I’ve been a tad serious lately, for a number of reasons, and it kinda snuck into the last couple of posts, which is really not why I started this blog. To be honest I started this blog so I could gush about retro fashions but that went out of the window pretty quickly, mostly due to the raging hormones and need to splurge.
I’m on the verge of another session, a pure retro one again and hopefully, if I can get up the courage, involving leaving Cindy’s studio to go back to my rented apartment…..enfemme. Already panicking about it, resulting in IBS I think, but dammit, I want to ride a taxi in London IN DAYLIGHT in a frock. Is that too much to ask, inner coward?
Anyway, something fluffy. Let’s talk petticoats!
Like a lot of retro fashions I have absolutely no idea what a petticoat is for. It’s difficult to wear, adds a huge volume to a skirt or frock, very difficult to sit in and went out of fashion a long time ago. In fact I’m pretty sure I’ve never a woman wearing one other than retro fans.
Which is why I love them so much. For a start, the feel of a petticoat against stockings is something else. Also, the way it fluffs everything out just feels, well, deliciously feminine for reasons I can’t put my finger on. It makes you feel fluffy. In a good way, of course.
I’ve bought a couple from Vivien of Holloway and they’re gorgeous – lots of fluffy-ness, make the dresses standout massively. But what was the original logic behind the whole petticoats thing? It makes the woman’s bottom half look larger, but I’m guessing it was a follow-on from the original fixed dresses of the Elizabethan era (history fans, the skirt constructs were called ‘farthingales’ and were made of wood and bone, so not as fluffy as a petticoat…).
But why are they so, well, delicious? I may have said this before (a number of times) but male clothing is not soft (understatement). The first time I slipped a silk pair of undergarments on, which was a slip I was putting on under a tea dress, I literally almost had an internal orgasm. It was just like being dipped in cool oil, a feeling and sensation I’d never had. I’m used to standard y-fronts and jeans, so my skin is used to rough textures. Female clothing always seems, well, softer, and the petticoats are another level above that.
Pictured – plus, if you have a little extra weight, like I did, a flowing dress with a petticoat allows you a gorgeous feminine shape 😉
So, a couple of looks and why the petticoat made them something else….
1950’s Housewife Look
Pictured – ‘Mrs’
Yeah, yet another one. I do tend to dress a lot like a stylised 1950’s housewife which is actually somewhat of a surprise to me. I think it’s because it is diametrically opposite to the person I am in real life, which is an amusing thing to say because the woman I see in the photos, domesticated, submissive, stylish in her blouse, skirt and petticoat is me as well. And yes, typing that sentence did give me a not so little thrill.
Anyway, this look was *all* Vivien of Holloway – a Raglan blouse, white, which reminded me of Audrey Hepburn, a full circle skirt, red with white polkadots, a red handbag and, of course, a petticoat.
So what did the petticoat add? Lots. The skirt fluffed out nicely, which meant when I stood and posed it looked really sweet. Plus sitting or kneeling forced the petticoat to push the skirt out in a delightful way.
Pictured – like that 🙂
It’s the classic 1950’s look…..
The Stepford Wife
Pictured – an animal print tea dress becomes a Stepford Wife costume with the addition of a petticoat 🙂
I go on a lot about The Stepford Wives. It’s either a damning post-feminist story from the 1970s or the ultimate fantasy for a submissive transvestite but either way, I love the idea of it.
If you haven’t seen the original (and if you haven’t, go watch it) it’s about men paying to have their feminist wives replaced by submissive robots that fill the ultimate ‘housewife’ role. That’s not really why I fell in love with it, because, you know, fetish. I loved the floral, flowing and ultra-feminine outfits the ‘wives’ wore, combined with the submissive behaviour. Yeah, lots to talk to a shrink about on that one, but a lot of my looks are me pretending to be a Stepford Wife. It’s the ultimate emasculation, the loss of not only the male role but the adoption of stylised behaviours a ‘man’ wants from his wife.
Pictured – complete aside, but when I was growing up (in the 80s) the ideas of white high heels were what the ‘slutty girls’ wore. Hence I wear them a lot. Cough.
Anyway, enough delving in the dark fantasies, I find the petticoat as part of an outfit when adopting the Stepford look is essential. It is just so ‘housewifey’.
1950’s ‘Lady of the House’
Pictured – PETTICOAT!!!!!! Even looking at this picture I can feel the texture against my legs.
Yeah, another housewife look. Spotting a pattern? This one was joyous though, an utterly gorgeous chiffon dress (with an under-dress) that was just divine, if you don’t mind the obvious feminine terminology, to wear. The combination of the feel of the dress and the petticoat was like being buried in silk – again, as I said earlier, for a body that has had fifty years of 1970’s fabrics followed by jeans the touch of these pieces of clothing is unreal.
