What is a peplum? It is a strip of fabric sewn or attached at the waist of a jacket, dress, blouse, or skirt that flares out from the waist over the hip. Peplums add fullness to the hip area and cinch the waist. However, not all peplums are made the same. As a result, you need to know which style of peplum will best flatter your figure.
Standard Gathered Peplum
The standard gathered peplum is one-length, typically falling between the high-and mid-hip area. It has enough fullness in it to create a curve at the hip while creating the appearance of a smaller waist. This style of peplum looks best on figures that have little to no waist definition (no inward curve at the waist) and are narrow or slim in the hip/derriere department.
This style of peplum is stiffer than the standard. Instead of the soft gathered look with a fuller curve, this peplum flares out similar to the flare of an A-line skirt. The waist of the flared peplum typically is not as cinched in as other styles. Pear-shapes and inverted-triangle shapes look great in flared peplums. For pear-shapes, look for a flared peplum in a top or jacket rather than a dress or skirt.
Pleated peplums are a woman's best friend in my opinion. They accentuate and camouflage at the same time. So, if you have some extra jelly in your belly like me, the flared peplum can minimize its appearance. Plus, the flare of the pleated peplum makes it ideal for the pear- and inverted-triangle shapes. However, I think this is one peplum that works for all body types and hides tummy bulges pretty well.
This style of peplum can work for any figure depending on where the hem of the peplum falls. Asymmetrical peplums that are shorter at the side but longer in the front and back, work well for curvier figures. Styles that are longer at the sides but shorter in the front and back are ideal for those with narrow hips. There are trendier versions of this style that will be longer on side and shorter at the other or longer in the back and shorter in the front. These trendier asymmetrical peplums work for virtually all figures.
The cutout peplum is one that just has the peplum curve or flare primarily at the sides. This works for those who are narrow in the hip but who may not want to emphasize their backside or stomach. This style varies with peplums that have the whole front/back cut away or the front/back partially cut away.
For those with a true hourglass-shape, knock yourself out because almost all styles of peplum work for you. If you have not tried wearing a peplum because you were not sure if it would look good on you, now is your chance to experiment. Check out some of the various styles of peplum available this fall in the Stylish Peplums for Fall 2012 slideshow.
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