Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Peasant Blouse

I was just reading in the newspaper that the peasant blouse is back in fashion, and this made me think of the Peasant Arts movement’s peasant blouses c.1900. 

from a Peasant Arts Society catalogue c.1900

A Peasant Arts catalogue shows the offerings for peasant wear available from the Peasant Arts Society shops in Haslemere and London.  These tunics and frocks started at 10/6d, which using the retail price index, would be about £42.10 in today’s money. 

Inside the Peasant Arts Society 'Country Shop', Haslemere c.1908;
reproduced courtesy of the Haslemere Educational Museum
It is not clear how popular these items were, although the ultimate failure of the Peasant Arts movement suggests that they were not very popular.  A picture of the Peasant Arts Society shop in Haslemere, has peasant blouses on display on the left hand side.


  1. I love peasnt tops! I got two in the 90s at a hippy shop and wore them nearly every day for years. They were pretty, comfortable, everything you could want in a shirt, not too dressy still a blouse but casual enough to wear with anything. It was cream cotton gauze with rainbow smocking at the top, and delicate embroidered floral design in the front with two rainbow ties. Now I've been having a hard time finding any quality peasant tops that actually look like the genuine article. Do you know of any place that sells them?

  2. Hi, sadly the Peasant Arts shop stopped selling peasant blouses in 1927(!) & I've no idea where to get some nice ones now. It does look like the current 'peasant' tops bear little relation to the originals. Good luck with finding some.


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