Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started In Pinup

Things I wish I’d known when I started exploring pin up style, and the vintage community! Hindsight is 20/20, and while I can’t go back and tell myself these tips, I can tell you!

1. People Aren’t  Scary

I’m super shy. True story ( I see you laughing in the back, cut that out!). I find it absolutely, shakin’ in my size five shoes terrifying to walk up to people I don’t know and say hi.

You’re thinking what if they don’t like you? What if they think you’re weird? What if they don’t want you in their retrofabulous clique?
Well… what if they’re the nicest people you’ll ever meet, but you never meet them?

I know it’s intimidating to walk up to a group of women dressed like tropical fruit cocktails, BUT IT WILL BE OKAY. Almost everyone I’ve met in the New Zealand pinup and vintage community has been friendly and welcoming, after all, you already have at least one passion in common! Just walk up and say ” Hi, I’m new to pinup, what’s your name”, it’s that simple.

Pro Tip | Queues are a friend-making experience. I’ve made friends with pinups waiting in the line for smoothies, the toilets and best dressed comps!

New Zealand Pinups At the Very Vintage Day Out afterparty in 2015

This photo was taken at the Very Vintage Day Out afterparty in 2015. I’m wearing the first pinup outfit I made myself, and when I went I only knew Soda Fontaine – we’re the two on the left end. Today I’m friends with all but one of the ladies in this photo! (I just haven’t seen her since then!)

 

2. Not Everyone Will Like You (And That’s Okay)

“If everybody likes you, you’re pretty dull.”
– Bette Davis

You can’t get along with everyone.
I repeat, YOU CAN’T GET ALONG WITH EVERYONE.
Bette Davis knew it and so should you.

Just like every other social group, there will be people in the pinup and vintage community that just don’t like you. There are people who love repro clothes, people who are vintage purists, people who love helping newbies and people who just don’t give a fuck. And that’s fine. If you’re true to yourself you’ll find your crowd, and chances are that someone won’t like what you’re about.

Personally I don’t tolerate bullying in our community, and I call it out when I see it. But if you just don’t click with someone, don’t stress about it, there’s plenty of other people to hang out with!

 

3. You Don’t Have To Look Like Everyone Else

The first thing I noticed about the NZ pinup scene was that everyone seemed to have a PUG Monica dress and BAIT shoes. I worried that I wouldn’t fit in without them, but they just weren’t in my budget.

Four years on and I still don’t have a Monica or BAIT shoes, and no one cares, because there are so many styles of pinup! When I think about well known pinups and vintage lovers, both locally and internationally, they all have their own personal style. Fashion is a form of self expression, use it!

If you don’t believe me, I literally dressed like a clown and people still loved it.

Velvet DeCollete is serving mid century jester realness in these cheesecake pinup photos by Tony McKay and the Beauty School Dropouts. Inspired by vintage playing card pin ups Velvet wears a Collectif clothing harlequin playsuit and custom made jester's ruff and frilly cuffs.

 

4. Not Every Hairstyle Will Work For You

This is a biggie. Please don’t beat yourself up because your victory rolls don’t work, or your curls won’t hold.

Not every hairstyle will work with your hair type. Hair length, thickness and texture play a huge part in the success of a hairstyle! My hair is fine, thin and frizzy, and I only have two go-to hairstyles. No joke, scroll through my gallery and you’ll notice them pretty quickly.

You don’t need to master tons of hairstyles right away. Figure out one or two that work with your hair type and just rock those until you’re confident. Or just add different flowers and scarves to the same one forever, like me haha!

Perfect one or two hairstyles at first, then branch out into others!

 

5. There’s A False Eyelash Applicator

Seriously, why did no one tell me this?

False eyelashes are my nemesis. I poke myself in the eye and get glue everywhere without my applicator! Putting fake lashes on is hell! Okay maybe I’m unco, but I can’t be the only one?

I had never successfully applied falsies until I discovered an applicator tool. It saved my sanity. I have this one, but there’s a multitude of different styles and brands available.

False eyelash applicators make applying full lashes for that pinup look so much easier!

6. YouTube Makeup Tutorials Exist

Youtube makeup tutorials saved my face, or at least my eyeliner. There’s tutorials for hooded eyes, contouring, cut crease eye shadow and every other makeup style on the planet. And they’re free! Whoop whoop!

I wish I’d known about video tutorials when I first forayed into pinup style. They’re my go-to when I need a new photoshoot makeup look, and helped me get to grips with winged liner for hooded eyes. Just type ‘pinup makeup tutorial’ or ‘vintage makeup tutorial’ in the search bar.

I’m still no makeup expert, but Youtube makeup tutorials definitely improved my makeup game. You can check out some of my favourite hair and makeup inspirations and tutorials over on Pinterest.

7. There Are Tons Of Events

Maybe there were fewer NZ pinup and vintage events when I started, but for the longest time I only knew about Beach Hop and Very Vintage Day Out!

In the last year it seems almost every car or hotrod event seems to have a pinup pageant, and there are vintage markets popping up regularly. Find your local pinup and vintage groups on Facebook to keep updated and can head along! Events are fab places to make new friends and get some low pressure stage experience if you’re thinking of entering Miss Pinup New Zealand later on.

Flying solo? Post in your local Facebook group and you’ll often find others going alone who are happy to meet up!

Miss Retro Beauty Beach Hop best dressed contest 2018

 

What did you wish you’d known when you’d started pinup?
Share your tips in the comments below, or on Instagram by tagging me, using my #lessbitchymorekitschy hashtag or commenting on the image for this post!

If you’re new to pinup style head on over to the Pinup Posse group. It’s a safe space for pinups and we’ll be happy to answer your questions about pinup and vintage style (yes, even the ones you think are silly.)

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

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