A Guide to Crinolines, Hoop Skirts and Petticoats | How to Make Your Dress Poofy

Sunday, June 5, 2016
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If you look online at quinceanera dresses you'll see them as these big, poofy, puffy dresses. Don't be fooled though because like 99% of the time, the actual dresses themselves do not come like that. They'll have a layer or two of tulle (a net fabric that gives lift to the skirt) and then that's it. So it's up to you to build the fullness you want. For that you have options, all depending on how much poof you want.
If you've shopped around and actually tried dresses on then you know what I'm talking about here. Most likely the store reps will have you put on some kind of hoop skirt first to try on dresses with. If they didn't, shame on them, they really should have.
I seriously believe that to really showcase a beautiful ball gown, you need to use a hoop skirt or petticoat of some sort. Otherwise the dress can look very droopy and not like a ball gown should.
In Spanish you'll hear the word crinolina when referring to basically all types of these under skirts. That makes sense because originally crinoline is the name for the material used to make them. Nowadays the words crinolines and petticoats are used interchangeably but there are differences.
Crinolines are firm, stiff and usually with built in hoops. Petticoats are light, fluffy all layers of tulle, no hoops. Either can have an elastic or drawstring waistband. Also either can have a ribbon hem bottom, or a lace bottom, or a ruffly bottom or a simple hem. In my opinion crinolines/hoop skirts are best for ball gowns. Since ball gowns are full/floor length and heavier they need the hoops and unless you'll be lifting your dress, no one will see what's underneath so they don't need to be all fancy. Petticoats are best for shorter dresses or when you want to show what's underneath since petticoats are more frilly and come in a wide variety of colors.

Whenever I think of petticoats I think of dancers costumes for musical theater, like in West Side Story...

This is a great visual guide provided by Piggytiggy.com. They are located in Los Angeles, California and sell petticoats, crinolines and many other bridal related accessories. As you can see, for a quinceanera dress, you'll probably ignore the slim, a-line unless you want to keep the poof to a real minimum.


These are two other great sites that specialize in crinolines, hoop skirts and petticoats:

Pettiskirt Style


My Gowns

I hope this all helps, good luck with your shopping :)


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