Clothing

Petticoat Passion- A Comparison Blog!

Ever since I started dressing Pinup, I always LOVED petticoats and dreamed of having a rainbow of colours. It wasn’t until very recently (maybe the last 9-12 months) that I’ve really started collecting them. The reason for the change was my decision to start wearing them to work!

I used to have a fear that because the petticoats would widen my skirt, if I dropped or spilt hair colour, it was be more likely to stain my dress. However, I’m a believer in getting as much wear as possible out of my pretties- there’s no point buying gorgeous things if you are too scared to wear them!

So my obsession with having a matching petticoat began and over the last few months, my collection has really grown. I’ve been wanting to do a comparison blog post for a while now but wanted a few more brands and styles to try. Now I have 8 different petticoats to talk about so will give you a good idea of what each is like and what you might prefer.

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Some ladies prefer a more subtle look whereas I like them as full as they can get! Sometimes on a night out, I’ll even wear 2 of my poofiest ones together!

So without further ado, I present Petticoats for Pinups 101!

I choose to wear the Pinup Girl Havana Dress to help show the difference between with/without a petticoat as it’s one that really just hangs without one. The first photo in each set is the Havana on it’s own, no petticoat or anything else underneath.


Hell Bunny

One of the first petticoat’s I tried a few years ago. Initially I really liked this petticoat but I found that it lost it’s shape really easily and became very uneven at the bottom. I haven’t worn this mint one as much so it’s still in quite good shape, but my black one is almost unwearable now.

Hell Bunny Petticoat

Fit – Either XS-M, L-2XL and 3XL-5XL
Durability & Quality – Not great. The chiffon seems looses it’s shape easily resulting in a uneven look around the bottom.
Volume – Double layer chiffon but not quite as voluminous as Malco Modes or Vivien Of Holloway. Ideal for someone who likes a medium level of poof!
Comfort – Good, a soft chiffon material with minimal scratchiness. Not as soft as Malco Modes or Vivien Of Holloway but still very comfy.
Length – 25″ with adjustable waist band to approx 23″
Cost – Varies depending on retailer as Hell Bunny only sells wholesale. Prices seem to be around US$50.
Colour Selection – There are a ton of colours from past seasons, it just depends what each retailer is stocking.

Pinup Girl Clothing Madeline Dress

The Verdict?
These seem to be good for ladies on a budget who want a fluffy chiffon petticoat that’s still a little understated and not too crazy on the poof factor! They are really readily available and stocked A LOT in online stores around the world.
Personally, I wouldn’t buy any more Hell Bunny Petticoats as I’d rather spend the extra money to get a higher quality one that will last longer.


Vivien Of Holloway

The Vivien Of Holloway Petticoats have been a long standing favourite of mine for quite some time! I now own 5 different colours and love them all to bits!

Vivien Of Holloway Petticoat

Fit – One size fits all with heaps of stretch
Durability & Quality – Wonderfully durable, I’ve had my red one for years with no signs of wear and tear
Volume – The best in the business. Double layer for extra poof
Comfort – Like sitting on clouds. Absolutely no scratchiness, they are made out of a soft chiffon
Length – 26″ with adjustable waistband to shorten to approx 24″
Cost –£59 but if you are international, the UK tax comes off and brings them down to £49.17
Colour Selection – Selection can vary but at the moment there are 10 to choose from – Black, Peach, Dusky Pink, Purple, Light Blue, Teal, Navy and Pink

Miss Victory Violet

The Verdict?
Whilst these are one of the dearest of all the petticoats featured in this post, I do think that they are the best along with Malco Modes. I personally love the soft chiffon petti’s over stiffer ones, find these the perfect length and poofiness and love that they stay even along the bottom and don’t lose shape.
Plus they are fantastic for twirling in!


TaylorMade Custom Petticoats

A local New Zealander who custom makes all her petticoats! Because of this, you have the option to pick and choose various features for your petticoat!

One Layer

TaylorMAde 1 layer

Two Layer

TaylorMade 2 Layer

Fit – Perfect since they were made to my measurements!
Durability & Quality – Really good quality construction although the material is on the thinner side (which has it’s bonuses- it’s super light!) and I can imagine it could be susceptible to getting snagged.
Volume – Very minimal for the one layer, just enough to give stop the skirt from hanging limp. The two layer has great volume to it, similar to Hell Bunny and not quite as much as Vivien Of Holloway and Malco Modes.
Comfort – Made from soft chiffon netting, the texture is different to the chiffon of Malco Modes and Vivien of Holloway but still very soft and comfortable.
Length – Any length since they are custom made, mine are 27″
Cost – Single layer from $90 and two layer from $130 including postage within New Zealand
Colour Selection – 17 Colours to choose from!

