What is the difference between a Pettiskirt and a Tutu?

Many of our clients ask what the difference is between skirts and tutus, so we thought we’d give you a quick rundown.

As a general rule of thumb, tutus are generally made from a stiffer material, such as tulle. Tulle comes in varying degrees of softness. Stiff tulle is what is used in the classic ballerina tutu. Children’s tutus generally have a somewhat softer tulle, but still on the stiffer side. However, tutus are sometimes described as “soft baby tulle”, in which case they are softer and not a true tulle material, but a transparent material. Depending on how many layers a tutu has, it can be translucent. If this is the case, you may want your child to wear it over a leotard, shorts, or leggings. Generally, tutus with two layers will definitely need an undergarment. Three layers of tulle in light colors, such as white, may also need one. Tutus generally come in a miniskirt. Classically, tutus have little decoration except around the waist of the tutu. However, toddler girls tutus come with all sorts of decorations, such as small flowers, a larger floral accent, or petals within the tuck of the tutu.

Pettiskirts are generally softer than tutus. They are made of several layers of different materials. Pettiskirts tend to have around three layers of material. The top layer of the pettiskirt can be made of various materials. These can be satin, lace, or any lightweight material. The second layer can be the same material as the top or a soft tulle. The bottom layer is usually a satin material for comfort. All layers have a tulle ruffle trim at the bottom to give the skirt a very roomy look. Pettiskirts generally do not require an undergarment such as a leotard, as they are not see-through. However, during colder weather, leggings with a pair of boots are an adorable look for youngsters. Pettiskirts come in various lengths. They can be up to the miniskirt or up to the middle of the calf.

The fitting of both pettiskirts and tutus is quite simple. Both petticoats and tutus have elastic waists for a comfortable fit and will grow with your child. The main concern would be the length. Most manufacturers will offer one size for tutus, but may offer two sizes for pettiskirts.

Pettiskirts and tutus care is pretty straightforward. Spills can usually be cleaned up with water. If you need a good wash, we recommend using a gentle cycle in cold water. For the most part, you can just throw them in the wash with the rest of your clothes, but if you’re looking for extra shelf life, we recommend the gentle cycle.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on an outfit, try our outfit design tool. Whatever you choose, either one should delight your little one.