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Tuesday 21 February 2012

Pick-up a Peplum

At the moment, 'Peplum' seems to be one of those fashion words bandied around without much explanation or reason. Suddenly otherwise simple skirts and shirts have been given added flounce, and the daintiest of dresses seem to be sporting an excess of fabric on the waist. (And sometimes its been used to describe things that really don't have a peplum at all - I'm looking at you Oasis).

It isn't a look I welcomed with enthusiasm - say the word to me and some of the worst excesses of 1980s fashion to mind. However, after a little bit more investigation (otherwise known as spending a couple of hours climbing in and out of clothes in high street changing rooms), I've realised it's actually really easy to incorporate a peplum into your look, should you want to that is. Because the peplum has consistently floated in and out of fashion it works with a whole range of styles. Read Sarah's guide to picking vintage clothes to suit your shape in the Domestic Sluttery book, find your perfect era, and then just add the appropriate peplum ...


This Lowie dress was inspired by a 1940s original, so you get all the benefits of 40s-style tailoring as well as a nod to fashion. The peplum here is provided by a floral fabric that contrasts to the red polka dot of the main dress. Very pretty indeed. This is £95.


If you google vintage peplums, most of the things you are shown fall into the 80s monstrosities category. This 1950s number on ASOS marketplace is a rare exception. Cool, checked and classy, it's £75. Buy it now if you are a size 12.


For a feminine take on peplums with a nod to the 60s, take a look at this Closet lace contrast dress available from Match for £49.99. It's fashionable without looking it'll date by March.


Okay, though I have been somewhat critical about the 80s sometimes you can't beat it for pure fun factor. This Yumi dress is inspired by the best bits of that decade and is the perfect party frock. It's available at New Look for £42.99.


This ribbon trim dress doesn't look like it belongs to any particular era: it's a bit of a 60s shift with more than a splash of 80s colour but, most of all, it looks like you'd have a blast wearing it. It costs £55 from ASOS.

But if none of these looks appeal you can buy a detachable skirt peplum from Nauticoco on Etsy and make your own - peplum jeans anyone?


  1. All of those dresses would look perfectly fine (nicer, even) without the added bits. Nope. Don't get the whole peplum thing.

  2. I guess the advantage is that they highlight a small waist or create an hourglass shape if you don't have one already ...

    1. I love this post - you do ace round-ups of beautiful things. Do peplums work if you've already got hips and waist? I wonder if they'll just make me look odd.

  3. Thank you very much. I think the first time you try them on you will think you look odd! It's very strange having these extra bits of fabric when we've all got so used to trying to be streamlined for so long! They'll just exaggerate what you do have, so more curves. Up to you whether you think that's a good thing (I think yes!).

  4. For hip-challenged individuals (yeah, I know, no sympathy), nothing is better than a peplum for turning a pencil figure into a bombshell. The right cut and color should make anyone's waist look smaller.


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