Trend: the peplum dress
Some trends are made for wusses and some trends are made for the daring kind.
For those of us who think about fashion when we’re not thinking about food, the peplum is a perfect little distraction from all the neon parading up and down the streets this summer.
Now, sure, we’re into the neon, but that’s what we call a beginner’s trend- easy to adopt because it’s widely accessible in everything from garments to accessories, requires really no previous experience or fit knowledge, and can easily slip into one’s look as a cuff or a coat of polish. Easy as pie.
The peplum, on the other hand, is a whole other game.
And not much has changed since its inception in the 1940s. Comprising of the frill layer that is a shorter-looking skirt attached on top of the actual skirt/dress, the peplum *seems* useless. But not so- like all good fashion, the peplum plays a tango of tricks, adding architectural structure over the hips and definition at the waist- two areas under constant self-surveillance in women’s dressing rooms around the globe and very carefully chosen for emphasis.
So you see, peplum gamers risk big for a little flirty flutter: wearing the peplum shows exactitude, knowledge and a well-earned certificate of fashion achievement. You don’t just throw on a peplum dress and run out the door. No. There’s shoes, accessories, hats to be considered. Peplum is the chicest of the chic. It is passing the true test of getting dressed: fashion, fit and function harmoniously united in an outfit most people just won’t even try to pull off.
But there are those who will. Here we have peplums on famous people:
Questionable peplum choices: when there’s too much going on
Peplum excellence on the red carpet:
Peplum summer in your neighbourhood:
So by now you’ve surely excluded yourself as a likely candidate for the peplum, but, really, it’s not that hard to wear the trend. You’re probably already wearing this day cut of dress, and with the peplum all you’re adding is a layer of chic.
First things first- make sure the dress fits you nicely, so no bunching, etc. not that you’d ever buy that, would you?
As to which style of peplum, the easiest one to wear is a peplum dress in a softly draping fabric (like I chose, above) so that the peplum doesn’t stick out. This is the most flattering and nearly discreet way to wear the peplum.
Another not-by-accident decision- you’ll notice on my dress and Kate Middleton’s grey outfit by Matthew Williamson, the angled cut of the peplum actually makes the figure look slimmer- follow those diagonal lines and you’ll realize that they trick the eye into creating an hourglass shape. The defined waist anchors the hourglass and makes the legs look like a million miles long. Clever, eh? So if you’re unsure about a squared-off peplum hemline, choose one that has the pointy front.
So really, a lot more women can and should attempt the peplum and earn their fashion excellence certificate.
Here are very some easy ones to get into from Miss Selfridge:
All peplum dresses for sale images courtesy of Miss Selfridge.