Every year, a microtrend hits the fashion scene that we swear we’ll never let return to our closets. However, if you give it a few months, they almost always find a way in and graduate to join our regular rotation. (Remember, most of us swore skinny jeans would never replace our beloved bootcut flares in the early 2000s.) We were apprehensive when mesh ballerina flats, low-rise pants, and stubby kitten heels made their runway debuts, but now we can’t live without them. We didn’t give peplum tops much thought when they appeared on the AW22 runways last year, assuming they would stay solidly in the last 10 years.
However, the peplum remained, and as predicted by the theory, we are now beginning to come around to it. Unquestionably, the trend is back, as evidenced by the voguish fit-and-flare items in Alexander McQueen’s pre-AW23 collection, as well as the embrace of the waist-centric silhouette by Dior, Alaïa, Richard Quinn, and Harris Reed. The dimensions are the issue, not the peplum. Make a mistake, and your silhouette will appear shorter. If done correctly, the effect is quite flattering.
We understand if you’re not in a rush to add a peplum top to your virtual shopping cart just now. The peplums of old were far from reliable. But the future’s peplums have already been sighted walking the catwalks of fashion weeks throughout the globe, including those of Vivienne Westwood, Proenza Schouler, and Alexander McQueen. We go over exactly why the Peplum 2.0 is a fashion trend to embrace rather than run from in the sections that follow. Here are six ways to use peplum tops in 2023 for a chic, contemporary look that is both cosy and attractive.
How to Combine Peplum Tops Perfectly
Accept Looser Silhouettes
In contrast to the early aughts trend, which focused mostly on highlighting dramatic shapes, in 2023 we’re seeing a greater trend towards loose, informal forms. Instead of wearing a peplum top that protrudes from the waist, choose a wide-leg pair of pants or straight-leg denim. Replace your slim jeans and leggings. Compared to 2010, the overall style should seem more relaxed and less formal.
With a Mini Peplum, Ease in
Consider attempting a smaller version of this trend if you’re not quite ready to commit to it fully. A fun approach to try something new without going all out is with a top that has a lovely little kick hem. To accentuate the silhouette even more, you may wear it with a slim-fitting skirt or pair of trousers. Alternatively, for a slightly more dramatic look, consider an A-line skirt that follows the same line.
Choose Jeans And a Structured Jacket
If you do not particularly like flowy, bohemian outfits, try dressing up in a structured jacket. I suggest going with something different from a slim-fitting peplum blazer—they still feel too connected to the early Aughts design craze—such as a utility jacket with a belted waist or a cropped ladylike silhouette. If the jacket itself has a more formal air to it (like in the example above), counteract those opulent feelings with a relaxed shoulder bag and casual denim.
Match a Flowy Top With Athletic Shorts
Try dressing in a loose shirt and some sporty Bermuda shorts as an “opposites attract” strategy. Choosing a single colour or fabric is a simple method to make sure these mismatched pieces complement one another. Continue the unmatched fun with accessories like a sleek leather tote or quirky little purse paired with chunky sandals or loafers.
Put on a Belt And Fake It
Not yet ready to plough your money into this retro style? Always make your own by tying a belt around a jacket or blouse that is a little looser. To make sure the material beneath the belt falls gently over your hips without bunching, use a top with some flow. To create a more striking look, I also think it’s best to match the colour of your belt and top, or at least relatively near to it. However, you can also attempt a contrasting colour. Continue the unmatched fun with accessories like a sleek leather tote or quirky little purse paired with chunky sandals or loafers.
Even though peplum top is sometimes viewed as a “love-to-hate” trend, its significance in fashion history indicates that it is an enduring style. It’s a classic, if I may say so. “I believe there’s something to the historical use of peplum by women to achieve the hourglass figure. Although we might recall its recent rise to prominence as a cringe-worthy fad, there is a long history of instances demonstrating how elegant and classic peplum can be.
Designers nowadays are demonstrating this by ensuring that only the trendiest interpretations—from asymmetrical blazer hemlines to belted suits that represent a more sophisticated aesthetic—find their way into our wardrobes. And, above all, remain there for many years to come.