Juli Charlot – Poodle Skirt Designer

Poodle skirts are well known clothing articles that were especially popular during the fifties. A woman by the name of Juli Lynn Charlot actually invented the skirts. Charlot didn’t even know how to sew when she created the well known poodle skirt.

Charlot was not an original clothing designer. She was a singer and actress in an opera company. She worked that way until the Second World War was over and she got married to her husband Philip.

She was, however, sensitive to fashion. She was very particular about the clothing she wore while up on stage. She hired dressmakers to look at her designs and sew dresses based on them.

When her husband lost his job, and she had limited funds, she decided to continue creating her own designs instead of purchasing dresses. She was limited in what she could do, however, since she never had learned how to sew. Her mother owned a factory that gave her access to free felt material, so that was the material that Charlot decided to use with her full skirt.

Felt is a material that does not require hemming because it can be cut in a full circle. Charlot decided to make her first skirt during the Christmas season by adding cute Christmas appliqués to the skirt. She liked it so much she made three more like it and sold them at a Beverly Hills Boutique in town.

After the holidays she was asked to design some more skirts using a popular dog theme. That theme eventually turned to poodle themes. Thus, the poodle skirt was born.

Charlot’s designs began to grow in popularity. More and more stores wanted her designs in their store. By the time she turned 25 she already had her own clothing factory and 50 employees under her wing creating poodle skirt designs.

Juli Charlot is a great example of how to overcome challenges. She didn’t know how to sew, but she loved creating fashionable items to wear, so she came up with a design that she could do on her own. She did eventually learn how to sew later on in life.

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