"Layer Upon Layer"



Why don't women wear petticoats like they used to? It seems the only time we usually see them today is with some prom, formal, or wedding gowns. The everyday use of crinolines and other petticoats seems to be limited to cross-dressers and a few women such as Pettilady who still enjoy them.

Suggested by Rhonda Risque

13 Dec 10      Kimberly

As a born female, I went through the jeans-only phase. Perhaps it was to feel more masculine and to be able to 'fit in' easier, though it was bell-bottomed jeans. Now I am a lady in my mid twenties and I love my femininity. It is a rare occasion to find me in any sort of pants. I feel so much more lovely with pretty fabric flowing around me and I really enjoy the freedom a skirt/dress offers ;) (panties are reserved for 'dress up' in the evenings). Only recently I have delved into to world of petticoats. Oh, if I could afford a moderate collection, I would wear one everyday!

Bob has a point that women have forgotten to be pretty and elegant. I think that pretty is only allowed until the age of twelve and then it's transformation time to being 'sexy'. I too got sucked into the hype that I would feel better to wear tight pants and low cut tops. I didn't. Now, after having a better understanding and a love for who I am, I dress like a lady. I get comments all the time in this jean-wearing world on how lovely my skirts or dresses are. I have managed to get a few friends and neighbors to get back into dressing like a true lady.

Tessy, you hit it right on the dot that women now feel that nude is the only way to be sexy. It has it's moments but not as the typical media puts it. Women have not been made to feel that way because of men, but because of other women! How else can they feel completely enticing but to remove everything and bare all? How else could they 'prove' they are better? This is on the same lines of dying hair, wearing loads of make-up and wearing revealing clothing (skin/ shape showing). There may be 'penis envy', but 'breast envy' is far more dangerous. Women are their own worst enemies! Personally, I feel that the 'unknown' is much more alluring.

My husband adores the fact that I enjoy dressing like a lady. He loves having a wife that can turn heads without wearing make-up or revealing clothing. We recently went to an event held through his work and it was outdoors, so not to my surprise (we live in a small-ish city), everyone had jeans on (my husband had on tan corduroys). I had this lovely long floral print skirt and I put on another skirt underneath to pouf it out a bit. I have a hard time being out in public without feeling lovely.

I am excited for his upcoming holiday party. I am making a 50's inspired dress from a poinsettia print cotton fabric. I have white heels, so I purchased a very cheap white petticoat. It is unfortunately crazy big (square dance) so alterations are a must. At least with all the extra material I can make a few more for some friends. I would love to get a red petti and have it peek out from under the dress and pair it with red heels. Though the budget isn't currently allowing for that, I must work with what I have.
I'll send in pics when I complete it =)

Though it may take time for the "pretty' movement to gain force, I think it's definitely time for petticoats to make a comeback.

13 Apr 99      Bob P. [email protected]

My feelings are that women are no longer aware of, or no longer care about, fashion that is "pretty".  Stylish, yes. Elegant, yes. Many women wearing pants, including jeans, do look very good; they do it in a stylish way. But, "pretty" has been forgotten by many older women, and is simply unknown to most younger women.

My wife is an exception. She grew up in the fifties and sixties, has always been a feminist, and is a very successful business woman in an industry that is definitely a man's world. She does wear pants to work, maybe once a week, but all other times is in a dress or business suit with a skirt (usually long and pleated). On weekends she often wears jeans and looks great in them. She is just as likely to wear a skirt or jumper or sundress. 

The pretty factor comes in with her lingerie. I know her collection well, as I do the laundry and care for her lingerie. She has two cotton panty and bra sets to wear when she is doing yard work or heavy house work. That is the only time I see them on her. All
her other bras and panties are satin and lace, lots of lace. The front panel of every panty is all lace, her bra cups are all topped with lace. She wears them all the time. 

In seventeen years of marriage I've never seen her wear a skirt without a half slip, even if she is going bare-legged. Never an exception. Her plainest half slip has two inches of lace trim with ribbon running through it. She has single layer petticoats that she wears under a couple of long & very full circle skirts, not the full bouffant look, but they give her skirts a noticable lilt. She wears the petticoats for one reason: the skirts look pretty with them. She is just as likely to wear them to go grocery shopping as she is likely to wear jeans.

