How To Build A Basic Pinup Wardrobe with The Dressup Dame

How To Build A Basic Pinup Wardrobe with The Dressup Dame

Building a basic pinup wardrobe – it seems daunting, especially if you’re totally new to the pinup community and don’t know where to turn.

I’ve been there myself…. I fell in love with all the beautiful clothing I saw on websites like Unique Vintage and Collectif. I knew I had found my style, but how could I ever afford it all?

Fast forward a few years, and I’d say I have a pretty decent pinup wardrobe. It’s not as good as it could be, but I’m thankful for what I have. I’m making the most out of my closet. I’m fortunate enough to own beautiful clothing from some of my favorite pinup brands, and I’m usually pretty good at avoiding paying full price for them.

In addition to shopping online, I thrift a lot. I have a few tips to give you that I hope will help you put together some awesome pinup outfits on a budget.


I don’t always find something when I go thrifting, but I can almost always find another awesome basic piece to add to my wardrobe. Goodwill isn’t where all my of beautiful dresses and skirts come from, but it is where I’ve found my favorite high waist belts, turtlenecks, vintage purses, halter tops, and more. Why spend more crazy amounts of money online to accessorize my favorite new outfit when I can easily go to Goodwill?

The key to thrifting is patience. Also, you need to see the extraordinary potential that ordinary looking pieces have. Here are a few of my favorite things that I’ve found at Goodwill and other thrift stores.

For example, in the picture below I bought the cigarette tartan Capri pants from Hell Bunny, but instead of spending $30.00-$50.00 extra dollars on a black top, I found this super cute black halter at Goodwill for no more than $5.00. I was even able to find the heels at a thrift store for just $15.00.

Pinup Wardrobe - Miss Charlotte Cake

In the picture below, I’m wearing the funny face pants from Pinup Girl Clothing, a white peplum top from Kohls, and my favorite cat eye sunglasses that I thrifted for around $15.00.

Pinup Wardrobe - Miss Charlotte Cake

Pinup basics to look for

This is the best tip that I have for building a basic pinup wardrobe effortlessly and inexpensively. I’ve found that making a list of any pinup basics I’m looking for before the shopping trip helps me a lot when I’m thrifting around for some new clothes. Otherwise, I’ll usually just end up overwhelmed with the amount of clothing racks and not even know where to start.

To get inspiration, explore some of your favorite vintage websites or browse Pinterest, making note of your favorite key pieces that make up a pinup wardrobe. Swing dresses, cigarette pants, wiggle dresses, cat eye sunglasses, kitten heels, etc. can all be considered pinup wardrobe staples. Find what types of pieces you love most, and use that as inspiration for what to look for when you go thrifting.

Facebook swap groups

Sometimes, you really can find amazing deals on all the Facebook swap and sell pinup groups. In these groups, you can buy and sell clothing from popular vintage reproduction companies for much cheaper. That’s how I found my dream dress the lilac Monica Luxe by Pinup Girl Clothing. You won’t always find what you’re looking for, but when you do, it’s pretty great. In case you aren’t familiar with any of these Facebook groups, here are the ones I’m a member in:

PUG Swap & Sell
Modcloth BST

Inexpensive pinup clothing recommendations

I love getting all dressed up in my favorite dresses more than anything. But, for every day wear, I need some pinup clothing that’s not only comfortable but inexpensive, too. Because who wants to pay $100+ for a brand new dress only to have it ruined too easily? Here are my favorite cheaper vintage reproduction brands.

I am loving Lindy Bop more and more these days. Most of their dresses are very reasonably priced, and they are super cute. Lots of novelty prints and everyday swing dresses for at least half the price than other companies charge. A few have complained about sizing inconsistencies, though I personally have never had an issue. Remember, you can always return something that doesn’t work out for you. Here are my favorite Lindy Bop dresses:

Pinup Wardrobe - Miss Charlotte Cake

The red Lindy Bop dress is the Audrey, the pink floral is the Daria, the blue floral is the Doris, and the cherry swing dress is the Ophelia.

Be on the lookout for awesome sales

When it comes to sales for pinup clothing, Zulily is awesome. I have noticed that they have sales for different pinup clothing brands a lot during the year. Last year, I was able to find this gorgeous Angie dress from Voodoo Vixen for only $10.00!

Pinup Wardrobe - Miss Charlotte Cake

Also, it always helps to be prepared for the years’ biggest sales like Black Friday, After Christmas, and New Years, etc. If you can stand to wait for new clothes until an amazing sale comes, then definitely do. Having some extra cash saved up for some of these sales can really go a long way!

Doll Me Up is a new vintage reproduction brand I’m really loving so far. They make some really cute, every day retro inspired clothing like cardigans, peasant tops, peasant dresses, and more (a lot of women prefer these $25.00 peasant tops to the $50.00 ones that Pinup Girl Clothing sells). If you want to see how I like my Doll Me Up peasant dress, click the link to my blog below to read my review about it.

Pinup Wardrobe - Miss Charlotte Cake

Katie is a fashion and lifestyle blogger currently living in Florida. She believes there is beauty to be found in every day, and she wants to encourage women to be their most beautiful, authentic selves. She enjoys all things vintage, DIY, thrifty and blogs about each of those topics.


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