The Non-Frumpy Way to Wear a Peasant Skirt

If you grew up in the ’70s, you probably owned a peasant skirt. These flouncy tiered skirts seem to resurface every summer, and there’s always a handful of 40 +women who love to embrace this gypsy look. The problem? Peasant skirts can often make a mature woman look frumpy. Here’s how to style a peasant skirt, so you don’t look dated.

frumpy tiered skirt

1. Don’t Hide behind a Peasant Skirt

Some women think that just like sweatshirts and mumus, peasant skirts are a great way to hide a big stomach or an overweight bottom half. After all, these skirts are big, loose, and comfortable. But in reality, peasant skirts just make big women look bigger. They don’t hide pounds. In fact, all the tiers and flounce add extra weight exactly where you don’t want it, around your middle and hips. You definitely want to avoid peasant skirts if you have a big tummy or heavy bottom half.

If you are slim, not too short, and adore this look ( it resonates with your carefree flower child soul), then proceed with caution by going for a  less flouncy skirt-no extra material at each tier.

2. Get the Right Length

Peasant skirts can also be unflattering when they end at the widest part of your leg, right at mid-calf. You start looking short and dumpy in such a long loose skirt that cuts you off in the middle of your lower leg. Wearing your skirt just below the knee or just a touch above or at the ankle is more flattering.

2. Make your Peasant Skirt the Starting Point for an Entire Outfit

A peasant skirt has a dreamy boho quality to it, so it’s not good to wear it with any old thing you have hanging around your closet. This type of skirt looks best when you put some thought into your outfit and create an entire look that sets a mood. Make sure your top, shoes, bag, and accessories all communicate a laid-back, creative vibe that goes with the skirt. Don’t wear anything stiff, tailored, or boxy with your peasant skirt.

3. Proportion is Key

This is a biggie. The rule is you are wearing something wide on the bottom; you need to wear something more fitted up top. A wide flowy peasant skirt looks best with a close-fitting top like a tank or a wrap top, and not something big, loose, and blousy, or with too much flounce. When you wear wide on top and wide on the bottom, you end up looking look heavy and wide. No loose peasant blouses with a peasant skirt, or you’ll look 70’s retro.

As for necklines,  a scoop neck or v-neck is much more flattering and slimming than a crew neck. It will open up your chest and reveal more skin, make you look longer and leaner in a peasant skirt.

4. Don’t Wear your Skirt too Low

You’ve probably seen this on some women, and it looks really sloppy. If you have a slim, flat tummy, you are fine to wear your skirt a little lower or to wear a wide low hip belt, but when you have a tummy, a low skirt or belt looks horrible. It emphasizes your gut and makes you look super fat and frumpy. Avoid this look!

wrap peasant skirt


5. Your Peasant Skirt Doesn’t Have to be Tiered

Peasant skirts have evolved since the ’70s, and while there are still tiered peasant skirts out there that women wear ( floral has always been most popular), they will also find other variations that look more modern and can also be more flattering. For example, a flat front peasant skirt with a single ruffle at the bottom, or a wrap style peasant skirt, or a high low hem peasant skirt.


striped peasant skirt



Different prints can make peasant skirts more modern, too like this tiered peasant skirt that has stripes instead of a traditional floral print.


peasant skirt with white booties


6. Wear Cute Shoes

Peasant skirts draw the eye down, so it’s important to wear really cute shoes with your skirt. You can wear pretty flat sandals or slides, or a block heel sandal, or even a finer heeled sandal). Even a pair of ankle booties can look really cute with a maxi dress. Shoes to stay away from – ugly, chunky heavy, practical walking sandals – such a dowdy look!

7. Try Adding a Jacket

You can also experiment with a cute denim jacket, a casual, soft 3/4 length sleeve jacket, or a jacket with pushed-up sleeves to make it chicer. Even a button-up shirt worn open over a tank top and peasant skirt is a nice look. A button-up cardigan is worn with a peasant skirt looks dowdy.

White peasant skirt worn by mature woman walking on the beach with her husband.


Final Note

Peasant skirts look best worn on a sun holiday in Mexico, the Caribbean, or for a cruise when you are walking barefoot by the ocean or dancing by the pool. They can look dated and frumpy if you wear them while walking around a big city or even out to the mall. They’re really a vacation look. Save your peasant skirt for your beach holiday.

Do you have ideas for how to wear a peasant skirt?  Let me know.


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12 thoughts on “The Non-Frumpy Way to Wear a Peasant Skirt

  1. I wear maxi skirts year round, some tiered and gypsy style, others either fishtail or gathered. I wear them for the same reason Frida Kahlo did – I have scars on my legs from an accident, and trousers really don’t suit my shape. I wear my long skirts with boots in winter or feminine sandals in summer; fitted top; semi-fitted jacket (no cardigans!), and I get a lot of compliments. I don’t own a pair of jeans, trousers or leggings. And I’m 74 years old, and glad to look like what I am – a free spirit! I guess you could say this is my signature look, and it works for me.

  2. Wear what you want and skip the “advice” no matter how well meaning, especially for clothing after office hours. You only live once: be happy in your own skin and who really cares if someone thinks a skirt is dated.

  3. I think that peasant skirts can deff great if you have the right one. A simple top with a colorful skirt can make a super cute outfit.

  4. I think peasant skirts work for any age,it depends on how you put the outfit together. Don’t let people tell you it looks old. I disagree. I am a hairstylist and its all about attitude. I think you can look great and not dated NO MATTER how old you are….

  5. Hi,

    I think that peasant skirts can work for over 40 depending on the body frame of the person, the top the are wearing, etc. It really doesn’t have to look costumey and they are really comfortable skirts to wear. Don’t write them off.

      1. What is In is a person’s individual style!
        IMO Peasants skirts when accessorized properly, have never gone out of style! Keep on keepin’ on and wear what you want to wear and wear it proudly. A 54 year young woman.

      2. Not everyone wants to wear minis like you, Deborah. I think the readers have made that clear. Some might even say that minis have had their day, so we should move on, especially after a certain age.

        1. Hi A, Thanks for dropping by. Fashion is about choice and I feel that you should wear a length that is flattering to your body, and that you feel good in. Long peasant skirts can look great if you style them in a modern way keeping proportion and that in mind so you don’t look frumpy. I have a lot of tips here to help with that styling so you look updated. I don’t wear minis, but I do wear a range of skirt lengths from a few inches above the knee to a few inches below. I don’t let my age dictate my style. I base it on how I look and how I feel in something, as well if the outfit is appropriate for the occasion. All this is more important than my age which is just a number. Style is ageless. Cheers, Deb

  6. I just chanced across your blog in my search for an appealing look for my 40’s. I can no longer show my knees as they resemble those of an elephant… not so much when I’m sitting… but when I stand and gravity (who is my mortal enemy) takes hold AND since my stomach has never quite been the same since my three lovely daughters were born.. and in fact resembles a crumpled up lunch bag if the world were to give it a peek… I have exiled myself to stodgy tan cotton capri’s and shirts with a matching strip. (not unlike the ones my Grandmother used to wear)

    But yet…. I dream of something more. I am soooooo tired of settling for old lady clothes because they are the only thing that won’t cause passer’s by to run screaming out of my path. BUT I DON’T FEEL OLD… I want to look great! IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK (I say shaking my fist to the gods that have cursed me with a tall ungainly … and now aging… figure)

    Thank you for your time… keep up the good work.

    Over 40 and loving life…. if not accessorizing well….

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