Urban Fashion: 3 Ways to Take Your Pinup Swimsuit from the Beach to the Street

Nessie Nocturnal by Viva van Story

Today’s blog post comes from Rebekah Rochelle of the local-to-Seattle mag, DList. Now that spring is here and the weather’s starting to warm up, it’s time to think about bathing suits. Of course, it goes without saying that we at The Lingerie Addict prefer swimsuits of the pin-up variety. But you don’t have to reserve your beachside attire for just the beach. Rebekah is here to talk about mixing retro swimwear with your everyday wear… to stylish effect. You can find Rebekah on Twitter, or follow her column in DList Magazine.

The pin-up swimsuit came into vogue after a championship swimmer-turned-actress, Esther Williams, popularized the look. Today’s spring collections are embracing the re-emergence of pin-up style, and elements of burlesque and pin-up are flooding the runways.

Urban layering is one of the easiest styles to manage, but if the layering lacks flair or novelty, the result is bland and uninspired. And so, I’m talking about a layering variant — incorporating the pinup swimsuit into the look. The pin-up accentuates the female curves in a modest way, while maintaining the flirtatious flare necessary to a well-made outfit. Although commonly spotted on beachfronts and poolside, involving pin-up in your streetwear is the height of spring chic.

One small tip: this trend works best with high-waist pants. High-waist slacks flatter all body types, slimming the waist and projecting an hourglass shape. With exciting patterns and bright colors on top and a simple, muted high-waist pant below, the pin-up suit receives all the attention.

I’ve pulled together a few outfits from Net-A-Porter.com to share with you. I like this site because it has a wide variety of brands, styles and pricing. If Net-a-Porter doesn’t fit your budget and particulars, you can find similar pieces at TopShop, Asos, Barneys, Forever 21, and H&M. (Editor’s Note: You can also vintage-style swimsuits at Pinup Girl Clothing if you’re based in the US, and at For Luna if you’re based in the UK.)

Pink skirt | Chloe | Net-A-Porter
This suit, worn by Jessica Stam in May 2008 issue of UK Vogue, possesses considerable similarities with contemporary pin-up fashion. The flower print gives keeps the vintage aesthetic of pin-up intact, and the cut is perfect for wearing underneath a maxi skirt, such as this coral cotton skirt by Chloe. The sheer fabric of the skirt allows the undergarment to remain the focal point, without breaking an aura of modesty.


High Waist, Wide Leg Trouser | Alexander McQueen | Net-A-Porter
Swim Suit | Miu Miu | Net-A-Porter
This Miu Miu suit, when paired with Alexander McQueen’s straight-lined trousers, results in a groovy get-up. Sometimes, a simple approach such as this yields the best results.


Swim Suit | Willow | Net-A-Porter
Loose Blazer | Helmut Lang | Net-A-Porter
Black Loose Fit Trousers | Yves Saint Laurent | Net-A-Porter
Business meets beachwear at its finest. To bring a pop of spring to your business attire, add in a pin-up suit with eye-catching, season-appropriate color. Suit by Willow, blazer by Helmut Lang, trouser by Yves Saint Laurent.

The trick to mastering this look is combining 1950s modesty with our generation’s flare. Do you plan on trying out this trend this Spring?

Mad Mimi Form


Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

2 Comments on this post

  1. I must say, that is GENIUS! I kind of want to run out and get myself a vintage inspired swimsuit so I can do this myself :)

    Great guest post!

    • Cora Treacle says:

      I felt the same way after reading this! Bodysuits are already such a big deal, and what’s a better bodysuit than pin-up swimwear? Always love reading your comments, Kayla. :)

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