Style Panel: 9 flattering ways to wear a peplum for your body type

FASHION Magazine Style Panel: How to wear a peplum

If fashionland had its own Chinese horoscope, this would certainly be the year of the peplum. Not only has the hip-riding volume plumper been going strong on runways for three seasons now, but its also been embraced by street style savants, bloggers and the like. But, if you’re still wondering how to wear the damn thing, we’ve turned to the Style Panel for several options. New this week, you’ll find With Love Gabrielle’s Marta Tryshak, the Style Panel’s latest member.

Question 16: What’s the best way to wear a peplum for your body type? Read the answers now! »


Marta Tryshark Peplum

Marta Tryshak, 24
Toronto | With Love Gabrielle

A favourite of Christian Dior, the peplum was always used to accentuate a tiny waist. This season, the peplum is back with a modern twist. Come fall, I cannot wait to wear cashmere sweaters! Cashmere is my favourite cold weather staple and peplum gives it a pretty touch. When worn with a pair of jeans, the peplum detail not only draws attention to my waist but also dresses up the entire look.

Marta’s wearing: Sweater, Autumn Cashmere. Jeans, J Brand. Booties, Manolo Blahnik.

Vanessa Hong Peplum

Vanessa Hong, 28
Beijing via Vancouver | The Haute Pursuit

I like to wear peplum with a bit of a twist. Here I found a great perforated leather peplum that keeps the ladylike like silhouette but has additional edge. I paired it with leather pants and simple heels to keep the whole look classic, but also a little unpredictable.

Elodie Parthenay Peplum

Élodie Parthenay, 26
Montreal | Hello Elo

I fell in love with the peplum with Giambatista Valli’s Fall 2011 collection (Who could forget Emma Stone’s pink and red Valli cocktail dress?), but couldn’t find the right peplum for me until I met this Zara skirt last spring. Not only is the print adorable, but the high-waisted silhouette and long peplum create a more harmonious waist-to-hip ratio for us small-waisted and wide-hipped ladies. It’s rather short and I’m pretty tall, so I only wear it with flats. Lucky for me, my Vans x Parra sneakers match perfectly.

Élodie’s wearing: Peplum skirt, Zara. Neon T-shirt, Gap. Sneakers, Vans x Parra. Necklace, Marni x H&M. Purse, vintage from my vintage shop

Cara McLeay Peplum

Cara McLeay, 28
Vancouver | A Fashion Love Affair

While it seems adding detail to your waist would add bulk, peplums actually cinch in and highlight curves in a flirty way that still has an air of sophistication. I layered my peplum top over an otherwise plain dress to add draw attention to my waist and add a bit of interest to the overall look.

Cara’s wearing: Dress and Peplum Top, Forever 21. Blazer, H&M. Necklace, Loren Hope. Bag, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Heels, Shoemint.

Vickie Laliotis Peplum

Vickie Laliotis, 28
Edmonton | Adventures in Fashion

The peplum can be one of the most flattering, feminine silhouettes out there, but it can also be one of the least. Worn well (think Kate Middleton), it can yield diminutive waistlines and elongated figures. Worn poorly, and it can lead to exaggerated hips and unnecessary bulk. So what’s the secret to finding the right peplum? Consider proportion. A flow-y, understated version is the most universally flattering because it won’t accentuate the hips, while solid colours or basic prints (think polka dots or simple stripes) can keep unwanted bulk at bay. Play with different styles and try different variations of the trend, be it in shirt, skirt or coat form, and you’ll find the perfect fit for you in no time!

Vickie’s wearing: Peplum top, Forever 21. Oxblood pants, H&M. Heels, Zara. Clutch, Kate Spade. Necklaces, Forever 21. Watch, Michael Kors.

Mo Handahu Peplum

Mo Handahu, 29
Halifax | Curvy Geekery

I have definitely rocked peplum this summer. I love that it helps accentuate my curves and hide my tummy which gives me a better silhouette. The great thing I love about this trend is that it wasn’t necessary for me to invest in a lot of pieces. In this look all I did was pick one of my really flared tops that I cinched at the waist with a belt and created my own faux peplum.

Mo’s wearing: Top, self-made. Pants, earrings, belt: Thrifted. Shoes, Winners.

Kassandra Camponi Peplum

Kassandra Camponi, 26
Edmonton | Kastles

Oh peplum, how I adore thee! This is a trend that looks stylish but at the same time can hide that cupcake I might have ate for lunch. Whenever I wear a peplum top, I instantly feel more feminine and polished. Luckily there are all sorts of types and sizes of peplums, so anyone can give it a try. If you are a little scared of the peplum, start with T-shirt type peplum like the one I am wearing. It’s comfy and the peplum is subtle.

Kristin MacDonald Peplum

Kristin MacDonald, 27
Fredericton | Doll Parade

The re-emergence of the peplum was sort of exciting for a petite but bottom heavy girl such as myself, but surprisingly, I haven’t found one perfect for me just yet. Really, what better way to balance yourself than to stick some volume right in the middle of your ill-proportioned figure which also conveniently re-focused attention to a cinched waist while partially covering your hips. Seems like a win/win/win. So, while I search for my perfect version, I decided to tide myself over with this simple, peplum-adorned dress. Simple and non-fussy, but with an extra dose of fun—just the way I like it.

Isabel Slone Peplum

Isabel Slone, 22
Toronto | Hipster Musings

I have always adored the peplum, even before I knew what it was called, and have amassed quite the collection of ruffle-y items in my wardrobe. This particular shirt is black crushed velvet with an asymmetrical peplum by Comme des Garcons, and was an incredible find at Beacon’s Closet in Brooklyn from a few years back. The peplum is a bit of a fancy look, so I tend to dress it down by pairing it with a simple pair of skinny jeans and clunky Dr. Martens boots.