also fit snugly around the hips and cinch you in at the waist to create a refined, hourglass silhouette.

Go funky with a bold print to make it feel extra retro!

You can find cigarette pants at: THE ICONIC, ASOS, Portmans.


2. Circle skirts

Circle skirts are a fun staple style for any 50s-loving fashionista.

As the name suggests, the style is designed by cutting a wheel shape into some fabric, with the inner circle making up the waist and the outer, the hem. Even better? A lot of them have pockets!

Think Grease – those Pink Ladies knew what was up with this oh-so-vintage look.

For an added bonus, pop a petticoat underneath to really volumise the skirt and give an extra dimension. Not only will it help define the silhouette but it will also give you something comfy to sit on!

You can purchase a circle skirt from: Boohoo, ASOS, THE ICONIC.


3. Pencil skirts

Pencil skirts are a pin-up staple and should be given pride of place in your wardrobe.

They're adaptable and stylish no matter what era you're going for. In fact, one day you may look every inch the pin-up star and the next you could be an aspiring businesswoman from Mad Men.

Use luxe fabrics to create a really expensive look and opt for bold colours like red (or even leopard print).

Be daring – this style of skirt is one that definitely turns heads, so get ready for double takes.

You can find pencil skirts at: PrettyLittleThing, Showpo, Portmans, THE ICONIC.


4. Wiggle dresses

The quintessential pin-up look! Wiggle dresses are fun to wear and fun to say, so who could ask for more?

Designed to flatter any figure, the silhouette emphasises your curves without exaggerating any less popular areas of the body.

Usually ruched across the middle, wiggle dresses are popular as a plus-size option because they're incredibly comfortable as well as stylish, and the wrap style ruching minimises any so-called problem areas.

Bright colours are always popular – stop traffic in fire engine red for a big statement!

You can get your hands on a wiggle dress from: ASOS, THE ICONIC, Portmans.


5. High-waisted shorts

High-waisted shorts are crazy comfortable and definitely one of the staples of a pin-up wardrobe.

Once again, it's all about drawing attention to the waist! High-waisted garments are always flattering, and frankly anything that keeps our stomachs looking trimmer and tauter is cool by us.

Choose fabrics like satin that will give a smooth finish and don't be afraid to go bold with prints and buttons to keep things interesting.

Pair them with stockings if you're not afraid to layer.

High-waisted shorts can be found at: THE ICONIC, Princess Polly, ASOS.


6. Cardigans

One of the most iconic pin-up/burlesque names in the business is Dita Von Teese, and any fan worth their salt knows that Dita loves a good cardigan.

The perfect mixture of practical and pin-up, cardigans are an accent for any look.

You can use them for their intended purpose, or even tuck them into a circle skirt and use them as a top – the choice is yours!

Bold colours with embroidered feature points are always popular. If you have a plain cardigan, pop a brooch on top and you're ready!

You can purchase a cardigan from: ASOS, Forever New, THE ICONIC.


7. Seamed stockings

Pin-up is all about curve and legs, so you'll want to make your legs look as long as you can. But that definitely doesn't mean you should go bare. In fact, it's frowned upon!

Stockings that have a seam running up the back of the leg are the favourite.

Did you know that back when money was tight in WWII and women couldn't afford stockings, women used gravy to paint on the line of their nylons to make it look like they were wearing them?

Get yourself a pair of seamed stockings from: ASOS, Etsy, eBay.


8. Peep-toe heels

For a true top-to-toe look, you're going to want to finish off with a pair of peep-toe heels.

You'd be surprised how comfortable a lot of pin-up style shoes are, and the reason is because the era was known for how popular dancing was. So naturally, the shoes had to be able to keep you going from foxtrot to foxtrot.

Think Mary Jane style, with straps across the top to fit snugly as you dance the night away.

It was also popular to go outlandish with clashing patterns and bright colours, so make your shoes a statement!

Pop on some peep-toe heels from: Styletread, THE ICONIC, ASOS.


Where to shop for Pin Up fashion


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