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Miss Victory Violet

The Verdict?
TaylorMade Petticoats are a great option for those who might want something specific or a particular colour. Especially for those in New Zealand, it’s always good to support small, local businesses. These petticoats are well made and the two layer has a impressive amount of volume!
The only downside is that there is no adjustable waistband which I love HOWEVER, these petticoats are significantly lighter than say VoH or Malco Modes so you can roll the waistband easily and it will stay rolled better.


 That Shop

The only non-chiffon petticoat I own! This style and shape of petticoat has turned out to be a great wardrobe staple!

That Shop Petticoat

Fit – Good, nice and firm around my 27″ waist. They have 2 different sizes- one that is shorter and suitable for waists 24″ – 38″ and a longer one that is suitable for waists 28″ – 46″
Durability & Quality – Fantastic quality, made by the official suppliers for the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the Queensland Ballet
Volume – Great, even volume. A different shape to the rest of the petticoats here as it doesn’t have the added frill at the bottom so it fits under dresses a little better.
Comfort – A bit scratchy and a little sore to sit on for long periods of time! I recommend wearing a slip in between to help protect your skin.
Length – Either 25″ or 27″ from waist. No adjustable waistband unfortunately.
Cost – AU$99
Colour Selection – A small selection- just Red, White and Black.

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The Verdict?
A fantastic petticoat to have for those dresses that don’t have as much fullness in the skirt. Because this petticoat is the same volume and width the whole way down, it fits better under less full dresses. With the chiffon petticoats that have the added fluff at the bottom, this widens the bottom of the petticoat and means they don’t fit underneath some dresses. This petticoat is a great solution to this problem!
Whilst the comfort level isn’t high, I don’t mind it so much since it’s not a petticoat I wear all the time. A slip definitely helps make it a more bearable.


Malco Modes

Purely a manufacturer of petticoats, slips and pettipants, Malco Modes have a huge selection of different styles. These two are my pick of the bunch-

The Samantha

Malco Modes Petticoat

The Jennifer

MalcoModes Petticat

Fit – Perfect fit, I wear a size small. They come in S, M and L, catering up to a 52″ waist size.
Durability & Quality – Fantastic quality, on par with the Vivien Of Holloway ones. Made of soft nylon chiffon that holds it’s shape really well.
Volume – Very voluminous, exactly the way I like it!
Comfort – Absolutely no issues about comfort, the material is so soft and not scratchy at all.
Length – Either 26″ for the Samantha or 21″ for the Jennifer. Both have adjustable waistbands to shorten a extra 2 inches. The Jennifer is too short for most of my dresses as you get a strange overhang effect but the Samantha is perfect.
Cost – US$69 for the Samantha $US59 for the Jennifer 
Colour Selection – Lots of pretty colours! Much more selection for the Jennifer but that’s because they have only just released the Samantha. Malco Modes is likely to release more colours if there is demand.

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Miss Victory Violet

The Verdict?
Along with the Vivien of Holloway styles, these are my favourites! Not for the feint hearted as these are probably as voluminous as they come but they are such fun!
A great price and worth every penny as they will last forever if you take care of them.
They also have one of the best colour selections, especially if they expand the Samantha range. International shipping is pretty expensive so I would recommend ordering a few at the same time or combining a order with friends.


Lady V London

Lady V London recently released a new range of petticoats so I was keen to include them in this comparison!

Lady V London

Fit – I got a size small but I think a medium would have been better. The satin waistband has no stretch and isn’t that gathered so getting it on and off is a little tight. They come in S, M, L, XL and 2XL, catering up to dress size 28.
Durability & Quality – Fair quality, I think the chiffon might be a little susceptible to wear and tear, it’s quite similar to the Hell Bunny chiffon.
Volume – Medium Volume, once again, quite similar to Hell Bunny.
Comfort – Mildly scratchy but not too uncomfortable. The waist band is a little firm, a medium would probably be more comfy.
Length – 27″ non adjustable. There is also a 23″ available.
Cost – £35 for the 27″ and £30 for the 23″
Colour Selection – A great range! Multiple shades of pinks, purples and blues plus some less common colours like cinnamon and bronze.

Miss Victory Violet

The Verdict?
For UK residents, these petti’s are half the price of the Vivien of Holloway ones. If you are on a budget then these are perfect for you or perhaps you want something a little less full. The quality isn’t the same but some might not have issue with it especially for the price.

