Image Consulting

Trends to be carried over to Fall. Peplum Tops. How to wear them

Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 in Blog, Pairing up, Shopping, Styling tips | 38 comments

This spring peplums made a significant come back and are now enjoying their moment. This at first sight weird silhouette  that we saw flooding the runways this spring has become the hottest and most wearable trend of SS2012. And what’s more – it is here to stay, for at  least a couple more seasons, the fall 2012 runway images below are to prove that. So if you have been debating if a peplum top will make a worthy addition to your wardrobe, the answer is a definite “yes”. Before you hit the stores though, read on to find out which peplum top to choose to flatter you body type and how to create stylish ensembles  featuring this fashionable item.

Before we proceed to talking about how to wear peplum tops, let’s first make sure we all know what we are discussing here. So, peplum is a short overskirt or a ruffle attached around the waistline. It was first introduced by Dior in 1947.

Then this shape was forgotten for a couple of decades and now we are witnessing the return of this structured and feminine detail.

What body types would a peplum top benefit the most?

Peplums are here to celebrate femininity accentuating utterly womanly shape of an hourglass. Peplums are believed to be flattering to any body type if worn right. Both straight and curvy lines can benefit from wearing peplums by letting them either create the illusion of shape, balance out the proportions, or enhance the curves that are already there.

Speaking in the terminology of my post on Somatype where I gave an overview of 3 major body types – ectomoprh, mesomoprh and endomorph, I would say that peplums can be easily incorporated into the wadrobe of a mesomorph and an ectomorph, while already voluptuous shapes of an endomoprh definitely do not need extra bulk and exaggeration.

So if you are an ecto- or mesomorph, i.e. someone who is not very full-bodied with soft curves, large bust or chest, these tips will help you pick the right peplum.

  • if you have a little tummy peplums that sit just above the waist at the narrowest part of your torso will perfectly hide any hint that it exists
Asos at POPSUGAR Shopping













  • if your body shape is straight with a barely defined waist make sure the peplum detail on your top sits right where the waist is, creating this much wanted contrast between your hips and waistline. In case of the narrow shoulders look for the designs with padded shoulders or puffed sleeves to add to the ideal shoulder-waist-hips proportion
Julie Haus at POPSUGAR Shopping
















  • if you are heavier at the bottom and believe that you shouldn’t touch any peplum with a 10-feet pole, you are wrong! The peplum can still flatter your figure by drawing in the waist and building an hour-glass shape, just go for the sharply structured items with a nipped-in waist
Alice + Olivia at POPSUGAR Shopping













  • for those of you with short torsos, tops with peplums that flare out from lower on the body will do the trick of elongating the line

peplum toppeplum top

  • if your torso is longer than your legs, then opt for the designs with the ruffle positioned just above the natural waist line to mend the proportion and making the lower part of your body appear visually longer. This trick also work for shorter girls

peplum toppeplum top
As you see, there is a variety of different peplums, each of them serving a different purpose, it’s just a matter of finding the one right for you.How to wear a peplum top?The most elegant way to wear a peplum top is to pair it up with a pencil skit. Midi length will create the most classy ensemble. Don’t forget a narrow belt

peplum top what to wear it with

peplum top



Another elegant option is to pair your top up with a pair of narrow tailored pants. This will work especially good if your top has some texture, like lace for example

peplum top2
peplum topwhat to wear a peplum with



For a more casual look combine your peplum with a pair of skinny jeans

peplum top3


For a very relaxed feeling, try mixing a casual fabric peplum top with mini shorts. Mind the shoes have to be very casual like sandals or simple flats

what to wear a peplum with

peplum topwhat to wear a peplum with


What NOT to wear a peplum top with? Peplum top pairings no-no’sIt’s usually not a good idea to pair a peplum top with:

  • leggings
  • jeans of any cut except for skinny
  • harem pants
  • pants and skirt with pleats and gathers at the waist
  • cargo shorts and pants
  • chinos
  • high-low skirts


peplum top no-no

Enhanced by Zemanta You can shop for peplums here

Do you already have a peplum in your wardrobe? What do you wear it with? Or maybe you are still hesitating and unsure which one will look good on you, then ask me for help and I’ll gladly give you a hand.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. jamie-lee

    I absolutely adore the peplum trend. Just got into it recently with a couple of plain coloured ones :)

  2. melissa

    yeah I have a cardigan, bought it at Jacob’s (I’m in Canada) last year… Didn’t even know it’s going to be trendy this year.

  3. Christine Syquia

    Thanks for the post. I just bought a black leather peplum top mainly because my mom said it looked so flattering on me but I did not know what to wear it with. I think I will just wear it with a skinny skirt for upcoming meetings. I like the creme skinny skirt you listed with the lace detail along the side seams. Where is that from? In the winter I will pair a crisp white shirt under my leather peplum with skinny jeans and boots. This blog post was very helpful. Thank you!

