Archive for May 5th, 2010

Petticoat: A History

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Pettiskirts, usually called petticoats, have been used for hundreds of years by women underneath their dresses. In the 1500s women wore full pettiskirts to make their waists look smaller than it actually was. They also wore beautifully designed pettiskirts when they had open-fronted dresses to show them off.

Petticoats were a popular choice during the Renaissance. Multi-layered dress styles offered a few pettiskirts to be worn at the same time. Wool pettiskirts became fashionable during Wales in the 1700s.

Lace petticoats were worn in the 18th Century. Elegant designs were mostly worn by the wealthy class. Lace pettiskirts were worn with corsets, and women at the time had a tendency to faint because of lack of air and the heaviness the pettiskirts provided.
petticoat
Pettiskirts were also a popular Opera choice. Extended frames were built to make Opera singers skirts appear even fuller than previous pettiskirts. The full bodied effect quickly gained popularity in Europe and America.

Opera pettiskirts were a popular choice in America in the 19th Century. Movies such as The King and I and Gone With The Wind give good examples of this type of style. Full framed petticoats gave a very wide, full effect on the bottom of skirts, making waists continue to appear tiny.

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