The peplum is pinching and pleating the waistlines of many dresses. This style is essentially a tier of extra material which frills or drapes over the more simple lines of a skirt or jacket, giving it a feminine edge.
The word derives from peplos, the Greek word for shawl, when women of ancient times would drape extra fabric around their waists The Victorians would also use a type of peplum overskirt as an extra flounce to frocks, to add even more width to their voluminous dresses of the period.
More recently it became a smarter, wearable part of women’s tailoring when Christian Dior designed the Tailleur Bar in 1947, a sharp blazer with a skirted waist, which softened the silhouette of many frocks and suits of the next decade.
It also came back as part of the ruffled, ra ra/puffball phase of the 1980s, but in its modern interpretation on outfits it is sleeker, sexier and more sophisticated. A ruffled regular that makes the waist more waspish and the hips just slightly more full – an instant hourglass. And as always, there’s one to suit everyone whether you want a prominent peplum or to dip your toe in more gently into the swirling, rippled trend.
First of all, the trend can suit any age. Examples of the polished peplum have been seen on the likes of slim-as-a-pin Pippa Middleton as well as the fuller figured Carol Vorderman, so most mothers of the bride or groom can dare to flare.
At Ian Stuart, there are plenty of wearable peplums on parade. There is a lovely blue and white jacquard print bodice with a ruffled edge. The belt on this outfit nips you in so the peplum peps up your figure.
There are also other more pronounced peplum dresses in this collection for you to see what works for you. There are also patterned print dresses with peplum detail.
There is a spun gold, wonder of a dress at Mireia. The lace patterned skirt is complemented by a parted peplum detail to the waist, with a sash to soften the finished look.
There is beautiful peplum tailoring at Presen, where the knee length shift style dress is enhanced by the peplum effect. The sharper than sharp bolero adds a contrast with the floral corsage at the waistline bringing a delicate softening edge to the look.
And if you don’t fancy meeting the trend head-on, why not try a hint of peplum as seen in the John Charles sea mist outfit. The contrasting lace panels on the dress make it gently sweep out in a swaying fashion. A peplum shimmer.
There’s also just a slight peplum swish to some of the jackets at Paule Vasseur, where you’ve got only a tiniest pinch of peplum effect.
Other jackets have more of a frill and flare detail, including a lightest pink jacket over a floral bouquet dress.
At the other end of the peplum spectrum, also at Paule Vasseur, is a fitted outfit which comprises a pink peplum jacket over a trim pencil skirt dress. The jacket is further enhanced with corsages.
There is also a dramatic citrus green one-shoulder dress with a lovely ruffled peplum trim.
If you want to make a real Carrie Bradshaw style statement there’s a ruffled rosette dress which really packs a peplum punch. There’s a matching mini bolero in the same material to complete the look. So get to work on whipping in the waist.