Blue Clouds [Banned Petticoat Review]

I’ve tried a fair few petticoats over the last few years. My main concern when wearing them is achieving top volume with minor discomfort. That translates to a willingness to wear a slightly stiff petticoat if it gives me great volume, as long as it’s not scratchy, and a likeliness of overlooking a super soft petticoat if that softness subtracts from the puff power.

My ultimate petticoat find has been the Malco Modes Jennifer petticoat, which has great medium volume and 120 yards of perfectly soft nylon chiffon. Saying that, though, the only let-down of the Jennifer is that it maxes out at 23 inches long. Many of my dresses are 26 inches or longer, necessitating a bit of wiggling so that I wear my Jennifer down around my hips, rather than at my waist, to make it long enough. It works well enough as a stop-gap measure, but I’ve been looking for a soft, reasonably priced petticoat at a longer length to negate this practice.

Enter Banned.

When I visited the Banned booth at London Edge earlier this year I was surprised and delighted to feel how soft their petticoats are. I made a mental note to get my hands on one to give a whirl, but since Banned is a wholesale only brand (they don’t sell direct themselves,) I don’t always find it easy to track down their pieces.

A little searching lead me to StarletVintage.co.uk, which stocks a variety of colours and lengths of the Banned petticoats.

Dancing Days by Banned petticoat Dancing Days by Banned petticoatDancing Days by Banned petticoatDancing Days by Banned petticoat

Petticoat: 25 inch Luxury Petticoat by Banned
Dress: Marilyn Monroe Reproduction dress by Blueberry Hill Fashions
Shoes: Red Faux Suede Ballet Flats by F&F at Tesco
Cardigan: Old season Primark
Brooch: Red Poppy Field by Erstwilder

This petticoat is just as soft as I remember it being when I touch-tested it at Edge, only slightly less soft than my Holy Grail Jennifer petticoat from Malco Modes, so I’m thrilled with that. It’s also a gorgeous shade of blue that I’ve been massively drawn to lately, so just looking at it makes me happy. (What? That’s not weird, shut up.)

Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than a tight petticoat waistband digging into my stomach at the end of a long day travelling or after a particularly large meal with friends, so I decided to get the XL-XXL sized for 16-18 waists. It was a good thing too, because I found this to be a firm waistband which feels tighter than some of my size 12-14 petticoats that obviously must have more stretch. After some wear, though, it did ease up some and I no longer find it as tight as I did when I first wore it.

I chose the 25 inch length petticoat of all the lengths Banned offers. The length is actually a little closer to 26.5 inches, but the waistband has 3 tracks available for threading the elasticated waistband through to alter the length of the petticoat to your needs. It’s super easy to move the elastic up or down amongst the 3 runs, and it means you’ve got the option to wear this petticoat at the shortest length of around 24 inches long and the longest length of roughly 26.5.

All you have to do is unfasten the button of the elastic in the waistband (accessible through a small hole in the waistband track on the right hand side of the waist,) fasten a large safety pin to the end of it to make it easier to keep hold, and thread the elastic through whichever run you want for your desired length. Fasten the button again and remove the safety pin, and doneso, you’ve got the perfect length petticoat!

My petticoat was on sale for £23 when I bought it, regularly priced £29.99 RRP, so if you’re on a budget these Banned petticoats make a brilliant addition to your pinup wardrobe.

Custom Made with Violets In May

Violets In May is an Etsy shop offering custom made vintage inspired pieces. Everything is designed and made in England by mega-babe owner Lola Diamond, pinup model and confetti lucite addict. Her store is perhaps best known for her kick-ass playsuits, offered in a variety of wonderful fun prints, but she also offers slinky lurex pencil dress, voluminous gathered skirts and a selection of beautiful structured tops. I’ve been following the store for a while but somehow had yet to order anything, until noticing a recent post of the Brittany playsuit being offered in a new green tribal print fabric.

I was sold.

I’ve developed a big thing of late of tribal print fabrics, so I cyber-surfed over to the Etsy store immediately to see if this fabric was available on any other listings. After a bit of perusing, I messaged Lola to ask if it was possible to have a skirt made in this fabric.

Lola’s communication and customer service is swift and friendly, so she instantly toldme I could custom order a piece in any of her fabrics. We discussed what style and volume I wanted in my skirt, she let me know the price, and within minutes my custom listing was up for purchase. It really couldn’t have been any easier–or quicker, actually, which makes a wonderful change from dealing with larger companies whose customer service departments are so inundated that it can easily take a day (or several) for anyone to get back to you. With Lola, I just had to leave a note upon check out letting her know my waist measurement and everything was sorted.

Violets in May custom made Green Tribal Gathered Skirt Violets in May custom made Green Tribal Gathered Skirt Violets in May custom made Green Tribal Gathered Skirt Violets in May custom made Green Tribal Gathered Skirt Violets in May custom made Green Tribal Gathered Skirt Violets in May custom made Green Tribal Gathered Skirt Violets in May custom made Green Tribal Gathered SkirtViolets in May custom made Green Tribal Gathered Skirt

Skirt: Green Tribal Print skirt custom made by Violets In May
Top: Alika blouse by Tatyana
Shoes: White Laser cut wedges by F&F at Tesco
Bangles: Splendette woven bamboo bangle & assorted others

When my skirt arrived 3 weeks later it was genuinely perfect. I’d essentially asked for it to be the same style as her This Old Town skirt, so it’s a handmade cotton gathered skirt measuring the 26 inches in length I’d asked for and custom made to my waist measurements. It fit perfectly, which you might think would be a given of a custom order, but I’ve definitely had experiences in the past when a custom made item has turned up and been too roomy for me. Since this material is cotton with no stretch, it’s even more important that it’s properly sized, so colour me happy over the fit.

All the stitching and handiwork is neat and clean, which, once again, you might assume should be an automatic requirement of anyone offering custom made clothing services, but, yes, I’ve received some messy custom pieces in the past (and they were more expensive than this skirt for a similar item, just to add insult to injury.)

This style of skirt costs £60 from Violets in May, but they do offer other full skirts in different volumes and styles, with prices varying from £40-£60. Wiggle skirts are also available, alongside her famous playsuits, structured tops and a plethora of dresses, all offered in an array of colours and prints. The question is, what shall I order next??