The Poodle Skirt of the 1950s

During the 1950s, a big fashion craze was popular – known as the ‘poodle skirt’. You may or may not have heard of it but if you had ancestors (grandmothers, mothers, aunts, cousins) lived during the 1950s as young ladies or adults, – they knew of poodle skirts.

The birth of these circle skirts creating volume were worn with layers of petticoats started in 1947 by Juli Lynne Charlot from California. She cut a large circle from a piece of wool felt and then cut another smaller circle in the middle for the waist. Next she stitched on appliques also of wool felt. She wanted to make these available to the public and each with a theme. Her first retail ones had a Christmas theme. Then she did dog themes (mostly dachshunds), then poodles. They were very popular in the shops she sold them to companies who wanted to do this skirts in mass production.

Being so easy to make, many were also made from patterns by ladies in their own homes with their own designs requiring 2-4 yards. Not just poodles were the added designs but flowers, leaves, fruit, birds, flamingos, hot rod cars, music records, etc. Other fabrics were used in making the skirts, silk, cotton and poplin. The skirts reach to the knee or just below and were most popular with teenage girls.

Check the family photos, you just might see a few of these circle skirts / poodle skirts worn.

Photo: Classic 1950s poodle skirt.

Related Blogs:

1950 Census

Childhood Candies of the 1950s

Your Parents and the Cocktail Party in the 1950s

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