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No Sweat Peasant Shirts

Updated: Jan 21

While the “peasant look” became very popular in the 1960s, the outfit was purely practical for the Renaissance lower class. Blouses fit loosely, featuring off-the-shoulder or split necklines to keep the wearer cool while working in the fields or on the farm. The flowy style provided maximum comfort for the broad movements farm-work demanded.

And the earth tones that the 60s were so wild about (brown, tan, white, and ivory) were colors that didn’t absorb the heat. Plus, peasants were poor–no one was dropping coins to brighten their field clothes in a sunny canary or burnt orange color. They would instead buy things like… food.

Peasant shirts were easy to sew, which is fantastic news for your costumer because they’re still easy to sew. Peasant blouses with bright vests and leather corsets will go far in costuming your servers, vendors, and ticket takers.

A female peasant peeling an apple modeling a peasant shirt that is simple to sew.

Simple Peasant Shirts For Your Madrigal

The Happiest Camper has a FREE pattern and tutorial here. The elastic neckline allows for a wide neckline or off-shoulder donning, depending on the wearer's comfort. Add elastic to the sleeves so that the sleeves may be adjusted up or down depending on activity. Or leave out the elastic and have some gorgeous sleeves.

The Mage Menagerie blog has a straightforward peasant shirt hack. Using an old t-shirt and cheap, light-colored fabric, you can easily sew this peasant’s shirt without a complicated pattern.

Peasant Shirts at a Website Near You

Examples of peasant shirts in white, green, and red for your madrigal dinner.

If you are short on time or costumers, there are many places you can just “add to cart” for those peasant shirts. Walmart and Target’s women's section has a variety of peasant shirts. Purchasing ones without floral patterns and in a single color (black, white, tan) is a simple way to go.

Another option is to hit the after-Halloween sales. Amazon has many “renaissance peasant blouses” in their costume section, as well as Spirit of Halloween and Etsy. The big box stores will also carry these shirts as a part of pirate costumes.

No Sweat Peasants Shirts for Madrigal Dinners

A celebration of a medieval village with many examples of peasant clothes for your madrigal costuming.

Peasant shirts are versatile, and because they aren’t form-fitting, they can be used year after year for a range of actors. Not to mention that they are machine-washable and dryable! That is a must for all directors of dinner theaters.

So, whether you DIY your shirts or have them shipped, they’re simple costume pieces—they pair wonderfully with these simple skirts for your female actors. And for those servers who are working all night for your event, they will keep them cool and comfortable.

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