You’ve probably heard of the peplum style, but if you’re unsure what it’s all about, you’re likely missing out. Peplum is a unique, fun, and frilly style that suits a wide range of body types and can be worn for several different occasions.
The definition of the word peplum is a short strip of fabric that’s gathered or pleated at the waist of a woman’s dress, blouse, or jacket to create a hanging flounce or frill. It can add an extra dimension to an otherwise bland outfit and is designed to enhance the feminine appeal of an ensemble.
While peplum dresses, skirts, and tops can be found in styles that suit every body type, they look particularly appealing on hourglass shapes. Some looser-fitting dresses have a peplum design on the bottom instead of the waist. This type of peplum style is particularly flattering on straight body types.
Whether you’ve got an event coming up or are just trying to find a stylish and comfortable everyday dress, the peplum style offers a wide range of fun, feminine, and flirty options to choose from. Read on to learn everything you need to know about choosing the perfect peplum dress for your body type and the occasion.
How to Wear a Peplum Dress
While the peplum style can create a more attractive silhouette, it can look less than appealing if you don’t choose the right kind of peplum dress for your body type. Before you even consider the occasion you’re shopping for, follow the tips below to select the ideal peplum dress for your body type.
- Hourglass figures look good in any type of peplum dress.
- Triangular body types look best when layering a peplum dress with a blazer or coat to enhance the shoulders. Pair a light-colored blazer with a dark-colored dress.
- Inverted triangular body types should follow the opposite rule from triangular. That is, focus on enhancing the lower part of the body. Wear a dark-colored top with a light-colored bottom, or choose a two-toned peplum dress.
- Rectangular figures should steer clear of peplum styles with small frills. Draw attention to the waistline by choosing a peplum dress with wide frills.
- Bodies with no definition in the abdomen need to choose a peplum dress with ruffles around the hipline or one with a contrast-colored frill.
Now that you know what to look for in terms of your body type, consider the occasion you’re shopping for.
Choosing the Perfect Peplum Dress for Work
Keep your office ensemble classy by choosing a solid-colored peplum dress for work. Add a twist and some extra dimension by layering a blazer in a contrasting color over the dress. Neutral colors are best for creating a sober yet confident corporate look. Finish the ensemble with a pair of heels or pumps.
Planning a Pretty Peplum Dress for a Party
Patterned peplum is perfect for a party look. There are many patterned peplum styles to choose from depending on the type of party you’re dressing for. If you’re dressing for a wedding or more formal occasion, choose an embroidered peplum dress or pair a classy peplum skirt with a lace top. For a more casual party, check out peplum dresses made with metallic colors.
Dressing in a Peplum Dress for Vacation or Casual Occasions
The peplum style can provide an effortlessly beautiful look for a vacation or casual occasion. Floral-printed peplum dresses are ideal for such situations. They’re suitable for daytime parties, beach trips, and pretty much any other casual occasion you may find yourself in. Peplum dresses with deep necklines are also ideal for these types of occasions.
The Importance of Ruffles in the Peplum Style
Peplum is all about the ruffles. The placement of the ruffle on a peplum dress generally starts at least two inches below the hipline. Sometimes it can rest exactly at the waist or be lower on the dress. In some styles, it appears at the bottom of the dress. The placement of the ruffle is the most significant deciding factor concerning body types. Ruffles are the main feature of the peplum style and play an essential role in creating an alluring and attractive appearance, so choose wisely.
Gathered peplum creates a curved silhouette that appears smaller at the waist and wider at the hip. Gathered peplum dresses are ideal for people with triangles, inverted triangles, and hourglass figures. If you have an undefined waistline, it would be best to steer clear of dresses with a gathered peplum or choose a peplum dress where the peplum detail sits directly on the waist.
If you’re heavier at the bottom, a flared peplum style will flatter your waistline perfectly. Flared peplum flares like an A-line skirt, featuring heavy ruffles that enhance the appearance of the waist area. Unlike other peplum styles, the waist of the flared peplum isn’t cinched. Flared peplum dresses work best for circular, inverted triangle, and hourglass body types. However, if you have a triangular body type, you should avoid this style.
Pleated peplum is the most popular type of peplum and is flattering on any body type. It’s designed to distract the eye from an uneven waistline and minimize the appearance of a tummy. Pleated peplum camouflages and accentuates simultaneously. It’s a versatile style that adds an alluring appearance to any body type.
Asymmetrical peplum dresses feature a line of ruffles that runs asymmetrically. This design can run shorter on the sides, which is ideal for curvier body types, or longer on the sides, which accentuates the curves around narrow hips.
Follow the tips in the guide above to find the perfect peplum dress for your body type and the occasion you’re dressing for. In addition to peplum dresses, you can also explore peplum tops paired with midi-length pencil skirts or a pair of narrowly tailored pants. Don’t be afraid to explore bold colors and different prints and patterns. There are so many peplum styles to choose from; you’ll never get bored – or look boring.
Jonah Levine is the Creative Director of TheDressWarehouse.com. TheDressWarehouse.com was launched in 2018 as the go-to online source for amazing designer dresses at affordable prices. With 10 years of experience in the industry, Jonah works daily to scour the markets to find the hottest styles and to negotiate the best prices for special occasion wear on the internet.