A prairie skirt is an American style of
skirt, an article of women's and girls' clothing.
Prairie skirts are slightly flared to very full, with one or more
flounces (deep ruffles) or tiers, and are often worn over a ruffled eyeletor lace-trimmed petticoat. They were introduced to fashion by Ralph Laurenin his fall 1978 Western-themed collection.George-Warren, Holly, and Michelle Freedman: "How the West Was Worn", p. 184-187.]
Prairie skirts are so-called after their resemblance to the home-sewn skirts worn by pioneer women in the mid-nineteenth century, which in turn are a simplified version of the flared, ruffled skirts characteristic of high-fashion dresses of the 1820s.
In keeping with their design inspiration, traditional prairie skirts are usually made of "country" fabrics such as
denimand flowered calico. Prairie skirts are a staple of women's western wear, and very full prairie skirts are worn for square dancing.
Mid-calf length, button-front denim prairie skirts with a single flounce, worn with a petticoat that was slightly longer than the skirt, became a mainstream
fashionin the 1970s and early '80s following Lauren's introduction.
Short, many-tiered prairie skirts of
voile, chiffon or other lightweight fabrics were a fashion trend in 2005.
*George-Warren, Holly, and Michelle Freedman: "How the West Was Worn", Harry N. Abrams (2001), ISBN 0-8109-0615-5.
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