The fashion trend that looks best on big bottoms and the skinny on just how to wear it.
Curvy girls should cheer the peplum trend
It's not often I get to write this, but here we have it, a garment that looks better on a bigger bottom. Hooray!
Watch in awe as the world goes full curves ahead with the peplum - in non-fashion terms, a short overskirt or ruffle attached at the waistline of a dress or a skirt and first popularised by Dior in 1947. To appreciate it, one only has to look at the sheer number of designers involved in advancing the trend - Jason Wu coveted the look at the recent Autumn/Winter 2012-2013 shows, as did Burberry Prorsum, Stella McCartney and Dries Van Noten.
Now, I know that any girl with a healthy state of mind would bolt at the mere idea of packing on saddlebags to her seat - surely adding padding to an area most of us try to compress is ridiculous? Remarkably, no, because here we have a trend that actually defies the odds.
You see, the whole point of a peplum is to celebrate the S-curve - the waist-to-hip ratio, and in fact without any padding the whole thing appears a little sad, like a half-opened umbrella.
The most important thing to make sure of is that the style is perfectly tailored. Stay clear of anything A-line or loose at the thigh or knee, and avoid short altogether.
The most successful length is about two fingers above the knee - anything lower and the overall look transforms into something slightly frumpy.
Work the trend to your body: it can hide a tum, enhance slim hips and even out the silhouette if you have broad shoulders. If you are particularly hip heavy, look for a peplum on the bottom of a top or on a cropped jacket that skims just above the hip, and pair with a pair of cigarette trousers to balance things out.
The choice of fabric is imperative. Ideally, wool will hold its shape best - the heavier the quality, the better the line - and avoid any cheap imitations on the high street as they will not hold their shape properly.
Less is more when it comes to the size of the ruffle. The peplum should be simple and neat - anything over-complicated or heavily gathered will become fussy and not hang well.
Lastly, have a bit of fun with the trend. It's a sweet and flirty silhouette, so treat it lightly, and don't be afraid to add some colour or a print to the mix for a more retro appeal.
And if you are still somewhat undecided, don't panic; you can always have a go next time around. The peplum is one of the mosquitoes of the fashion world in that it keeps coming back for more.
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LAM DEPARTS The Italian luxury brand Tod's confirmed that Derek Lam will be leaving his post as creative director.
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