5 Ways To Make Peasant Tops More Flattering


red peasant top paige flares 2

Okay…peasant tops. My most difficult Mom Edit “style challenge” yet. It’s not that I don’t like them (believe me I’m dying to love them) it’s just that I’ve never found one to make me a believer. Something about the shape…or lack-there-of…looks back at me like: “potato sack. Jess, you are wearing a potato sack.” Potato sack syndrome is a thing, I swear! Who’s been there? For women with a curvier shape (i.e. large bust, broad shoulders, wide hips) mastering the trend is a struggle. In other words, I had essentially given up on the idea of peasant tops. 

When Shana suggested I get back in the ring and give them one last try, I felt up for the challenge. After what felt like years of online searching and looking at every. single. peasant top currently for sale on Amazon, I narrowed it down and made some purchases. Not going to lie, the whole buying/trying/returning process sparked a roller coaster of emotions.

Anyway, I’ve put together a list of styling tips based on everything I’ve found that’s worked for me (plus things that didn’t). Here are five tricks to make peasant tops more flattering:

1. Show A Little Skin

The exposed shoulder is trending big right now and with good reason. Ultra feminine, and, dare I say, sexy, it’s incredibly flattering on just about every body type. The bare shoulders draw the eye upward and leads away from problem areas down below. If off-shoulder tops are too revealing for you, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Try a cold-shoulder peasant top option for the same effect. I found short-sleeved peasant tops are a little more forgiving than long-sleeved. If you’re somewhat self-conscious about your arms like me, the short-sleeve provides a contrast and breaks up the long line that puffier, long-sleeved shirts tend to create.

blue striped peasant blouse

striped peasant top 2


Outfit Details:

peasant top – If I had to choose a favorite peasant top it’s a toss up between this Tory Burch ‘Madison’ Embroidered Tunic, available by pre-sale for $325 at Nordstroms, and Free People’s ‘All I Need’ Off Shoulder Blouse, at Shopbop for $168.  I LOVE the detailed folk-art inspired embroidery and the pops of bright contrasting colors – and something about those orange tasseled drawstrings on the ‘Madison’ attract me to it like bees on honey. My budget being what it is these days, the top I am wearing above is the Hannah Striped Tassel Off-Shoulder Top From Boohoo a much less expensive version of the Tory Burch for just $26.

jeansDemocracy’s  ‘Booty Lift’ Cropped Jeans  from Amazon for $68 that I destroyed on a whim.

flats – The flats are Nine West Women’s Stardust Nubuck Ballet Flat at Amazon priced from $31.98 – $69.00 depending on size and color choice. Just bought these suuuuper comfortable pointed toe flats for a brighter option but we’ll see how long they stay that color.

2. Pair With Flare Jeans to Elongate Your Frame

peasant top vintage red floural off shoulder

red peasant top paige flares 2

Outfit details:

top – The top is one I found on Etsy, which is my go-to resource for anything vintage (plus original art). They have hundreds of gorgeous vintage peasant tops (gorgeous vintage everything, actually) to browse through. I could spend all day just scrolling through page after page.

jeans – Paige Denim is easily my favorite brand of jeans these days. I love the feel and fit of their denim, it’s so soft yet thick and since it’s made with 2% elastane, they are super comfortable. So when I saw Paige mid-rise ‘Fiona’ flare I decided to try a pair of non high-waisted flares and I wasn’t disappointed. Not one bit. I’ve gotten so used to the higher-waisted jeans that this lower style has me a little paranoid about unwittingly showing someone my butt cleavage. Thankfully, the stretch in these make that less likely to happen. Available on Amazon from $89.94 to $229.99. (I don’t know why Amazon’s prices can vary so much on one item but I guess I won the Amazon lottery because my size happened to be $89.94.)

shoes –  Steve Madden MILO Mules, $89.95 on Amazon.

3. Go For Peasant Tops With Form-Fitted Features (Or Add a Belt)

The word “form-fitted” kind of goes against the whole idea of peasant tops but a LOT of peasant tops do have some type of form to them: cinched or shirred waist, flared and belled sleeves, empire waist, etc. If you find a flowy peasant top you can’t live without and it doesn’t have any form-fitting to it, you can always cinch it at the waist with a thin leather belt, in true ’60s and ’70s fashion.

peasant top mexican blouse vintage

vintage mexican peasant top close up


Outfit Details:

Top – Another vintage one-of-a-kind Etsy find. This Vintage Emroidered Peackock Sheer Peasant Top, this Embroidered Peasant Blouse or this 70’s Mexican Embroidered Top  are pretty similar to mine. I really love the colorful Mexican embroidered blouses and if you like color as much as me, Etsy has the best selection of ethnic inspired embroidered clothing there is. I put together a favorites list of some  peasant tops that you can view here.

Jeans – just a pair of vintage high waisted Levi’s I picked up to experiment with and ended up liking.

wedgesAlex + Alex Crisscross Wedge Sandals, $129.99 on Gilt.

4. Boxy Peasant Tops Pair Best With Skinny Jeans

The boxy/flowy peasant top is the type of peasant top I’m most drawn to but most hesitant to wear  (potato sack theory). The embroidery, lacy accents and colorfully-tassled drawstrings are everything I love about boho-chic. After trying (and failing) to nail one down, I almost decided to give up until I was at World Market, of all places, and found this peasant top. I loved everything about it, bought it without hesitation and knew I would find a way to make it work (cause that’s what we do when we love something). In the end, the best slimming styling combo I found was a pair of contrasting color skinny jeans and my highest heeled mules.

peasant top 1

blue world market peasant top close up

Outfit Details:

topNavy and White Emilie Top from World Market, $39.99.

jeans Paige Denim’s ‘Transcend Verdugo’ Ultra Skinny Jeans currently 25% off at Nordstroms, $134.25.

shoesSteve Madden MILO Mules, $89.95 on Amazon.

5. Try A Bold Print or Color Top to Break Up Your Silhouette

In the past, women with curves have been told to steer-clear of bold prints and bright colors but in my grandpa’s words, “that’s a bunch of hogwash.” Actually, a bold print can be a very powerful slimming tool. When paired with a solid or neutral colored bottom,  I feel the bold printed top adds proportion to my silhouette by creating contrast at my waist, which in turn accentuates my body’s length.

red peasant top with paige flaires

Outfit Details:

top – vintage Etsy find

jeans –Paige mid-rise ‘Fiona’ flares, $89 – $229 on Amazon.

shoes – Steve Madden MILO Mules, $89.95 on Amazon.


Favorite Peasant Top Picks

Here are some of my favorite peasant tops that incorporate some of the styling tips like bold colors, bare shoulders and fitted accents: