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Petticoats were originally for men.

I didn’t know that: Petticoats were originally for men.

I couldn’t find a picture and there is some disagreement about whether a jerkin was worn under or over a doublet. Or whether it is another term for a doublet. etc. But it interesting to think about.


From the Online Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., pety coote, lit. “a small coat,” from petty + coat. Originally a padded coat worn by men under armor, applied 1464 to a garment worn by women and young children. By 1590s, the typical feminine garment, hence a symbol of female sex or character.

From the Encyclopedia Britinnica

The petycote (probably derived from the Old French petite cote, “little coat”) appeared in literature in the 15th century in reference to a kind of padded waistcoat, or undercoat, worn for warmth over the shirt by men.

From Classic Encyclopedia

PETTICOAT, an underskirt, as part of a woman’s dress. The petticoat, i.e. ” petty-coat” or small coat, was originally a short. garment for the upper part of the body worn under an outer dress; in the Promptorium parvulorum the Latin equivalent is, tunicula. It was both a man’s and a woman’s garment, and was, in the first case worn as a small coat under the doublet, and by women apparently as a kind of chemise. It was, however, early applied to the skirt worn by women hanging from the waist, whether as the principal lower garment or as an underskirt. In the middle of the 17th century the wide breeches with heavy lace or embroidered ends worn by men were known as “petticoat breeches,” a term also applied to the loose canvas or oilskin overalls worn by fishermen.


Etymology From petty +‎ coat.


Singular – petticoat        Plural – petticoats

(historical) A tight, usually padded undercoat worn by men over a shirt and under the doublet.