No 50’s girl’s afternoon would have been complete without hours of sitting on the floor, her skirt pooling around her in a big circle, dreamily listening to Bobby Darin records. This activity was as important as hanging upside down on a chair while talking on the phone, or custom crafting a poodle skirt for the weekend sock hop.
Circle skirts were giant circles of fabric with a center space for your waist. Once enshrouded in the large ring, the skirt could be worn softly draped, or with layers of crinolines underneath for a full look. They were mid-calf length, and always secured with a wide belt to showcase the smallness of the waist.
They were perfect for all that sock-hopping going on: poodle skirts were circle skirts with the addition of felt or embroidered decorations (most commonly poodles). To achieve this full look, layers of petticoats or crinolines were worn underneath to make the skirt stand out from the body.
The swoosh of a circle skirt rustling up against crinoline was the most recognizable sound of the 50’s—if it wasn’t drowned out by the shrill cries of the girls when Bobby sang.