While some variation of the pin-up model goes back all the way into the 1890s, the term was coined and popularized during the second world war. Referring to the fact that these images are casual, i.e. you pin them up to a wall rather than frame them or keep them hidden away, they are associated with wartime during the 1940s and 1950s. A wide variety of women have taken the token of the pinup, some are models and others are actresses or other celebrities. If you've seen The Shawshank Redemption, a pinup of actress Rita Hayworth figures pretty importantly in the film.
Nowadays the idea of the pinup has also come to be associated with a vintage look. While this often goes back to the era where they are most popular, they can also encompass a wide variety of vintage styles up until the 1970s. With the advent of social media, it seems that pinup style and its variations (burlesque and rockabilly, in particular, have adopted a lot of the tenants of the "pinup look") have spurned new stars and new industries.
Instagram especially has been a great place for vintage fans to work on their look and trade their favorite companies and tricks. There are clothing and makeup companies totally built around pinups that have millions of followers. As pinup is really a wide-ranging term. You'll see everything under the sun when it comes to Instagram models strutting their pinup stuff - from detailed recreations of old styles to a hybrid of old and new.
Whether you yourself are interested in embodying the pinup lifestyle or you just admire the hard work that goes into these vintage looks, here are 20 Instagram stars who've nailed the pinup look.
With jet black hair and a perfect hour-glass figure (reminiscent of the one and only Marilyn Monroe), Instagram model KirstieMyDear is a Canadian law student who has nailed a vintage look. Clearly inspired by the 1950s above all else, she seems to be channeling Betty Page and Ava Gardner. In this look she is creating her own interpretation of the classic Cinderella look and we have got to say it looks great on her! If you glance at her Instagram page for one minute you'll notice that she does some really amazing versions of Disney characters, but also a lot of classic pinup looks.
Pulling together manic panic hair, vintage clothes and sexy tattoos, MissPsychoCat brings a bit of edge and spunk to the pinup look. This Serbian beauty is also an anthropologist and in every photoshoot she does she does more than look good, she manages to tell a story. Her larger than life personality really comes through on film as she shatters all impressions of womanhood pre-sexual revolution as something docile and boring. We love all her cute pictures and how she perfectly blends new and old looks together, looking both from a forgotten time and totally of the present.
Looking sleek and elegant, MissVictoriaViolet brings heaps of class and dignity to her pinup look. While she is more than capable of having fun, mixing up modern and vintage styles, she likes to keep it simple and classic. Hailing from New Zealand she has travelled worldwide with her looks and won a number of prizes for her amazing efforts. It's a lot of work to pull together these looks but MissVictoriaViolet makes it seem rather effortless. With red hair and porcelain skin she looks like old Technicolor photos of our grandpas favourite poster girls. With a Lucille Ball twist with a touch of class, she has this look completely down!
When we think bombshell, there is hardly a more fitting model than Micheline Pitt. Channeling that old school sex symbol vibe, she is the complete package and is far more than just a pretty face. Micheline not only models clothes but designs them too, taking her passion for vintage to a whole new level. The outfit above was one she designed herself and she seems to make a pretty comfortable living sharing her love of 50s inspired fashion with the world. Honestly, we wouldn't mind if our girlfriend dressed like her. She honestly looks like a sexy Jessica Rabbit come to life - just a little less rabbity and a little less cartoony.
The stunning MissVintageLady is a professional makeup artist who shows off her skills on herself. With a figure to die for and an immaculate clean look, it's almost hard to believe that she lives among us - and is not actually a time traveler visiting us from another era. With a whole Linda Darnell vibe about her, she has an old school Hollywood glamor that you just can't fake. For some pinup girls the whole look seems to be a kind of mask to hide from the real world, but for others, like MissVintageLady for example, it's a whole identity. If you were to show us just about any of her photos and you would tell us it actually was from another era, we would literally believe it.
Unlike some of the beauties on this list, Instagram model hollymaewoods has a very low-key and relatable pinup style. While we can imagine many of these beauties switching to flats or letting down their hair after a shoot, hollymaewoods really seems to take a very livable approach. She has a girl next door beauty that is sexy and adorable, she is the lowest maintenance version of this high maintenance look. She just seems like the kind of girl who would be as comfortable at a fancy dinner as she would playing frisbee at the beach: looking her absolute best no matter what the occasion is.
The stunning Miss Chris has a real old school look. There is something about the twinkle in her eye and the coquettishness of her grin that feels, somehow, of a different era. Miss Chris works as a model and designer, while offering a number of tutorials for fans looking to replicate her look on her blog. We love how she makes the look seem, somehow, down to earth rather than a show-stopping affair. As exciting as an all out vamp can be, sometimes the sweetest girls hide their deepest and darkest secrets. We'd like to know just what Miss Chris is hiding under that sweet and innocent veneer.
