Hot! Ask: 11/7/11

Let's get serious: Is is possible to appreciate a vintage pin-up for its style while still holding onto a sense of modern day respect for women?


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. What a cute picture. Your daughter would be proud!

  2. i often wonder about this and think that whole look a bit degrading to women, to be honest… but then maybe i am taking it too seriously. i love vintage, but am not really into the pin-up look. it’s not for me because i don’t really enjoy men oggling my boobs, but each to their own :)

  3. I get why they were/are popular, but in most cases they seem a bit degrading. I think it all has to do with the look on the woman’s face. If she looks in control and like she knows what she’s doing (tempting) then it is more palatable to me than if she looks surprised, caught unawares, or vapid. I’d recreate the look for my husband, but not for the nameless rabble of horny men out there.

  4. I’m not much of a fan. I feel like it objectifies women. I did think your outfit was tasteful, though!

  5. i think that the answer lies in the person who is looking at the photo/pin-up… i love the pin-up style and think that it is super sexy. people will objectify a woman no matter what she happens to be wearing (or not wearing) or the way she is posing if that’s their prerogative. you are never going to stop that, no matter what the style of the times is. sad, but true. i loved your outfit- sexy and fun!

  6. Seriously, men don’t need to see a woman dressed pin-up style to oggle or degrade her. They do that just fine on their own. A woman can be wearing baggy jeans and a t-shirt and get objectified and degraded just as easily as one dressed pin-up style.
    Pin-up style can be fun and empowering, as can any clothing decision based on emphasizing one’s sexuality–if it’s done consciously and with awareness.
    Pinning–so to speak–the responsibility for a man’s bad behavior on anything a woman does or any way she dresses is the kind of thinking that leads to so many double standards in our society.

  7. I think you can. Think about why we love vintage in the first place. It’s all about your taste, your style. You are in control of that. Personally, I love pin-up style.
    I think it’s beautful and almost arty.

  8. I agree with Stephanie, Cortney and Trish, it#s people objetifiing other people, not clothes. My mom always told me if sombody looks at you in a degrading way it lessens their value not yours! I think thats an important thing to remember.
    So the question remains if you feel comfortable with a style, I can easily imagne somebody feeling more exposed in a pin up dress than another person in a bikini.
    I personly like the pin up-style but would feel absulutly akward in some more recent styles like wearing only leggins and a long t-shirt.
    I realy like your jumper Mena, and I think it’s more modest than most of todays swim/beachwear

  9. I totally agree with Stephani. You can’t control the thoughts of others.
    Having said that, in searching for inspiration online, I saw naked vintage pinups, scantily clad vintage pinups, AND tastefully dressed vintage pinups. I obviously drew different conclusions from looking at each.
    So if you decide to do a pinup look, your styling choices and facial expressions will affect the probability of your look coming off as provocative to the viewer.
    The looks I have seen so far on the Sew Weekly have been nothing but tasteful.