When I was in high school, I had a peasant top that I wore constantly--it's cute cap sleeves and gathered keyhole neckline made me feel like the hottest babe. I grew out of that top, and that trend, but I think this summer might be the time to bring it back, in dress form, of course. What better outfit could there be fore sipping sangria at a sidewalk cafe?
My favorite is the Smocked Squarefront Dress, $69, from Ann Taylor Loft. The basic navy is livened up with light blue and white print, and I like how the top half is relatively simple (so it doesn't compete with your glowing face) while the bottom has more flair. The simple shape--just an A-line dress with a square neckline--is universally flattering and classic, but still very youthful and night-out ready.
Thisi next dress might be a bit too costume-y for me; I don't want to look like an extra in West Side Story (I want to look like Maria, obviously). From Modcloth, the appropriately named Chiquita Bonita Dress, $49.99, has the same keyhole neckline, smocked waist, and fresh white color as my favorite high school shirt. It's pretty much summer personified (or dressified?), and it looks perfect for hot, sweaty days in July, when all you can to do is eat Flavor Ices and catch a breeze.
You know, as I search for dresses to fill this post out, I'm having a heart time defining just what a peasant dress is. Anything with a vaguely Latin American influence would probably fit the bill; more specifically, some sort of ethnic print or embroidery, maybe some smocking at the waist or neckline, a fun, breezy shape and bonus points for cute little ties or bows. Any other qualifications you'd like to add?
This dress is solid-colored, but I think the details on the top half qualify it as a peasant dress. From Anthropologie, the Bungalow Gables Dress, $138, is lighter than air and comes in the freshest of summer colors. I love the little ruffles on the neckline, and the gathered waist would give you a killer hourglass figure. This is also a good dress if you have Michelle Obama-worthy arms, as everyone will want to reach out and touch your shoulders.
Here's a similar dress, also from Anthro. The California Iris Dress, $148, deftly avoids the black/yellow bumblebee connotations by embroidering black flowers along the outlines of the dress, and topping it all off with some statement-making thick black straps (which criss-cross in the back for extra cuteness). This dress embodies the bohemian spirit that Anthro often does so well, even if it's out of the price range of a real bohemian.
Ah, here's a dress that undoubtedly fits in the peasant category. From Victoria's Secret, the Embroidered Dress, $85, has a boring name but a really original look. The big blocks of blue floral embroidery look especially fresh against the loose white dress, and the open neckline is nicely contrasted by the voluminous sleeves. Accessorize this dress with a nice tan and you'll be good to go.