see all cities »


How to Dress Like a 1950s’ Pin-up Girl

If you have ever wanted to play dress-up and become a pin-up queen, for even just one day, then you know what it means to let loose and have some fun. The pin-up style gained popularity during the early 1950s and had much to do with Bettie Page, Betty Grable and other notorious gals that adorned the GIs’ lockers in the States and in Europe.

Bettie Page was a model who really pushed the boundaries of pin-up modelling whilst others such as Gina Lollobrigida, Jayne Mansfield and Cleo Moore were a little more family-friendly. It’s up to you how you want to play pin-up.

Photos and Pin-Up Makeovers Courtesy of Doll-Up Victoria

How to Dress Like a Pin-up Girl

There have been pin-up girls since the very early twentieth century but for most of us it’s the 1950s that really epitomise this era of dress up.

For tips and tricks on how to dress like a 1950s pin-up girl, here’s what you need to know!

Popular Pin-up Prints

When you’re considering clothing options to setup your pin-up “look”, look for plenty of red, black and white and throw in some leopard print for the wild at heart. Black fabrics with white polka dots or a cherry print tend to go over without a hitch and are easy to find. Cherries, other fruits, leopard print, and sailor stripes are prominent in the pin-up style and are easy to find new and used. Another option, if you can’t find any of these prints is to wear solid colours, in 50’s styles, and then accessorize with prints and some accessories.

1950’s Style

Pin-ups wore different clothing to the regular women of the ’50s. The word to bear in mind when dressing up is “vamp”. Tight pencil skirts, bustiers and high heels are what to look for. For the more conservative, choose fuller skirts and dresses with bustier tops, fitted cardigans or animal print jackets.

Awe Inspiring Accessories

Accessories can make a style. Pin-up accessories can range from wigs and hair accessories to vehicles. For the ultimate hair accessory, choose a wig with short bangs, a la Bettie Page. Better yet, style your own hair or a long wig with victory rolls, curls and pins. Other excellent pin-up accessories include vintage 1950s’ vehicles, sailor hats, fabric hair bands that tie at the top of the head, and high heeled sneakers. Look for peep toes if you can. The leopard print peep toes in our photo collage are from Don’t forget some feminine stockings with the line up the back or use a coffee and water mix and draw a line on your leg, just like they did in the good old days!

Remember, throw on some Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and early ‘sock hop’ music to get in a fun 50s’ mood! To really vamp it up, choose some late 40s’ sultry jazz, such as Charlie Parker, Thelonius Mon and Dizzie Gillespie.

Masterful Makeup

There are a few things to keep in mind with pin up makeup: focus on the upper eyelid; define the eyebrow; bring power to the lips; and highlight the cheekbones. When you’re working on your pin-up makeup, make sure you have quality black eyeliner, a very red lipstick, and a light pink blush for the cheeks. As seen on the following pin-up makeup video tutorial, eye shadow is almost entirely unnecessary and the pin-up makeup is actually quite simple.

Whether your new style is “pin-up girl from the 50s” or you want to dress up for a costume party, it can be exciting to dress up like a sweet or sexy pin-up girl. Do some searching on sites to find all the clothing and accessories that you’ll need to be the best pin-up girl that you can possibly be. Have a great time with it!

Useful Links

These links take you to the women’s clothes categories of our sites, but it’s worth also looking in our Uniform and Costume categories for good finds.

Keywords to search include: 50’s, 1950’s, 50s, 1950s, pin-up, vintage, fifties, rockabilly.

1950’s Pin-Up Clothes  and Women’s Clothes Halifax
1950’s Pin-Up Clothes  and Women’s Clothes Ottawa
1950’s Pin-Up Clothes  and Women’s Clothes PEI
1950’s Pin-Up Clothes  and Women’s Clothes Regina
1950’s Pin-Up Clothes  and Women’s Clothes Vancouver
1950’s Pin-Up Clothes  and Women’s Clothes Victoria


Marketing Manager at Lover of yoga, bees, red wine, rock n roll music, good books and mountain views.

2 Responses to “How to Dress Like a 1950s’ Pin-up Girl”


Victory rolls were NOT a style of the fifties. The “page boy” was in. Very different, smooth turned under ends on long hair. The victory roll, as you can tell by the name, was a war-time look, and was long dead by the fifties. Only older women with no interest in fashion would be still wearing anything from war time. Styles had changed very drastically after the tough years of the war were over and life settled down, and Christian Dior dropped the hemlines, 1947. I was a child and teenager in the fifties, and I’d have died before wearing my hair in a victory roll, but a page boy was “neat!” (Neat was the word for cool)


    Amber R Bosma

    Neat that you can point this out to us Claudia and thanks so much for telling us what the authentic 1950’s hairstyles would actually have been. You may have seen the modern day pin-up style with that rockabilly edge. I’d say it’s a real amalgamation of the styles of the 1950s and 1940s, which is why victory rolls were included in this piece. But if people really want to be authentic, it’s the page boy they want to wear. Good to know, thank you!

Leave a Reply