A petticoat is used underskirts to gain the fluffy Lolita silhouette. As a starter in Lolita Fashion, you might find it’s hard to choose a suitable one for your Lolita dresses. After all, we couldn't buy every petticoat in existence. Here are all things about how to pick up a suitable and practical petticoat.
Petticoat Shapes – Bell-shaped or A-line?
The main feature of Lolita fashion is the volume of the skirt, created by wearing a petticoat. The skirt can be either bell-shaped or A-line shaped. The difference between bell-shaped (cupcake) and A-line shaped is that in cupcake petticoat the top is a little bit wider than A-line one.
1) Bell-shaped Petticoat
What are Bell-shaped Petticoats?
Bell-shaped petticoats will make your skirt look like a bell or a cupcake (you can also call this shape cupcake).
Bell Shaped Petticoats are Better Fit in Sweet Lolita Dresses.
For a Sweet Lolita, it is usually recommended that you get a petticoat that is bell-shaped or cupcake shaped. Because it will give the dresses a fantastic, even volume.
2) A-line Shaped Petticoat
What are A-line-shaped petticoats?
A-line Shaped Petticoats will make your skirts look more like an A.
And A-line Shaped Petticoats are More Often Chosen by Classic Lolitas.
How to Choose the Petticoats with the Most Suitable Puffy Effects
For the A-shaped petticoats, we have different skirt length options and different degrees of bulkiness to choose from. Let's have a quit look below. We only talk about the bulkiness here, and for the length options, we will talk about it later with more details.
Normally more fabric is used, more skirt volume, puffier. And we have petticoats with mini puffy effects for a more casual look to super puffy effect for Lolita Fashion Shows, Hime Lolita dresses, or going to formal tea parties.
35cm Skirt Length Petticoats with Different Puffy Effects
As shown in the above picture, from left to right are 6m organza mini puffy petticoat for a slightly puffy effect, 8m organza daily wear a petticoat, 12m organza puffy petticoat, 16m organza super puffy petticoat, and catwalk super super puffy petticoat.
35cm skirt length petticoats are more suitable for thigh length cute dresses. Not only limited to lolita fashion dresses, but they're also very popular when wearing punk fashion mini skirts.
35cm Length Short Thigh-length Organza Petticoat
The 35cm petticoat above has two color options: White/Black, which also has great puffy effects in a Sweet Lolita dress.
45cm Skirt Length Petticoats with Different Puffy Effects
And just like the 35cm petticoats, the 45cm length petticoats are also designed with different puffy effects. As shown in the above picture, from left to right are: mini puffy petticoat, 8m organza used daily petticoat, 12m organza puffy petticoat, 16m organza super puffy petticoat, and ultimate catwalk petticoat.
45cm skirt length petticoats are the most popular length petticoats because most of the lolita dresses are designed with knee-length, the kawaii length with more elegance.
For Hime Lolita dresses, the skirts are normally heavier than other styles because they are often designed with more layers, so it is wiser to choose a puffier petticoat that is more supportive of the skirt.
60cm Skirt Length Petticoats with Different Puffy Effects
60cm skirt-length petticoats are more often worn with tea-length - the most elegant length dresses. They're also designed with different puffy effects. As shown in the picture above, from left to right: 60cm length slightly puffy mini petticoat, 60cm length daily puffy petticoat, 60cm skirt length super puffy petticoat.
Some tips for achieving the perfect puffy you want if you don't have the right petticoat by hand:
- Overlap with two petticoats.
Wear a shorter petticoat inside and a longer one outside the shorter one, it will give you a puffier and bell-shaped effect silhouette.
- Overlap with an organza petticoat and a fish-bone petticoat.
Wear a shorter fish-bone petticoat inside and put on a longer A-shaped petticoat over the fish-bone petticoat. This way is suitable for lolita dresses with layered and heavy skirts, or when you need a puffier skirt but don't want to show the fish-bone string marks on the skirt.
Tips for Choosing the Suitable Petticoat Length and Waist Size
How to Choose the Most Suitable Length
We have talked about the three different common petticoat lengths before, and which one is the most suitable for your dress length? The answer is: it is recommended to have your petticoat 5 centimeters (2 inches) shorter than your dress skirt. That is to say, if you don't want the petticoat to come out, you should pick the length shorter than your skirt length.
Here are some rules you can follow when choosing the length.
Rule 1:For Jumper Skirts or One-piece Dresses.
A.If your dress comes with an empire waist, the length of the petticoat = the dress length - 45cm. For reference, the empire waist dress is 108cm long (from shoulder to skirt hem) and it's better to choose the 60cm length petticoat (108cm-45cm=63cm).
B.If your dress is a natural waist, the length of the petticoat = the dress length - 50cm.
C.There are some special situations:
- If your dress skirt hemline is decorated with transparent lace or ruffles, the petticoat length you choose should be subtracted.
For reference, the dress is 105cm long including a 10cm transparent lace or ruffled hem, so it will be better to choose a petticoat about 45cm (108cm-10cm-50cm=45cm).
