Peasant tops were really popular about 12 or 13 years ago—one of my first summers in NYC—and I wore them so much, I completely OD'd on the trend. Even though they kept coming back from time to time, I just couldn't go there again. Until now. Maybe it's the Joseph Altuzarra influence, or maybe time simply heals all wounds, but regardless, a good peasant top sounds like something that will totally hit the spot right now, especially considering NYC has gone from spring to subtropical rainforest in sixty seconds and Memorial Day weekend kicks off in three days. I plan on pairing mine with cutoff shorts, platform sandals, and a frosty beverage. Cheers!
1. This Etoile Isabel Marant Dumas top is what got me started on the peasant top kick. I saw it at the Steven Alan store in East Hampton a few weeks ago, I fell in love, and it spoke to me. What did it say? "Cheryl, I may be 100% silk, but there's no way you're paying $445 for me." And thus began my search.
2. This Mango peasant top has a similar shape, with short sleeves, a yoke, and a fuller babydoll silhouette, but with a more trendy addition of neon embroidery. I always forget about Mango, which tends to be overshadowed by its better-marketed compatriot Zara. Items like this one remind me I should shop there more (especially since it's a mere $40!).
3. Nordstrom has a bunch of peasant tops on sale at the moment, including this embroidered Bellatrix top (here's another fun one from Free People). It's more of a traditional peasant top, but I find the black-and-white color scheme to be a bit more refined and grown-up.
4. Of course you can find peasant tops at Forever 21, and of course they're cheap: this embroidered style is under $20. The detail on this one isn't as, well, detailed as the others, but as they say, you get what you pay for...
5. Which leads me to my actual selection, the J.Crew embroidered gauze tunic. The color scheme and Mexican-inspired embroidery are similar to the Isabel Marant, and unlike most of the other styles here, it's made of a natural fiber (in this case, cotton gauze), which will make it nice and breathable in the summer heat. Ole!