How to Wear Poodle Skirts


Poodle skirts are fun clothing items that many people wear to revive the 1950s. Made of felt material cut in a wide-swing pattern, these skirts typically have French poodle designs in the front. Although these skirts also featured other designs, such as flowers and flamingos, the poodle pattern is the most memorable from that era.

Things You'll Need

  • Poodle skirt
  • Ruffle petticoat or slip
  • White canvas lace shoes
  • White bobby socks
  • Neck scarf that matches the color of the skirt
  • Wear a ruffled petticoat or slip under the skirt to make it poof out. A slip with a drawstring waist and at least two tiers of ruffles will have the best effect. See a photo of an undergarment at Bad Fads Museum (see Resources below).

  • Situate the skirt so that the poodle design is in the front but off-center, rather than placed in the center.

  • Wear a short-sleeved blouse that can complement the skirt. If the skirt is dark in color, then a white or light-colored blouse will look nice. If the skirt is pastel colored, then match it with a black blouse.

  • Tie a scarf around your neck so that the ends of the scarf hang down, as shown at (see Resources below). The color of the scarf should match the color of the poodle skirt.

  • Wear a pair of white, canvas lace-up shoes with a pair of white bobby socks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although poodle skirts were mostly worn by girls and teenagers in the 1950s, do not let age stop you from donning this skirt today, especially if you're getting dressed up for a themed occasion.
  • Saddle shoes can be worn instead of white canvas shoes. See what saddle shoes look like at (see Resources section).
  • Some poodle skirts have elastic waist bands. If your skirt has loops for a belt, then a black belt should be worn with it.
  • Although many types of vintage clothing have been brought back to mainstream fashion, poodle skirts are not usually worn for everyday occasions. Rather, it is best to save them for costume parties.
  • Make sure the skirt's hem falls at about mid-calf. It will look awkward if it's too short, and a skirt that is too long will hinder your walking and dancing.
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