Style of petticoat, fabric choices, layers, tiers, yards per petticoat ?????
There are many brands on the market in many styles and fabrics. Make sure you buy your petticoat from a well-known and reputable company. Petticoats International is an Australian manufacturer of the very popular Spin Dance, Twirlz, Vintage Demure, Flirt’n Betty, Playful and Star petticoats. Don't be tempted to buy a cheap product or you may spend time adjusting or repairing your new petticoat. Find a petticoat specialist who understands the important aspects of designing and producing high quality products. Remember, petticoats are an intricate and complex fashion garment. With each length and the desired result in mind, all petticoats need special attention during the design process to fall evenly and a petticoat specialist works hard to achieve just that.
Firstly, fabrics can range from a hard netting (crinoline) which was mostly used in the 50's but which is often uncomfortable to wear and doesn't leave your dress or skirt with a nice even fall. Organza is a more modern choice to the crinoline to achieve that fullness without comprising comfort. Then there's soft netting and beautiful soft chiffon fabric which is lovely and feminine, however these fabrics do not produce a maximum volume petticoat. So.....as you can see the choice of fabric is paramount.
A common myth about fullness is that you can judge the fullness of a petticoat by the number of yards of fabric used in the petticoat. Think about this.....you can have a really stiff crinoline and can achieve a fair amount of fullness with only 1 or 2 layers. Take the same 1 or 2 layers in a soft chiffon or soft netting and it wouldn't give very much fullness at all. So if this makes sense to you, you can stop being concerned with how many yards of fabric are in a petticoat, but more concerned with the type of fabric. The only time the number of yards or layers is a consideration is when choosing the same fabric in 2 or more styles of petticoat. For example, if your choice of fabric is organza and you want maximum fullness choose an organza petticoat with more layers. Organza is the best choice of fabric for a comfortable petticoat with reasonable fullness. The best brand on the market for a reasonable fullness as well as comfort is the Spin Dance petticoat and this petticoat is available in the standard or the Extra Full Double. On the other end of the scale is the Vintage Demure Ribbon trim petticoat which is made of a soft netting fabric and designed specifically for simply giving a dress or skirt some body and filling out the fabric in a 'demure' way. Then in the middle of the spectrum is the Flirt'n Betty chiffon petticoat which has more layers than the Vintage Demure.
Weight of the dress fabric is also an important consideration when choosing a petticoat. If the dress fabric is very heavy weight, then a petticoat made of a stiffer fabric and also perhaps more layers may be required, but once again it all comes down to the fullness you are trying to achieve. If maximum fullness is desired, then the Spin Dance Extra Full Double and the Twirlz petticoats would be the ones to choose.
Lastly, Length is important and pretty self-explanatory - the best way to know which length you need is to measure your dress or skirt from the waist to the hem as this is how the length of the petticoat is determined. Some ladies like to see the pretty bottom edge of the petticoat peeping out underneath their skirts. Consideration should be given to the look of your outfit and consider that if the petticoat slips a little, then it could cause the petticoat to sit with an uneven horizontal line thus causing the illusion that the hem line of your dress or skirt is uneven, which of course is not desirable. This is a good reason why most prefer a petticoat length sitting just a few centimeters shorter than the length of the dress or skirt hem. If the petticoat is too much shorter than the dress, (usually more than around 12cm), there could be a 'waterfall effect', which is not desirable either. There are many lengths to choose from - 45cm, 48cm, 55cm, 62cm, 65cm, and 75cm and this is an easy guide to know which length you should buy,
At least one petticoat should be in every ladies wardrobe, so now you can enjoy choosing your petticoat and then enjoy wearing your petticoat for years to come. Hope these tips have helped you !
Designer, Petticoats International, Australia