Another reason for wearing a 1970’s peasant skirt.
From an article in Printer’s Ink in 1896:
MERCHANTS HAVE MUCH TROUBLE WITH LIGHT-FINGERED PEOPLE.
The "armor" of the shoplifter is interesting. In outward appearance she looks like an every-day citizen, but upon examination the trick of her trade is given away. She wears the regular shoplifter’s pocket, which, in other words, is a double skirt with a hem at the bottom. This so called skirt is made full all around, and the empty hem extends from waist to footline, which might be described otherwise as a skirt with a loose lining. There are numerous pockets… into which the woman drops the articles as she steals them.
Shoplifting using the inside of a long skirt
– Read an article on the "shoplifter’s skirt" and other tricks of the trade, from a 1902 edition of the newspaper "New York World" at American Newspaper Repository>>