Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On the Petticoat

   I once read a book (one of the Royal Diaries I think) in which I learned that eastern European ladies used to wear petticoats to signify their position.  I was struck by this idea.  In the particular story I read, an Italian lady wore as many as ten skirts to portray her wealth!

  It was actually a very beautiful custom and one which has died over the course of history.  Women do not even wear petticoats anymore (except maybe in ethnic costume).  I don't think many women even wear slips!

   I realized how much petticoats tell about history.  In the most civilized times they have been at their height.  They were worn primarily to puff out the skirt into an elegant bell.  Petticoats were used to add to the design of the dress also, during fashions where the dress was slit in the skirt.

   I wonder longingly why petticoats have lost their timeless allure?  Could it be that egalitarianism has eaten away at the heart of feminine fashion to such an extent that women no longer consider how appropriate their dress is?  How much it tells about them?  How it should identify their very soul?  I find it harder to believe that women willingly dismissed the petticoat in favor of shorts and t-shirts!

 This is the death of culture, when women cease to embrace the charming customs that religion and civilization have placed at their disposal...  It is so sad!

   And there is still another reason why petticoats have been so heartlessly thrown to the wind.  Modesty.  Revolutionaries have plotted the destruction of Christian civilization very carefully.  The beautiful virtues (especially female virtues) upon which western society is built are attacked ruthlessly.  No wonder petticoats are gone.  Virtue is gone as well!  Immodesty fills the streets and feminine elegance languishes...   

   But it does not have to disappear!  Perhaps some women are left to relish the beauty of those would be forgotten eras?

                                               What do you think about petticoats?


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  2. I have to say; I do wear petticoats! :)

    I find it hard to find things I like in current fashion, so I shop at 50's reproduction online shops and buy full skirted dresses with high, collarbone-skimming necklines and below-knee skirts. These are really not expensive. I wear a cardigan and, around the house, I pop on an apron. If I'm going anywhere nice, or perhaps on Sunday; I wear a nice mid-fullness petticoat. Why not, after all?

    Jenny, Co. Laois, Ireland.

    1. Thank you for sharing! You sound like such a sweet lady! I am glad you are here!

  3. The two things that signify femininity today more than a dress is an apron and a petticoat. It is sad that younger women are not taught the importance of feminine and modest these days but even sadder that wearing a dress/apron that signifys domesticity is all but shunned except for a brave few. I am not including the Amish or other Plain folk.


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