I've seen a lot of posts on here about doing pinup in the winter, so I've decided to put together a comprehensive guide. I'll be staring, of course, with the undergarments and topping it off with accessories. I've posted this here first but it will go live on my personal blog Friday. Enjoy and let me know what you think or what else you'd add into this crazy list.
There is no one size fits all for your foundation. Different garments will give you different shapes, depending on what kind of silhouette you're looking for will make a difference in what kind of lingerie you get.
This set features a long line bra with conical cup shape and panty girdle which will help sooth and cinch. Pairs perfectly with any authentic vintage pieces and under pullover sweaters.
All Kiss Me Quick items are hand made to order by the lovely proprietress Simone. Her designs are truly one of a king stunning vintage inspired beauties. The Tulepo in gold is no exception. I can't always wear an underwire bra, unfortunately the average bralette simply isn't warm enough for the winter months. This corselete can be made in up to an F cup plus it has 6 straps for keeping stockings up.
I've always loved the Retrolution line, but this corset is a really standout yet practical shapewear solution. I wouldn't actually categorize this as a corset becasue I don't believe this style is made with steel boning, although they can be easily replaced. Since the cups have a deep plunge this basque can be worn with a number of necklines. I also love that this style features removable bra and garter straps for added versatility.
Every gals wardrobe needs a cute and casual set for her winter wardrobe. I love the blush color of this set as it works like a nude on my pale skin. The soft satin and white lace give it a quite ethereal look. The longline bra and higher waisted knicker give just a touch more coverage for added warmth.
Just like the set above this is a fantastic casual option. The bright plum color really pops and the black accents bring a graphic sensibility to the style. Its the perfect option for wearing jeans and a top.
Corseletes and 2 part shapewear solutions are always great, but a slip dress with a built in bra is a must have. This style, from Scandale, comes in a wonderful pewter grey and black combination. Although it doesn't come with garter is can be worn with hold ups or pantyhose.
The warming power of leggings and shapewear combined! Perfect for pairing with mid calf length skirts and dresses. While I don't love the white pictured above they do come in black and nude as well.
So you have the foundation covered, which depending on your climate should keep you warm until about mind November. But what to do after that? Why layer up of course! I'll often wear leggings or thermal pants over top of my stockings or tights and then remove them once I get to work. I also have a handful of other staples that are a bit more practical for wearing under clothes without compromising my look, and requiring removal.
Once it starts to cool down a little more I automatically go to leggings. This pair from American Apparel are rather thick and warm. They can be worn on their own but when paired under skirts or dresses they offer quite a bit of warmth. Not to mention that they come in a myriad of colors.
I like having a variety of options when it comes leggings so another favorite are thermals. They are insulating but not quite as soft. They also run a little less than American Apparel's winter leggings do.
I know a lot of people that swear by fleece lined leggings, however I haven't been able to find a pair that fit over my bum!
Another Fall and Winter staple is the slip. I usually purchase vintage or dead stock slips off eBay or etsy, but Vanity Fair makes an authentic reproduction. Better yet, its at the fair price of $22.00.
If full slips aren't your thing you can always try out half slips. The one pictured above is made from a polyester charmeuse and finished with a lace hem for a touch of elegance.
Most companies that make half slips also make matching camisoles to go with them. As an added bonus you can wear the camisoles on their own in the summer.
If a polyester camisole isn't warm enough, you can always try a thermal! It might not be as sexy but it will keep you insulated.
Petticoats are not only a great way to add volume to your circle skirts, they are also a great way to warm up. You can find petticoats in a variety of price ranges but Hell Bunny's will give you the most bang for your buck. They are soft, fluffy and adjustable, plus they come in a range of colors!
I tend not to wear stocking when it's warm out but as soon as it gets cold I like to layer up and stocking can be a great way to add some flair to an outfit. When purchasing Hosiery always look at the denier the higher the denier the thicker and more opaque the stocking. I'll wear lighter 15D stocking in fall but in winter I stick with 50D and above.
If you'd rather skip the garter belt and just go with some nice and thick hold ups Transparenze makes some really fantastic colors.
If you'd prefer a sheer classic nylon take a look at these, I love the dual color lace detailing.
No pinup wardrobe is complete without seamed stockings and Jonathan Aston offers seams in a verity of colors, as well as all black and all nude. I have a few pair and I absolutely adore them, however these do have a higher nylon content meaning they wont be super stretchy.
I'm a sucker for floral hosiery, and bright jewel tones. These tights bring together the best of both worlds, and would look stunning with a simple black, navy or emerald sheath dress.
