You’re Allowed To Unpin

The pinup style is a very effort intensive one. Whether you wetset, heat set or prefer an elaborate set of victory rolls, the hair takes time to craft each evening or morning. The liner flicks and sharp brows and perfect pout all require regular practise and daily precision. The stockings and garter belts and corsets can all take a while to cinch into and layer up under the petticoats and swing dress or the slips and tight wiggles. All of these things are something you get faster at over time, and get used to, becoming an automatic part of your routine that you’re used to allowing time for. And part of being a pinup is that you love doing all these things, it excites you to get your glam on; if we hated doing it, then we wouldn’t do it. We enjoy it.

That being said, we don’t always enjoy it. There’s not a pinup I know who doesn’t have mornings when she wishes her liner wouldn’t take a full 10 minutes when it’s misbehaving, or that she could just wash her hair without having to plan which day it most makes sense to do so to make the most socially out of her fresh set. Sometimes there are days, weeks or even months when despite your love for the style, some of the things we do, or even all of them, just seem like too much effort.

That is okay.

In no mood for makeup, glam dresses or sculpting my hair You’re allowed to be a pinup who needs some time to re-energise and relax. You don’t have to hand over your membership card. You don’t have to duck out of the vintage events you’ve been looking forward to attending. It’s unnecessary for you to explain yourself with a touch of guilt when people enquire about your lack of red lipstick or query your unstyled locks.

We all have motivational slumps, when the energyto do what we need or even want to do just isn’t there; it’s not just during down periods that the pinup thing is too much. Sometimes when you’re having a really great time and enjoying life, like going on vacation or spending a lot of time with family or friends, you don’t want to take the extra time out to fix your face because you’re having too lovely a time to give up any of it to alone time in front of the mirror. You don’t need to explain to anyone why you’re taking time out looking ‘normal’ rather than your retro self.Getting dressed up to get groceries, as I'm known for? Not today, kids!

Sometimes as pinups we accidentally shame one another. Hell, there are some pinups who do it on purpose; no matter what style sphere you’re part of, there will always be some people who make everything a competition or a game to step over others. Any pinups who do that are not the true spirit of our community, and if you come across any who make you feel bad for opting for jeans and a ponytail one day then ignore them: they’re the same women who shame girls for not getting victory rolls right on their first try, or even their third. Girl, victory rolls are hard. No one is mastering those right away. It took me so long that I gave up.

Attempting to make an effort on a day I didn’t feel like getting dolled up

This is your style and your life. If you need to take a breather every once in a while to build your energy back up, even if it’s months long, there’s nothing in that for you to feel guilty about. You might find that fighting through it and carrying on in the style actually helps, if it’s a small slump, like I myself have experienced during busy periods many times in the past couple years. But if it’s bigger than that, if it’s a long-lasting energy ebb and you aren’t snapping out of it, don’t feel bad. You don’t owe your prettiness to anyone else. You don’t owe them extra time in front of your own mirror, sorting through your closet, pincurling your hair in the evenings and touching up your lipstick after every meal, just because you have likely become known for doing those things and looking a certain way. You only ever owe yourself happiness, and if that means slipping on a maxi dress in the morning rather than a wiggle, do it. Do whatever you want to do.

Do you, you beautiful babey babe. Do you.

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16 thoughts on “You’re Allowed To Unpin

  1. Great post, thank you for writing it! I don’t consider myself part of the pinup community because I haven’t mastered the full look yet, despite several tries. But reading this makes me realize I am part of it if I want to belong, and there are no set rules beyond what I set for myself. That’s a nice way to start off the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re definitely a part of the community! I think anyone who appreciates the style is part of the community, whether they choose to dress in the style or not. It’s easy to feel self-conscious about ‘achieving’ the look because it’s so polished and specific, but try not to feel worried or alienated, because believe me, every pinup took months or years to perfect all the little knacks and skills of the style, and how they like to make them look on themselves personally. I’m forever growing in my styles and it’s been 4 years now since I began to dress this way!

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      • Thank you, it’s good to hear evolution is a part of it, instead of achieving perfection on the first try. Loving the style doesn’t mean I can’t make it my own, and I lost that way of thinking a bit trying to learn hair styling (it’s been a nightmare). It’s not that I felt this way from outside sources – it was all coming from within! I’ve read the comments below and it put things into perspective.

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      • It’s great this has helped then 🙂 hair was the thing I struggled with most too, I think most ladies do, and the part I feel I keep learning to do better over time, so you’re certainly not alone in that regard.

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  2. What a lovely post. I fully support this. There are days where I cannot fathom transforming into my pin-up self. In fact, that is most days at the moment! I don’t bother with hair and makeup for work, so I save that for my days off and special occasions. But now, I have so much to do on my days off that even then I don’t bother! I’ll transform into Patti Cakes when I’m taking blog pictures/having a special day out or on special occasions and that’s it. And that’s great! Because the less I do it, the more special it feels, and the more of a dramatic impact it has on my friends and strangers alike. I fully support your message here, and you are beautiful inside and out, pinup or casual;) x

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel the same way that it feels more special when I do it less often, although it never stops feeling weird and almost vulnerable when I go out in just jeans and a hoody?? For half of the winter, at least, I just didn’t have the time or the energy to get pinned up much, especially when you consider how often I have to do it to create blog content even if I don’t feel like it, so I figured there had to be a lot of other ladies out there who had the same slumps of motivation sometimes! It’s always nice to be able to reassure one another and find new ways to relate in ‘real’ ways when our style makes it very easy to put one another on a pedestal and wonder how everyone else does it

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  3. This is one of my favorite posts thus far!! I agree, dressing in this manner really is a lot of effort! Dressing down is perfectly acceptable in my book, each of us should be able to personally decide how we wish to dress up and dress down 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Honestly, I felt a bit silly in one way posting this as if it might be condescending to ‘give permission’ to other pinups to do what I want, but when I looked back on how guilty or awkward I’ve felt sometimes when choosing not to dress up when I normally would I realised there must be other ladies out there who needed to hear that plenty of us feel this way. It’s always nice to be able to confirm for other people that they’re not alone even in small thoughts or feelings like this.

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  4. THANK YOU!!!! What a great post. I’m not part of the pinup community but I do vintage or vintage inspired and with living in the country side on a smallholding there is no time to glam up. So most of the time I’m that peculiar woman with the strange old-fashioned dresses and clothes (jodhpur trousers, wellies, jumper and tweed jacket) and that bandana in her hair. It’s not glamorous but still me. 🙂

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  5. Thank you so much for this great post!! It’s always difficult for women when we are part of certain groups to sometimes break free from all of the rules, so it’s really important for us to support each other and say: “You know what, we’ve all been there, and it’s perfectly fine!”

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  6. This post is gospel and all the girls who are in the line for haterade should read it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “shunned” & whispered about bc there are some women who feel they have “caught me” without my, apparently required, vintage regalia. And by doing so it somehow it implies that I am not fully submerged in the lifestyle and therefore a phoney. I actually avoid going anywhere that people from the “scene” are. I don’t enjoy being picked apart. It was reassuring to read this post and comments. Thank you.

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    • Jeez, anyone (but especially any woman) who feels they need to police and judge what another woman is wearing has their priorities messed up! Sorry you’ve had to deal with that nonsense 😦

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  7. I think this is important to hear – not only for those who are in the pinup lifestyle, but for those who aren’t! There are days that I wake up and I barely have enough energy to put on foundation, much less a full face of makeup and a dress! THANK YOU for writing this.

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