Pictured – chuck on an apron and some extremely high heels and it’s the world’s most stylish kitchen appliance 😉
Plus the pattern, complete floral on a pastel blue, is delightfully feminine. It was a Hellbunny frock, from back when they did more ultra-feminine clothes. I miss that time.
Something different. A 1960’s Housewife
Pictured – about as far from masculinity as you can get without an operation….
Hmm, am I somewhat predictable? Anyway, this was a lovely retro swing dress from Collectif Clothing which I instantly thought would work as a 1960’s housewife dress. The petticoat made the skirt stand out just enough, and add a Beehive hairstyle and a touch of attitude and et voila, pre-feminist house-frau.
Pictured – I can’t gush enough about how much fun this outfit was, on so many levels…
This was pretty much the perfect outfit for me. Floral pattern, apron, white heels (again!) and a pure 1960’s hairstyle.
I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth reiterating it now – there’s an effect you get when you dress like this that is hard to put in words. It’s not just clothes and makeup, it never is. It’s like you shift inside, all of the daily grind goes away and you start to feel the way you are dressed. In this case I found my wrists went limp without me trying, I found myself drawing my legs into myself, making myself physically smaller. It was an odd but a wonderful feeling.
Pictured – pulling oneself in, works a treat 🙂
Grace from the Umbrella Academy
Pictured – you can just see the petticoat peeking out from under her dress
Superb series, by the way, but I found myself constantly distracted by the ‘mother’ robot created to take care of the children. She was very, well, ‘Stepford’ which ticked all my boxes, and I had an urge to recreate her for one of my latest looks.
Pictured – plus a chance for some ‘story’ shots, like this one where Grace is doing her homework reading the ‘What Every Woman Should Know’ book.
I found a lovely ‘Lucille Ball’ frock, although for the life of me I can’t remember where from. Cindy did some fantastic makeup and, for the first time, did Victory Rolls in my hair which worked a treat. Originally I didn’t put a petticoat under the frock but it just felt right to do it, and it was joyous.
Again, the material on this dress was amazing to wear, a satiny-y feel to it that gave me goosebumps as I sashayed around in it. And yeah, white heels.
Pictured – Grace sneaks a cigarette after the children have gone to bed.
And the rest….
Well, not really. If I put a picture up of every look I did with a petticoat I’d still be writing this post in two days time, but here are some other quick looks where the petticoat added so much to the style.
Pictured – 1960’s chambermaid
Just seemed perfect to add the petticoat to this. The dress was quite short so the petticoat was up around the high point where fashion designers have decided women’s waists are (you know, just beneath the nipples on a man).
Pictured – polkadot petticoat action!
I don’t do a lot of separates – I’m pretty much a frock-loving girl, but Vivien of Holloway does the best 1940’s and 1950’s style blouses (like the first look in the article). This was a 1940’s blouse with a full circle skirt and, of course, I needed to take at least one shot with the petticoat showing.
Pictured – I *LOVE* this dress style from Lindy Bop
One of the first looks I did with Cindy, this was meant to be a 1960’s housewife – even back then I was pretty biased, and back then is three years ago. The frock seemed so girlie but back then I hadn’t learned how to smile yet.
Pictured – Cherries, Cherries, Cherries
Yeah, right after I said I don’t do separates we have, cough, another separates look. This was a see-through blouse and a full circle skirt, both emblazoned with cherries, from Hellbunny. The addition of the petticoat gave the skirt real volume. Plus, you know, ‘cherries’.
Pictured – Sarah the over-endowed Cowgirl
This frock didn’t really work but was a lot of fun anyway. It was a full button-up dress, full circle skirted, in red and white gingham. Thing is, it didn’t really fit (like any good woman I underestimated my size) and with the, well, boobage it wouldn’t do up properly. Still, the petticoat made it flow out so it didn’t look too indecent.
Pictured – a little bit of a cheat, looks like a frock but, gasp, it’s actually a separate top and skirt
I’ve talked about this outfit before – I really have no clue who it is aimed at as it is, well, a little fetishesque yet Collectif Clothing sell it as a ‘retro outfit’. I’m really not sure what woman would wear it, say, to work but hell, I’m not complaining as it’s a permanent resident in my/Sarah’s closet.
So, that was fluffiness for a change…..
Stay beautiful sweeties, and, if you get a chance, throw on a petticoat now and then. You’ll thank me…..
Pictured – Sarah doing the patented ‘retro shout’ pose 🙂