The hourglass shape is back thanks to the iconic peplum.
With its origins all the way in the 19th century, the early peplum was a time-honored dressmaker’s trick to exaggerate the curve of the hip. What began as a short overskirt attached to a fitted jacket, now graces the sleek lines of contemporary skirts, dresses and blouses on the fashion runways.
As the peplum reined supreme before even my time, here’s a little Peplum 101 for mastering this historic trend.
Paired with a pencil skirt, skinny jeans or skin-tight mini, the peplum blouse gives any wardrobe staple a classic feminine lift. Accentuate the smallest part of your waist with a skinny belt to give the hourglass shape its full effect. If you’re already on the curvy side, try a peplum blouse that starts a little higher up the waist. The peplum hem won’t flare out so flamboyantly but instead gently skim over your hips. Not that curvy? Make sure your peplum hem is as low as possible so that it flares out dramatically at your widest part.
Unlike the peplum blouse, the peplum dress appears to have greater degrees of flare. Depending on how bravely you embrace this trend, you can have anything from thin and belt-like to full and long. Personally I tend to hover in the middle of these two options but the selection of variants is endless. Generally I’d recommend the fuller the figure, the smaller the peplum.
The peplum skirt is perhaps the easiest to integrate into your closet. Paired with a simple cotton tank or a tailored silk blouse, the peplum skirt can easily be taken from day to night.
Finally, no peplum fashion piece would be complete without the item that started it all. The peplum jacket, unlike the other trend variants, is the most versatile. Worn over just about any ensemble the peplum jacket exudes high fashion style and can instantly turn an average outfit into something chic and completely on trend. I personally prefer to pair my peplum jacket with a full high-waisted skirt, but the look is equally, if not more dramatic, when paired with drainpipe pants or skinny jeans.
If you want to give the peplum a spin, don’t be alarmed if the first piece you try makes you feel just a little too hippy. With so many variants of the style, there’s quite literally a peplum for every shape.