Peplum 12 ways

Let’s go shopping: Peplum

Nikki ParkinsonFashion 38 Comments

Like those graphic pants I trotted out this week, peplum is another fashion style I thought I’d never see taking up valuable space in my wardrobe.

But it has. If you missed the post, click on over and have a quick look-see.

It’s not that I don’t like the look of it. It’s just that I really thought wearing anything peplum would be like wearing an illuminated sign that says: I’ve got big hips and I cannot lie.

I’m very happy to admit I was wrong. With some conditions.

1. You need to play with this look and try different styles on. 

The idea behind the shape of a peplum top, dress or skirt is to accentuate your waist and to create shape {hence my hesitation!} so you need to find a style that works for your waistline. I have a very short waist {not much of a distance between my waist and my hips} and the narrowest point of my waist is just under my bust. If I accentuate the bit of my waist just above my hips, then yes, those hips are going to be on the receiving end of some attention they don’t deserve.

2. Watch your bust. 

There is the issue of the bust accentuation with some styles. You might be particularly fond of being on the receiving end of any kind of bust accentuation. Some of us are not. If you want to minimise your bust, then look for styles with a lower neckline to keep things nicely balanced.

3. Weekend or work?

Now, this is a look that’s typically thrown into the non-casual wardrobe department. And yes, it works beautifully for a fresh take on office wear and for special occasions. But stick with me because I think certain styles work well as a weekend or casual look too. Work a pair of jeans back with a soft peplum shirt or tee and ballet flats and you will look dressed up but not in a way that will look out of place if out for brunch or doing some shopping.

This is a trend that will be around for some time. I wouldn’t go overboard on turning your whole wardrobe into a peplum fest but I would consider adding a piece or two to spice up your trans-seasonal look.

12 shopping suggestions

Peplum 12 ways

Just click on the caption below each image for more details.


For more peplum style inspiration, check out my board on Pinterest.

Do you already peplum?  What say you to this trend?

Comments 38

  1. Hi Nikki, i am scared off peplums after seeing them on kim kardashian. I personally wouldnt wear one unless I was a 6 fooot stick as i think on people with a large bust the lines dont look so great, i think its a bust/hip thing as opposed to a size thing. I am size 12 but have a large bust and i hate them on me! I have however purchased a leather dress, interested to hear your thoughts on these or even do a blog on them sometimes. You look great in yours by the way, i am just so fussy about how clothes sit on me!

    1. Sasha, I do want to do a leather post as it cools down – would love to buy the Trenery leather skirt but being “good” at the moment. I love leather and I love how it opens up your outfits to be such a mix of textures and contrasts of styles … stay tuned!

  2. I love the look of peplums but … I don’t think they’d work with my apple shape (ie my tummy is the part I *don’t* want to accentuate LOL). But I have long ago learnt that it is always worth trying something different, because you just never know til you try it on. The last dress I bought Miss 16 pooh-poohed when it was on the hanger but when she saw it on, she insisted I had to buy it!

  3. From reading your opinion and all the comments the CR peplum top seems to be a good starting point for someone who has never tried peplum before, the Target ones look like fun too! I’m keen to try the weekend look you’ve suggested..Also on another note, thanks Nikki, for following me I cannot tell you how encouraged I felt after that!!

  4. Oh gosh, I don’t know… I’ve lost my waist over the past year and I feel like this style would just emphasise my ample bust… Can’t wait to see your post on Monday Nikki – hopefully I’ll be encouraged to go forth and try!

      1. Nikki, just wanted to let you know that I decided to take the punt on that black CR dress – I had to buy it without trying it as it came from another store, completely sight-unseen in the flesh. It arrived today and I LOVE it! It has given me back some shape, hidden the dodgey bits, and even makes me feel… Sexy! The neckline is low enough to avoid that monoboob look i was afraid of. What a boost of confidence! Thank-you so much for your suggestions and encouragement. Since returning to the corporate world 2 years ago you’ve helped me and my style immensely! X

  5. I’m not sure about this look. I have seen some women wearing peplum dresses, like the CR one above, that look absolutely *amazing* and I think I like the dresses better than the tops. These women are typically tall and slim and 20-somethings….sigh. I really can’t see myself wearing this style.