  4. Meena

    Loved the pairing suggestions! I recently bought a peplum top and I love pairing it with my white skinny cropped pants! I love how peplum can dress up an ensemble.

  5. Jess

    I recently bought a black peplum with lace detail from Topshop. I am a size 12, mainly because of my chest !! I have found that it is really flattering, but I am unsure whether to combine it this weekend (my boyfriends birthday so I need to look amaze) with black skinny jeans, denim skinnies or a black skirt? Mini or pencil? I don’t want to look too smart, I am 21 so I think a pencil might look older than my age?

    What do you think?

    • MatchYourSelf

      Hi Jess,

      sorry for the late response, the notification failed to reach me.
      I would recommend you wear black skinny jeans with your peplum. In my opinion it will make a perfect look for a special occasion, sophisticated and elegant while appropriate for your age.
      I think you are right, with a pencil skirt your outfit will look too official and mature for your age. Mini skirts I would never recommend pairing with this peplum, they simply belong to two different leagues and will undermine each other’s fashion statements. Lace peplum is about sleekness, elegance and sophistication and a mini will simplify the look.
      Hope you looked great and had fun at the birthday party :)

  6. Chilly

    All sound advice… but don’t peplum wearers ever get cold? I’m loving looking at all these shapely dresses in the shops, but I can’t work out what I’m going to wear over them without diminishing the structure – any ideas?

  7. Shannan

    I recently bought a red peplem top and I’m finding it difficult to figure out what to wear it with as it’s quite a bright colour and not sure if it will stand out too much, and I can’t seem to make it work with my type of body shape where my hips are quite wide and I have quite a big bum, haha. It goes well with fitted black skirts, but I want to be able to wear it casually as well and doesn’t look flattering in any jeans I pick out, any suggestions?

    • MatchYourSelf

      Hi Shannan,

      to be honest it’s hard to recommend anything without seeing you and your top. But I’m pretty sure that skinny jeans in dark solid denim should look very good. Bright top should draw attention away from your bottom area and dark denim will make this area look slimmer. Wearing pumps in dark color to create a continuous unbroken line with your jeans will make your legs appear taller therefore further balancing out the silhouette. Just remember that jeans should be solid, no washed out, faded look, only minimalistic detailing, especially pockets need to be as simple as possible. Also make sure that the hemline of the top hits either above or below the widest part of your hips.
      Hope that was helpful and have fun with your top :)

  8. Melody

    I’ve only just started buying peplum tops/ dresses and i absolutely love them! so flattering even on me and i’m a plus-size. Will definitely be buying more peplum. I find them rather comfortable, not itchy, and extremely flattering definitely recommend peplums!!

  9. Hannah

    I have recently found a strapless peplum top online that I love. But I am unsure whether to buy it because I have a large bust. I have a narrow waist and medium sized hips – I just don’t want to look top heavy!

    Do you have a recommendation?

    • MatchYourSelf

      Hi Hannah,

      if the peplum detail is low enough, i.e. the top is not high waisted, you should be safe. Peplum should draw attention away from your upper body towards the hips, balance out the body by adding volume to the lower part, and create even more of an hourglass shape. From what I envisioned in my head, it should look gorgeous on your physique :) .

      Hope this helped :)

  10. Dina

    I recently bought a white peplum top from Zara and I have no idea what to wear it with this weekend (my bestfriend’s birthday party) . Should I go for a black skirt maybe ? or skinny jeans ? I also need help with the heels. any recommendations?
    & I’m 18 years old.
    Thank you so much. Great post by the way :)

  11. MatchYourSelf

    Hi Dina,

    do you have a picture of the top? A link perhaps to the website?

  12. Stef

    hi! so i bought a lace beplum top, it is light pink i don’t know what to war it with! why not leggins? i was about to do that! i am very voluptuous so what do i do ! thnks !

    • MatchYourSelf

      Hi Stef,

      My believe leggings and peplums do not work together, they belong to 2 different worlds. Leggigns are purely casual, they are as casual as it can get, they call for simple tunics, chunky oversized sweaters, casual shirts. Peplums on the other hand, even if made of knitted cotton, are on more elegant feminine side and wearing them with leggings is very depreciating to the benefits peplums give us. Besides, I believe when wearing leggings your bottom should be covered and peplums are never long enough to do so.
      My advice just pair it up with the items I write about in the post – skinny jeans or pencil skirt, it can even be a straight mini skirt if the style of your peplum allows. Peplum tops are by itself a core piece of your outfit so keep the rest simple but at the same level stylewise.
      Cheers :)

  13. Isabel

    I have a peplum w/ leather shoulder detail & slim leather piping on top of peplum. Ok to wear w/ shiny, metallic like pants or too armoired of a look? I also have tailored mini’s from jcrew which is I am leaning towards.

