Peplum is defined as a short flounce or extension of fabric off of a garment. The word comes from the Greek peplos, or shawl. If you have more than one peplum, you have pepla or peplums. A garment in this style has been peplumed. Okay, enough fashion etymology. What you need to know is that peplum is a flattering and forgiving silhouette available in the form of a shirt or top, dress, jacket or sweater.
Even though the word originated in ancient Greece, peplum by its modern definition appeared in the 18th century, adding an extra feminine touch to dresses and gowns by drawing attention to the waist and hips. Peplum as we now know it came into fashion in the 1930s and 1940s when the design became part of women’s suiting and separates. Peplum was extremely popular in the 1980s as a dress embellishment, and more recently has found a niche in everyday wear.
A shirt or top is one of the most popular ways to sport the peplum style. It’s flattering and feminine, and the silhouette magically minimizes problem areas (goodbye, muffin top!). There are a variety of designs to choose from when it comes to peplum. Some peplum tops are tailored or fitted, while others are loose and flowy. You’ll find that some shirts are quite high-waisted, while others feature a drop waist. Peplum shirts come in a variety of fabrics, such as lace, cotton, crepe, silk, wool, and even scuba.
You can find a peplum top for just about any occasion. So if it’s a favorite silhouette, knock yourself out! For professional settings or dressy occasions, look for a fitted top, and pair it with trousers or a skirt. Everyday wear calls for a more relaxed look, making looser cuts or boho styles the perfect addition to a great pair of jeans. Try out a strappy peplum when the temperature rises, and round out your collection with short sleeve and long sleeve tops.