Closet Essentials:
Petti-post, A Guide to Picking the Perfect Petticoat

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Excuse the mirror selfie, but Amelia and I have been getting lots of questions on Instagram for a while now about if we wear a petticoat/what kind of petticoat we wear.   Well let me tell you, yes we wear petticoats and to me they're like hair: the BIGGER the better (it's one of those Steel Magnolia, the bigger the hair, the closer to God, southern things).  That being said, I thought I'd write reviews about all of the petticoats I own and tell a little bit about them.  I'm including photos of me wearing them with a circle skirt to give an idea about length, fullness, etc. Note, I'm a little lady (5 feet tall little) so I'm going to try to give pretty specific detail about length.



American Apparel Multi-Layered Reversible Petticoat: This was my first petticoat. I love that there's a pretty large selection of colors to choose from, but if you're trying to add fullness to a tea-length circle skirt or dress, this probably isn't the petticoat for you. It looks great when you're standing still, but then you realize when you walk, the top half of your skirt is full and the bottom is totally flat... awkward. Again, I'm 5 feet tall, so for me to say it's too short... it's short. To the right is a photo of me wearing it to show length, it's above my knees.  On the brightside, it's not itchy, which is saying something for a petticoat.

 American Apparel Petticoat Slip Skirt: Because I liked the fabric of the shorter American Apparel petticoat so much, I thought I'd try the longer one. I'm also a sucker for ballet pink; not only is it cute, but it doesn't show through when worn under lighter colored items.  Sadly, while this one was long enough, it provided almost no fullness to my dresses and skirts which was a total bummer.  I think including the word petticoat and the word slip in the name of the same item, is an oxymoron.  It's definitely more of a slip and. I wouldn't recommend it as a petticoat.

In a desperate attempt to insure that I didn't waste money on two petticoats I wasn't happy with, I layered the short one under the long one.. to the left no petticoat, to the right the two layered.


The long petticoat actually hid the awkward lines of the short one and provided additional fullness once pushed out by the shorter petticoat! This is still my go-to way to petticoat an A-line dress or circle skirt: it's light colored, not itchy and provides a perfect and flattering amount of fullness. The only downside, is in the summer it's a bit hot.


Pinup Girl Clothing White Canvas Underskirt: I like to try new things so when I saw that this underskirt was $36 and had promising "before and after" photos under an A-line dress on PUG's website, I figured, why not? I will admit, I was a bit letdown.  I ordered a S/M (it only comes in two sizes) and it was almost too small (I have a 26 in waist which 99.9% of the time, is a medium.) Basically, I was constantly paranoid that I looked like I had muffin top because of the elastic waistband + weird sizing combo. Also, it oddly provided almost no fullness to my skirts + dresses, and when I could get it to give some fullness, I was constantly having to fiddle with it and puff it back up, because it got smooshed under the weight of my skirts and dresses. This is weird because a lot of my clothing is made by PUG and their stuff is a pretty thick/dense fabric.  Maybe I would've been happier if I'd sized up? But I don't want to spend the money on another to find out.



Hell Bunny Va Va Voluminous Petticoat (short): My first experience with Hell Bunny petticoats was trying on Amelia's 24 inch one (it's referred to now as the "long" Hell Bunny petticoat), we literally laughed at how ridiculously long it was: IT HIT MY ANKLES.  It was also really long on Amelia and she's 5'7", needless to say, she returned it. We saw Modcloth post the shorter version which was 20.5 inches and I wouldn't have purchased it if I hadn't had a store credit, but we were curious, so I did.  Well, I'm so glad I bought it.  While it's still longer than most petticoats, it's not so long that it's hanging below my hemlines (this is a preference thing, I know some ladies want their petticoats to show, but I consider it an "undergarment").  It also provides a dramatic amount of fullness even to my circle skirts made of a thicker/heavier material, like the Pinup Girl Clothing Jenny SkirtIf I had to recommend any petticoat in this post where you'd get the most for your money and love the result, this would be my recommendation (white isn't the only color option). I will say, it's a bit itchy and sometimes hard to sit on, but you're also not having to layer multiple items like the American Apparel ones I recommended above, so it's cooler in the summer.  I also think it provides a slightly better shape. Remember, the 20.5 inch one not the 24 inch one.

