Poodle skirts were sort of a regional fad. They were more popular in the Northeast. Here in the Southeast, circle skirts were usually reserved for dances and other such occasions when petticoats were necessary to make them stand out.
For more casual wear, Southern girls wore straight or A-line skirts with their sweaters and loafers. It was kind of like doo-wop music. Kids down here listened to country and rockabilly. Doo-wop was much more popular in the Northeast.
Poodle skirts in particular and circle skirts in general are iconic of 50s fashion, but it depended on where you were in the USA as to what the teen girls wore.