Having your own retro wardrobe can be a great asset when you're out there looking for pin up modeling gigs. Some photographers might not supply wardrobe for shoots and others, who may not do pin up on a regular basis, may need a model who can fend for themselves in that department.
So how to start building a retro/pin up wardrobe without breaking the bank?
One place to start is the Salvation Army and other thrift stores. In the New York area they've been picked clean of real vintage for years, however, depending on where you live, you may still get lucky. But you don't just have to troll for vintage at the Sal. It can be a great place to pick up basics like a black pencil skirt, black shoes, sweaters, shorts, cute capris...The list is endless, you just have to keep a sharp eye out for the gems among the dross. Look for simple, clean lines. For example, you want skirts, capris and shorts to be very simple, without say, cargo pockets or ornamental zippers. The more classic looking (meaning even though it is modern it could be from any era) the better. Also, stay alert for anything that could be used as a prop since people donate some of the strangest things to their local thrift stores!
With Halloween coming up, don't underestimate the potential of costume and party shops! Of course they have the seasonal witch, devil and black cat, but don't pass up the opportunity to pick up a sexy nurse uniform, sailor girl, soldier, hula girl, harem girl or even a Daisy Duke costume! Most costumes are less than $50 each and the opportunity is there to pick up items half price after the holiday. These shops can also be great sources for props; cigarette holders, hand cuffs, brooms, bunny ears (think Easter), etc.
How about lingerie? While there are some fabulous repro lingerie lines out there like What Katie Did and Secrets In Lace you can also find great buys from old stand bys like Frederick's of Hollywood. 'Ornamental' corsets (meaning the kind you don't want to use to tight lace your waist in by four inches) are a fraction the cost of the real thing and they have great sales in which to pick up odds and ends like garter belts and cute sets (like this one for example).
Do a Google search for "Shirley of Hollywood" (maybe she was Fred's cousin ;-)), and see what comes up. They make very reasonably priced pieces and have great ruffly boy shorts! (Unfortunately they also make some incredibly tawdry stuff as well, but to each his own I suppose).
With just a little creativity and resourcefulness it can be easy to get your wardrobe collection started or put together a look for a shoot without having to go into debt!