The soft, fluid fabric of cotton gauze and bright middle-Eastern prints of peasant skirts were quintessential hippie wear. With the allure of ethnic looks infiltrating mainstream fashion, Batik patterns, gauze skirts, and bell ties left their homes in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia to travel west.
Peasant skirts were called as such for the long, ankle-length cut of a gathered skirt. This style was common in most countries, a wardrobe for working women—that is, women who were not privileged enough to have a servant dress them in more fanciful clothes. The skirt was easily hitched up into the waistband if trudging through mud, it could form a pocket if picking vegetables, or it could be wrapped through the legs for a pant style when stomping grapes like Lucy.
The hippie movement embraced all of the exotic stylings of the peasant skirt for its ethnicity, comfort and ease of wear. The neo-hippie movement of the 90’s returned the peasant skirt to the world of grunge. Bell ankle bracelets, bare feet, and a peasant skirt—even more than three decades later, nothing says hippie better.