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A poodle skirt is a wide swing felt skirt of a solid bright bold color (often pink and powder blue) displaying a design appliquéed or transferred to the fabric. The design was often a coiffed French poodle. Later substitutes for the poodle patch included flamingos, flowers, and hot rod cars. Hemlines were to the knee or just below it.
The skirt originated in the 1950s in the United States, designed by Juli Lynne Charlot. It quickly became very popular with teenage girls, who wore them at sock hops (school dances), and as everyday wear. The skirt was easy and fun for people to make at home, since the design was simple and the materials easily available. Movie stars commonly wore this skirt, and it featured widely in magazines and advertising, and many were eager to keep up with Hollywood's fashions, adding to its popularity.
The poodle skirt remains one of the most memorable symbols of 1950s Americana and is frequently worn as a novelty retro item, part of a nostalgic outfit. A similar design of these skirts became popular in the years 2009-2010. The skirts have been shortened, and the band has stayed.
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