Gleaned from 'Smatterings' more than ten years old

(2015) So, we had a discussion with 'Captain Marno' about straight slips being worn under folk costumes, which they surely are. 
We pointed out that Lawrence Welk, for modesty considerations, MANDATED that all the female dancers on his show wore
straight slips under their bouffant dresses.  Here is a good example.  And another.

What do you think this little boy was thinking while this picture was taken?

Caption idea responses:

Ben H.: Are you SURE that this is MY birthday present???
Lacey: Mom, I think I know what I'm going to wear for Halloween this year.
Visitor: Hmm, now if this were 1956 instead of 1966, the lady on my right would be wearing this doll's petticoat!
But wait, I wouldn't be here, so scratch that. Feels pretty good on me, come to think of it...sigh.
D.F.: 1) That reminds me... I wonder if Mommy remembered to wash my panties.
2) And tomorrow I get my new party dress.... *sigh*

A caption from Piet, but with a poignant story:

"With a shock of remembrance, I saw the picture of the little boy with the doll in his arms. His tensed expression was an open book to me. As a ten-year old boy I went through this myself with a similar doll of about 85 centimeters (35 1/2") length. She was dressed in a beautiful dress with a long wide skirt which looked like a wide dome. She was standing in the living room of a couple who lived in with us. I had discovered that one of our keys fitted their doors, so I entered while they where not at home. My heart was in my mouth when I saw that big doll standing there. I lifted her up and turned her upside down. Her skirt and petticoat fell down and I looked, breathlessly, at her beautiful legs and her white-satin slip. I manipulated her for a while, and then I lifted up her skirt and pressed her lap against mine. After I had pushed some minutes my lap against her, the flames of ecstasy went through my body. I put her down again and shut the door behind me. If I 'd had more time and opportunity, I would have put her over my knees, lifted her skirts from behind and spanked her. Than I would have put her upside down in a gunny sack and took her along to my room to do with her whatever I wanted. It was a great pity that our neighbor noticed that her doll was standing in a different place. And I got the blame for that... The boy in the picture positively thought, 'Oh! When if I  were only an hour alone with this conceited doll! I'll teach her some manners! She will never forget!' And I 'll never forget her!"


 Shirley sends this information - we have put this up many times, but it bears repeating.  However, people should understand that this method works,but attracts ANTS!

 "I grew up with this method for my petticoats.  Lots of sugar in hot water - enough to cover it only - no more - to dissolve it - and let it set in it awhile - 30 minutes or so. Gently take it out - DO NOT SHAKE IT OFF - just hang it to dry.  It should crystallize upon drying and you should see sugar crystals.  Lots of sugar now, gals.



'ParachuteGown' writes:

"I was looking at the site, more specifically the What to DO When You're All Poufed Up section.  I had a little *giggles* accident that could be fun.  As you know, I wear a fairly large hoopskirt and me and my friend, who also wears one, were walking outside at my house one day by my pool and she decided to push me in *giggles*.  Needless to say my gown turned into an inner tube and I stayed
afloat :).  So if there are any other hoop wearers out there you can tell them that :)."


A 2005 report from Erin:

"Yes, Tessy it is true! This spring and summer we will all be delighting to the sights of full cotton skirts once again. Twice today while I was out shopping here in the Philly area I saw evidence of the new look. At lunch time in the food court at the mall I saw several women in fluffy full cotton skirts both knee length and calf length. They were free flowing flouncy , furling skirts with beautifully colored designs for spring. The top of my day was a pair of young twins in black and white gingham checked dresses with soft grey and white  pinafores. Mom had them decked out in little white patent leather shoes with white socks. The two girls seemed deliciously delighted and giddy as they contently sat in their shopping cart at a local Lowe's Home Goods Store.  Me thinks this season will be a pleasant surprise for us all. Hopefully, we can all cash in the the style and stock up on our favorite skirts. I know I already have a few to show off at Rainbow Mountain in May at the annual CD weekend for BG's. Well as for petticoats, I haven't seen any on the street, but I am sure they are close to follow the trend. After all it has been 50 years since we witnessed the feminine beauty citywide."

(Although skeptical, we hope you are right, Erin!  We've seen nothing like this on Long Island)


In 2005, Mikel wrote:
"Visiting the city of San Sebastian, Spain with my younger daughter, we happened to enter a young female's clothing store (Mango) where we did see tiered skirts (that could be worn as petticoats [colors : white, burgundy] and dresses. Some of those items had white underskirts sewn together in order to give them flare. To those living in this area or visiting, the address of the store is : 15, Calle Fuentarrabia (downtown San Sebastian)."
Ronnie responded:
"Sounds like the tiered skirts Mikel has seen are the ones that seem to be sweeping Europe at the moment. Here in Britain they are in all the women's wear shops. All different colours and all very full. They look just like  50s petticoats. Women seem to have found their femininity - wonderful! It is a pleasure to walk around town and see women of all ages wearing them. My wife loves to wear them and it is great to see her in them (As you can imagine I have bought her several!).(But of course!)
  Sarah responded:

"Thought you might like an update on the fashion discussion - this time from the UK. As far as I can see the shops are stocked to the ceilings here with exceptionally feminine summer styles - not exactly petticoats, more long, mostly cotton, very full, layered gypsy-style skirts. I went to a street market with a friend earlier this week and it was the same there. All the stalls selling clothes had a lot of very feminine skirts and tops in charming pastel colors, often trimmed with lace. All very fetching! The strange thing is that I haven't seen many girls actually wearing them yet. Maybe that's because the English summer hasn't started. Or maybe they're all waiting for a friend to start wearing the new look, before they ditch the uniform jeans here (so depressingly drab and usually unflattering!)? Let's hope they start soon as this is the nicest fashion I've seen since the late 1970s (or was it the '80s?) when every skirt had to had an inch of petticoat showing beneath!"

ED:  "These, what were called 'prairie skirts' in the 70s, are being heavily advertised here in the US by Old Navy and the such. They may be full, but hold little relevance to petticoated styles.  They may end up on the streets soon, but we feel they are token and unsatisfying. We suppose they are better than nothing, but not much. <sigh>  We are a purist."


A letter from Belinda (2002):

"I stumbled upon this charming presentation video clip by the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (  It's a musical clip of a young lady portraying Alice wearing a lovely petticoated Alice dress and dancing and twirling all over the stage.  Apparently it was produced to showcase the costume designer's works for the year.   Debut Video Clips 2002 - Windows Media Format   If this doesn't work, try going to the site and click on the costume show link."


Click here and scan down a ways where you see the reference to recalling crinolines drying on the line!


'Lingerie Lover' writes:

"I just came across a site that I have not seen is They have beautiful gowns/bridesmaid-type
dresses, as well as lingerie, satin sheets, etc. Definitely worth a look.



We saw this promo picture of the new Barbara Hersey movie, "Frogs for Snakes" (Cynthia Moon was nice enough to send it). This shows her sitting in a car with what appeared to be a full skirt and a petti peeking out. Not enough to let us know whether it is a FrouFrou Film or not! Anyone who sees this movie, please report!


Both Sugar and Greg sent this interesting page about crinolines from a 50s girl's perspective


Jenn writes:

"I found an interesting website with 50's clothing."


An interesting URL -- scan down to 'paper nylon'