Do you ladies wear a petticoat?  Do you love one I haven't mentioned?
(Below are some of the items worn in this post)

34 comments:

  1. Thank you for the great post, I also searched for years for the perfect petticoat! I have a red Bettie Page one which I love for fullness and drama. I also have a navy petticoat from Poppy England which is my day petticoat, it is full and soft and the perfect length ( I am 5'8 ).

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    1. There is a Bettie Page store about a block from my office and I look at their pettiocats but haven't ever tried one on! Does it provide an even amount of fullness? (I'm actually afraid they'll be a little long on me)

      I've never heard of Poppy England! I'll be researching that as soon as I leave this comment! haha

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  2. What a great review! I find it hard to judge the length when shopping online sometimes (I'm 5' 2"). Like you, I don't like my petticoat to show either. I have the Mid Length Petticoat in red from Sock Dreams, which I love:

    http://www.sockdreams.com/products/mid-length-petticoat:1280

    It is super fluffy and can sometimes itch, but generally not.

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    1. I think I've tried one of those on before! But I had weird luck with it bunching in weird places! Maybe I'll give it another shot, there really aren't that many options for little ladies, I literally have to pull most of mine up to my natural waist instead of my hips where they're "supposed" to be worn.

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  3. You replied to me a few weeks back on IG about the layered option and the Hell Bunny. I went ahead and bought a black Hell Bunny petticoat, and let me tell you, I LOVE it! I bought a black one and have worn in with dresses and Jenny skirts, and it works perfect. I'm 5'1" and was so happy you gave me specific recommendations so it wasn't too long. Thank you SO SO SO much!!

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    1. Yayyyy!!!!! I'm seriously so glad I could help, I love being able to give people good advice to save them the trouble of the hunt, because the hunt wasn't very much fun! haha. You're welcome, sweet lady, I'm so glad you love it!
      xoxo

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    2. I appreciate you helping me avoid the hunt by sharing your experience. I'm beyond grateful to you and all who share their knowledge. Loving the blog so far, keep up the good work!

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  4. This is such a great post! I have a few petticoats (a couple of vintage ones, and one I got on eBay), but I've actually been wondering about the Hell Bunny ones for a while! I've had really good experiences with that brand, but sometimes their sizing can be a bit wonky, and I'm really glad you included the bit about the length!!

    xox Sammi
    www.thesoubrettebrunette.blogspot.com

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    1. I've had terrible luck with petticoats, I didn't post all the ones I own haha and I thought some of the vintage ones tended to get a bit itchy! Hell Bunny ALWAYS runs large and long in my opinion, people need a warning lol. I totally recommend this one if you're in need though!
      xoxo

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  5. Hey Amanda! I noticed your luggage in several photos. I just recently purchase a set of vintage luggage. Have you ever traveled with them on a plane? Got any tips on traveling with vintage luggage?

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    1. Hello anonymous!

      I actually have a plane-phobia so I avoid them at all costs, I haven't had to take one anywhere in years, but I don't think I'd advise traveling with it UNLESS you have the key, most of my vintage suitcases sadly didn't still have their keys intact. Even then, I can pick a lock on a vintage suitcase with a bobby pin or safety pin pretty quickly, I don't think they're quite up to a modern day security standard. It's totally a preference, but I think they're more of a car-trip, don't let out of my sight, travel accessory. I wish I had better advice, I'm sorry! : /

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  6. I actually have the Hell Bunny petticoat! I purchased it for shorter dresses to give a cupcake shape and didn't realize how long it would be on me. I mean, I'm 5'5" and it was extremely long on me. My problem was getting a larger size than what I needed so it would be more comfortable. I decided to repurpose it, shorten it up a ton, and now I can use it for my shorter dresses!

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    1. That long one really is CRAZY long, well I'm glad you were able to repurpose yours! Amelia and I are still novice little seamstresses so, we weren't able to do that. If you ever need another, the short one is awesome AND there's a little button in the waistband so make it smaller or larger if you're worried about comfortability. I will admit, the longer one comes in far more colors, so that makes it a liiiiittle appealing, I think the sort one only comes in black and white.

