This Controversial Silhouette Is Preparing for a Surprisingly Chic Return
Photo:Brandon Maxwell; David Koma; Tory Burch
During arguably my most questionable style years (aka when I was in high school in the early 2010s), I had a burgundy peplum top that I swear I wore once a week at least. At the time, it was, to me, the perfect shirt, elegant and stylish with just the right level of drama. Even so, when the controversial silhouette was deemed "out" not long after, I shunned it. For years after, whenever I stumbled upon one of the hundreds of digital camera photos I took in it, I shuttered, traumatized by my own style choices.
It wasn't until a few months ago that the idea of wearing anything peplum-related even entered my mind. Inspired by two things—the U.K.-based brand Liberowe's velvet, peplum lady jackets and Proenza Schouler's hourglass-style peplum offerings from fall/winter 2022—I began to question all the undeserved hate I'd thrown at the peplum trend over the last decade. Modernized and stylized, the new-age versions that the aforementioned brands and more are introducing in recent years are more than worth a second thought, and in turn, a second chance.
What I wore: Liberowe Nobel Peplum Jacket ($1808); Vintage Levi's; Chanel heels; Miu Miu Nappa Matelasse Old Mini Wander Hobo Sabbia Caffe ($1885); Linda Farrow Cara Oval Acetate Sunglasses ($359)
I chose New York Fashion Week earlier this month as my chance to finally take the peplum style—in the form of said Liberowe peplum jacket—out for a spin. And while it took a second to get used to the additional fabric, it really was only a second, as excitement over the interesting and lavish silhouette took over. Making it even better (whilst I was wearing it and later) were a handful of brands debuted similarly sculptural pieces, from Brandon Maxwell to Tory Burch. In London the following week, peplum was showcased as well by David Koma, Tove, Christopher Kane, and Simone Rocha.
Scroll down for all the proof you need that I'm not the only one acting on the peplum's return to fashion's good graces.
For a brand that's known for designing classic, timeless apparel for the modern woman, it's rare that truly controversial pieces make it into the mix. Yet Brandon Maxwell didn't shy away from sartorial controversy for fall/winter 2023, pairing a peplum tube top with Bermuda-length jorts, tall socks, and kitten heels. The result? A look that's going directly on my fashion month mood board.
This tailored peplum top is unlikely to stay in stock for long. I say this as someone who's missed out on one too many stellar Pixie Market items due to hesitation, so you can trust me.
Get the Brandon Maxwell runway look for under-$100 with this on-sale Ba&sh rib-knit peplum top.
Remember when I said my high school–era peplum top felt utterly elegant and stylish? This is what I thought it looked like (it, of course, didn't, but considering that I believe it cost something like $12, it was unlikely to ever look this chic).
The draping on this sale top from Tove is downright stunning.
This is 2023's peplum trend in the color of the season.
Tove's collections are always things of beauty, but this season's selection was particularly stunning. For proof, see this off-white, satiny peplum top that's sure to turn even the most boring of outfits into a work of art.
A classic option to ease you back into the peplum look.
Summer is coming, which means it's time to stock up on linen shirts (and dresses, skirts, and pants, too).
This Paco Rabanne peplum dress lives rent free in my brain, not only because it's gorgeous, but also because I see it daily on my Instagram feed.
I'm a fan of any top that's made of velvet at the moment, so this Rhode blouse is especially alluring.
Pair it with a midi skirt for a black-tie look or jeans for a more casual date night.
Tory Burch's fall/winter 2023 collection was by far one of the fan favorites from New York Fashion Week, but I haven't heard anyone discuss this simple, monochrome look that features slouchy cords, a long-sleeve peplum top, and matching accessories. That's a mistake—it's perfection.
No one's doing peplum as well as Proenza Schouler right now. Tell me I'm wrong.
Leave it to Khaite to make one of the chicest peplum options on the market with this longline, draped, strapless top with an almost rococo-style print.
Rosie Assoulin's designs are always hyper feminine and pretty, so there should be no surprises that this is one of hers.
Peplum comes in more forms than just tops. Do something different with this peplum skirt.
David Koma's fall/winter 2023 collection is likely to be remembered most fondly for the ever presence of the season's most prominent color, but it's key that we don't forget another trend that dominated its runway show: peplum.
I'm not much of a floral person, but something about this peplum jacket from Tory Burch does it for me.
Gap is popping off right now. Go check it out or regret it.
If you're trying to come up with outfits to inspire the return of peplum to your wardrobe, this look should be at the very top of the associated mood board.
This off-the-shoulder peplum top looks so expensive for costing only $30.
Brandon Maxwell knows how to design gorgeous clothes. Just imagine how elegant and pretty you'll feel wearing a skirt like this one. Swoon.
This Christopher Kane look is giving serious '80s vibes and I'm 100% here for it. From the pop of red to the neck scarf to the peplum silhouette, it's a chic example of '80s style, an era that often gets overlooked fashion-wise.
For a super-subtle take on peplum, try this $79 Halogen top. I guarantee you won't regret it.
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