What’s a petticoat?
In 100 words or less, a petticoat is:
- Usually a skirt with a sleeveless, front-lacing bodice; sometimes a separate skirt tied to a bodice with points, and sometimes a skirt with a sleeved, front-lacing bodice.
- Usually red, especially for the lower and merchant orders.
- Usually closed with lacings, though there are a few references to petticoats closing with hooks and eyes. Some petticoats had placards pinned or fastened across the lacings in front.
- Made of wool or silk fabric; no references to linen or fustian petticoats have been found.
- Frequently had bodices and skirts of different colors and fabrics.
- were often lined or interlined with stiff fabric, like fustian or buckram, for support.
- Until the 1580s, were the primary garment (alongside the kirtle) used for supporting the bosom and achieving the period, flat-fronted silhouette.
What’s a Petticoat? | Petticoats for Re-enactors: some considerations | Search for Petticoats in DressDB | Where can I find out More about Petticoats? | Making a Petticoat |
Additional References to Petticoats