Ask Miss Victory Violet

Ask Miss Victory Violet- Starting a Pinup Wardrobe

Dear Miss Victory Violet,

First of all I really LOVE your blog and everything you do!

I’m also following you on instagram! I love your pin up style.

I really want a pin up wardrobe and I kind of started with the Tatyana Alika skirt and Hell Bunny Millie coat in red.
But then I decided that I wanted to lose some weight so I lost about 72 pounds.
Which means I can’t wear my coat and skirt anymore 🙁

So I have to get a new wardrobe (which is kind of fun), but I don’t where to start, nothing fits anymore even my shoes are to big. I used to wear a lot of black, but I don’t want to hide anymore and go for the style I really LOVE (that happens to be similar to your style).

So can you help me, I want to start with about 5 or 6 items, what are the 5 or 6 best items to start a pin up wardrobe?

Lots of love,
Shanna van Dijk

City: Hoorn
Country: The Netherlands


Hi Shanna!

It’s always hard when your weight changes meaning you don’t fit your pretty clothing anymore, but you’re right it’s a great excuse to have to go shopping!

So I think the key to starting your pinup wardrobe is versatility and being able to switch and change things around. That way even if you only have a handful of items, you can mix and match them to create new looks.

Everyone’s taste is different and some girls gravitate towards more swing styles rather than wiggle or a more rockabilly edge compared to floral or pretty but here’s a few ideas on what to start with.

Firstly though, I thought it would be fun to share what I had in my first Pinup Girl Clothing order and what started off my pinup wardrobe!

First PUG order

From top left corner clockwise, The Leopard Print Heidi Dress, The Pin Dot Heidi Dress, the Doris Skirt, The Royal Blue Birdie Dress, The Red Floral Birdie Dress and the Diner Dress by Heart of Haute.

With this order, I had a few different outfits I could wear to work, plus the Royal Blue Birdie could be dressed up for a night out! Having a plain black skirt was a fantastic wardrobe staple as I already had a lot of cardigans and a few cute retro-ish tops to wear them with.

Swing Dresses

Now with starting out, I think you need at least a couple of dresses that can be dressed up or down and also wear a cardigan with if it’s a bit cooler. The Heidi Dress by Pinup Girl Clothing is a lovely shape and seems to fit a lot of different body shapes. It comes in a wide range of colours and prints but I think starting out, going with a classic polka dot/leopard print or a solid colour would be the most versatile. Another great basic swing dress option from PUG is the Havana Dress.

Heidi Dress

Another swing dress that I’ve grown to adore is the Collectif Dolores Dress. This is a classic and comfortable shape and Collectif is constantly updating what prints and colours it comes in each season, making it a real website staple. I’ve got 3 different colours now and love wearing them! They also have a wiggle version and a top with the same shape.

Collectif Dolores

And if you want a classic halter neck style, then you can’t go past Vivien Of Holloway! They stock a HUGE range of solid colours, various polkadot variations and beautiful florals. The skirts are wonderfully full and the bodices are boned so they are great quality. Have a read of my blog review on this style if you need any help with sizing- Blooming in Blue Floral Vivien Of Holloway


Make sure you have a read of my tutorial on how to convert a dress to a skirt for even more versatility!


Every pinup wardrobe needs a good swing skirt! My first one as mentioned earlier was the PUG Doris Skirt but I’ve come to love the PUG Jenny as a all-time favourite! It’s a gathered style and the plain black has proved to be perfect for taking travelling.

jenny skirt

If gathered isn’t your thing, then try the Vivien Of Holloway Circle Skirts! I’ve got two now and they are great for a more streamline look with less poof than a gathered skirt but still just as full.

VOH circle skirt

For real wardrobe versatility, try the Glamour Bunny reversible swing skirt! Soft netting on one side for daytime and taffeta on the other for night, it also comes with a detachable bow and built in netting!


If you are more of a pencil skirt kinda gal then there’s a few different options. My pick would be one of the many Pinup Girl Clothing options. I’ve got the Kinky Ruffles (in middle) which is really comfortable and great to have the subtle fishtail for a change.



If you’ve got some cute skirts then you need some tops to match! Once again Pinup Girl Clothing has a seriously good range of tops. These are just my top 3 picks, be sure to check out the rest of their styles!


The Vamp Top


The Peasant Top


The Doris Top

I also really love the Glamour Bunny Melanie Top which comes in 5 different colours and patterns and zips entirely apart at the side making it super easy to get on without ruining your hair!



Once you’ve got some basic clothes, then you need a few accessories to complete the look!

Petticoats- Vivien of Holloway, Malco Modes and That Shop are my favourite styles. Have a read of my Petticoat Comparison Post to decide what style works best for you.