If you don't already know stocking come in other materials, including wool. Wool is amazingly insulating so with a few pairs of these you won't have to sacrifice fashion to feel warm.
If you'd prefer pantyhose or tights, these merino wool tights come in a variety of neutrals and beautifully bright colors.
The skyline detail on these will most likely be hidden underneath your skirts or dresses, but these stocking are super cute. Plus, who doesn't want the Paris skyline on their thigh?
During the coldest months of the year I live in bamboo tights, they're so warm!!! I couldn't find the pair that I buy from my local stockings store, but American Apparel does stock them.
I live in dresses, they are easy to wear and don't require a lot of thought. If you have a stock of nice long sleeve dresses you have a simple solution to getting ready for the day. I tried to provide a nice sampling for casual wear and office wear, however if you have a really strict office dress code you may want to do a little more research. I both freelance and temp so most of these are work appropriate for my day to day.
HoH's Mitzi dress is the long sleeved version of my beloved Monique dresses. It's easy to wear very supportive in the bust, the A-line skirt just skims my hips and the whole silhouette is rather flattering. Best of all the cozy little number above is made of a cotton flannel, perfect for snuggling up in on those cold days.
I love the color of this dress. I normally prefer styles that have a seam at the waist, but since this dress is knitted it is still fitted around the waist but pulls the eye to the lovely detail at the bust.
I'm always on the lookout for office appropriate dresses and Vickie definitely hits the mark. I love the crossover waist line and the full coverage on the bust. It'd also work great for holiday parties.
There is just something about thick knit dresses that is so appealing in the cooler months. I've had my eye on the super spy dress for sometime but I'm actually going to purchase it this fall. The deep blue color and the structured collar are screaming my name.
It's nice to break out of my normal late 40's to early 60's box. This 30's style dress is ravishing in cranberry and I'm drawn to the striped accents. Revamp actually creates all of their styles based on vintage patterns, this is an actual reproduction piece reworked for modern wear.
I can literally can't get enough PUG dresses and this one is perfect for when the leaves start to change. I have Birdie in a red floral but this mustard color is incredible. I've never tried out any type of yellow before but I'm willing to break out of my box for this number.
One of my guilty pleasures are vintage wartime suits. This dress mimics that style, but is easier to wear as it's a bengaline once piece. I love the ultra feminine neckline and thick contrasting belt.
I wish this dress wasn't so expensive! I love the print but since it it so season specific I just can't imagine spending $225.00 on it. I mean there if there is a cuter novelty print dress for winter I haven't seen it, the pale coloration is a dream!
Emmy Design usually carries a hefty price tag but the quality is top notch. I haven't had the pleasure of trying any of the knit wear but I've heard it's incredible. This dress is a cozy option that could be dressed up enough to wear into the office, and at a sales price of $80.00 I might have to snag this dress up.
Last but certainly not least, the hotrod honey dress. I've had my eye on this print for ages but the other styles released don't really work with my body type. Perfect for Halloween but fun for all year round the venus fly trap print is bright and engaging, certainly not for the faint of heart.
On days with an extra chill in the air I automatically reach for knitwear, there is nothing like a soft warm sweater in the middle of winter. Sweaters can also easily extend the wear of shorter sleeve dresses and add a layer of warmth to to any outfit.
I love cardigans that hit at or just below the waist. They work so much nicer with swing skirts and dresses. This particular cardigan really speaks to me to because of the deep gemstone color and sporadic beading.
If your looking for high quality reproduction knitwear look no further than Emmy. Her products are perfect for the vintage enthusiast. This knit top is one of my favorites, it is incredibly simple yet stunning.
Longer cardigans can pair perfectly with pencil skirts or pants. The skeletal bird designs of this piece give it a harder edge so pair it with a jeans and some boots for more of an rockabilly look.
If dead swallows and rockabilly edge aren't your thing try this cardi from voodoo vixen. The concept is the same but this option is a bit more ladylike. What really makes this piece stand out is the keyhole at the neckline.
Once winter hits I absolutely need a few cute long sleeve sweaters that I can also wear to work. The Beau cardigan definitely checks all of my boxes! This cardigan looks super thick and cozy sure to keep you warm in even the coldest blizzard.
One can never have enough enough boleros! This one from Lindy Bop is too cute to pass up especially at this great price. I wish it came in more colors but I can settle for a bright cherry red.