Pinup by way of rockabilly, missmarionmassacre is a classic beauty balancing on a razor's edge. Blonde, beautiful and ready to take over the world - we love how MissMarion never loses that vintage vibe while updating the look for the new and more dangerous world. This Norwegian beauty challenges all our pinup ideas, and certainly doesn't look like anyone's grandmother while doing so. There is a fierceness to Miss Marion Massacre that scares us a little but at the same time, it leaves us wanting more and more. We would totally watch her fight crime or eat unsuspecting men for dinner.
What's in the water in New Zealand? For such a small country they seem to have a thriving pinup culture - not that we're complaining. The beautiful Jaimee (aka SodaFontaine) is a kiwi pinup model currently living in the UK. Never satisfied with the easiest or simplest looks, she pushes her vintage vibe to the limits without sacrificing good taste. She somehow makes some of the most ostentatious looks of the era normal and relatable, giving us a peek as to what it might be like living in an older era. Jaimee shows us why the red lip is an immortal look that should not really be trifled with.
Why do tattoos look so good when mixed with vintage clothing? HellCath is a Canadian pinup model and jewelry designer who has won over our hearts with her old-school look. One of the most important things about really capturing a pre-1970s look is that perfect skin and HellCath has that completely down. We love how she can seem so sweet and a little dangerous all at the same time, as the flower and tattoos balance each other out. We love how she seems to be totally channeling Dita Von Teese without coming off as a total rip-off and adding something unique to the look. She got the look down but it's totally and completely her own.
This beautiful Georgia peach has adapted her vintage look for the every day. Katie Amelia (aka ameliajetson) has clearly nailed the vintage pinup look, but still feels remarkably modern. While some of these beauties will have you wondering if you've accidentally walked into a time portal if you cross them on the street, Amelia's more understated interpretation still stands out - but maintains a comfortable modernity. She has a great instinct for what kind of clothing looks best on her figure and a great sense of design. We absolutely adore how her cute little nose ring completely off-sets her vintage flavour, making her look completely her own.
Daria Tarasova is a Russian medical student who also does pinup modelling. Adopting a lower key style that emphasizes her curves and long, blonde hair she lets hang down. In the same league as such classic Hollywood beauties as Lizabeth Scott and Veronica Lake, you have this sense that Daria's beauty could easily blind you, and when you least expect it she'll eat you whole. With a lot of these pinup looks everything seems sugar and spice and everything nice but Daria brings a gravita that is sorely lacking. More femme fatale than girl next store we want whatever Daria is selling.
Ottawa singer, Victoria Vermouth, goes a little further back than most of our pinup favorites channeling the 1920s in her flapper-inspired look. This beauty not only dresses the part but does some pretty elaborate and fantastic shows in full makeup. She reminds us that we didn't invite sexy in the modern era and women in charge have always known how to work a look. In a lot of ways, the 1920s inspired style was a lot more flexible and easy to achieve than later eras, but that only gives Victoria more mobility to pull off some pretty impressive acrobatics - which would be close to impossible in a girdle.
Fair warning, Medianoche's Instagram is NSFW! This burlesque beauty blends BDSM imagery with pinup looks from the 1920s for a tantalizing and exciting lookout. Playing with the illusion (or not so much an illusion but actual) nudity, she challenges power dynamics with her thrilling and exciting performances. A perfect blend of curvaceous and athletic she has a body to die for, one that makes you mourn for a simpler era where this was fair game as "gentlemen's" entertainment. Classy and hot, a perfect mix.
Where has Miss Agavi been all our lives? This stunning pinup model seems to have it all, a great look, a smashing body and a beautiful face. With an impossibly small waist and curves for days, she is the real deal when it comes to pinup fame. Far more than just a hobby or even a backyard vintage blogger, Miss Agavi has built a successful photo modeling career on her pinup style. We love that while her images could have easily come from an older, simpler era they also seem incredibly modern. Her work brings the pinup back with a vengeance, something to appeal to just about anyone!
Parts Audrey Hepburn and part Dorothy Dandridge, Instagram model Valentina, is the epitome of old school glamor. Her glamourous look feels effortless, lived in and is oh-so beautiful. We love how diverse her interpretation of pinup seems to be as she channels evening wear, casual Fridays and beach looks, all blended perfectly. Absolutely the full package, we're actually more than a little surprised that Valentina is not a huge star because she's not only won us over completely, but has left us wanting more.