The Petticoat Guide

Petticoats are wonderful things, as my niece refers to them, they turn any outfit into a princess outfit. For those inclined in the vintage ways, a petticoat is the perfect way to add that 50’s silhouette to any outfit and of course, they make any circle or swing skirt look absolutely magical. I’ve been wearing petticoats for many years and definitely find them a wonderful wardrobe staple to any outfit (especially in winter for an extra layer of warmth). I’ve often had many questions surrounding petticoats so I thought I’d compile them into one tell-all blog so here we go, it’s time to discuss where to buy petticoats (and brands), washing, storage, fluffing and how to give old petticoats new life.

Miss Lillian Rose, Selina West, Miss Lady Lace and Miss MonMon by Feather and Sage Photography

Where to buy a petticoat
There are heaps of petticoat brands out there but my favourite would have to be Banned Apparel. They petticoats come in heaps of different colours and lengths as well as sizes. The material the petticoats are made out of are super soft, flowy, strong and are very comfortable against the skin. They are really fluffy. Banned Apparel are a wholesale brand meaning that you can find them at a variety of different sellers and stores. I would recommend Gwynnies Emporium and Kitty Deluxe.
My second favourite brand would have to be Vivien of Holloway. They are a great length (26”), the material is soft, lush and the waistband is really comfortable. There is a one size fits all kind of deal but they really are comfortable and I have lent out my one Vivien of Holloway petticoat to several friends who all said they found it comfortable. They are pretty fluffy and definitely great for those who like a full petticoat.
Personally, I do not recommend the Hell Bunny petticoats as they are not very fluffy, are super itchy and I’ve heard many reports over the years that they can cause bacterial imbalances in certain parts you don’t want bacterial imbalances (gross). The material is cheap which makes them not worth the investment and although they may be tempting for those on a very tight budget, I assure you it’s worth the wait to get a better quality petticoat at a later date. They aren’t as full as the other petticoat brand mentioned. Much like Banned Apparel, Hell Bunny are also a wholesale brand meaning you can find their petticoats in a range of stores and marketplaces both in real life and online.
Many petticoat enthusiasts swear by Malco Modes and they are considered at the top of the range when it comes to petticoats. Personally I have never owned one mainly because they are a little out of my price range. I have heard that they are amazing and I really hope to one day own one.
You can always find a vintage petticoat which of course can come in a range of sizes, colours and price ranges. Vintage petticoats can be found in vintage stores, online and market places.

Petticoats are generally worn as a middle layer. Personally I normally wear a slip under my dresses or outfits as it helps keep my vintage clean so my petticoat never really touches my skin. Luckily enough, you don’t need to wash a petticoat too often. They are generally protected from outside dirt because they are worn under clothing but of course, over time, they can get a bit dirty and a freshen up never goes a stray.
To wash your petticoat, simply pop them into a gentle or delicate cycle in your washing machine. Use a delicate detergent (or even shampoo with modern petticoats). You can also use a delicates bag to help protect your petticoat from any damage.
You can also place your petticoats in the bathtub with cool water and gentle deterrent to soak. Gently squeeze the water out but avoid damaging the waistband.

To dry the petticoat
turn it inside out (this helps preserve it’s bounce and fluffiness). Lay your petticoat on a towel and let it dry. Try to make sure the petticoat is layer out evenly with no bunching. Avoid hanging your petticoat to dry as it’ll squash itself under its own weight and not be as fluffy. Avoid using a machine dryer on a high heat as the heat can damage your petticoat and even melt it depending on your petticoats material.

Petticoats can be pretty sturdy when it comes to storage but due to their fluffy nature, they can be a little large and cumbersome. Personally, I store my petticoats in shoe bags (Charlie stones to be exact) as one petticoat can be rolled into a compact shape and then fed into the bags and then stored. Rolling your petticoat is better than bunching them up as you protect the waistband from warping, twisting and wrinkles from forming. I then keep my petticoats in an old laundry hamper stacked on top of each other. Of course you can make your own drawstring bag if you need to, I’d recommend the measurements of approximately.
You can also just use small canvas bags or shopping bags. If you’re not keen on storing your petticoats in bags, you can buy a hanging wardrobe shelf (available at Ikea, Bunnings and most storage stores). Depending on how many storage nooks your hanger comes in, roll up your petticoats and store them in the boxes provided.

Putting fluff into your petticoat
To remove wrinkles and add a bit more fluff to your petticoat, steaming it is the best way to go. A small clothing steamer can be picked up from Target or Big W, or you can use the steam option on your iron. If you’re still caught in a pinch, you can hang your petticoat up in the bathroom and take a steamy shower. The steam will help soften your petticoat, fluff it out and remove all wrinkles.
You do have the option of starching your petticoat but keep in mind that starching a modern petticoat loses some of the natural swish nylon has. Starching can also cause your petticoat to catch on your clothes (especially stockings) and in some cases, can be irritating to the skin. The best way to starch your petticoat is using a store bought starch spray and gently spraying your petticoat layers. Don’t soak your petticoat or else it’ll become too stiff and really uncomfortable. Let your petticoat fully dry before you store or wear it.
The best part about owning a petticoat is fluffing it out. Simply, hold your petticoat with both hands on the waistband and then shake it like mad. Its super satisfying! Hang your petticoat for a few minutes after to help the wrinkles drop but please note, don’t store your petticoats on a hanger for a long period of time. If you have a machine dryer with heat option, a low heat short cycle is all you need to fluff your petticoat. You really only need a few minutes on a very low heat and then once done, hang your petticoat for a few minutes to let it fall back into shape.

Give new life to an old petticoat
Over time, some petticoats start to look a little sad, this is most obvious in white petticoats that have turned grey over the years. Old and sad petticoats (or those with stains and holes) and be easily dyed (I recommend Fit Dyemore which is specifically designed for synthetic fabrics). Dying a petticoat is a great way to give new life to an old drab one that you don’t wear as much. Holes can easily be sewn up and starching is a great idea on a few layers to add some extra volume and fluff.
If you’re extra creative, I’ve seen old petticoats turned into lamps and lampshades which I imagine can be done by either sewing or gluing a petticoat onto a large lampshade. If you know of anyone who has done this, please let me know.

Tips: To keep your petticoats fresh, hang them on a coat hanger and leave them outside to air out. This removes smells and freshens them up between wears. A sunny or windy spot is particularly good for this.


Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.

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