Vintage Petticoat Guide: Tips and Tricks! [CC]

Vintage Petticoat Guide: Tips and Tricks! [CC]

Hello, lovely people! And welcome to my channel if you are new. It is very nice to meet you. Petticoats are of course an essential part of your vintage/retro wardrobe. Not even just essential, they are vital. They are what you are building your outfits upon. Fortunately, with the resurgence of vintage styles, petticoats are now more popular than they have been at any time since the 1950s. Probably… Don’t quote me on that. How do you choose the right petticoat for your needs? There are so many different types out there. You’ve got different brands, different styles, different fabrics, and of course VERY DIFFERENT price points. I would love to say that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a really good petticoat I would love to be able to say that to you, but no. *Surprised yelling sound effect* If the look you’re after is multilayered, flouncy and beautiful, then yes, yes, you’re going to have to spend some cash. There are some cheaper alternatives out there, however, and I’m going to be sharing my wealth of knowledge because if there is one person that you can trust to REALLY know about petticoats it’s a girl who wears them every day. The most common petticoats used for vintage and retro outfits are square dancing ones and A-line ones. So, the square dancing is a massive fluff ball that goes straight out to the sides, pretty much and then is all fluffy underneath. The A-line one builds to fluff at the bottom. You can also get bell-shaped ones, but that is a bit more later [?] Having that fluff around your bum is not–is not necessarily the best look for vintage. Also, you can get pre-1930s petticoats. These are obviously going to be much longer. Women weren’t so into showing off the ankles then. They’re the Victorian and Edwardian styles, and they are available online, but they’re all kind of speciality items, and they’re specially made for the person. Petticoat fabrics! The hard netting crinoline was used during the 1950s. It gives a good puff, but it is generally uncomfortable to wear and if it isn’t the right length, it can leave a really uneven fall. This is the same petticoat, in a different colour. It’s from Grace Karin, who I made a brand review of. I love the excessive width, but the band can be scratchy so wear long knickers. Organza is a more modern choice, giving the fullness of a crinoline, but it is more comfortable This one I made myself, but the seams itch like hell, and it catches on my tights. I always wear it with another petticoat underneath it; it is perfect for a flat look on top. Soft netting is delightful to wear and has a lovely fluffy end, but it doesn’t give good volume. It’s great when it comes to a good spin around and for day-to-day it’s marvellously comfortable. But these netting petticoats can be loose at the top, or tight like this one. For a circle skirt that flows off your hips, you’ll want the extra fabric of the loose top, but if the dress is a little more fitted before flaring out, then you need no extra fabric; that will just make you look bulky. Probably be wary of buying bright colours, as you won’t often actually wear them and petticoats take up a lot of space. *excited audience sound effect* Soft chiffon is the ideal. It can also be worn without a skirt or dress on top, in a tutu style. It is more expensive, however, so if you want a multilayered chiffon you’ll probably find that the reasonably priced ones are…THIS LONG. Yeah. I don’t own a single dress this short, so… Hmm, yeah. This isn’t a good look. It can be worn under a dress, of course, but if you want a nice look, you’re gonna have to pull it down your hips? And then you end up with this. I mean… Haha… I’m tall, but I’m–I’m not THAT tall. That’s just a really short skirt. *child’s voice* Uh-oh… Extra tip! Tulle skirts that look like this and tutus that look like this aren’t actually petticoats. They’re–they’re skirts. Things to think about when buying your petticoat. What look do you want? Straight down, but fluffy at the ends? Puffy and fluffy? Flat and even? Getting away with it or ridiculous on public transport? That last one is my favourite. I am so sorry to anyone I meet on a bus. *ding* Consider the fabric you’ll be putting on top of the petticoat. How heavy is it? Can your petticoat really hold up to that strain? If the fabric is particularly thick and heavy you’re going to need a much stronger foundation, which is where things like the crinolines come in. What’s the right length for your petticoat? Do you want the ends to show or not? The best way to know what length petticoat you’ll need is to measure with a measuring tape from the waistline of your dress all the way down to the hem, in one flat, continuous line. Then do this with your petticoat to find out what length you need, obviously. If you want that puffy, fluffy, petticoat