Vintage Must Have: Crinoline

A crinoline (also known as a petticoat) is a must have if you’re a fan of fuller skirts.  The full skirts and circle skirts of the 1950s and early 1960s require a crinoline to produce that classic silhouette seen in so many magazines of the time period.

I have several crinolines, because, well, I need them.  Yes, need.  I have full skirts of varying lengths, and for me, one crinoline simply doesn’t do the job.  (As much as I wish it would since crinolines tend to take up a lot of space.)  Not all of my dresses that require crinolines are of the same length.  If a crinoline is too long, it peeks out and looks bad.  Although a one inch peek is considered acceptable.  If a crinoline is too short, the last few inches of the dress fall straight down, and it looks unattractive.  I have two large and long crinolines that serve well under my classic circle skirts that I have made (view them here, here, here, and here), and are very similar to the ones that Jumblelaya sells.  I have a smaller, shorter one that I picked up second hand that is perfect for some of my squaw dresses.  One very similar can be purchased from Pin-Up Girl Clothing.  I also have one that is in between these two that I recently found in the attic.  You can also layer your crinolines to add more poof in your skirt.  I once wore three for an AlexSandra fashion show.

Crinolines can be successfully stored in pillow cases or vacuum bags and it won’t harm them one bit.  They tend to be very good at springing back to life.  However if they do have any severe wrinkles, a quick pass over with a steamer will do the trick.  Don’t have a steamer? Take your crinoline into the bathroom with you while you shower!

I would also like to note that this dress is a perfect example of how to use of a half-slip (read more on slips here!).  Obviously my bodice does not allow for a traditional full slip, so I have put on a half slip between myself and my crinoline.  Additionally, crinolines can be a tad rough, unless you purchase one made of super soft nylon.

So get out there, and add some poof to your life!  You’ll find yourself swishing as you walk.  It’s quite fun.

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