My love affair with pinup/vintage reproduction clothing started in around 2012, when my hair was brown and I was obsessed with Mad Men.
While the character of Betty Draper didn’t resonate with me much, her style took my breath away every episode. She was the pinnacle of 1950s sophisticated housewife chic and I wanted to look just like her.
Every episode I was Googling phrases like “Mad Men fashion” and “how to dress like Betty Draper” and coming up short. All I was getting was production articles about how they made the costumes authentic, which were fascinating in their own way, but not what I was looking for.
When finally, I came across the jackpot.
I don’t remember if it was an article on “how to dress like Betty Draper” or if Pinup Girl Clothing had just updated their SEO terms, but I had found my gateway into pinup fashion.
I ummed and ahhed over actually buying this dress (and several others) for a long time before actually doing so. At the time, my “style” was nerd shirts and jeans, so jumping in and buying an ultra feminine dress that hugged my curves was completely out of my comfort zone.
So in our Cinderella style fairytale, she gets the dress and then is amazingly fashionable and confident from thereon out, right?
I bought the dress and when I finally had it altered and plucked up the courage to wear it, people kind of stared and would ask what I was so dressed up for. It didn’t help that I hadn’t mastered the hair or makeup by that stage, so I was the same old not-glam Libby, just wearing a pretty dress to an everyday occasion. I had massive self-esteem issues at the time and the dress made me feel more uncomfortable than wonderful.
Fast forward a few years, I would buy other dresses, but only occasionally were they Pinup Girl Clothing. I mostly stuck to places like ModCloth, where I leaned more towards cutesy day-wear than pinup. I had managed to transition my style to the point that it was a lot more feminine, so occasionally chucking on a PUG dress wasn’t a huge departure from the norm.
In fact, it wasn’t until this year that I committed to being a better pinup. I was going through a tough time earlier in the year with my mental health and I was struggling to find the energy and motivation to make myself feel better. For some reason, I decided to wear one of my PUG dressed and decided to tweet my outfit and Instagram it.
What I wasn’t expecting was the response to it. Both online and in person, people were complimenting me and asking me where I got my dress from. To check that it wasn’t a fluke, I dressed up pinup for the rest of the week.
So since the oh so long ago time of that week of June, I’ve branched out to other pinup brands, because as much as I love PUG and it will always be my gateway brand, it’s a little too expensive for getting day-to-day wear. I consider myself still a pinup in training because I haven’t perfected the hair and makeup part, but I would say I’m well on my way to an enviable pinup wardrobe.
So the TL;DR version is, I wanted to dress like Betty Draper and it took a few years to get into it full time.
Tune in next time for my tips on building your own pinup wardrobe – a.k.a. don’t do what I did.
Lots of love,
Mrs Greatnews xx