    1. Never say never, remember Kathryn 😉 If you’re so inclined do have a play next time you’re shopping. And I’ll have that Country Road spotted one on the blog on Monday … on me 😉 Went out and bought it after writing this post!

      1. I am a never say never girl. My daughter and I are going shopping in the city on Sunday, so I’ll give one of the loose fitting styles a try. Or maybe a jacket. I’ll let you know!

  6. I love looking at parading peplum pedestrians!
    But I am yet to bring a peplum home. I’d want a casual, stretch tee kinda peplum which my tot could yank at for her ‘Mummy Cuddles’ (breastfeeding)… Any of those out there Nikki??

  7. I surprised myself when I (at the behest of the lovely older sales lady in Noni B) tried on a peplum jacket. I loved the jacket because of the colour and material but thought the peplum wouldn’t suit my hourglass figure. Well, cor blimey if it didn’t look smashing! Said jacket is gourgeous with slim jeans & a pop of colour top (which will get lots of wear once summer in Alice Springs is over, way too hot for jeans at the moment). I don’t like peplum t-shirts but found the sleeveless top at Seed was okay. So, my advice is go try them on. You do need to be in a leisurely, adventurous mood though.

  8. Loooooooove! Ridiculously in love with it. Never thought I’d say that, but with my rectangular, sort of triangle shape body, it gives me great proportion. Lately my blog has just been jam packed with outfits including peplum. Tops, skirts & dresses. Haha.

  9. This has been a timely post Nikki as I bought the CR Peplum above in black and I have found it to be extremely flattering and very versatile. I think that the secret is to get one that is a loose fit if you are not 6 foot tall and a size 8. I have worn this with jeans and graphic pants not unlike yours from earlier this week and I’m absolutely wrapt. (I’m a shorty who is about a size 14 and I bought the Large). I intend to work this top to death!

  10. I love the peplum look. I couldn’t wait to buy it when I first saw it … everyone said it was flattering and would hide those things that need some hiding. I actually vividly remember standing in the dressing room the first time I tried on this beautiful peplum top and I nearly cried, it looked terrible! Absolutely positively terrible! I tried a few other options and they were terrible too. I stopped trying after that. After our styling bootcamp at the beginning of the year, I have since tried and realised with a bit of effort, I can find one that works. I also find I feel more comfortable wearing my top with a high waisted pants or a skirt.

  11. I rocked the peplum last time round but didn’t think I should go there again but I have and I love it. My peplum is just a gentle peplum and it is perfect.

  12. I am not a fan of the peplum,But I never liked it the last time around either,I too don’t have a waist and my smallest part is around my ribs,but I am long waisted.I must admit I haven’t tried it on this time around so I may be pleasantly surprised you never know,my sons girlfriend wears peplum dresses all the time and they look great on her.I do like the look of the orange draped peplum dress from Witchery though ,so maybe I should give it a try on.Like you say Nikki try on something you normally wouldn’t ‘just beacause” so I will try on some and report back.

  13. I didn’t embrace the peplum the last time around (back in the olden days) and wasn’t particularly interested in this time, either. But then the other week I actually picked one up at Vinnies (so probably a leftover from the olden days)! Well, it was only $3.50, and a perfect fit, so of course I got it. It looks pretty awesome on, even if I do say so myself. Surprisingly, because I’m a plus-sized hourglass figure – I would’ve thought it would send my already generously-proportioned bottom into boombah territory.

  14. like you I have a short waist but I am also short all over and well boobed … so I think I am still scared of this … I do remember in my early 20s owning the cutest set – a pale green with tiny red dot skirt with matching peplum top … but that was 25 years and two babes ago 🙂 I do love you in yours – best Le

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