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 so-called 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.