The History of Pinup Girl Clothing

Amy Reece

Posted on November 02 2020

The History of Pinup Girl Clothing

Sexy and sultry – the two words you will associate with pinup clothes, but are you aware that its origin goes back to the time of World War I in 1914? It is even bizarre to think that pinups owe it to the bicycles due to which they first came into the limelight.


A brief history of pinup clothes

Women in the 19th century donned skirts and floor-length dresses because they mostly stayed at home. But whenever they had to go somewhere near, they either went by foot or travelled by coach, often accompanied by a man. However, as they learned to ride the bicycle, they became less dependent on their man, and their travel time decreased significantly. The only problem in all this was their dress. Skirts and floor-length dresses were not suited to riding a bicycle. This led to more functional clothing that inevitably brought in form-fitting pants that highlighted their shapes; something that long dresses and skirts once concealed.



Bettie Polka Dot Yoga Leggings

Bettie Polka Dot Yoga Leggings

As women became more independent, doctors and ministers at that time started campaigning against bicycles because they were “supposedly” concerned about women's safety. However, the real reason behind denouncing bicycles may have been that men became insecure about their lady as she roamed around in tight-fitting clothes revealing her curves.

The rise of pinup created an earmark in the history of feminism. It was the first of many revolutionary changes that proved women no longer needed a man to go about doing their daily activities. What was once considered as a sex symbol by the then doctors and ministers is now regarded as a feminist act to oppose the restrictions that men imposed on women at that time in a patriarchal world.

There were not many pinups after the First World War, but they again appeared during World War II. These posters were used to boost soldiers' morale and keep them distracted from risking death. This time, there were no bicycles or traveling involved. The posters were used to encourage men to sign up for the military and to keep their mind off the war when not fighting. Betty Grable, one of the most popular pinup girls at the time of the Second World War even came to be known as the “Most Popular pinup of World War II.” She, along with Rita Hayworth were the two most famous pinup girls. Soldiers longed to grab a glimpse of their paintings and photos.

Sara Hurley

Our gorgeous customer Sara


Pinup clothing now

Now that the World Wars are over and women are free to wear whatever they like, there has been a rising interest in vintage clothes. Women, especially between the ages of 25 to 54 years want to go back in time and try out some of the outfits that were popular before they were born and which are becoming popular again. There are some researchers in this area who suggest that pinup clothes allowed women of previous eras to claim and highlight their own independence and sexuality and that this carries forward to current wearers of retro and vintage fashions.

You will now find a variety of pinup dresses available online that are tailor-made to make you look beautiful. Here are a few hints to find the perfect pinup dress:

Length – if you are buying a pinup dress for the first time, remember that the ideal length of the dress only reaches till your knee and not beyond that. For short-height women, it will be wise to choose a dress slightly above the knee for the perfect tease.

Nipped in the waist – pinup dresses make women look like an hourglass. So, make sure the waist of the dress is accentuated correctly. It can be the shape of the dress, or you can use a belt to get that look.

Floral prints, Cherries and Polka Dots were trendy back then. However, if you are not fond of such prints, you may select from the solid colors. Some of the pinups with dark and light color combinations look very sexy.

Moreover, you can choose from the types of straps that hold the dress together such as thick straps, strapless, or halter neck. The era of pinup has undoubtedly changed in the 21st century as women can now embrace their curvy bodies with more confidence than ever.

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