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This Easy Breezy Blouse Is A Tried-And-Tested Summer Essential

And it's more than meets the eye.

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Image: Wantgetrepeat.com

As we enter the hottest month of summer, we're looking for clothes that help keep us cool, relaxed and looking chic; so we're taking a leaf from the bohemian life with a colorful, embroidered blouse. Not only is vibrant embroidery super on-trend right now, but this blouse's flowy fabric is ideal for natural ventilation —  it's kind of like a fashionable, wearable air-conditioner. And we know that wearing extra fabric may seem counterintuitive to keeping you cool, but the less the sun comes into direct contact with your skin, the less overheated you'll be. 

These tops are typically called "peasant" blouses — an admittedly dicey term — and have roots in a myriad of different cultures including Hungarian, Ukrainian, Mexican, Russian, Romanian, Greek and Caribbean, to name a few. Often these types of tops are beautifully decorated with minimal construction, evoking a simpler, bucolic way of life for the wearer. 

But according to Soya Abrego at Racked, peasant tops are anything but simple. Recently, she traced the evolution of the peasant blouse, questioning what exactly made it "peasant". She asked if the name, "... seemed a little too much like “ethnic,” another unspecific form of other-ing" and a way of "... implying that some cultures are somehow simplistic — or, to put it crudely, poor?" Following its progression in the fashion world, beginning with Hollywood silent films, through the styles of the Beat Generation and even examining their propagandized usage in Nazi Germany or Stalin's Russia, Abrego ultimately concluded that, "the peasant blouse operates outside of trends, but it’s more than just that: It’s a barometer to help gauge a cultural climate." So it seems these deceivingly uncomplicated tops have as much elaborate history as they do handicraft. 

But even with their casual vibe, embroidered blouses can be worn for a variety of different occasions. Your first thought is to probably throw them overtop of a pair of denim cut-offs, but what about switching it up to something more daring and fashionable, like leather shorts with a versatile d'Orsay pump for an alternative summer look that would make Kim Kardashian proud? Consider skinny jeans as a way to balance out the billowing proportions, or tuck one into a body-hugging, block-color midi skirt to really make those kaleidoscopic colors pop. You can loosen it up all the way with a long boho skirt and straw fedora, or go full-on Penny Lane in Almost Famous with a matching suede mini for a look that says 1970 fro head-to-toe. The possibilities of the ubiquitous embroidered blouse are almost as endless as its origins.

Go back to some of fashion's earliest roots this summer with an intricately decorated, multi-colored blouse. Give your skin a break from the sun with our selections below:
1/28
Topshop Embroidered Kaftan - $60
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2/28
River Island Plus Black Embroidered Tunic Top - $64
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3/28
Free People Embroidered Crop Top - $78
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4/28
Zara Top With Embroidered Leaves - $40
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5/28
Target Women's Plus Size Printed Embroidered Knit Top - $25
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6/28
Anthropologie Ola Embroidered Peasant Top - $119
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7/28
Zara Top With Floral Embroidery - $40
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8/28
Free People Sunset Lovers Beaded Top - $168
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9/28
Torrid Geo Print Embroidered Challis Lace Up Blouse - $32
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10/28
Anthropologie Aeryn Embroidered Top - $179
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11/28
Torrid Embroidered Crepe Dolman Top - $34
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12/28
Mango Openwork Panel Blouse - $30
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13/28
Anthropologie Gigi Embroidered Top - $78
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14/28
Forever21 Plus Size Embroidered Tunic Top - $38
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15/28
Free People Lita Top - $128
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16/28
River Island Plus Embroidered Tunic - $34
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17/28
Boo Hoo Plus Anna Bright Embroidered Smock Top - $40
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18/28
Target Women's Plus Size Off the Shoulder Embroidered Top - $25
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19/28
Eloquii Embroidered Bib Flutter Sleeve Top - $65
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20/28
Eloquii Embroidered Poncho Top With Tassels - $80
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21/28
Peter Pillotto Embroidered Top - $423
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22/28
Ulla Johnson Embroidered Top - $401
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23/28
Eloquii Embdroidered Peasant Sleeve Top - $80
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24/28
Spanish Moss Shelia Blouse - $328
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25/28
Forever21 Plus Size Embroidered Top - $48
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26/28
Spanish Moss Aimi Blouse - $298
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27/28
Superdry Peasant Blouse With Diamond Stitch - $72
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28/28
Mama.licious Peasant Blouse With Embroidery - $56
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