Pinup Pointers + On a Budget: Where to Start with Pinup Girl Clothing!

Monday, May 12, 2014

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We get a lot of questions about building a "pinup" wardrobe and we also get a lot of questions about certain pieces we wear and often the answer to those questions overlap with a commonality: Pinup Girl Clothing.  A lot of the amazing novelty prints and super full skirts we wear are from this brand and they're near and dear to us, especially because they have an active Style Community that June tries to stay active within for their fans +customers + enthusiasts to share product information, give each other tips, get to know fellow pinups and they even have a swap + sell forum!

We remember F-I-N-A-L-L-Y saving up the money to buy our first PUG pieces and then hopping on the site and thinking "holy shit, I have no idea which item(s) to buy."  We know some of their items are a bit pricey but one thing you can rely on with PUG is that every penny you spend is worthwhile because the craftsmanship is phenomenal.  They also have pretty frequent sales and carry items for pinups within any budget.  These are some items we find are the perfect place to start with this brand.

The Jenny Dress

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June in the Jenny Dress in Neverland Sateen  |  Amelia in the Jenny Dress in Harlequin Print Sateen

Modeled after 1960's day dresses, The Jenny Dress (which run $142 each) might be one of the most recognizable Pinup Girl Clothing pieces. If you've ever seen a novelty print you loved from Pinup Girl Clothing, it was probably on one of  the Jenny items (whether you choose the skirt or the dress).  Tiki, parisian, Neverland, cherries, harlequin and their upcoming Snow White and Little Mermaid prints are all available in the Jenny styled items.

Aside from the amazing variation in prints and colors, the Jenny dress is a favorite of ours for so many reasons.  The price tag may seem hefty, but you're paying for amazing craftsmanship.  Some of our favorite qualities include the boned bodice, the adjustable straps (Amelia: this is especially important to me because I have a super long torso), the fact that the dress is made in the USA and the comfortable, breathable material (which is a bit stretchy but doesn't get "stretched out" during daily wear.)

The Jenny Skirt

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Amelia in Jenny Skirt in Neverland Print  |  June in the Red Sean Top / Jenny Skirt in Red and Brown Harlequin

When trying to build a pinup wardrobe circle skirts are a must, and there's seriously no better circle skirt than The Jenny Skirt (which run $98 each).  The gathered cotton sateen creates volume and accommodates a petticoat for a retro-inspired silhouette.  The wide waistband also gives the appearance of a nipped waist and is incredibly comfortable for casual wear.

June: My first couple of Jenny items were dresses, but I've recently become hooked on the skirts for two reasons 1) you can mix 'n' match them and 2) they're cheaper.  I absolutely love the Jenny dresses I own, but I've taken to buying the skirt version of things any time I'm given the option because I'm able to spread my wardrobe a bit farther.  I don't let myself buy a skirt without buying or making sure I already own a top to match, even if I have the money to buy the skirt.  This helps my expand my mix + match selection and guarantees that I wont let pieces go unworn because I "have nothing to wear with them".

The Birdie Dress

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Amelia in Birdie Dress in Baby Blue and Yellow Floral  |  June in Birdie Dress in Mustard and Purple Floral

The Birdie Dress (which run $118 each) is a vintage styled party dress with wide notched collar, full skirt and matching belt.  June wrote a little about this dress in her A Little Birdie Told Me post (here) but PUG recently released some new colorways which are absolutely lovely.  Amelia:  When I saw that the Birdie dress in the blue/yellow colorway it was love at first sight.  My two favorite colors on one dress? Done and done.  They also offer a short sleeved version of this dress in a few other colorways which is equally as lovely.

Pinup On a Budget

We also assembled this little Pinup on a Budget's guide to some awesome PUG pieces under $100.  On top of that, check your package because after your first purchase, returning customers save 10% off all future purchases with a special discount code included on an insert in your package.  Also, June owns the Gold Lurex circle skirt pictured below and while the hip pockets can sit a bit odd, absolutely loves it, especially for $36.

PUG Post
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Some other pointers include subscribing to their newsletter and following them on social media.  They always, ALWAYS announce sales to their newsletter subscribers first via email, sometimes up to 24 hours+ ahead of when they announce sales on their social media and that can make a big difference on items running low in stock. 

We hope we helped provide you with a good place to start!  Did you start somewhere else?  Do you own any PUG?  We'd love to see how you outfit your pieces! Post  photos below!


  1. I don't own any PUG pieces but have always admired the clothing on their site. It's good to have these suggestions on where to start and especially nice to see under $100 purchases because I'm on a budget which is probably why I've always only admired.

  2. I really like some of their pieces, and it's nice to see that the Jenny dress is worth the cost. I've had my eye on it for a while now (there's a version in a classic Alice blue that would fit so well into my wardrobe), and I might have to take the plunge soon. It's just so hard for me to convince myself that any dress is worth more than $100 *lol*. I do appreciate that you've offered some budget options as well.
    I'm curious, between PUG and Trashy Diva, which do you think has the higher quality?

  3. Many of their styles go up to 4X so well worth checking out the site if you're plus size like me. The plus size styles are also photographed on actual plus size models so we can see what they look like on us larger ladies. International shipping is pricey but the tradeoff is that shipping is quick.