In Summary…

Petticoats are all about personal preference, hence why I’ve done this blog, to help you see the pros and cons- What I might see as a negative could be a positive for someone else!
I will always love my Vivien Of Holloway and Malco Modes petti’s, to me they are perfect! The That Shop one is a great one to have in the wardrobe and the TaylorMade Petticoats are so light and comfortable and a great option if I need a very specific colour and length.
If you have a limited budget to spend, then give Lady V London or Hell Bunny a go- just be careful not to hook your heels into them accidentally and be gentle with them to avoid messing up the chiffon.

Petticoat’s are so much fun and so addictive. Now when I look back at photos without me wearing one underneath a swing skirt, it looks so flat and boring! I might have 16 colours but I still crave more….

x Miss Victory Violet

23 replies »

  1. Great review! A few suppliers I haven’t heard of too! Definitely agree with the issue of Hell Bunny losing shape over time. I would highly recommend Pettiskirt Style – in my opinion these are of equal quality to the Malco Modes and V of H! And they have every colour of the rainbow, a range of sizes and adjustable waists and every possible length too! Even the non-chiffon crinolines are awesome – non scratchy and with the bonus that you can customise the trim colour and have different colour layers to get all sorts of rainbow and mulit colour effects. xx

  2. I’ve got a Bettie Paige petticoat I got from a UK site called Call Me Betty before they stopped selling clothes in favour of vintage swimwear only. Sad times! It’s absolutely wonderful – so soft and fluffy and very very puffy, I wear it a lot and it’s fairing very well. It was reduced to £50 when I got it and that was right at the top end of my budget for such an undergarment. I’m in the market for another colour and looking at your fabulous review it looks like Malcolm Modes will be the way for me to go. Thank you so much!

  3. Adore 🙂 I am slowly getting a collection . I am away to London in June with my Wonderful Granma and we are visiting vivienne of Holloway cannot wait 🙂

  4. Great review – thank you Miss VV! Just a question about storing your petticoats – how do you keep them in shape, without losing their poof? I have just purchased my first petticoat and realized I didn’t know what to do to store it!

  5. Sam’s Petticoats (the ones VoH sell) are amazing! A little tip for UK ladies, a website called Wagtails Dancewear sell the Sams 835 (VoH) for £49.95 but only have black, white and red. Like yourself I’m not dreadfully keen on the Hell Bunny petticoats either!

  6. Ooh I would love one like this but I create my own wardrobe and I creates 1 petit skirt unthil now… but it is not that what I have expected to be, I need an other way to make them. But that is still a work of looking and searching for the best model.

  7. Love this! You always leave such thorough reviews/insight! I have a few Hellbunny ones and you’re right, they do seem to lose their oomph after awhile. I will def be trying Malco Modes for my next one!

  8. Thank you for the review, very helpful 🙂 Love to also see the different colours that you manage to wear with all your lovely outfits.

  9. Ella, Thank you so much for this review! It is super helpful. I have wanted petticoats for a long time, and you inspired to get on with making it a reality. Recently, I realised that my VoH petticoats are Sam’s. Thank you, Elaine, for the tip on buying them at a cheaper price. However, I already own black (VoH), red (That Shop/PW Dancewear and VoH) and white (Malco Modes and Lady V London). Has anyone seen Sam’s elsewhere? Cheers 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I’ve done a lot of searching in the past and found the price to be very similar across all stockists. I think that because of the amount and quality of the fabric involved, you won’t find them any cheaper!
      I’d suggest waiting till big sale days at Vivien of Holloway like Black Friday and buy up then x

  10. Hi there 🙂 I was wondering, do the petticoats you buy have a certain shape? I’m new to buying petticoats, and have come across two different shapes- “a line” and “bell.” Not sure which to get. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you! ~Diana

  11. Thank you so much for doing this, and giving such descriptive reviews! I’ve just started to get into some retro styles, and was looking for a comfortable, fluffy petticoat to wear with one of my dresses, and was struggling to find what my best options were, when I stumbled across your blog post. After reading your reviews, I ended up ordering a malco modes one off of PUG’s website, when they had their labor day sale, and it’s as comfortable and wonderfully fluffy as I hoped it would be!

    It also prompted me to follow your blog, as you really review amazingly well (and your photos are lovely to look at!) Thank you, again!

  12. I know this is an older post, but I have a question. Do you find that the waistband of your petticoats adds just a smidge too much unwanted bulk under snug bodices? Even though they have a smooth panel below the waist band, I still find that the elastic waist of my petticoats adds that Extra layer of fabric and so I don’t find the waits of my dresses sit and stay snuggle where they should.

    • Hi, i only have that problem if the dress isn’t very full… Perhaps try moving the waistband of the Petticoat down a tad and make sure that the elastic is lying flat inside the lining and isn’t twisted x

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