Retro Style: Can I Wear A Crinoline?

Posted by Meagan Kyla on

How To Wear A Crinoline

Can I wear a crinoline under my skirt or dress?

Maybe, as not all skirts are created equal, so we're going to explore a way to determine if you can wear the Malco Modes crinolines that we specifically sell at Cats Like Us. Our advice and guidance is for a crinoline with a two layer outer skirt that has multiple tiers of nylon net with matching satin binding on each tier. The underskirt is made of nylon organza to prevent scratchiness against your legs. This type of crinoline creates a full look.

But before we go on with the show, a little history about crinolines.....

Petticoat, tulle, underskirt, poofy thing. A crinoline slip has a lot of alternate names, but one thing is for sure is that it gives an extra 'umph' to a dress or skirt. The crinoline is not a new concept in women's fashion, they date as far back to the mid-19th century when they were worn under gloriously large ballgowns to cotton day dresses. Crinolines popularity fizzled out due to them being deemed dangerous, impractical and catching on fire. Yikes! It wasn't until post WWII fashion (Christian Dior's New Look) when flounced nylon and net petticoats became part of the iconic women's fashion looks of the 1950s and into early 1960s.  

 Can I wear a crinoline under this skirt or dress? Cats Like Us

How to determine if the skirt or dress will accommodate a crinoline

An easy way to see if the skirt can fit a crinoline underneath is simply looking at the photos and checking the item's description we have on our website. If a crinoline does fit, it is worn under the skirt in some of the products photos and noted that a crinoline is being worn to show the fullness. 

Another way is to hold up the skirt by the hem and check the width. Seeing how far you can spread out your arms can determine if it's a full circle skirt, a half circle skirt, A-line, etc. Now, if I've totally confused, just simply spread out the skirt on the floor and see if it makes a complete 360 degree circle.

Pro tip: If you have a dress that has a restrictive liner or pleating that may not allow for movement, you may not be able to wear the crinoline's we carry.

 Example of a full circle skirt:

Heart of Haute Amerciana Skirt

Heart of Haute Americana Flannel Circle Skirt

Example of a full circle skirt with gatherings that can accommodate a crinoline:

Red Moai Palm Springs Skirt Oblong Box Shop

Red Moai Palm Springs Skirt by The Oblong Box Shop

Examples that will not fit a crinoline:

Examples that will not fit a crinoline

Magic Stars Teal Twirl Skirt by Heart of Haute

Keys to the Kingdom Dress by Folter Clothing

Aqua Lauren Doilie Dress by Heart of Haute


Crinoline Colors

Whether you're new to retro fashions or want to add a little flair to your ensemble, wearing a crinoline is a lot of fun and we have lots of fun colors to suit your style! 

-Meagan Kyla


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