In fashion, what’s old is new again.
And as the case is for fall, what’s really old is really hot – again.
From the former Kate Middleton to Kim Kardashian, the flouncy ruffle at the waist known as peplum is everywhere. The silhouette was popularized in the 1800s because of the hourglass silhouette it provided – and again in the 1940s, 1980s and 1990s.
This time around, though, the style is sophisticated with slim-cut styling and feminine fabrics.
“You’ll find the peplum trend across the board – all price points, age groups and on jackets, dresses, skirts and blouses,” says Jennifer Dodds Fox, a Fort Wayne blogger of “Navigate with Style.” “No need to spend loads of money to try the trend – stores like H&M and Forever 21 have options, as does Macy’s.”
At the Jefferson Pointe boutique Apricot Lane, owner Jennifer Braner is carrying four peplum tops, including a fuchsia top with a neon yellow zipper detail in the back ($38).
“The reaction (to peplum) has been really good,” Braner says. “(It’s popular) across all ages but more with someone who is a little bit trendier.”
Dodds Fox says the trend can work with a variety of body types, but it’s “great for slim, straight up-and-down body shapes because it can help to create curves.
“On the flip side, a peplum ruffle can help to disguise a bigger tummy,” she adds.
Women who are pear-shaped might have trouble finding a style that hits at the right spot and is flattering, though.
Peplum tops do offer a bit more flexibility, Braner says. For dresses, you “almost have to have that perfect figure.”
Peplum is all about striking the right chord. The ruffle and attention to the hip calls for body-conscious styling.
“Best to balance the look by keeping a slim silhouette everywhere else – if wearing a peplum accented top, stick with slim cut pants or a pencil skirt,” Dodds Fox says. “If wearing a peplum skirt, a fitted sweater or trim blouse is best.”
And the balance doesn’t stop at clothes. Dodds Fox adds that the neckline of the outfit should be simple – no fussy collars, just a necklace that hits at or just below the neckline.
For the office: A skirt suit with a peplum ruffle on the jacket, such as one from Anne Klein ($280, LordAndTaylor.com). Dodds Fox advises to keep the look modern with a striking patent leather belt.
For date night: A peplum blouse, paired with skinny jeans and boots, is a great look, Braner says. A black top ($36, Apricot Lane) can easily go from day to night with a few changes.
For the weekend: A casual jacket, such as one from Mod Cloth, is a great way to incorporate the peplum look without the fuss. “Perfect for lounging or running errands on the weekend,” Dodds Fox says.