Flashback Fashion: How to Style a Peasant Skirt

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Collage of four peasant skirt outfits

Peasant skirts were trending high in 2005 — so much so that our readers stocked up on them. But one year later we received this question:

Last summer I stocked up on cute peasant skirts.  They’re cute and flattering, but not as in style this season.  Are there any ways I can accessorize or change my skirts to make them more on trend for this year?

Back then, we suggested pairing her skirt with solid-colored tops, wide belts and espadrilles. That’s still a solid plan. But today, some 11 years later, we’d like to add to that advice by answering the over-arching question: how the heck do I style a peasant skirt? 

What to Wear with Your Peasant Skirt

Whether they’re trending or not, peasant skirts are difficult to style. They’re loose-fitting, unstructured and colorful — a trifecta that can squash all imagination and leave you boxed into pairing your skirt with a white t-shirt and flat-heeled sandals. That combination is a reliable choice, for sure – but *yawns* it can get a tad boring. To keep your peasant skirt outfits fresh and fun, we put together a big list of coordinating garments and accessories.

Tops

The length and shape of this skirt create a balance problem with many types of tops. As a general rule, pairing long, flowy bottoms with long, flowy tops will be unflattering. And tucking in your looser top won’t work either — you’ll end up with a nice, sexy bulge of fabric below your waist.

Instead, stick with casual, tops that follow the shape of your body. I say ‘casual’ because something like a button-down usually looks odd with this skirt style. Try these options:

  • Peplum top
  • Wide-strapped tank top
  • Embellished tank
  • Halter top
  • Layered tanks in different colors
  • For the bold: crop top
  • For the boho: off-shoulder, ruffled top with an elastic bottom hem. Add a wide belt if the ensemble looks too puffy.

woman wearing blue long skirt and ivory embellished tank top

Accessories

Peasant skirts work fabulously with natural jewelry. We’re talking woods, leather, stones, crystals, geodes—the stuff in that vein. Go with a chunky, beaded necklace if you’re wearing a simple tank top. But reach for a daintier jewelry style if you’ve paired the skirt with a ruffly top.

You can also try non-jewelry accessories:

  • Thick leather belt
  • Thin rope-style belt
  • Scarf
  • Straw hat
  • Outerwear, such as a denim jacket or cardigan

Shoes

The go-to shoe for a peasant skirt ensemble is the thong-style, flat-heeled sandal. But these skirts work equally well with gladiator sandals, slides and block heels. Just avoid a shoe that’s too formal, like an ankle-strap heel or a pump.

Putting it Together: 7 Peasant Skirt Outfits

  1. Embellished tank top + wide leather belt + block heel sandals
  2. Simple tank + denim jacket + gladiator sandals
  3. Off-shoulder top + dainty necklace + thin belt + slides
  4. Peplum top + stone bracelets + slides
  5. Two tanks layered + chunky necklace + flat sandals
  6. Straw hat + t-shirt + aviator sunnies + flat sandals
  7. Crop top + denim jacket + slides

Fun Facts About Peasant Skirts

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a few fun facts about this boho skirt style. According to VintageDancer.com, peasant skirts first became popular in the U.S. in the 1940s. These colorful, A-line designs were initially imported from Mexico. U.S. designers eventually borrowed from the Mexican designs and similar garment trends in South America, Hawaii and Australia to produce U.S.-made peasant skirts.

 

You also might like these:

  • A lot of women thought that wearing long peasant skirts will make them look old. Actually, these flouncy tiered skirts seem to reappear every summer and there are always some women, young and old who love to hold this look. Try to remember Sienna Miller’s long turn with this look.

  • I am a size 14 and have been told in no way can I wear a cinch belt. Well I’ve gone and bought one anyway, and guess what? It looks fab, so there!
    I’ve added the link for any other larger ladies that still want to look fashionable!
    http://www.thelatestthing.co.uk

    Hope it’s of interest
    Rachel