Belts- Get yourself at least a black, red and white belt, I love having a variety of wide and skinny belts. Pinup Girl Clothing has good range to choose from and a lot of dresses come with matching belts which will add to your collection.

Pinup Storage

Hair flowers- I love all mine from The Sophisticated Lady on Etsy! Start by determining the main colours in your wardrobe and get ones to match that.


Head Scarves- Search for vintage nylon headscarves on Etsy and eBay or buy new reproduction ones from places like Pinup Girl Clothing. A black one and a red one is great to start off with and then you can build on from there.

How to tie a headscarf

Shoes- I’d suggest start with just buying cheap ballet flats or something to start with and once you’ve got a few bits of clothing in your wardrobe and know what colours to match with, then you could spend more money on shoes. My favourites are BAIT but also have a look at Lola Ramona, Irregular Choice, Bettie Page and Pinup Couture

BAIT Footwear

BAIT Footwear


So there you go! Those are my tips for starting a pinup wardrobe! Try to get things that can be dressed up or down and are versatile. Also keep an eye on the PUG Swap/Sell Facebook page to snap up some pre-loved bargains and take advantage of know sale dates like Black Friday!

x Miss Victory Violet


13 replies »

  1. Great first Pinup Girl Clothing choices! I have a small pinup wardrobe but I agree with the choices. Start with basic, versatile pieces. But…my first pieces from PUG were the teal Monica and black sateen Tie Me Up. I wore the Monica to a wedding…still haven’t worn the Tie Me Up yet! I have purchased more since then, the Heidi is such an easy dress to wear (daily wear) so it is one of my favorites. Great tips!

  2. Nice comprehensive list! Its so scary to start with such expensive pieces that may not stay as your style grows. My boost into pin up clothing was buying a black circle skirt that I then put over my shorter, rather modern dresses, accessorized with a belt of course. One skirt went with however many dresses I had, as well as any nice tops that I had.

  3. This is such a great post! I love how you give lots of options, there are so many posts out there which just list specific items of clothing.

    I started off with a Heidi Dress, two Ella dresses and a Grace dress from Pinup Girl. Definitely think about buying plain colours or subtle patterns – a new cardigan or head scarf can make them into totally different looks. My Heidi dress was the mint pinup print, so I can only really accessorize it with black or mint…boo!

    I only have two pairs of shoes – a black pair and a pair that matches my skintone. I think these are great to start off with as you can use the black to match dark outfits and the nude ones for everything else!

  4. A fellow dutchie! If she doesn’t know where to buy these in the Netherlands. Online there’s, Succubus has open door days every once in a while in Wormerveer which I think is about a 30 min drive from Hoorn.
    There’s a very cute shop in Rotterdam called Very Cherry it also has a webshop. And in Utrecht Notorious Clothing. etc etc etc 🙂

  5. Great to see so much PUG on here but that isn’t the only great shop out there. If Shanna is reading the comments – I also recommend LindyBop (SO pretty and much more affordable than PUG if you’re on a budget or looking to buy a few items), as well as Doll Me Up Darling or Le Bomb Shop for affordable pinup style tops!

    • True, I just find the liked if Lindy Bop and Le Bomb Shop to be fat inferior quality wise and am hesitant to recommend them. I think you are better off saving up that extra money and getting something you know is going to last… I’ve had some PUG items for years and still not got any issues with the quality. 🙂

  6. Also a fellow Dutch pinup girl (not that it is relevant),

    I personally would suggest to start with dresses and skirts. Pretty much every season I can find cute retro style tops and cardigans at normal stores like h&m. That way you can combine the cheaper stuff with the real pinup stuff for more versatility.
    Also, as a fellow ex black wearer, my tips are 1) try on a pretty colourfull dress you’d normally never wear. I tried on a blue floral dress at an event and never look back. 2) if you ever think I love that colour/print but it is not for me, try it on anyway 😉

    Now last tip, at events like castlefest a lot of webshops have stands, so it could be a good oppurtunity to try on different brands etc. at one location.

  7. Try lady vintage London. Their dresses are great and they change prints regularly. I love the price point, quality, and that different dresses have different lengths which helps with going casual or dressy.

  8. You always look so lovely. Complements allover, Just very curious about your wardrobe. it must be hudge 😉 even my wardrobe with about 70 pinup dresses cant beat you

  9. Hi Miss Victory Violet,
    Like the others, I particularly like the pinup style, and am looking to build up more of a collection of pinup clothing. The biggest problem I find is finding clothing that is of a reasonable price- especially in Australia. I’ve noticed that anything marketed as ‘pinup’ is more expensive than something that has the same feel without the label. On my humble teacher salary, I find it difficult to justify over $100 for a day dress. Do you have any suggestions?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.