Fabric was scarce, decoration was sacrificed, and clothes looked drab. Wartime rationing required the best utilization of fabrics and construction for clothes, and the dirndl skirt was one fashion-friendly result. The simple, gathered skirt of a dirndl became a popular casual style dress when done in colorful and wildly decorative cotton prints.
A style popular with peasant skirts, and thought to have originated from the Austrian Tyrolean costume, the dirndl skirt was a full-cut style that did not waste fabric. A dirndl skirt was a long rectangle of fabric slightly gathered at the waist and sewn onto a flat waistband. The skirt needed little cutting and shaping because the gathers at the waist created the fit, allowing for a slightly full skirt. Both girls and moms wore the dirndl style skirt in a show of patriotism.