Pin Up Week: 7 Must Haves for Every Pin Up Lovers Library

One of the questions I’m asked most often — aside from how to buy pin-up lingerie — is what kinds of books and videos (that aren’t porn!) pin-up fans can add to their bookshelves and video collections. It’s a great question and one I wish I’d been able to find the answer to when I was starting my own journey into lingerie addiction. With that in mind, I’ve compiled this list of three videos and four books I believe every pin-up fan needs. And in case you’re wondering, yes I do own everything on this list!

The Notorious Bettie Page— Starring Grechen Moll as the “Queen of Pin-up,” Bettie Page, this biopic takes a look at the life of an icon. While some complained that the lead doesn’t resemble Bettie Page, I think this film does a great job of capturing the sexual, cultural, and political climate of the 1950s.

Bettie Page: Varietease/Teaserama— This video double-set of videos features Bettie Page alongside the other great ladies of her day like Tempest Storm and Cherrie Knight. Fans of burlesque, pin-up, striptease, and classic lingerie will love these videos.

The Irving Klaw Classics, Vol. 1-4— The Irving Klaw boxed set consists of four separate videos, each composed of 10 or so short film clips. With videos dedicated to wrestling, fetish, dance, and (of course) Bettie Page, there’s something here for every pin-up fan.

1000 Pin-Up Girls— I call this book my “Pin-up Bible.” Everything a lover of the pin-up aesthetic could want is here… from vintage magazine covers to saucy pictorials. For only $10, there’s endless inspiration here.

Gil Elvgren: All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups— If Bettie Page is the Queen of Pin-ups, then Gil Elvgren is its King. From the coquettish poses to the flirtatious facial expressions, no other artist captures the glamour, innocence, and playfulness that is pin-up better than Gil Elvgren.

Viva’s Pinups: Bullet Bras and Backseat Betties— Much like models, photographers either have “it” or they don’t… and Viva definitely has it. Her book of vintage-style pin-ups with a modern twist continues in tradition of pin-up masters like Bunny Yeager and Irving Klaw.

A Serious Study of Mid-20th Century Lingerie— As the founder of What Katie Did Lingerie, Katie Halford is one of the world’s foremost experts on vintage, pin-up, and retro lingerie. And she shares her expertise with all of us in this book full of super interesting facts and really pretty pictures.

Photo Credit: Treacle Tart by Viva van Story

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  • frankufotos Lingerie

    This is going to be a fun week : )

  • gracerx

    Another good way is hit some antique stores and see if they have calendars from the 40's-50's from magazines like esquire. Tons of great stuff by Vargas, Elvgren and more, like this one.

    I probably spent about 15-20 bucks total.

  • Treacle

    @frankufotos–That's the idea. ;)

    @gracerx–What a great suggestion! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • gracerx

    I'm here to help…

  • Kayla @ TheEclecticElement

    Ooooh….I think it's time to order some books from the library ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing your picks with us!

  • Mya

    Perhaps Bettie Page Rules ( as well? It isn’t just about Bettie Page, as the title might suggest. It goes through pin-ups from throughout the 1950s, and, if I remember correctly (I’ll check at work tomorrow just to be sure), some of the 1960s and 1970s too! A really well rounded introduction to a whole bunch of pin-ups!

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  • Lynn Butts

    Beautiful things that are special in my heart.