Hey all! Welcome to a new and what will inevitably be an irregularly updated series on petticoats! So many vintage and vintage inspired bloggers out there own petticoats, and I recently bought my first one! I thought I'd share with you my initial thoughts and concerns, and sometime in the future update you on my experiences with them after I'm more familiar. And, assuming I like them and become an expert and possibly invest in other lengths or brands, I'd give another update. I've read up on petticoats from other bloggers who are already experts and fans, but I thought it'd be fun to start from an initial reactions as let's face it: it's not a given anyone will own a petticoat in this 21st century lifetime!
Honest to goodness, when I first got into circle skirts I didn't feel the need for a petticoat and...the jury is still out! I don't mind skirts laying flatter because I kind of dig the chic 1980s midi-skirt/Ralph Lauren look. Plus, while I'm obsessed with longer lengths and novelty prints, I'm often modernizing any vintage inspired looks with either classic heels or more modern shoes, basic tank tops, concert tees, or Kate Spade bags. I never truly go "full on vintage"-though I love looking at other ladies' Instagram pics and blogs who do! So I wrote petticoats off for that very reason for a while. About mid this summer I started to get a little more curious about them and about a month ago Modcloth put this blue Hell Bunny petticoat on sale at $17 for a few days so I grabbed it as it was cheaper than anything I could find on eBay.
My first thoughts were: dang this is fluffy and full and this is softer than I thought it would be! I had heard that some brands had very scratchy petticoats and based on the few dresses I own that have them already sewn in that were mega scratchy-I didn't have high hopes! I'm not sure it's soft enough to not irritate me if I were wearing it all day, but for a few hours out in the evening...I feel I could definitely handle it!
I went to a friend's house this weekend and she snapped a few "before and after" pics showcasing how much volume it adds. Here they are:
Dress- Bernie Dexter, Belt- Hell Bunny, Shoes- G by Guess
This was the only dress I tried it out on and I picked my Bernie Dexter dress that lays the most flat without a petticoat (some others puff out a bit more naturally). I'm honestly torn about how much I feel like the petticoat enhances the outfit or not. The shape of it is certainly more structured with the petticoat...but I don't hate it without either.
Tank- Forever 21, Skirt- Hell Bunny, Shoes- Nine West
This Hell Bunny skirt is somewhat full without a petticoat, but you can certainly see the difference it makes while wearing it underneath! Any of that 1980s chic lady look with a flat midi skirt I was talking about gets replaced for a Betty Draper look! I guess what could be fun about a petticoat is that in theory it can make your outfit a totally different look, thus giving your clothes more versatility!
Tank- Forever 21, Skirt- True Vintage/Etsy find, Shoes- G by Guess
The above before and after sold me the most on how petticoats can be awesome. This 1950s novelty print skirt has a bunch of bikini babes hanging around a cabana and the petticoat lifts the print more by spreading out the skirt. When it's laying flat it's harder to tell what the print is. I have another vintage skirt that has a Middle Eastern market place scene and I'm thinking that will also be awesome for wearing a petticoat because the print will be better visible.
Close-up of the print
One of the only things I found difficult about wearing a petticoat is how to sit properly! It's so fluffy! Just trying to arrange the crinoline so that I could showcase it in the above shot was a task!
How much do I think I'll wear this? Honestly, I'm not sure. If you haven't noticed, despite having fun dresses, shoes, and handbags, I fail most other fashionista tests in that make-up, fun hair, and fun jewelry rarely make appearances in my outfit pics. (Read: I'm a bit of a tomboy at heart and in my world the less time I spend fussing over myself the better! I'm working on it but it's not second nature to me!) Adding a petticoat is an extra step that genuinely may not dawn on me until after I get home for the evening, a la every time I come home and I notice a necklace I wanted to wear out that night but totally forgot to. That said, petticoats may have a practical function that my bracelets do not: they could add an extra layer for warmth in the winter! I do wear pants (you'll see!) but obviously I prefer dresses and skirts. In the winter, especially at night, I feel forced to cover up more with pants but given how thick the petticoat is I may get more use out of my skirts this winter! That...and my petticoat is freaking huge and hard to miss in my closet, unlike lipstick tubes in my bathroom or earrings in my jewelry box!
It can't run and it can't hide!
So there you have it! The first post of a skeptic trying out a petticoat! I will make it a point to wear it a few times as the weather drops (it's back to Indian summer here and I don't know how you ladies stand layering up with these when it's hot!!) and after a few outings I'll post an update about new thoughts, pros and cons, and any weird anecdotes that came from wearing this item in late either 2014 or early 2015!
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