Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Peplum: fun to say, fabulous to wear

You know when you get a word stuck in your head and just say it over and over without any context or meaning. A few years back I heard the term ‘peplum’ for the first time and was intrigued by my desire to enunciate those two syllables repeatedly; along with the great wonderment of now knowing what that little skirt over a pencil dress was.

So for the uninformed, that is what a peplum is. It’s that over-skirt big frill dealey that shoots out over your hips. It could be on a jacket, a blouse, a skirt or dress, and you’re more and more likely to see them these days.

These babies have been around for years, and why not? Although it might seem a little extreme for some, there is good reason to wear a peplum-adorned outfit.

For hourglass shapes, peplums accentuate your slim waist and lovely hips. For those with zero waist and hips it creates the illusion of these things for you. I wouldn’t go there if I was a pear or an apple, but a figure-fixer that covers two out of four shapes ain’t bad.

Peplums were big in the 80s, and easily mistaken for frills. They also go back to the 40s, where they were most often seen on jackets. And this is where the peplum began. It’s slowly moved down to be known as a feature of dresses and skirts, but back in the day, when women wore big-ass skirts with bustles, a peplum jacket was required to fit over the top of the skirt. As skirts got slimmer, I guess designers realised the peplum still had a place in women’s clothing, accentuating smallness of waist and child-bearing qualities of the hips.

And it seems like we’re finally cottoning on. Stars have been wearing peplum dresses down the red carpet for a few years, now there are two out of three dresses in the window at Cue with various peplum styles and even some cute peplum tops in Glassons and Dotti. So expect to see them on the street any time soon. Until then, enjoy these looks from past and present.

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