slightly showing look at the bottom, then add a few extra centimetres but really not too many. No, don’t do more than two or three because it’s just going to look like your petticoat is A. falling off your hips, or B. ridiculously your dress has shrunk in the wash and you haven’t noticed. Definitely don’t get a petticoat that is shorter by a few inches unless you can comfortably keep that band around your hips, rather than your waistline. Because otherwise you’re going to get a really ugly waterfall effect at the bottom. And that’s not good. That’s not what you want. Remember! You CAN roll the top of your petticoat if it is too long for your dress. However, always roll inwards so you have a smoother, flat line on top. Also, always keep the fabric beneath your waistline, so you have a little trim waist. What size of waistband do you need? Hmm… If you are a UK size ten or below, like me, please be very, very wary of ‘one size fits all’. But no. It doesn’t. It does not fit all, not in ANY way. Ugh. It will just slip off, and then it kind of peaks out really ugly and quite unevenly, probably. Not what you need. Think about what you’ll be wearing underneath your petticoat. Does the petticoat have a very scratchy top or seams or elastic straight onto your skin? Big knickers! I am such a fan of the big knicker! It’s a dream, it really is. I have such an incredibly long body. I’m mainly body; it’s mainly like… You’d be amazed where my belly button is in relation to the length of my body. I have to buy granny knickers because they are the only ones that are big enough. I really like them, though. What can you do? Price! Dun-dun-duuun. Remember, petticoats are a very complex garment. They’re difficult to make; the fabrics can be very expensive, and thus the overall garment can cost quite a lot. You can get away with the cheaper alternatives, particularly if you are layering them up, but then you’re gonna be dealing with quite a few different waistbands, that’s also something that you should consider. Oh yeah, final tip: You can layer your petticoats! Ding! I’m wearing three here. Yeah. That’s three petticoats. Petticoat tips! It is a struggle to keep your petticoat fluffy and full. It will of course lose some volume over time, and especially under the weight of very heavy dresses, but here are some tips: Be very careful when you are taking your petticoat on and off! Always remove your shoes first. Sounds obvious! Isn’t. Shake your petticoat up and down, in and out, and just generally fluff it around like an idiot before you put it on. Hang it inside out! Ooooh, bet you didn’t think of that one. Yes, much like when you part your hair in the other direction, and suddenly it’s like fluffy and full of volume, and delightful! Your petticoat will do exactly the same! So, hang it up inside out, when you come to turn it back around, oo! suddenly there’s so much volume. Do not put your petticoats in a drawer and then expect to just open it and POOF they’ll spring out that’s not a thing. That does not–that does not happen. No. Keep it on a hanger, or if it’s a very hard crinoline you can actually store it just standing up by itself but again, inside out. Store it inside out. It will take up so much space. But it is worth it, I promise. This is the best tip you will ever receive about wearing petticoats, trust me: When it comes to the toilet, take your entire skirt, fluff it up inside out, grab it, pull it all around to the front and then sit down on the loo. Genuinely, that’s the most useful thing I can ever tell you. Don’t let go for quite a while until you are sure it’s safe. Washing the darn things is a struggle, so don’t let it get dirty. Boom. Done. If you do get it dirty, then the washing machine is not actually the worst idea in the world. Just make sure you run it on delicate and you don’t put anything else in there with it. If you have a tumble dryer, then we need to be friends! Because that’s not really a thing in England, I don’t really know many people who have tumble dryers in England. You can fluff it up in there or turn it inside out and lie it on the floor. Don’t let it dry by hanging it up so it drip-dries, because that will just pfft, pull it down. There will be nothing you can do to bring back the fluff you once had. So it’s time to start relegating that petticoat to the ‘layering it up’ pile. Here are a few more shots of my favourite petticoats and brands that I recommend. *music* I hope this video has been helpful, give it a thumbs up if it has; let me know down below in the comments if there are any other questions that you have, and I will try my absolute hardest to get around to answering all of them. I do try to answer absolutely all of my comments. I do, I do. If you are new here, then subscribe for vintage fashion, tips, hair, great stuff, my wife, my dogs, my life. It’s good, I promise. *music*


  • Christy T says:

    So glad I sew.

