Petticoat (magazine)

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EditorJanet Street-Porter, Terry Hornett
CategoriesTeen and young women's magazine
Unpaid circulation5,000,000 (est.)
FounderAudrey Slaughter
First issue19 February 1966
Final issue10 May 1975
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inLondon
OCLC number751551647

Petticoat was a British weekly magazine for young women which was published from 1966 - the height of the Swinging Sixties - until 1975, in London by Fleetway/IPC, printed in 40 page issues by Eric Bemrose in Long Lane, Liverpool.


Launched by Honey magazine founder Audrey Slaughter[1] and subtitled 'For the young and fancy free' on its original masthead, Petticoat responded to the emergence of a more liberal teenager and young woman.[2] From 9-Sep-1967, it absorbed Trend, renaming itself Petticoat/Trend until it dropped the latter name about a year later. By this time, its slogan had changed to 'The New Young Woman’.

The magazine offered fiction, popular culture, fashion news featuring labels like Biba, Mary Quant, Foale & Tuffin[3] and Bus Stop, and advice on love, sex, healthy eating, hair, and make-up, with plenty of full-colour photographs and Pop style monochrome line illustrations and typography. Petticoat promoted the Mod fashion of 'Swinging London'.[4]


From the early seventies Petticoat's 'agony aunt'[5] was Claire Rayner whose advice on masturbation and promiscuity caused controversy,[6] and who responded;

"Just what is sex education? I can tell you first what I think it is not - and I base these judgments on the letters I handle each year (upwards of 5,000 of them) from the adolescents who write to Petticoat Magazine."[7]

Significant contributors[edit]

Other Petticoat contributors included Annie Nightingale,  Maggie Goodman, Lynne Franks (supposedly the model for Edina, played by Jennifer Saunders, in the TV series Absolutely Fabulous),[8][9][10] Jane Ennis, Chris Ward (later editor of the Daily Express), Eve Pollard (who later edited the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Express before launching Aura) and Janet Street-Porter[11][12] who was appointed editor in 1967 and who had close links to the designer Zandra Rhodes amongst others.


With the format of a cheaper supermarket tabloid its lifespan mirrored that of more stylish names of the time including Biba and Nova magazines which also folded in 1975. Petticoat was absorbed by Hi (published by City magazines) 17-May-1975 but that also discontinued with its last issue of 3-Jul-1976, as television continued making inroads into the magazine market.


  1. ^ World Who's Who of Women 1992-93, Volume 11, Taylor & Francis, 1992
  2. ^ Kaminer, Wendy (1994-04-10). Women, Passion and Celibacy. In The New York Times Book Review. p168.
  3. ^ Iain R. Webb (2009) Foale and Tuffin: the sixties : a decade in fashion. Publ.ACC. p.189
  4. ^ Anderson, Paul (2013). Mods : the new religion : the style and music of the 1960s Mods. London Omnibus
  5. ^ Rayner, C. (1972). (c) Plugging the Gap. The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 92(5), 251-254.
  6. ^ "Obituary, Claire Rayner". London: Daily Telegraph. 12 October 2010.
  7. ^ Ripley, G. D. (1973). Sex education--whose baby?. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 66(3), 267.
  8. ^ Come Dine With Me, 2010
  9. ^ Martin, Katherine (2001). Women of Spirit: Stories of Courage from the Women Who Lived Them, p.35, New World Library. ISBN 1-57731-149-3
  10. ^ Tonkin, Cindy (2002). Consulting mastery: the ability myth : when being good is not enough, p. 43, Aragon Gray Pty Ltd. ISBN 978-1-875889-37-2
  11. ^ Street-Porter, Janet (2004). Baggage : my childhood Headline Book Publishing, London, UK
  12. ^ Franks, Lynne (1998). Absolutely now! : a futurist's journey to her inner truth (1st ed). Overlook Press, Woodstock, N.Y