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100 Years of Christmas Pinups

Celebrating 100 Years of Provocative Christmas Pin Ups

Never make the mistake of thinking of historical times as being more innocent. It seems the further you go back in time, the naughtier (and in many cases, downright filthier!) the world was. Cheeky, naughty, postcards were all the rage once photography turned up in the 19th century. The movies led to the age of the Hollywood stars and starlets and of course the celebrity pinup pictures were sure to follow. So, let’s celebrate over 100 years of Christmas pin ups.

1910s French Postcards

This vintage French pinup postcard of Fernande Barrey by Jean Agelou from around 1910 (is that a Christmas stocking under her dress?) would have made the perfect – probably secret – Christmas present, for lovers of the body beautiful.

Fernande Barrey by Jean Agelou

1920s – The Roaring Twenties

It Girl Clara Bow, knew a thing or two about sultry stars. The star of many a Hollywood silent movie (and later ‘talkies’) had enormous screen presence and could really rock that ‘holding my ukelele’ look. Here’s a Christmas pinup themed version of Clara dragging a huge sack of presents into her igloo, wearing only a cheeky little negligee – and high heels of course – for good measure. It’s amazing that some Christmas lingerie styles that were around 100 years ago are still popular today.

Clara Bow Christmas Pinup

1930s – 1930s starlets

Toby Wing was not averse to a sultry Christmas pinup photoshoot. The platinum blonde bombshell made her movie debut 1931 and was well known for her finesse with the sexual innuendo.

Toby Wing 1930s Christmas

Grace Bradley was another 1930s starlet who featured in 20 films in the 1930s, mostly for Paramount Pictures. Grace was often cast in what was called at the time a “good-time girl” – a young woman renouned for being only interested in pleasure and not serious activities like work. She also became one of the 1930s most popular musical stars. Here she is decorating a Christmas tree; dressesd only in her satin chemise of course. Christmas pin ups had certainly arrived to stay.

Grace Bradley dressing a Christmas Tree

1940s – Christmas Pin Ups Firmly Established

A sizzling actress if ever there was one. Ava Gardner is known as one of the greatest film actresses of all time. She made her breakthrough in The Killers in 1946 and featured in countless other movies, including One Touch of Venus, Lone Star and The Angel Wore Red. One thing’s for certain, Gardner could certainly rock a Christmas outfit.

Ava Gardner in her Christmas Outfit

Esther Williams was a competitive swimmer who only missed out on an 1940 Olympic Medal bid due to the outbreak of World War II. She then started a 50 year-long career in film , including movies such as the Ziegfeld Follies and Dangerous When Wet. Her last film appearance was in That’s Entertainment! III in 1994. Here’s Esther in a very furry vintage Christmas pin ups picture, posing with an equally furry reindeer.

Esther Williams Christmas Pinup


Jayne Mansfield’s wondrous curves exploded onto the Hollywood scene in the 1950s. Her career may not have spanned very long, but her star certainly shone bright. Jayne had a bit of a penchant for ‘wardrobe malfunctions’, much to the delight of her fans. Shockingly, in this vintage Christmas  pinup photograph, she’s wearing quite a lot of material…

Jayne Mansfield Christmas 1950s

Now the 1950s wouldn’t have been the same without Bettie Page. Bettie’s signature look has been, and still is, copied by thousands of burlesque dancers, models, bloggers and digital artists. The look has become one of the most iconic images of the 1950s.

Bettie Page Christmas

1960s – The Swinging Sixties

We know sex sells. 1960s singer Kay Martin knew it too. This record cover from her album “I Know What He Wants For Christmas… But I Don’t Know How to Wrap It!” features just a little strip of fabric – enough to get past the censors – but that’s about it. Although Kay did appear herself on some covers, this one is probably a model (her make-up could sometimes be a little on the heavy side, so it’s difficult to tell!). Anyway, most importantly, it stands out!

Kay Martin Christmas Album Cover - I Know What He Wants For Christmas... But I Don't Know How to Wrap It!

As if the album cover is not suggestive enough, here’s Kay singing “Hang your balls on the Christmas Tree”…

1970s – The “Me” Decade

American actress Catherine Bach was a big deal in the 70s and 80s. Her role as Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazard set a generation of teenage hearts a-thumping. She had pins from heaven and a California glow to boot…

Catherine Bach wearing Sexy Santa Outfit

Mary Tyler Moore’s TV show ran throughout the 1970s following her success co-starring in the 1960s TV series “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. Here’s Mary all wrapped up for Christmas – but not looking too convinced about it.

Mary Tyler Moore wrapped up for Christmas


Sexy Christmas pin ups really seemed to switch from the film and TV screens to the music world in the 1980s. When it comes to female empowerment, with a hefty dose of seductive, Madonna was the lady in the red. The front cover for her 80s release, Santa Baby, really proves a point…

Madonna Santa Baby

Of course there were still traditional Christmas pin ups to be found. Evira, Mistress of the Dark, poses here in a scene reminiscent of the 40s and 50s.

Evira, Mistress of the Dark


Mariah Carey really dominated the sexy Christmas look in the 1990s. All she wanted for Christmas was you. And a nice fur-trimmed sexy Christmas outfit as well of course…

Mariah Carey Christmas


Beyonce’s old band, Destiny’s Child, knew a thing or two about celebrating Christmas. Here’s the lady herself, with her band mates, all ready for the big day…

Destiny’s Child, knew a thing or two about celebrating Christmas


So now it’s your turn. Treat yourself to a gorgeous Christmas outfit from Sparkling Strawberry and be this year’s Christmas Pin-Up. Here’s some of my favourites from 2018, firstly, a stunning Merlot Festive Matte Bandeau & Shorts Set by Coquette.

Merlot Festive Matte Bandeau & Shorts Set

Or this distinctive Wine Red Velvet and Lace Bra Set by Seven ’til Midnight.

Wine Red Velvet and Lace Bra Set

And this Snow Princess Christmas Set by Livia Corsetti.

Snow Princess Christmas Set

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About the Author Isla Torsten

Isla knows a good set of underwear when she sees it. Isla firmly believes that attitude and confidence are the key ingredients to looking just fabulous in your lingerie. She’s also an avid online shopper, capable of spotting a bargain at 20 paces.