- If your dress has an irregular hem, the dress length should be calculated with the shortest point.
Rule 2:For Skirt
The length of petticoat = the length of the skirt (without the height of the waistband) - 10cm
And just like the dresses we mentioned above, for the irregular skirts, we should calculate the length with the shortest part of the skirt.
How to Choose the Waist Size Wisely
The waist size of the petticoat we choose is very important because it will decide whether we will be comfortable or not when wearing it.
There are mainly two types of waistband: elastic and drawstring. Because of the adjust-ability of both, most of the size charts are size ranges, and they're quite different from different brands, so be sure to check carefully before buying.
The following size chart is downloaded randomly from the internet.
Example 1. If my waist is 63cm, considering a 5cm criteria, the size range that suits me should be 58~68cm. The range of size S is 58~88cm. So I will definitely choose size S.
Example 2. If my waist is 71cm, my range will be 68~76cm. Now, we will find that both sizes S and M suit my range. So which size is better for me now? In this case, we only need to check the minimum size from the size chart to see which one is closer to my minimum size. So I will choose size M instead of size S.
Example 3.If my waist is 77cm, my range will be 72~82cm. I will choose size L whose minimum size is 66cm and is closer to my minimum size.
Example 4. If my waist is 85cm, my range will be 80~90cm. According to the size chart, I will choose size XL.
For plus-size girls, contact customer service to see if you could get a customized size.
Two Most Commonly Petticoat Materials and Daily Care
We all want to be comfortable when wearing puffy petticoats. So a soft and comfortable fabric is also very important to lolita petticoats.
Organza is a thin, plain weave, sheer fabric traditionally made from silk. Many modern organzas are woven with synthetic filament fibers such as polyester or nylon.
A high-quality organza petticoat is made with cotton lining and layers of organza. The more organza used, the puffier.
Storage: Washing with a laundry bag, rolling the petticoats up when totally dry, and storing them in a sealed plastic bag.
Built-in Fishbone Petticoats
Normally a built-in fishbone petticoat has 3 or more steel rings (not real fishbones) built-in. And the steel rings are usually removable and are fixed by rubber joints or other connections, and each layer of the steel rings has an opening so we can take it out when washing.
Storage: The round shape of the fishbone support can be folded into a small circle by twisting, and the gauze or cloth part of the skirt can be folded into the fishbone support so that it is stored well.
Specific operation details: We hold the two ends of the diameter of the fishbone, turn the left hand clockwise, and the right hand counterclockwise, twists it into a figure of eight, and gathers it into a circle. Grasp the gathered fishbone and fold it down once to fix it. Put the folded part close to the abdomen, bend down and quickly fold the veils on both sides to the middle, with the legs supporting, continue to fold down, so that the fishbone support can be stored.
Here I'd like to introduce you a versatile use fishbone petticoat. It is designed with four drawstrings between every two fishbones all around, so you can adjust the skirt length from the shortest 45cm to the longest 72cm, and it is also available to adjust to a hi-lo petticoat.
Petticoat Washing Tips:
- Gently hand washing, using laundry bag when machine washing in order to prevent the fabric from tearing.
- Spin-dring and air-dring are both okay.
- Flat the fabric and hang on drying.
- Cotton lining can be ironed only at low temperatures.
Special tips for fish-bone petticoats: remove the steel rings before washing, then take the tips above into consideration for washing.
Organza Petticoats v.s. Fishbone Petticoats
- Easy to store.
- Help us keep warm because of their multi-layers.
- Soft and comfortable suitable for everyday wear.
- Less support for particularly heavy skirts.
- Hot in summer, and we will feel uncomfortable when sticking to the sweating leg.
- Better support for heavy skirt dresses.
- Better for keeping the skirt in shape.
- Larger in volume.
- Much cooler for summer wear.
- Obvious strings around the skirt when wearing a fishbone petticoat without organza layers under a thin dress.
- Pay more attention when sitting down. Tips: Trying not to sit on the fish bones, it is awkward when sitting down on one side and the other side suddenly goes up.
Quick Looks to Some New Designs
1. Clouds / Cotton Candy Lolita Petticoats
Clouds/cotton candy petticoats are popular for a while, as the skirt hem looks like a cloud and feels so soft like cotton candy.
It doesn't have a pretty shape because the top is too thin and suddenly has a big hem. For a better look, it is recommended to wear a shorter organza petticoat above it, so you can have a pretty A-line looks skirt with a dreamy cloud bottom.
An Even More Cute Rainbow Cloud Petticoat
Rainbow Organza Petticoat
Beautiful pastel rainbow color can be worn directly as a skirt.
Underskirts are often worn to extend the skirt length, to gain a more elegant and royal look. Most of them are designed with layers and ruffles, some even with gorgeous star-drops hem, but with no puffy.
You should wear a puffy organza or fishbone petticoat under the underskirt.
Okay, so I think it's fair enough for a lolita newbie to find your best-fit lolita petticoats after you reading all the information above. And if you still have some questions about how to choose the right Lolita petticoat, you're very welcomed to leave your comments below.