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  7. Please allow me to gush a little bit. I too am a Georgia Peach with a serious love for all things vintage, nerdy, pretty, and poofy. I have a few blogs on my radar, but I AM SO FREAKIN EXCITED TO FIND BLOGGERS SO CLOSE TO MEEEEE! I'm sooooo in love with your blog!

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    1. Awww well thank you so much, sweet lady! Georgia peaches, flock together, especially quirky ones! We hope we continue to keep you entertained. ; )

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  8. Thank you so much!! You told me to look in to the American Apparel petticoats awhile ago, but being lazy I forgot. I really need to add some volume to my dresses. You have convinced me to splurge on the Modcloth one.

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    1. Trust me, the Modcloth one is TOTALLY worth every penny! And mine has held up REALLY well, considering I wear is basically every day, it's more than paid for itself haha.

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  9. i don't leave the house without wearing a petticoat. my everyday petti is a handmade piece i got on ebay. my vintage one i actually just wear to special occasions, because it's almost falling apart - but it's the best shape ever.

    i didn't know that american apparel has petticoats ...

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    1. Oh! Well that's awesome, sounds like you might have to replace that vintage one soon, you'll have to let me know what you end up with!

      and yes ma'am they do! And they're the softest ones I've ever warn, even if they could use some help in the volume department haha.

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  10. Have you ever tried square dance petticoats? They tend to be shorter, and are often very very full. I have one that's too short for me that one of these days I need to get around to selling it so it can do someone else some good!

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    1. I live in Nashville so yes ma'am I have! I haven't had the best luck with them though I actually found one I LOVE online but they're weird about returns, so I'm a little apprehensive! xoxo

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    2. Haha I hadn't thought about that! I hate buying things online when they have iffy return polices!

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  11. I loved wearing my petticoat I purchased from Vivienne Of Holloway last year to wear under my wedding dress. I really need to find one that's a little shorter though so I can wear one daily and like yourself I'm only 5ft tall so finding one that's perfect is hard!

    Lulu xx

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    1. Oh I bet that VoH one was absolutely amazing!!! I'm only 4' 11" so I know what you mean, the one I recommend is MAGIC, you'd probably enjoy it as well! : )

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  12. I just want to put a good word in for Malco Modes petticoats. You want the chiffon ones (they're soft and not scratchy) and the knee length (I'm a short girl too). They're a bit pricey, but totally worth it in my opinion. As someone else who has trial and error experience with petticoats, they are my fave :)

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  13. I actually just bought a Malco Modes one about a week ago and it's on the way! I bought the "565" I'm hoping it's as voluminous as I want and not too puffy or too flat! I can't wait to find out! : )

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  14. You have to come back and let us know how it is! I have the "580" and find it to be perfect. I also have a "582" and it's a bit too puffy for my taste.

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  15. I DID NOT like the 565 AT ALL haha. I'm returning it to Amazon because I couldn't manage to even get it under my dresses. Do you have a photo of you in yours? I'm looking to exchange. : )

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  16. This is the 580! (Forgive my amateurish closet mirror selfies!)

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  17. modernjunelcleaver@gmail.com I got an email saying you'd commented a photo, but for some reason, it wouldn't load!

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  18. i know! bummer! i'm trying again. i tried sending it via gmail. did you get it?

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  19. I found a site (www.resashay.com) that has the short Hell Bunny petticoat in lots of colors - and a few dollars cheaper than Modcloth!

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  20. I know its a bit late but I am loving Pettiskirt style for us tiny gals and absolutely amazing colors. They also do the soft petticoats. http://www.pettiskirtstyle.com/crinoline-petticoat.htm

    I just did a post about buying the perfect petticoat and also agree on Malco Modes though with a 24-inch waist im a bit to tiny.

    https://pinuppower.wordpress.com/

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  21. I have 2 dresses that warrant petticoats but one is 4 inches longer. What is the maximum difference is length before its going to look weird or 'waterfall' can I get away with one petticoat do you think?

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