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in modern usage, an underskirt worn by women. 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. The petticoat developed as a piece of women's apparel-a skirt worn under an overgown-at the end of the Middle Ages. By the beginning of the 16th century, the overgown had an inverted V opening, and the petticoat, now visible, was brocaded or embroidered