  • catgal222 says:

    I’m new to your channel but have you talked about what kind of bra you where under your vintage dresses? I love a vintage halter design but I am never able to find good support to go underneath

  • Helena Sophie Zimling Westh says:

    Jessica Where do you get your clothes?

  • A L says:

    For those who are wondering what "later [?]" at 1:50 was, she said a cute Japanese street fashion style called "lolita" which uses petticoats. Which has NOTHING to do with the novel sharing the same name. Lolita most commonly uses bell shaped and a-line petticoats. ^^

  • Jessica Jones says:

    Jessica, I don't know if you have an interest in fashion that goes further back than the 50s, but if you do, you'd probably enjoy the Youtube channel prior attire. They have really interesting videos on clothing styles that date all the way back to the medieval period. It's pretty fascinating!

  • Mr.BlueBeast says:

    You two are so adorable!! I feel like dating women again. But for real. A serious relationship >:C Why are they so hard to maintain nowadays?

  • Sarah Hamilfan says:

    I have only one petticoat, which is the only petticoat I could find that was in my budget…

  • Summer and Fairies says:

    I'm so excited since I'm going to get my first petticoat next year 🙂

  • Mara Verhoogt says:

    i have school tomorrow, it's 12 am and i have no intention in buying a petticoat in the near future, why am i doing this to myself?

  • Michael Page says:

    How do you the hairstyle you have for the narration?

  • Sass enach says:

    Here is a tip because.. well I'm old enough to remember wearing them on Sundays… your short peach one.. head down to the fabric store and buy a remnant and attach it to the top (after you take the elastic out) restring with new elastic top create a longer one.

    Instead of rolling .. sew in bands every inch or 2 and you can insert a ribbon elastic to adjust the height without rolling… and rerolling… and oops rolling again… yep… been there.. mom's hand me downs.

  • Sass enach says:

    Wait…. tumble driers aren't a thing? Washers are in a lot of kitchens.. what do you do to dry your clothes?

  • Lic021 says:

    I'm looking at the Grace Karin black petticoat (on amazon?) and I'm not sure which size to go for, I have a 30 inch waist which according to their size chart is a large, but reviewers have said they have mediums or even smalls for UK size 10. what sizes are the ones you have?

  • puddy_in_the_hall says:

    How tall are you, Jessica?

  • miaŭaslano says:

    Ahhh no! I was thinking I might need one to

  • Zeugma89 says:

    I just discovered your channel. You are absolutely adorable.

  • abby :D says:

    I actually have a dress that'd be short enough for that one petticoat and I think it'd be quite cute with a bit more volume sooooo I might ask for a petticoat like that for christmas

  • bluesky426 says:

    Firstly…. I am THROUGHLY exhausted by the depth and breath of considerations for an undergarment. GOOD LORD! 😱
    Moving on…. You are an awesome, beautiful, and inspiring person. So grateful to experience “you” via social media. Great work. If ever I start to think “What is the use in moving forward?, I can watch your videos, and the “Build a Ladder” YT videos of Martina Stawski of EatYourKimchi to remember. Thank you for being.

  • Hollie McMullen says:

    First off, I love your Chanel! It's amazing and super helpful in learning BSL, and secondly I'm in America and had no idea there were different kinds of dryers?? We only have tumble dry here in my town??

  • loopiewho says:

    opps hold on Jessica
    i am a gay man i don't wear petticoats lol
    so this is your first all girl video
    but i found it interesting as i love you style
    and one size fits all is lies lol
    but i love fabrics and i love soft stretchy lace and mesh
    and satin smooth silky or fake fur or fake leather
    and i make lots of things from these fabrics
    but i hate crinoline and organza
    cos its so scratchy and i cant bear it
    i hate anything sweaty like rubber yuck
    cos i get hot all the time in winter too
    i have to wear almost transparent Lace tops
    not to famine but as manly as possible but cool
    when washing anything put it into wash bags sperately if you value it
    if you love it that much wash it by hand and teat it like a baby guinea pig with kisses and tenderness lol

  • Haley Sparks says:

    Would you ever consider doing a tutorial on making them?