I look at my wife, think about her fashion habits, and can only conclude that other women don't dress that way mainly because they have not been exposed to it.  They are clueless, through no fault of their own. One excuse I do hear, however, even on this forum, is that
skirts and petticoats just aren't practical anymore.  My wife dresses the way she does because she wants to, she feels good about and loves the look, as do I. She knows that she can do anything in a skirt and petticoat that she can do in a pair of jeans. It all
comes down to attitude. I don't see how practicality can really be an issue, I think women who raise that as an issue may have other underlying reasons. I'd be interested in hearing some responses to my conclusions, especially from women.

4 Apr 99 Bob  

I graduated from high school in 1959 and grew up in the era of petticoats. I still feel that the fashions of that time have never been surpassed. The turbulent sixties did that era in because of the rise of the women's movement and the hatred that separated the generations because of the Vietnam War. Except for a brief period in the eighties, petticoats have not made a comeback. I've observed that when a woman wears something especially feminine like a wedding gown they spin and twirl and say how beautiful they feel but it is also true that they almost never wear that type of fashion in any other situation. Personally I think it is because fashion designers and the woman's movement equate it with being somehow degrading to the spirit of the "New Woman."  I feel the exact opposite. To show femininity is a sign of confidence in one's self. A woman, like Pettilady, who shows her femininity because she is confident in who she is, and not afraid to show it, demonstrates a strength of character far surpassing most other woman in today's world. Anyone who has looked at Pettilady's pictures knows what a
stunningly beautiful woman she is, a beauty that is enhanced by her fashion sense.

2 Apr 00 Paige

One of the more obvious reasons women don't wear petticoats anymore is that many women never or only rarely wear a skirt or dress. Pants, even tight, faded blue jeans, are acceptable for women in almost any social situation, including weddings and funerals. I wouldn't be surprised if in the not-too-distant future it will be common for women to get married in a pair of slacks. Skirts and dresses are (or will be) considered "impractical." The only people wearing a dress or skirt will be women who belong to some superconservative church or male-to-female crossdressers. (Even now, though, some MTFs wear slacks or jeans when crossdressed.)

Petticoats are already considered impractical for almost anything but a wedding or "First Communion." A woman walking down the street in a dress with a full petticoat underneath would draw strange looks (unless there was some obvious occasion, such as Halloween, precipitating her being in an unusual costume).

There are no real "opposites" as far as clothing is concerned. There is "women's" clothing, and there is "men's or women's" clothing. Dresses, skirts, culottes, petticoats, slips, bras, pantyhose, high heels, etc., are all women's clothing; pants, shirts, socks, athletic shoes and the like are all considered "men's or women's" clothing. Most women (probably 90-95% where I live) wear primarily or exclusively "men's or women's" clothing.

In summary, I don't see much of a chance of getting women back into wearing petticoats very much any time soon.:-(

1 Apr 00      June Flowers [email protected]

There are still a number of Rock -n- Roll clubs dotted around the U.K. Fairly hard to find today of course, but you can still see the girls and their "Teds" walking the street to and from the venues. They still attract quite a lot of attention from the members of the general public. From time to time, films like Grease and Peggy Sue Got Married cause a short term revival of the wonderful 50's era fashions.

My personal view is that all the money that was wasted building the Millennium Dom in London should have been fairly distributed throughout the UK for the sole purpose of petticoat purchase. I'm sure we would all have got more pleasure from that than an upturned wok.

31 Mar 00 Tessy (Editor)     [email protected]

Woman today have been misled to believe that nude is sexy. If they only knew. Most have no clue as to allure of clothing, and that clothing is what makes for eroticism. No clue whatsoever. I suppose much of that is the fault of most (savage) men. Shame.

Of course, if petticoats and crinolines ever DID make a comeback, restaurant owners would lose a lost of space between tables! <g>


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