The Peplum

Bahar Orang
October 4, 2012
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

By: Bahar Orang


The Peplum Trend:

What does it look like? A peplum is a small strip of gathered or pleated fabric attached to the waistline of a garment (skirts, tops, blouses, and jackets) to create a frill effect. The word “peplum” comes from the Greek word for tunic – “peplos.” A peplum can be sewn horizontally or diagonally, and can be sleek and architectural or loose and flowy.

Where will you see it? On the catwalk (styled with an above-the-knee skirt and ankle boots), bright red or black formal H&M dresses, loose florals, velvet skirts, cream-coloured tops paired with pencil skirts or skinnies in pastel shades or chunky gold necklaces, Emma Watson, Blake Lively, bloggers opting for feminine-edgy wearing peplum tops in leather with stilettos and acid-wash jeans.

Where does it come from? The history of the peplum dates back to Ancient Greek clothing. Usually made from wool, both Greek men and women wore loosely-fitted “peplos.” During the Renaissance, the peplum took on a more structured form and extended outward like a short skirt. Peplums have since been cyclical, coming back in the ‘50s (following the war, when women went back to staying at home and more feminine designs re-entered the fashion industry), the ‘80s (big shoulders, big hips) and the ‘90s.

Yay? Mitigates the size of a food baby, creates the illusion of a more idealized hip-to-waist ratio, very feminine, adds a retro flavour to any outfit

Or Nay? Some peplums can look like frilly valances.

When will it end? The peplum is so terribly in right now, that there must eventually be some kind of a backlash – there’s a little bit of peplum on just about each article of clothing in every Zara store and a quick “peplum” search on the Forever 21 website produced sixty-two items. However, the peplum is always coming back – the flattering silhouette it creates is appealing to women of all body types.

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