  • lq says:

    Sometimes it feels very odd to see Claudia in videos. Not for any bad reasons, it's just funny to see you in what seems like a vintage wonderland, only for somebody in jeans and a hoodie (time traveller?) pop up. The contrast is certainly interesting haha.

  • Chris Bee says:

    I am short (5'1") so i'd take that short petticoat happily <333

  • Cara Beckett says:


  • Anglel Fish says:

    Do you do makeup and hair tutorials

  • Jessica Horsburgh says:

    wow thats was very good, love vintage clothes too

  • Bronte Lee says:

    I never knew I owned a petticoat, I thought it was just a funny looking tutu I used to wear when I was five. Oops

  • C Boyd says:

    I’ve been binge watching your videos since I discovered your channel about a week ago. Fantasized about moving to England because it looks so beautiful and great, then I learn few people have tumble dryers!? So sad. xoxo love to my British friends who are environmentally friendly and hanging/laying clothes flat to dry!

  • Michelle Tackett says:

    I have two petticoats now. One from Grace Karen. It is so cute! I love the swishy sound and puffyness.

  • b. says:

    i just got a retro dress for a wedding and i wanted it to have that floof this video is just what the doctor ordered. and im not particularly into vintage and retro clothing but your voice is so lovely TToTT im just going to watch all your videos

  • Michelle Tackett says:

    Looks like you are right. Petticoats are the most popular they have been since the 1950s. Good job. I am glad, I love my petticoats so much.

  • Shandra Parker says:

    tumble drier for the win. I spent 4 year living in Italy without one. SOOOOO happy to have my drier again

  • Gretchen Larsen says:

    Does anyone in the US have recommendations for brands? I'll be buying my first one soon, I've thought about buying something in children's, as I'm very short and prefer just above or below the knee dresses. Any advice would be appreciated. I'm looking for something under $40 if possible.

  • Phil Murray says:

    I read about you in the Guardian, now this! Wow, I am in awe; a fan, you could say! Keep on being fabulous! xxx

  • Robespierrey says:

    Wonderful video! So helpful!

  • Fie My says:

    Do you struggle with the fluffy part sliding up when you are sitting down? Or is it just me? If it’s just me, does that mean that it is too small for me? Because when I sit I always have to pull it down and make a twirl, otherwise it makes my already curvy hips look HUGE 😅

  • Disgaybled Maiden Aunt says:

    Further pro-tip, both to protect yourself from scratching and stretch the time between washes try wearing a half slip ( under the petticoat.

  • Not Going To New York Fashion Week says:

    I can't stand scratchy fabrics, I'd end up making my own

  • Olivia says:

    Wow, watching from the U.S., and I am so shocked that tumble dryers aren't common in England! I feel blessed now. Btw, I just started watching these videos and I'm obsessed. You and Claudia are amazing and adorable and inspirational <3

  • Audiofatuation says:

    I always mean to ask–for your off-the-shoulder tops and dresses, what strapless bras do you recommend? I too am quite busty and never bad good experiences here in the U.S. with them. Please help!!

  • jesikahayley says:

    Any tips for wearing your petticoat to the office. I recently bought a banned apparel petticoat and I love it but I also have a desk job, so any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  • Nancy L says:

    That was SO helpful, thank you! I bought a '50's swing dress for my daughter's Elvis-themed wedding in Las Vegas. It's a one-time thing for me but I don't want a costume, it needs to be authentic! I had no clue how get the full peek-a-boo petticoat look I want, but now I do, thanks to you!!

  • Myspicee says:

    Thank you for the petticoat tips, it is just what the doctor ordered. I love the delightful personality. I just discovered your chanel and I enjoyed it.

