The (Hidden) Power Of The Peplum

March 28, 2012

Peplum (pep-luhm) is a short, gathered, slightly flared strip of fabric attached at the waist of a woman’s blouse, jacket, skirt or dress.

You’ve probably seen them featured as you flip through this spring’s latest magazine editorials. Peplum is not only a fun fashion word to say, but it’s even more fun when you try to fit it into a sentence. Quick! Say “Peplums pack a powerful punch”, five times fast? “Peplums pack a powerful punch; peplums pack a power punch; peplums…”

See wasn’t that fun?!

BUT, more importantly, you may be asking, “Aside from it being a fun tongue-twister, why in the world would I ever want to add extra fabric near my hips and intentionally accentuate them?!

This is the most common peplum misconception. The truth is a strategically placed peplum can redefine your natural body shape into the ideal hourglass (aka. equally proportioned) shape.

Got full hips? No worries! Weirdly, the peplum actually attracts attention away from your hips (and full bosoms, if you have those too). Got no hips? It works great on you too, because the peplum gives the illusion of hips on your particular body type. Got a thick waistline? Problem solved! The peplum in fact draws the eye inward and gives the illusion of a cinched waist.

The most flattering length for a peplum is approximately 2” below your hip bones.

Here’s what to pair with your peplums (as shown above):

  1. Top: Pair with tapered pants, skinny jeans, or a narrow pencil skirt.
  2. Skirt: Wear with a fitted, tucked-in top.
  3. Dress: Must fit snug, especially at the waist. Plus, make sure skirt portion is the traditional pencil shape. Select moderately thick shoe heels.

The peplum is a trendy trend and its popularity will fade fast. So, I recommend not spending a lot of money on this fashion. But, I do suggest giving it a try. It’s fun and lends dynamism to your professional appearance.

Unfortunately, so many of us are still reluctant to attract attention to ourselves, even though we know it can be a key to our success! Peplum is like your favorite ‘Auntie Mame,’ pushing you into the spotlight in spite of your fears, knowing you can handle it with authority. It is a bold style – and that’s the beauty of the peplum! It encourages you to be confidently visible…to be seen (and to be heard)!

Have I convinced you to give the peplum trend a try this spring/summer season? If so, will you let yourself experiment with a top, skirt, dress (or jacket).

Image credit, left to right: Mango Blouson $44.99, available at Mango; Zara Pencil Skirt with Frill $79.90, available at Zara; Alice and Olivia Victoria Peplum Dress $264 Saks Fifth Avenue.

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