Petticoats always were meant to be barely seem and sometimes heard. But in their latest revival, they are pretty enough to take the place of skirts. As a welcome alternative to strictly classic clothes during warm weather, they sometimes peek from below the hem to soften the tailored look. These natural successors to the lacy, sensuous underwear that has been so successful recently, characteristically have eyelet-trimmed ruffles and tiers which get their crispness from cotton and cotton blends.

From left, Gil Aimbez updates the petticoat for Genre in dacron and cotton tiers of embroidered eyelet paired with a blouse with capelet sleeves. It's pretty enough to be an informal wedding dress, from Hecht's (blouse $48, skirt $68).

Little girls get the lace-trimmed look from Stick Togethers by Ruth Scarf in white kettlecloth, ideal poking out from under a big skirt or worn independently. In girls sizes 7-14, from Garfinckel's ($22).

Drawstring cotton camisole by Barbara. Barbara is also from Garfinckel's. (Camisole $12, petticoat $20).

Fernando Sanchez pairs up a tie-front, lace-trimmed camisole with mid-calf length, full-flounce petticoat - designed to wear under, yet bound to show up on its own as a party dress. At Dolly Kay Boutique (camisole $30, petticoat $80).

Victorian corset cover has inspired an all-cotton top teamed up with ruffle-trimmed shorts, by American Climax; at La Strega (top $20, shorts $15).