What is a Peasant Blouse?

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

The term peasant blouse refers to type of women’s blouse with a design based on the traditional dress of Romania, Poland, and other European counties. In the United States, these blouses are best known as a staple of 1960s fashion. Teenage girls and young women loved the look because it evoked a casual and carefree image that seemed well-suited to the popular culture of the time.

A thrift shop might be one of the few places to find a peasant blouse from the 1960s.
A thrift shop might be one of the few places to find a peasant blouse from the 1960s.

Traditionally, peasant blouses were made from white cotton and featured puffed sleeves gathering at the wrist with a square neckline. However, this basic design gradually evolved to include a number of different colors and fabrics as well as off-the-shoulder variations of the look. Peasant-style blouses often feature delicate embroidery along the collar and sleeves, although beaded detailing or lace trim is also quite common.

A peasant blouse is a blouse with a design based on the traditional dress of Romania and Poland.
A peasant blouse is a blouse with a design based on the traditional dress of Romania and Poland.

Many women find that successfully wearing peasant blouses can be a tricky task. When done right, they can look sexy and feminine. However, if you’re not careful, you’ll just come across as sloppy, frumpy, and shapeless. To stay in style, you’ll need to balance out the fullness of the blouses with snug-fitting bottoms. Try pairing your blouse with formfitting jeans or miniskirt. Accessorize the look with a fun necklace, dangly earrings, strappy sandals, and a funky 1960s inspired handbag.

Vintage fashions are a great way to stand out in a crowd, but finding authentic 1960s peasant blouses often requires hours of time spent searching through the clothing selection at thrift shops, consignment stores, and auction websites such as eBay. To add to the difficulty, most women’s clothing manufacturers have drastically changed their sizing structure in recent years. For example, a woman who wears a size 6 in today’s fashions may find that she needs to look for a size 10 or size 12 vintage peasant blouse.

Since peasant blouses flatter a variety of body types, it should come as no surprise that designers repeatedly return to this look when designing their spring and summer collections. Therefore, if you can’t find vintage blouses that suit your needs, it’s not too difficult to purchase a newer blouse in a similar style. However, in recent years, there has been a trend towards designating a more modern version of the classic peasant blouse that features a fitted torso and fuller sleeves.

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

Dana holds a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa. She has loved being part of the wiseGEEK team ever since discovering the joys of freelance writing after her son was born. Dana also hones her writing skills by contributing articles to various blogs, as well as creating sales copy and content for e-courses.

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Discussion Comments


For a girl with an apple shape, is a peasant blouse still flattering? I worry that the gathers in the fabric might bring attention to my lack of an hourglass figure.

Can someone suggest a version of the blouse that would work with this kind of round shape and short stature?

Most women I see wearing this look are taller and can pull off something like skinny jeans at the bottom. For those who prefer longer skirt, would it look odd to pair this with a peasant blouse?


I love the simple beauty of a peasant blouse. They are awesome for keeping cool in the summer and are very easy to dress up or down.

If you are just heading for lunch at the mall with friends, you can pair it with a pair of skinny jeans and sneakers to keep a girly but casual look. Accessories in turquoise really go well with this kind of vintage look.

To dress up a peasant blouse for the evening, pair it with an slim look mini-skirt and some nice heels. You'll feel confident, comfortable and look great.

I really believe that every woman should have a peasant blouse in their wardrobe, as they are so easy to work with when creating a look.

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