The Non-Frumpy Way to Wear a Peasant Skirt

If you grew up in the ’70s, you probably owned a peasant skirt. These long, tiered, flouncy skirts seem to resurface every summer, and a handful of 40 women always 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, 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 oversized, loose, and comfortable. But in reality, peasant skirts don’t hide pounds. All those tiers and flounces add extra weight exactly where you don’t want it: around your waist and hips. They are not the best choice if you have a large stomach or heavy bottom half.

2. Get the Right Length

Peasant skirts can also be unflattering when they end at the broadest part of your leg, right at mid-calf. You can look short and dumpy in such a long, loose skirt that cuts you off in the middle of your lower leg. Wear your dress just below the knee or touch above or at the ankle. High-low peasant skirts are shorter at the front and longer at the back, a modern and youthful way to wear a peasant skirt.

2. Go with the Boho Vibe

A peasant skirt has a carefree boho quality and looks great with tops, shoes, bags, and accessories that are soft, casual, laid back, and natural-looking to go with your skirt. Avoid anything stiff, tailored, or boxy with your peasant skirt, like a blazer.

3. Proportion is Key

This is a biggie. The rule is that when you wear something full on the bottom, you must wear something more fitted on top. A wide, flowy peasant skirt suits a tank, a wrap top, or a fitted tee, not something big, loose, and blousy or that has too much frill. When you wear loose and wide on top and wide on the bottom, you look heavy and wide. If you want a soft peasant blouse with your skirt, tuck it in and belt it.

Cropped tops are popular to wear with tiered maxi skirts.  Create a cropped look by knotting a t-shirt, or wear a classic button-up shirt tied at the waist, with the sleeves rolled up and your collar popped,

As for necklines,  a scoop neck, off-the-shoulder, or V-neckline is much more flattering than a crew neck. It opens up your chest and reveals more skin, making you look longer and leaner in a peasant skirt.

4. Don’t Wear your Skirt too Low

Have you ever seen a low-slung peasant skirt on a woman with a large stomach? It looks sloppy since it emphasizes her gut and makes her look heavy and frumpy. Avoid this look!


wrap peasant skirt


5. Try a Hi-Low Peasant Skirt

Peasant skirts have evolved since the ’70s, and many new styles make them look more current and hip.  For example, if you don’t like all those tiers, try a wrap-style peasant skirt, a peasant skirt with a single ruffle at the bottom, or a high-low hem peasant skirt.


striped peasant skirt



Different prints can make peasant skirts more modern, like this tiered peasant skirt with stripes instead of a traditional floral pattern.


peasant skirt with white booties


6. Wear Cute Shoes

Peasant skirts draw the eye down, so wearing adorable shoes with your dress is essential. You can wear pretty flat sandals or slides, a block heel sandal, or even a finer-heeled sandal). Even a pair of ankle booties can look cute with a maxi dress. Shoes to stay away from – ugly, chunky, heavy, practical walking sandals – a shabby look!

7. Knot your Shirt at the Waist

Wear a shirt over a slim-fitting tee and then tie the shirt at the waist to create shape and definition.

8. 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 is worn open over a tank top, and a peasant skirt is a nice look. A button-up cardigan is worn with a peasant skirt that looks dowdy.


Final Note

Peasant skirts look best worn on a sun holiday in Mexico or the Caribbean or for a cruise when 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 shopping. Save your peasant skirt for a casual summer get-together or your beach holiday.

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


Visited 17,256 times, 7 visit(s) today
Join the Conversation

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 my trousers don’t suit my shape. I wear my long skirts with boots in winter or feminine sandals in summer; a fitted top; a 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. I Like the look old-fashioned maybe I feel it is a modest look, compared to so many that, are out there

  3. 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 skin and who cares if someone thinks a skirt is dated?

  4. 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.

  5. 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 it’s all about attitude. I think you can look great and not dated NO MATTER how old you are…

  6. 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 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 as 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

  7. I just chanced across your blog in my search for an appealing look for my 40s. 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…

It's your life. Make it Fabulous!

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
There has been a problem with your Instagram Feed.