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5 Pin-Up Girl Costume Ideas for Halloween

Posted on October 19 2015

Time is running out! Halloween is creeping up on us again and here you are, still rummaging through your closet and costume shops looking for the right outfit.

Why not wear last year’s outfit? Well, as you already know, one of the problems with local costume shops is that the outfits are designed with only one day in mind and often that's all the life you will ever get out of them. Cheap materials, terrible stitching, scratchy chiffon; the list of reasons why we hate our store-bought Halloween costumes can go on for quite a while. These outfits sometimes run a price tag of $120 for a piece that literally won't make it to next year. Even if it doesn't tear by the end of the night, you probably will have spent an uncomfortable night swearing you'll never put that thing on again.

Luckily, there's one sexy Halloween classic that is as durable as it is timeless. Once you get going on this costume style, you'll never go back to cheap-ass Halloween garb again.

While pin-up costumes are totally customizable, there are some classic styles that a lot of people can go for so there’s no confusion as to who or what they’re portraying. Here’s our top picks and how to master the look of the pin-up girl costume .

The pin-up style ranges from classic poster girl to a pin-up rendition of many 1950's icons such as sailors, soldiers, housewives and others. Pin up costume designs start with what type of pin-up doll you want to portray yourself as. After that, as far as we're concerned, there are 5 crucial pieces to the perfect pinup costume look: hair, makeup, clothes, shoes, and accessories. You nail all these, and you'll be the bettie of the ball.

5 Best Pin-Up Girl Clothing Costume Ideas


pin up girl costume idea Poster Girl

Crucial piece for this ensemble? A prop. Poster girls are typically portrayed as "ordinary" albeit unbearably attractive and scantily clad women doing everyday tasks that just happen to be showing a little extra skin usually by "accident". Best way to represent a poster girl is to have a prop of some sort. Going for a teacher or school girl? Have a book with you and strike a sexy pose. Sexy poke player? Carry a deck of cards with you. Bobbing for apples? You get the point...

Most poster girls have their hair down. It’s more seductive. Our recommendation is to use a large diameter curler (at least 1”) to get the big, bouncy curls. There isn’t a dedicated hair color, which makes this costume ideal for really anyone. No wig required!

The makeup is equally as versatile although typically involves the staple red lipstick, sharp brows, pink blush and winged eye liner. The makeup is a bit toned down but the outfits are often colorful and darling.

The best pin-up clothing brand for this style would have to be Steady Clothing, their  high-waisted skirts and snug fitting tops accentuate curves in all the right ways.

There's really two type of women, high-heel wearing women and flat-wearing women. Personally, I'm on the flats wearing side of the boat. But honestly, a pair of pin-up style heels just does so much to complete a costume or pin-up outfit that I'm willing to rock them at least for Halloween or the weekends.

If you’re like me and don’t often wear heels then the pin-up poster girl is an awesome choice because it doesn’t demand a pair of heels to look appropriate; you can run around barefoot if it matches your style. Otherwise, we recommend a  classic heel like ones from Bettie Page.


Take a new twist on an old classic by going as a Monster Poster Girl.  Sourpuss vintage-inspired clothing fits the Poster Girl style and comes in some monster-inspired prints. They also have piles of fun accessories to doll up the outfit from hair clips to handbags.


Sailor Girl Pin-up Costume

Pin-up sailors can have straight or curled hair. The most important feature really is the hat. The outfit just isn’t complete without it. It’s an important piece, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a high-quality one. You can pick up a nice sexy sailor hat for $5 to tie the outfit together.

Sexy sailor makeup is often more natural and sun-kissed. A light bronzer, light brows and a more nude or burnt colored lipstick are often used.

Sexy sailor style costumes have one key component tying all the different styles together: Blue and white stripes. Couple the stripes with an anchor or two and you can make anything look nautical. The  pin-up clothing brand Pinky Pinups has really nailed this look in most of their vintage styled dresses, skirts and tops.

The best shoes for this pin-up costume are simple red or blue heels possibly with anchors, stripes, or a little bow. We recommend any of the classic  women's shoe fashions from Pin Up Couture which are simple, affordable and great quality.