  • ananya patel says:


  • kara karshner says:

    I'm so confused

  • British Comedy UK says:

    You're a genius

  • Ted Barszewski says:

    I know this is quite late, but can you put a petticoat in a dryer?

  • I love cheesecake says:

    As a Lolita this is really really really helpful. All those layers can be really hot and it feels like I'm a cake being baked alive lol

  • DoseOFDISH-Onance says:

    If you wear a slip/half slip with your petticoats it will prevent snags and itchiness:)

  • Katt Kettle says:

    Hello I’m new love your channel 💕could you do a “petticoat” lookbook so I guess different styles of petticoats beneath different outfits

  • Kedah Diggs says:

    This is amazing for a beginner! <3

  • Tirzah McPherson says:

    Informative and hilarious!!! Thank you!

  • Carsyn Camp says:

    Length is extremely important the petticoat I have is too long and I have to stuff it in my bra for it to work under about 3/4 of my dresses.

  • Laura Goble says:

    I have a Grace Karin petticoat. I am still a bit self-conscious over the amount of fluff. Which would you recommend for Grace Karin dresses (boat neck rockabilly) that are less stiff?

  • Lozzatron says:

    Really? Idk if this is a North South thing but most people I know have a tumble dryer

  • brit gordon says:

    At 5'2" I favour a short and lively skirt to match me. Having been inspired by Jessica to consider bringing some life into my rarely-worn skirts, that short peachy one would probably do me, but if you ought to avoid washing them, I'm not sure my OCD could possibly stand up to the challenge. One visit to a public toilet and I'd be panicked, especially keeping them inside out. Might another (tight-fitting) skirt underneath work to protect it somewhat?

  • Megan Drover says:

    i do square dancing and would love to wear petticoats with some of my circle skirts on normal days but all i own rn is a massive silver dance Crinoline along with the ones my mom owns when she grew up dancing. i should really save up for and A line one.

  • Otakuangel says:

    This is my first time seeing your channel, but I've seen you on the video of what not to say to deaf people.

  • vintageLyzzie says:

    Very cute video and informative! I recently bought two petticoats from Malco Modes (one off eBay and one brand new). They are amazing and soft but yes a little pricey.

  • Ciara Mason says:

    I am sorry It is a bit difficult to see that "Power Puff" Brand. I am getting married next month and I have a tea length dress. I want to add some fluff lol

  • Linda Ursin says:

    I have a tumble dryer 😀

  • imanasaurus rex says:

    I’m not girly at all and I hate dresses but I just enjoy listening to her say petticoat.

  • Bobbi Jean Shields says:

    Tumble dryers aren't good for stiff petticoat fabric as the dry temperature takes the stiffness out of the fabric. Steam however is good for them.

  • jessiuss says:

    XD I have that peach petti! It's defs too short for the longer vintage styles.. but it's comfy as hell

  • I Need More Sleep says:

    Can’t people make petticoats on their own? Usually skirt type clothing is very easy to sew. Also why can’t tutu types be worn as petticoats? What would happen if you do? Why can’t the fabric be something like basic muslin (it works for dolls)?

  • Jenny Tokumei says:

    I understand just enough American Sign Language to realize that you're not using American Sign Language… It's driving me crazy, but at least it's a short trip. Great video, btw.

  • Amanda Duncan says:

    How do you not get to hot in them? I have one I paid quite a bit for but it's so hot.

  • Caty Pilot says:

    It would be so awesome if you made a plus size vintage video!

  • H. W. Johnstoke says:

    I so love to wear petticoats under a full skirt! One of my favorite looks when I dress as a woman!

  • ASHERUISE says:

    I'd like to wear petticoats, but they're so tricky to shop for, no way could I buy one online. Plus the cost. This video only makes me aware that it's even harder than I thought!

  • Cecily Plum says:

    I’m a student living in Brighton, England and my house has a tumble dryer…

  • Megan Acton says:

    Do you need to wear a petty coat? Or does it just look silly?

  • Scarlet Desorgher says:

    If you are looking for a really nice petticoat that is not an arm and a leg and also not in crinoline- go to they do vintage clothes in sizes 8-30!