While you can use cardi's to extend the length of wear for all of your short sleeve tops, why not invest in some longer sleeve items and get rid of the bulk? I am horrible at purchasing tops, for the longest time I literally had 7 in my wardrobe. Mind you the number of skirts I had was easily 3 times that amount. As I expanded my top collection I found quite a few fall and winter gems.
I've fallen head over heels for Heart of Haute's Lily top. The high neckline and bow are darling. Lily is a sophisticated and feminine take on a standard tee, perfect to pair with any skirt! If it is made from the same thick knit material as the Mod top I bought last year, it's sure to keep you warm through the colder months.
Gretta is another style that I've had my eye on for some time. I actually just bought a cozy flannel version of this off of their sale rack (review will come in November). The style is simple and modest making it perfect for work and play.
The plunging neckline of this lusty green top is sure to add a bit of a vamp edge to any outfit. Perfect for an evening out when paired with an equally elegant skirt.
One of the items I really fell for when I first started shopping at PUG was the Doris top, unfortunately I wasn't really into the black red or white color ways available at the time. Now Pug has added this beautiful cobalt color, and I'm lusting all over again.
This style has yet to be released and is currently in position on the coming soon page, and I can't wait to be able to buy it. I adore fact that this top looks like a jacket but can be worn on it's own.
Speaking off outerwear inspired tops, this green gem from Modcloth is adorable. The small peplum is low profile so if you don't want to add volume to your hips you don't have to, but you can still sport this 40's inspired trend.
Back to PUG! The Lauren top is a nice play on the standard office shirt. Let go of your button ups and wear this instead. Lauren features an ultra flattering plunge neckline with a folded collar and cuffs. If you don't want your cleavage to show make sure you wear it with a cami underneath!
To be honest I wear almost all of my skirts year round. However it is wise to have a few heavier skirts for those days that just seam extra cold.
If you love authentic vintage and don't know what to wear in winter, try this skirt. It's made from wool and will keep you incredibly warm. Revamp offers a custom sizing option so if you find that you are normally in between sizes take advantage!
I wasn't sure if I should include this as it's not really a pinup style. In the end I added it because I love it and it can easily be incorporated into a vintage inspired wardrobe. Honestly if you shortened this to a mid calf length it would be an appropriate 50's/60's style. The longer length will keep you rather warm and insulated however, so if you live in a more extreme cold this may be for you.
Oh, how I adore this skirt. For the longest time I thought I'd never fit into this style but with my recent wiggle dress discovery I'm sure I can make this work to. The slit, length and higher than average waistline all scream my name. The best part is with the added length I can easily take this into late fall and early winter.
Pinup Girl's Jenny Skirts are made out of a thick cotton, pair them with a petticoat and I'm sure they'll keep you warm during the colder months. If you don't like the harlequin print above, fear not they come in a vast array of prints and colors.
If you'd like something with a little more flair to it, try the Deadly Dames Kinky Ruffle skirt. Made from a thick cotton it's sure to keep you warm, plus as Matsumi proves above it looks great with boots.
If you're like me you probably don't wear pants often, but during wintertime they really are a must have item. If you live in an area that gets blizzards skirts and dresses won't cut it. Below are some of my favorite styles.
I love these, and with a little weight loss I think I'll love them even more. I'm 5'4 and the hit me directly at my ankle if you're any taller you may have some skin showing. The zipper is in the back which helps provide a seamless look.
I'm thinking that these aren't actual denim, they're probably more like jeggings. Jeggings can be a little ridiculous, but since I don't like to wear pants all of the time I think they are a suitable alternative, as they have more stretch. I love how high waisted these are, it means they can be worn with literally any length top.
I never thought that I'd want a pair of big swing trousers, but as time goes on I find myself more attracted to them. I love the suspenders attached to this pair by collectif, it just makes me want to pretend that I'm a lady detective.
If you'd prefer to forego the suspender straps and have a lower profile, check out Viveien of Holloway. They make a ton of fantastic swing trousers in all kinds of colors, you're sure to find a pair you like!
My absolute favorite pair of pants! These are super comfy and posh, but beware they are on the thinner side.
You really could just apply all of the ideas you've gathered from the sections above and apply them to evening wear but I have a few beauties that I was dying to share.
For most of my young adult years I tried to stay away from anything that sparkles. As I've settled into my own skin I've accepted that I can be a tomboy nerd and like pink and metalics. I don't have to choose one side of my personality. The Monica Dress certainly represents a pent up desire to be a glittery bombshell.
Angelique won't cut it during the harsh winter months but makes a lovely option for fall. It's made of a thick knit fabric that hugs your curves and will keep you insulated.
