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How to Dress Like a Pin-Up Girl

Whether you’re inspired by original 40s pin-up bombshell Bettie Page or her modern-day counterpart Dita von Teese, adding a touch of vintage glamour to your wardrobe puts a quirky spin on everyday dressing. Follow the steps below to dazzle ’em with your new pin-up look…

Beehives are trickiest to master, but the secret is mostly just a lot of hairspray and patience – check out YouTube for videos on how to achieve it and practise, practise and practise again before actually sporting one outside the house. An easier way to copy pin-up hair is to grow a straight-cut style below your shoulders and maintain a sharp fringe that sits about a centimetre above your eyebrows. One blow-dry and some volumising product later and you’ve got yourself a flicky, swishy mane to be proud of.

Pin-up makeup is all about exaggeration and extremes – scarlet lips, ultra-dark brows, creamy skin, feline eyes. Apply a light-reflecting foundation or tinted moisturiser to give skin a glow, then fill out immaculately-arched eyebrows with a dark brown or black brow pencil. Paint your lips into a cupid’s bow with a matte red shade that best matches your colouring (the bolder the better!) and trace with matching liner to seal in. For an alluring eye, dot jet-black liquid liner between lashes and finish with a connecting sweep and flick to accentuate the eye’s outer corner; fluttery false lashes on top will add even more pizzazz.

Pin-up wear is all about flattering, curve-flaunting cuts and witty attitude. Pencil skirts, button-up shirt dresses, waist-cinching belts, fitted blouses and bandeau tops all have the elements of super-femininity and restrained sexiness required. Tongue-in-cheek prints go down well, too – think polka dots and sailor’s anchors, clusters of roses and Hawaiian motifs. Bring the look together with some vintage-fabulous accessories: a structured croc or patent handbag on the crook of the arm is a must, plus strings of pearls, clip-on costume earrings or horn-rimmed glasses. Extreme heels finish things off – only kitten or stiletto will do, though.

Pin-up style is just made for trying out new lingerie looks – and there’s a wealth of burlesque-inspired underwear out there ready for showing off in. Get inspired by Moulin Rouge or Dita’s book Burlesque and the Art of the Teese and go for stockings with seams up the back, sexy suspenders, corsets or sculptural push-up bras. Those confident in shaking their thing should ditch the bra altogether and pick up some nipple pasties – the sparklier and more extravagantly heart-shaped the better, we say!