Are the descriptions of the gopis real or just a romantic vision? What do the gopis really look like? How do they dress?
I accept the Bhagavatam descriptions of the gopis, etc. The Bhagavatam does not mention dhotis or saris, but the great souls might have worn something similar. At that time, in Greece, Rome, Asia, etc. people generally dressed in simple cloth wrapped around their body in various ways.
In the Vedabase, we find that Prabhupada did not emphasize dhotis and saris. The devotees themselves, for various socio-psychological reasons, wanted to wear them, and then it became a ‘sacred’ tradition.