The Art of Vintage Part II by Allie Michelle

Read Part I here.

The Pin-Up

The Pin-Up pushed the envelope in terms of sexual expression. Seductive with a sweet side, she is the original sex symbol; edgy, flirty, sexy – and not afraid to show it.


The Clothes

During the 1950s, the wholesome Pin-Up girl of the 40s gave way to the more racy Bettie Page types. The new Pin-Up added some spice to the wardrobe such as tight bodices, flowing or fitted skirts, high heels and sexy undergarments. The clothes of the Pin-Up emphasize a full figure, hourglass shape that accentuates a woman’s curves and flatter her figure. They feature bright colors and bold prints such as the cherry print, polka dots, and gingham. 

Look 1: The Swing Dress

The Swing Dress is tastefully sexy, and lovely on almost any body type. The dress fits through the waist and falls into a medium full, full, or circle skirt of knee, calf, or tea length that emphasizes the hips. A crinoline was often worn underneath to give even more shape to the skirt. Predominant halter styles include v-neck, bandeau, and sweetheart neck lines. Strong yet feminine, red and pink shades are popular colors as well as navy, black, black and white combinations, blues, and greens. Common prints include leopard, polka dot, cherry print, large roses or floral patterns, and plaid. Pair with matching heals or wedges.pinup3


Look 2: The Wiggle Dress

The Wiggle Dress refers to a form-fitting dress or a pencil skirt with the width of the hem narrower than the hips. The silhouette skims the body to the knees and even the slit at the back won’t allow a long stride, so women “wiggle” as they walk; accordingly, sometimes this style of dress is referred as The Wiggle Dress. The dress flatters even the curviest of women.

Bettie Page

Bettie Page


Look 3: The Cigarette Pants

To achieve this flirty look, wear a halter, v-neck, bandeau, or sweetheart top with high-waisted Cigarette Pants, ankle length Capri pants or leggings. Pair with matching heels, wedges, Mary Janes, retro flats, or saddle shoes.


The Accessories

Cat Eyes Frames: Donned by classic sex symbols including Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, Cat Eye Frames portray an intelligent femininity and sex appeal. There are cat eye frames becoming to all face shapes. Women with round faces look best with frames that add angles to their bone structure, so frames with sharp edges look best. Women with a heart-shaped face or a square face should select frames with rounded edges.

Actress Marilyn Monroe is shown in this December 1961 photo taken in New York City

Bandana: Tie a bandana or colorful headband to create a casual Pin-Up girl look. For a more elegant alternative, pin a large flower by the face to compliment Retro Glamour Waves.pinup11

Retro Shoes: Pair any Pin-Up outfit with a pair of tall rockabilly heels, wedges, Mary Janes, pumps or saddle shoes for a unique and statement-making style.

The Look


The Hair: Retro Glamour Waves

For Easy-to-do Retro waves, wrap large strands of hair on medium-sized hot rollers or on a curling iron. Next, shape the curls using your fingers. Extra-gloss hairspray provides the perfect finish for this style.

The Makeup: Bold, Luscious Lips

  • The key to this look is bold, luscious lips in red or maroon. (Try Chanel Rouge Allure in Passion or Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Merlot)
  • Apply a thin, natural looking layer of foundation.
  • To achieve the “come hither stare”, apply a matte color from lash line to crease. (Check Out MAC Eyeshadow in Omega)
  • Line the top lid with a black liner, either pencil or liquid, line your top lid. Gradually extend the pencil line slightly upward at the outer corners of the eyes for a subtle cat eyes.
  • False Eyelashes in black optional. Layer lashes with black mascara. Outline and fill brow line.
  • To add a healthy glow to the face, dust on blush to the apples of your cheeks. (We like Cover Girl Classic Color Blush in Soft Mink)