Many designers are doing peplums today, and now it’s not hard to find a peplum top or dress in a fast fashion shop. However, it is always more fun to wear an original! Have a look at my last post, The Peplum Through History to see how they have developed in modern times. After this journey back through time, you are probably now wondering how in the world you can pull off a vintage peplum piece for this trend? But, it’s easy!
First, a few notes about cut. Indeed you will probably want to try a few types of peplums to figure out what looks best on your shape. For example, a short (~1 foot) very ruffled peplum would look better on narrower hips1, while a flatter uneven or gathered peplum may highlight curvier ladies. What is fun about the peplum is that, if you have hips and a waist it accentuates them, and if you don’t, it gives you them! Some people say that not everyone can pull off a peplum, but to them I say pshaw. A little trial and error may simply be required to find the perfect one for you. Or, to heck with that in general and wear whatever you like!
In choosing pieces from the 30s and 40s, avoid those with the longer peplums, these are pretty frumpy. This piece from the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection, beautiful as it is, is a perfect case in point:
Uneven or gathered peplums are especially lovely. Below are few examples of highly wearable and beautiful pieces from the 30s and 40s that you can get on Etsy, and I have a few more posted in my treasury, Wearable Peplums From the 30s and 40s.
Though I mentioned in my last post that the peplum largely disappeared between the 40a and 80s, it did pop up now and again. If you dig the prairie style dresses from the 60s, which are really poplular these days, my absolute favorite versions are the ones with peplums! Here are a couple lovely examples on Etsy:
One must tread carefully if one plans to wear an 80s peplum since some of them are just too far out. But that said, there are many awesome examples, mainly in party dresses. Here are a few from Etsy that I really love and check my treasure Wearable Peplums of the 80s for more.
Simple peplum jackets are amazingly beautiful too, particularly those made of wool or pared with a matching skirt. The more subtle versions have in fact been around rather constantly throughout time. Buying one of these is a great investment because it is classic, and you would likely wear it for the rest of your life. These are good examples of what I am talking about. They aren’t easy to find, so if you do see one, and it fits, go for it!
There is another quick way to get the instant peplum look… with a detachable peplum! Have a look at my next post to see how.
1. Sewing Made Easy; New Revised Edition. By Marie Lynch & Dorothy Sara. Garden City Books, ~1955. USA.