Friend or Foe: The Peplum

I usually know a trend that will catch on when I see one– but the peplum? It became a thing this spring and I swore it was going to be a mere blip on fashion radar, everywhere one minute, and then the next– poof! Gone. But it looks like the peplum actually has a point, and it plans to stay around for at least another season, parading on shirts, dresses and skirts in colors that will be wearable into winter. But speaking of wear-ability, would you rock a peplum? 

The fashion history of the peplum is intricate, and therefore gives it some staying power. The purpose of a peplum today is the same as it was back in the 1800’s, accentuating a woman’s figure. And while big butts are in vogue, we’re not really rushing to attach a bustle to our bottom like the ladies in those days. The 1940’s saw a revival, though a more discreet peplum, it was a winning look for working women and housewives alike. Most recently, the ‘80s watched the peplum become a stylish shape along with other things that dared to be big, like shoulder pads, and lets not forget hair. The recent runway versions were quite ruffled and extravagant to say the least, but the versions we’re seeing in stores seem more manageable.

How to pull off a peplum? The key to looking streamlined in a flared hip is to keep everything else simple and skinny. A peplum top goes great over cropped cigarette pants and a peplum skirt looks fresh paired with a tight tee. You get the picture. But remember, if the camera adds ten pounds, how much more will that extra ruffle do you in? Proceed with caution.

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