  • KaletheQuick says:

    I stumbled across this video researching victorian fashion for a fantasy setting. You are so elegant! I love this video <3

  • Victoria Sabas says:

    Used to wear petticoats all the time in high school and I recall the "hug your outfit on the toilet" struggle

  • Ann Lee says:

    I have one petticoat that is actually vintage (If i'm not mistaken) it came from the grandma, who said she used to wear it when she was younger.

    My grandma also says "You'll always like whats in style until you get old, that's how young people work." Well I'll just be here wearing your clothes and shopping in your closet, alright grandma?…

  • Circe Invidiosa says:

    Have you ever heard of Doris Designs? She is a UK petticoat retailer. I have been stalking her petticoats for ages (but money 🙁 )

  • celeste Sand says:

    Do you have any advice on 1850 vintage style petticoats?

  • Leanne G says:

    I just bought my first petticoat, fingers crossed!

  • Stacy Stalstone says:

    I dry all my square dance petticoats by draping them over the bell shape of an umbrella (inside out). I store them hanging in tulle bags so that they can breathe and periodically remove, fluff and rebag them. When i want to wear one I place it in the dryer only long enough for it to warm thoroughly and then shake it until completely cooled. Many of my petticoats are vintage from the 50s, 60s and 80s and they are still beautiful and fluffy! Great video, thanks for sharing.

  • Jane Doe says:

    Dear Jessica can you do a make up tutorial please🙏. I love this video💟

  • LovingKitty711 says:

    Thank yoouuuuuuuuuu!!!🙏🏼

  • Bethany Lingle says:

    thank you for this video~ I want a petticoat so badly ><

  • Anne Francis says:

    I bought my first petticoat and I love it ❤️

  • Cheeky A says:

    Thank you! I love watching your videos and adore your style. I used to be quite the tomboy but now I’m loving my new retro and very girly style. Also being pregnant these dresses are SO flattering over my bump!!

  • H. W. Johnstoke says:

    I love this video! I often wear petticoats, especially Grace Karin petticoats, with my Grace Karin dresses. I also love to wear square dance dresses which tend to be longer so I use different petticoats with them.

  • Crystal Pistey-Lyhne says:


  • Rūta Brīvlauka says:

    You remind me of Zelda from The Magicians.

  • FlipaClip Tom says:

    i like your posh accent and how i thinkyour trying to dress like in the 50's its a great channel and video

  • Mysticlover Fairy says:

    When I wear two petticoats,one from a store called Vintage Galeria at the mall and the other from ModeMundo I get more poof than when I wear one

  • Adam Luker says:

    I am in love with you

  • Matthew Haus says:

    My goodness you`re pretty and you could read the phone book to me with your accent and I would be entranced.

  • 43v3rh1d3n says:

    I feel like if you have a lot of dresses in a similar style or shape, it might be worth it to drop the coin on a good petticoat because you'll wear it more than any individual dress.

  • Nonsense Manjaro says:

    How does she speak so well?

  • la mamie says:

    I am in loove with the way Jessica says the word "petticoat" 😍😍😍 don't get me wrong, it just sounds so beautiful and so British, which I am definitely delighted in💌

  • Davrie Caro says:

    Here is a tip I heard froms somewhere. Use liquid syarcj if you want to keep petticoat nice and stiff after washing, though I am not exactly what to do exactly.

  • Marta Herrera says:

    Thank you so much!!!

  • Elizabeth Manion says:

    I have two dresses that I would love to wear more, but one of them definitely calls for a petticoat. The skirt fabric is pretty thin, and I feel like having a petticoat underneath would make the outfit feel a little more…substantial. Thanks for the amazing tips!!!

  • Chloe says:

    I wear a lot of dresses. I am not planning on getting a petticoat but I am just here for Jessica who looks stunning always

  • Alison Louise says:

    I have a tumble drier 😘👍and a few petticoats, so I’m certainly going to be trying out some of your tips…thanks so much….love your style ❤️

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