Bettie Page Pin-up Costume

Bettie Page is one of the first names that pops into anyone’s head when you bring up pin-up girls. A lover of candy apple red and leopard print, Bettie is as iconic as Marilyn Monroe, if not more so.

While most often shown wearing little more than a swimsuit, the most recognized part of a Bettie Page costume is the hair. If you can already rock her hair-style then more power to you. If not, then there are plenty of Bettie Page style wigs available.

Bettie’s make up was always subtle with an emphasis on her natural beauty. This YouTuber shows the whole look from makeup to how to imitate fake Bettie bangs.

Once you nail the hair, couple the outfit with anything snug, sexy and in either leopard print or bright red and you’ve got the general look down. The best pin-up brands for nailing the Bettie Page look are  Voodoo Vixen or Pinky Pinups.

Bettie was most often photographed wearing very high, black heels sometimes with an ankle strap. Don’t overlook shoes! The right heels make your butt look amazing. We recommend a simple design from  Funtasma.


Bettie didn’t tote around too many accessories but she definitely knew how to rock a large flower or head band.


There’s a famous painting by pin-up artist Olivia that has become very iconic depicting  Bettie Page as the devil. It’s wickedly sexy and would be a great costume. Fishnets and red vinyl aren’t up our ally but if you can rock it, then do it!


Housewife Girl Pin-up Costume

Housewife hair style is either large curls or an up-do. Up do’s require a lot more investment of time than just a bouncing set of curls. If you are already familiar with 1950's hair styles, then have-at-it woman! If not, then see if you can enlist the help of a friend to make sure everything stays put. Some more stylized up-dos can take 2 hours to get just right.

This comprehensive video from Kayla walks you through both the make-up and hair style of a 1940s/50s pin-up girl. 

Busty babes are, in a lot of ways, better suited to the pin-up aesthetic but there's no reason why thin girls can’t enjoy the fun as well. The 1950’s housewife style is the perfect costume for ladies less well-endowed because the top typically isn’t as low cut and can be easily coupled with a comfy cardigan for cooler climates. The key style is a cinched waist, short skirt, and a garter.

The best accessory to master the look for a pin-up housewife costume is a big hair bow and an apron. With their amazing aprons, fun patterns and gorgeous dresses,  Hemet dominates the pin-up housewife style.

You can go a little crazy with patterns and colors with the pin-up housewife, which makes it the perfect costume for rocking a pair of  TaylorSays printed heels.


Go darker, more modern or more tattoo focused with the look. Be the Morticia Addams of housewives as a Gothic pin-up or go crazy with some gore-style make up as a Sexy Zombie Housewife.


DITA VON TEESEDita Von Teese is arguably today’s equivalent of Bettie Page. She is the modern rendition of the pin-up woman. She is dark, classy, and the very definition of femme fatale. She’s like a viper in a song-bird’s clothes.

Dita’s hair is the darkest black, which complements her utterly pallid complexion. A small beauty mark adorns her cheek just under her left eye. Her makeup is very similar to that of Bettie Page’s but with rich red lipstick.

For a nicely cut, glamorous dress, we recommend  Steady Clothing. They utilize solid colors, soft fabrics and flattering cuts. Each piece is gorgeous and versatile.

Dita is all glamour. She would never be spotted without a pair of heels or wedges on.  Bordello makes some classy, gorgeous heels that any glamour pin-up would adore.

Dita’s accessories range from headbands to large jeweled necklaces. Don’t forget the red fingernails!

What do we love most about the pin-up style? The versatility.

Pin-up fashion can be personalized to fit your own style. Pin-up culture doesn't force anyone to follow a strict set of rules, in fact, pin-up costumes and everyday dresses are flattering for curvy body types and are beloved by people of all backgrounds. If you want to be a punk pin-up, there's no one that's going to argue with you. Going as a Goth pin-up? Why the hell not?

Another amazing thing about pin-up costume styles is that the designers know what they're doing. Each piece is designed carefully and beautifully for women of all sizes and is built to last. Not only that, these pieces aren't reserved for ONLY Halloween. The style is so classy, so sexy, that you can wear the outfit (or pieces of the outfit) over and over. After all, if you're going to drop some cash on a nice outfit, why not wear it again? Rock those pin-up heels. Style that high-waisted skirt. Look killer all year long.


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