Peplum is such a universally figure-flattering silhouette. It doesn’t matter if you’re short or tall, on the skinny side or curvaceous, there is a peplum top, jacket or a skirt that will suit you. I think it adds such a one-two punch of playfulness and sophistication to any look.
The WWD Fashion Dictionary defines it as a ruffle or flared section in the construction of a jacket or blouse that extends a short distance below the waistline. Peplums may be sewn to the bodice, cut in one with the bodice, or may be a separate section attached to a belt.
“In 1947, Christian Dior designed the Tailleur Bar, consisting of a blazer with a dramatic skirted waist. The design complemented a woman’s natural hourglass shape and became an instant success.” – Jillian Hudon, Rue La La: The Style Guide
Much to my delight, this is a silhouette that is here to stay. Never too trendy and never out of style, it has carved out a place for itself, as much a wardrobe staple as the LBD, the white button down shirt and the black pump. Interpreted in couture fashion in leather, lace and brocade, it is wonderful- structured, tailored and flared to perfection!
My personal favourite way to wear peplum is to pair it with skinny pants and high heels. Jennifer Grace from The Native Fox does it to perfection in her oxblood leather pants and grey peplum top. I’ll admit, I’m also partial to that fabulous, what I see as a “peplum-inspired”, flipped-out bob on Carolyn Murphy. For more on the history of this silhouette, I recommend reading the comprehensive history of peplum over at the Dandy Lioness.