So you booked a pinup photo shoot and now you're panicking about what to wear? Don't worry your pretty head; you may find a collection of pinup shoot clothing already within the walls of your wardrobe or beauty items hiding in your makeup bag. Perhaps you have a favorite iconic pinup girl or Hollywood starlet who you'd just love to channel, or maybe you want a reminder for when you're older of how chic you were as a young woman. Whatever the reason, pinup shoots are totally fun, instill body confidence, and remind you how awesome you are! What's not to love about that?
My friend and I are in a vintage girl band called Diamond Darlings. When we first started out, we wanted to conduct a photo shoot in order to use the pictures for our publicity materials, such as our business cards and our website. Luckily my uncle is a professional photographer so we enlisted his help to take vintage style photos of us on our local beach and harbor. Although I wouldn't technically call it a pinup photo shoot, we definitely had elements of pinup girl glamour within our snaps. We even managed to use items that were already in our wardrobes so we didn't have to spend a ton of money on costumes and props.
So here are some items that you may already have in your wardrobe or vanity case, that you can wear for your pinup shoot. Knock 'em dead dolls!
1. The Perfect Red Lipstick
A red lipstick is not a necessity for a pinup photo shoot, but it adds a timeless, classic look and a sprinkle of Hollywood glamour to finish off your outfit. This particular shade I am wearing is "Retrofuturist" by vegan makeup company Lime Crime. Choose your favorite red lipstick that will give you a charming smile and confidence to match.
2. The False Eyelashes
I always turn to false eyelashes for our performances and I also wore them during our photo shoot. Wearing false eyelashes always gives me a huge surge of confidence and I feel almost as if they are my armor; they thicken my lashes and open my eyes to give a truly glamorous vibe reminiscent of legendary Hollywood starlets. Just pair with vintage inspired makeup and you'll soon be channelling Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, or your favorite pinup.
3. The Hair Ribbon
Channel Sandy from Grease in this adorable vintage hairstyle. Pick a ribbon out of your craft kit or the box where you keep all your recycled wrapping paper and ribbons (am I the only one who does this?), and then put your hair in a high ponytail and tie with a ribbon to exude 1950s pretty.
4. The Tied Up Gingham Shirt
Got a gingham shirt lying around? What about your partner or maybe even your dad? Put a spin on this summery staple by unbuttoning as far as you desire and tying the remainder of the shirt in a knot to nail the rockabilly look.
5. The High Waisted Shorts
High waisted shorts are a must for a pinup photo shoot. They can be worn with an array of pieces from cute crop tops or tied up shirts (as above) to swimwear or even underwear, depending how risqué you want your shoot to be.
6. The Peep Toe Heels
Dig out your trusty pair of peep toe heels from the bottom of your wardrobe and put them to good use! I've had this pair for what seems like forever and they literally go with every vintage style outfit I piece together. If you have a pair in a monochrome color without a pattern, they will act like a blank canvas and will complement more outfits.
Make sure to wear the peep toe in a heel style — even just a kitten heel like my pair — because this will lengthen your lovely legs and make you feel camera ready. Plus, they'll make you walk in a more traditionally ladylike fashion so you can really get into character.
7. The Nautical Romper Or Swimsuit
Nautical fashion is timeless as it usually comes back into vogue every spring/summer season. This classic trend can give your pieces a retro feel, which is what you'll be aiming for in your photo shoot. If you don't have a romper or playsuit don't worry, perhaps you've got a sailor style bikini or swimsuit hiding in your closet?
Whether you pick a nautical romper or swimsuit, if you want to go all out for your shoot, ask around to see if anyone has a fancy dress sailor hat you can borrow as this will add a really cute, tongue in cheek appeal to your photos.
8. The Pearl Necklace
Pearls inject an air of sophistication into your outfit and instantly add a vintage vibe. Not got the real deal? Not a problem, as fake pearls will work just as well.
9. The '50s Style Dress
For some sugary sweet 1950s diner vibes, pick out a vintage inspired dress. If you don't have one in your own collection, ask around; this '50s style of swing dress has made a massive comeback in recent years, so someone you know is bound to have one. Maybe your mom, aunt, or granny might have one in their attic and you'll get extra style points for wearing an original.
To hit the jackpot of vintage style, locate that crumpled up underskirt that you were forced to wear once underneath a hideous bridesmaid dress when you were a teenager, but couldn't bear to part with for sentimental reasons. Maybe you were a dancer or have some dancer/actor friends who are bound to have an underskirt in every color of the rainbow from their various performances. If you manage to get ahold of one, it really does make a swing dress sing.
10. The Pencil Skirt
Do you or did you used to work in an office environment? Then you're bound to own a pencil skirt. The classic pencil skirt is a key piece to bring to a pinup shoot as it's very usable and can be worn with shirts and cardigans or even just with your favorite bra. It is reminiscent of 1950s wiggle dresses that made the wearer walk with a little wiggle in their step.
11. Suspenders Or Suspender Tights
Suspenders are a great way to add a bit of sex appeal to your shoot. They can even make the wearer come across as playful and cheeky, which are two awesome traits of old school pinup girls. If you're not a fan of suspenders, opt for a softer version like these tights with a suspender pattern on them.
Whatever you decide to wear to your pinup shoot, make sure you enjoy yourself and relax, and the photos will take care of themselves!
Images: Phoebe Waller; Full Frame Productions (2); Giphy