How I got into pinup/vintage

My love affair with pinup/vintage reproduction clothing started in around 2012, when my hair was brown and I was obsessed with Mad Men.

AP FASHION EMMY NOMINEES A ENT

Betty Draper-Francis. The most depressed, most fashionable woman on TV. Photo source: AMC.

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.

sailor-dress

The dress that started it all. Photo source: pinupgirlclothing.com

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.

Old Libby style montage.png

Pictured, examples of my… uh… “style”. I was fond of black cardigans, nerd shirts, plain black skirts, jeans and Doc Martens.

So in our Cinderella style fairytale, she gets the dress and then is amazingly fashionable and confident from thereon out, right?

Not exactly.

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.

libby-in-pug-jenny

I even did our engagement photos in a PUG purple Jenny dress. Photo by Sarah McEvoy Photography.

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.

the-twitter-selfie

The Twitter selfie that started it all.

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.

Week of pinup.jpg

Sure enough, the compliments continued! I even curled my hair on the Friday.

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

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7 thoughts on “How I got into pinup/vintage

  1. Ashleigh Burgess says:

    Libby, I love this! There is nothing worse than the comments people make when you wear something that isn’t “a usual” in your wardrobe. I once wore a dress to work and honestly, I got grief for the whole day – grrrr.

    Like

    • mrsgreatnews says:

      Right? When you’re feeling self conscious about this sort of stuff anyway, it’s just the Jenga brick that brings the whole thing toppling down. Nowadays when people ask what I’m so dressed up for I either say “Life!” or “This is how I dress everyday.” ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenny says:

    Haha I remember seeing that first pin up selfie on Instagram, liking it, then seeing you at dancing and asking where you got the dress from! And I always enjoy having a scroll through my Instagram feed knowing there will inevitably be a photo of you looking gorgeous xxx

    Like

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