How To Dress Like A 1950s Pin-Up Girl

Artists like Gil Elvgren and George Petty idealized the classic vintage pin-up girl look, and vintage clothing shoppers often ask for popular clothing that creates that sexy girl-next-door style. We love to showcase vintage clothes with cheesecake appeal like those seen in retro pin-up art. Dressing the part in authentic vintage clothing is a thrill and a hunt. At Vintage Vixen we are always seeking out pin-up style clothes that will fulfill your 1950s fashion wish list.

If you're an aspiring pin-up girl, the easiest styles to start with are 1950s dresses.  A pin-up model often posed in a strappy sun dress, usually with a full skirt (easily upswept by the wind!) and often with spaghetti straps or a buttoned front that could be unbuttoned a few inches from the hem. If your legs are your best asset, go this route. If your bustline's a beauty, look for low scoop necklines a la Marilyn Monroe. And with any dress, wear your 1950s stilettos!  High heels are a pin-up's best friend.

Vintage 1950s swimsuits are highly popular and harder to find as they've become increasingly collectible. Look for styles like classic maillots and dress-like skirted swimsuits to achieve that pin-up silhouette. Many have modest legs a bit shorter than a boy short, ultra-flattering and not-too-revealing... remember, a pin-up is the girl next door! While swimwear is quintessential for the vintage pin-up, a bathing suit will only get limited use so it's wise to invest in just one or two really excellent styles.

For vintage clothing you can wear every day, there are lots of pin-up choices in vintage separates. This is a great "undiscovered" area to browse for terrific vintage cheesecake styles that are both understated and very wearable for casual settings. In tops, look for sleeveless vintage blouses with ballet necklines in woven cottons or jersey knit. For bottoms, you can wear either 1950s short shorts or a full 1950s skirt similar to the dress styles above. A classic casual pin-up girl combination would include an off-shoulder peasant top and a fiesta style skirt... and finish the outfit with a 1950s era belt to show off your hourglass figure!

Our style guide to 1950s pin-up clothing wouldn't be complete without mentioning the epitome of vintage pin-up style - the sweater girl. Sweaters convey sexiness even with high necklines and long sleeves, especially 1950s sweaters with trim styling and a nipped waist. They're alluring yet apropos for the office - the best of both worlds!

And last, but not least, lingerie. The pin-up girl knows her lingerie. It's a vixen's way of shaping and molding to fit all the other clothes just so. We could spend an entire article on 1950s lingerie (and we will!) but for now let's just say that for a pin-up girl, lacy and sheer is the way to go... and when you're looking at undergarments, make them supportive as possible in the correct silhouette for the era. After that everything will fall into place and look fabulous!

At Vintage Vixen we specialize in finding your favorite authentic pin-up clothing! You can get first dibs on updates by joining our mailing list... just write and let us know you'd like to join.

Related Reading On Our Blog: How To Look Like A Model Circa 1955 | We Wear Short Shorts!

Imagery from archives, public domain sources, and pin-up illustrations adapted from Gil Elvgren under fair use.