Recollections recently added a 1950's line and I couldn't be happier. While this dress is a bit long you can customize the length and have it taken up to mid calf or knee length. Made from a stunning silk dupioni (one of my favorite fabrics) in a variety of colors, you don't have to sacrifice elegance during bad weather.
This stunning cobalt blue wiggle is sensational. Featuring long sleeves and a gorgeous decorative belt, I can't imagine anything better for a night on the town.
Accessories are easy and versatile so I won't include jewelry or anything of that nature. I will however include a few winter specific items that I love.
I'll admit that the Stole pictured above is a bit more than I'd like to pay for such an item, but look at the luscious red color. I couldn't leave this beauty out for a cheaper alternative although they are out there. Fur or Faux Fur stoles are a nice way to add a bit of warmth and vintage class to an outfit.
Knit turbans are specific to 40'd fashion although they are making a comeback! I love the vivid color of Emmy's Magenta Turban, it's certain to make you stand out in the snow.
I like to keep my hair accessories simple in the winter so that I can wrap a scarf around my head or fit a hat over them. This comb is a really nice option that will add a bit of flair without the bulk.
If you can't stay away from the hair flowers, try out this net and feather fascinator instead. It still looks like a flower but is much flatter than your average hair flower.
I had to include this little plume. Sick in to your bun or wear like you would with a normal bobby pin. Either way it adds some pleasant drama.
My hands are always cold even when it's not cold, so I always make sure I have gloves available. These oatmeal colored cashmere gloves are luxe without being to pricey. I particularly like the beading and embroidery around the wrist.
Once the snow hits I prefer leather gloves. I find that they help keep the cold air from penetrating into your hands, plus if you get a little snow on you it doesn't soak through to your fingers. I adore the petite bows on this style, plus you can get them in a fashionable purple color to add a pop of color to your coat.
Short leather gloves are a must have, but I've always coveted elbow length leather gloves. Not only will the keep you warm but they look incredibly elegant when paired with dresses or gowns. I found this great pair of Kursheul gloves that come in a variety of colors including pink!
You need a good coat. There is no way around it, even if you live in LA where it doesn't get too cold you should have a coat. I've included a number of coats below that range in warmth and protectiveness.
I love the pale blue color of this trench and I'd really like to make it my next coat an at $77.00 that is actually a possibility. It's an amazing classic style with a full swing skirt that is sure to be compliment almost any style in your wardrobe.
The only reason I might not get the Dietrich coat above is because they offer a similar style in a "showerproof" material. After a quick search I discovered that showerproof simply means the material is water resistant or maybe even waterproof but the seams and zips are not sealed in such a way to make it truly waterproof. I've never found such a cute water resistant style before, and if it means that I can wear it in most rain I think it's be worth the investment!
Hell Bunny makes some pretty cute styles but I've been swept off my feet my some of the coats they are offering this season. I adore the bright color and texture fur. If this style was lined in the faux fur I'd have to have it, but alas it is lined in a satin fabric. I still really want this coat, but I might have to wait and see if it's still around next winter. If teal isn't your color this comes in black, camel and red as well.
If your looking for something a little more conventional in color, take a look at this navy blue wide collared coat. I love the simplicity of this style. I feel that the dark color really allows for dramatic details and accessories.
If you need something a little shorter, I really like this late 60's style from zara. The cream color and fur collar offer a simplicity that I've come to admire. There's always something striking about whites in the snow, isn't there.
This lovely purple coat is made from wool and alpaca. That means it is water resistant and warm. Also it's purple, seriously guys I can't get enough of this color, coats are so often neutral that I really love bright bold color options. The sleek and basic 60's cut means it won't look good with a circle skirt and petticoat underneath. However if you pair it with slimmer styles like A-line skirts, wiggle dresses and cigarette pants it will shine.
For those of you that might prefer a fur or faux fur style, my pick would be the Black Devil from Tatyana. The black fur keeps it simple while the silhouette keeps it from looking to bulky. I like that this style has a high collar, meaning you can forego the scarf, just throw on some gloves and you're ready to go.
Well ladies, that's my take. After years of trying to come up with the perfect winter wardrobe, I've had time to do my fair share of research. Of course my information is going to reflect the experience I've had living in the North East, if you live in a colder or warmer climate you'll need to adjust the rules and find what works for you. Just remember that you can keep your beautiful retro style during the colder months.
I will be doing an article specifically on winter footwear during November, so you can look forward to another comprehensive guide! I will cover different fashions, how to care for your shoes and when to wear or not to wear certain styles. Until then, stay warm and fabulous!