    • MatchYourSelf

      Hi Isabel,

      From what you told me about your pieces I picture a stunning outfit! Having said that, whether or not you want to wear your leather detailed top with metallic finish pants will totally depend on the statement you would like to make with your appearance. This look will be bold, dramatic and will make your sharp style stand out. If you are sure you can pull it off and the occassion permits, go for it. For a more low- key, yet stylish and refined look a pencil will be an ideal choice.
      Cheers :)

  14. Alexandra

    Thank you very much for the information. I have just purchased a gorgeous peplum top but I was not sure with what to wear it. Now I know that a pencil skirt is the best option. I have just the one but it has a kick pleat at the back and I am afraid that it could be too much although my husband thinks that it is perfect.

    • MatchYourSelf

      Alexandra, I am glad you found the article helpful :)

      For the skirt with a kick pleat… Hmmm.. to be honest not quiet sure. Chances are they might not go well together in terms of style. The skirt might not be sleek and refined enough for a peplum top. From what I imagine, this skirt goes better with a chunky knit sweater or simple button down shirt, therefore is better suited for a down to earth comfy outfit, a bit different style that peplum tops are made for.
      It’s hard to advise you anything without actually seeing the pieces.
      What I can suggest you can do is to go and try your peplum with a pencil skirt to see if you like the look better. And if you do, invest in a pencil skirt, it’s a versatile item which you will enjoy wearing anyways.

  15. eva

    I loved this article. Very useful for girls like me who are absolutely lost when it comes to fasion!

    I have just received a black velvet peplum top and, honestly, I have no idea what to wear it with.

    That is a photo of the top.

    It would be great if you could recommend me something.

  16. Hueyna - whattowearwith


    it seems that you are a peplum expert! love the discussion about working out peplum with different body types and already put a link to this page on my site..

  17. bernie

    hi i recently bought a black lace peplum dress the skirt part is raspberry ive a wedding in 2 wks n wundering what type of jacket r cardi cud i wear with it as the weather is still cold

  18. maria

    I recently bought a black peplum top from charlotte russe it has a lace detail from chest to shoulders
    and I love it, but I don’t know if it’s to much if I wear it with black pants and I have a red heels and belt. I don’t really like skirts (too skinny ) and It’s for a special occasion . Please need opinions.

    • MatchYourSelf

      Hi Maria,

      why would it be too much to wear your top with black pants? quiet the opposite, it is the most play it safe combo. I would only suggest that your pants would be on a skinnier side; straight cropped trousers also look good. Nothing flared or wide-legged thou. Red heels will serve as an accent and add interest to the outfit. I’m sure you will look great in this outfit – just go for it :)

  19. Sara

    So glad that I found your site! I recently bought a black peplum top ( and am planning on wearing it so a graduation ceremony. I wondering what to pair it with though. A white pencil skirt? A black and white print skirt? Any advice?

    • MatchYourSelf

      Hi Sara,

      it’s a beautiful and very versatile top that you bought. It can be paired up really with a lot of different skirts with the final decision depending on your personal style (whether you are a conservative dresser or more of a fashion froward, daring type); and your body type (i.e. if you have wider hips, you probably want to avoid white bottoms, or if you’d like to appear taller – then go for a column of solid color). I put together I couple of pairings, ranging from really conservative (black and white skirts), through some interesting and fresh combinations (neon and red skirts) to incorporating the latest trends (striped skirt). My fave would be the black and white lace print skirt – really gorgeous look it makes with the top; and the red skirt, which gives us a classic but not boring look. Feel free to finish your outfit with a belt and contrasting colored clutch, and pumps of course.
      Hope it was helpful and enjoy your ceremony! ))


      peplum by cinncinn featuring reiss
  20. April Swann

    Great suggestions and information.

  21. Sharon

    Hi just purchased a black peplum top from river island,it has a built in leopard printer band/collar attached. I have no idea what to wear it with as tried it with black jeans and it looked like too much black especially as I have black hair. I am 46 years old and size 10 with pear shape. Please help.

  22. Sheridan


    I recently bought a peplum top, its black, lace with 3/4 sleeves and i have no idea what bottoms to wear with it. I am a bigger girl (smaller up top, small waist but big hips/butt and legs) and have never been able to look good in fashion but i love this top. It looks great on I just dont know what to pair it with. Can you please help?

    Thank you =)


  1. featured on IFB | SWIM WITH THE CURRENT - [...] Match Yourself: Trends to be carried over to Fall [...]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Social Media Icons Powered by Acurax Website Design Expert