Today I thought it'd be fun to write about pin-up culture and it's effect on mainstream fashion. It's no news that most mainstream fashion advertisements are propelled forward by the "ideal" body - thin, tall, and usually very "sexed" up. There's nothing wrong with any of those things... but once they become the "norm" they start to feel a bit forced. This got me thinking about the way clothes were marketed in the mid-20th century. Advertisements boasted photos and illustrations of "voluptuous" women and the attire, while still very sexy, was much more "modest". Nowadays the bygone era of day dresses and petticoats usually make people think of one of two things: Stepford Wives or pin-ups. Pin-up culture is still alive and well today, but the general target market is so far from the mainstream norm. Today you're more likely to see a curvy, tattooed lady don a 50's frock or retro-inspired bathing suit than you are a more "model-esque" gal. I can't help but wonder why that is?
1 - Esther Williams // 2 - PinUp Girl Clothing // 3 - PinUp Girl Clothing // 4 - PinUp Girl Clothing // 5 -PinUp Girl Clothing // 6 - Hell Bunny // 7 - Hell Bunny // 8 - Bettie Page // 9 - Bettie Page // 10 - Bettie Page
Is it just me or do the pin-up styles really seem to target more toward the alternative crowd? Most designers and fashion houses use a tattooed model or plus-size gal in their marketing to "make a statement" or incite some sort of "shock" reaction. However, if you look at any pin-up brand or site, you'll be met with an abundance of varying body types and modifications. That's one reason I really love the pin-up brands that are making their mark in the apparel industry today. They make the "rest of us" feel normal. Another reason? Those garments make me feel beautiful! There's just something about the construction and execution of the style that really fits and flatters most body types. Plus it's hard to hate on anything that makes novelty prints look that good, right?!
The real reason I think these brands are so great? Most of them don't separate their straight size lines from their plus sizes. That sounds like such a strange thing to compliment doesn't it? Any brand offering any larger sizes is a good thing, but a great thing is when they don't feel the need to publicize it and market it saying "Oh! Look at us! We cater to the plus size girls, too! Ooh and Ahh over us now!" There's no Plus or Curve after their sizes. They just offer the sizes that the market demands. They make plus sizes because they should. Because plus size girls are just as worthy of fabulous clothes as straight size girls. Because you wouldn't separate clothing based on race or sexual orientation, right? So why do that with body size?! We're all people and we all need to wear clothes (well, most of us). No girl should be shunned to a small corner of a website or retail store to shop for clothes that fit and flatter her body.
Out of the 10 items pictured above, I own 5 of them. Numbers 1, 3, 6 (outfit coming soon!), 7 (worn here!) and 9 (worn here!). And they're some of my very favorite pieces in my wardrobe (#4 needs to get in my life, STAT! Doesn't Doris Mayday look like the bomb dot com?!). These brands don't just cater to a specific size set. They cater to the larger portion of our demographic (which is actually size 14+!). Brands like Hell Bunny London, Bettie Page Clothing, Esther Williams, and PinUp Girl Clothing are just a few that strive to make each and every woman feel like a million bucks. Esther Williams swimsuits go up to a size 26 and Hell Bunny London and Bettie Page dresses are often produced in sizes upward of 4x! How many other straight-sized fashion brands do that? Granted there is still a large portion of consumers that exceed that and are often left out of the fashion game, but it's certainly a step in the right direction in terms of size awareness and attainability, wouldn't you say?
I really love the style and attitude that goes along with pin-up culture. The size acceptance, the "badass" attitude, and the overall belief that being sexy in the daytime isn't wrong... kind of sounds like a dream to me! Now if only I weren't so hopeless when it came to victory rolls (or really any hairstyle that isn't big and frizzy/curly haha!) What do you think? Are you into pin-up style attire? Am I totally fabricating the pinup/alternative connection here?!
P.S; Another thing each of these brands have in common: They'll be showing at WWDMagic in Las Vegas next month (!!!). Would it not be a dream. come. true! to go?! Um yes, duh. I know a few of you have attended Magic before, so spill! I want to know all the deets! Was it totally crazy and awesome? Did you attend as a buyer or vendor? Did you just spend several days gawking over all of the beautiful items? The thought of Magic makes my brain explode in the best way haha!