  4. its important to note that on the pinup on a budget link only 2 items are those under the pinup couture label- the pencil skirt and the natasha dress.

  5. First off, I have to say I adore you both after following you on IG forever, and I was totally ecstatic when you began blogging.
    I love PUG Clothing, and I am DYING for a Jenny dress. I have had to satisfy myself with the skirts so far.
    Now, I have kind of a weird question. June, what do you do for a bra with the Jenny (or other similar, spaghetti strap-type) dresses? I have similar measurements to you, and I have given up on strapless bras because I hate them all. I was debating getting a Jenny dress and wearing a regular bra with it and throwing a cardigan over it, but it's summer. It's HOT.
    (I am eagerly awaiting the Aurora dress because of the wide straps!)
    Help please!! Thanks 💕

  6. Thanks for the post! I have been wanting to try out that site for a while now! I do find the post helpful, but I was wondering if it is sponsored. Not that its a bad thing, its just as a reader I would like to know.

  7. No ma'am, it was not sponsored, we specifically mention when we receive items "care of" a company and we've never done a formal "sponsored" post. We purchased everything we're wearing here out of our own pockets (or in a couple cases, other peoples, some of Amelia's items were birthday gifts haha) we just really love this brand and know that spending that much money on and item can be a little overwhelming and wanted to offer our readers a potential place to start. : )

  8. Thanks for the reply! I really wasn't trying to be a grump or questioning your integrity. It was just a curiosity! Thank you for being honest and keep up the lovely posts!

  9. I own PUG and Trashy Diva dresses in equal numbers and I would say the quality is about the same. I think Trashy Diva doesn't put quite as much effort into the quality of their fabric, but for the most part the fabrics are fine. The construction is great.

  10. I know what you mean! I literally hoard my extra money, I know everyone has things they're a little superfluous about and mine is clothing. But, their sales are pretty good, and you can snag a Jenny Skirt for a pretty good deal if you watch their sales. ; )

  11. I definitely think it's worth the cost, and I am actually wearing that one right now! It's a little more "teal" than you think though, I will warn you of that. It was really hard for me to do justify it at first, but now that I've had some of my pieces for over a year now and they still look very unworn and new, I realize why it's worth the money. I think PUG and Trashy Diva offer two totally different things, so it's hard for me to compare them. They ever sort of cater to different decades (I see Trashy Diva as more 40s inspired) But I will say I find PUG's things to be slightly sturdier and less seasonal and that I find myself wearing my Trashy Diva pieces a lot in the summer.

  12. I agree with all of this, very good points. : )

  13. I agree, I know there are a few amazing plus size bloggers who simply rave about PUG's approach to the plus size market. I definitely appreciate any company that embraces women of all sizes. : )

  14. That's a very good point Sandy, some of the items are under the other house labels (there are four) but some of them are made by the vendors PUG works with. Thank you for pointing that out.

  15. Oh, no not at all! We weren't offended in the least! : )

  16. Aww thank you so much, Vienna, we are so flattered! : )

    Because of my shape, I actually tend to prefer the skirts to the dresses, but I think every enthusiast should own one because they're beautifully and so well made!

    I actually wear a strapless bra, and have no problem with it at all. Now, this could be because of my corset and the fact that it sort of pushes my boobs up a bit and holds my bra into place and I've actually been considering buying an overbust corset for this exact reason (I currently wear an underbust) wondering if it could act as a bra substitute for things with skinny straps. But yeah, for now I just wear a regular old Victoria Secret strapless bra in a nude color or on lazy days, a regular bra with a cardigan (because I have to wear a cardigan to cover my tattoos, regardless of how hot it is outside.)

    I wish I could've been more help!

  17. I'll have to start paying attention to their sales!

  18. Jessica CangianoMay 15, 2014 at 3:12 AM

    Awesome and very timely post. I just, at long (long!) last purchased my first PUG item: an Italian print Jenny skirt which I'd been yearning for since the moment it was released (in no small part as a way to honour my husband's country of origin: Italy). I'm beyond impressed with the quality and product as a whole and will certainly be saving my pennies up for a second, and third, etc PUG item in the future.

    ♥ Jessica

  19. I have just one item from them (a black circle skirt) but it sees so much use, I really should look at the company more. A helpful and critical look at a company.

  20. Oh! That skirt is beautiful! I keep hoping to come across one on eBay, and every one that gets listed is a small and I need a medium! Maybe I'll snag one in a future sale!

    I've sort of put a freeze on my spending so I can save to buy items that might be a little more expensive, but of higher quality. I'm trying to slowly clean out my wardrobe and pass pieces that aren't worn enough to people who will love and wear them more to put into my fund. haha

  21. I have that skirt as well! It's absolutely one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe, if they made a red one, I'd die. haha. But thank you so much. : )

  22. As you may know from my IG I purchased my first PUG jenny skirt last weekend in the neverland print, and it's by far my new favourite! The fabric and cut is amazing soooo worth every penny which I managed to get it with the 20% discount code. Whoop! I have my eye on getting the dress version and also the jenny aurora skirt when that gets released! Hehe! :) xx

  23. How do you get the 10% off and where do you find coupons like a whole 20% off??? I'm saving up for my first purchase!