Depending on who you’re talking to, the word peplum may steer the conversation into Italian film territory, or even ancient Greece. The peplum I am referring to however is a sort of short overskirt that is attached to a dress, blouse, skirt or fitted jacket. This phenomenon has taken Ugandan ladies’ wardrobes by storm and doesn’t seem to have plans of going anywhere any time soon.
It may be hot now, but peplum is not a recent trend, it dates as far back as the late 1800s, a time when ladies wore gloves to go downstairs for dinner. Although then, the shape wasn’t always as architecturally structured as it is today. If you went through the archives, you would find these dresses listed under “vintage peplum”, but they are in fact called crinolette.
Peplum is a very iconic and classy look that has been reinvented with each wave of fashion designers with adjustments being made to fit the particular era.
It has been spotted on some of the world’s most stylish and respected women.
The peplum shape accentuates and celebrates the hour glass figure which especially African preferences are all about. It has been embraced by African designers and they have not disappointed.
Peplum comes in all dresses, skirts, jackets, blouses, fabrics, shapes and sizes but some are less flattering than others.The look goes better with structured architectural shapes and stiff fabric. Limp fabric tends to look like an opera singer attempted to hit a note but failed miserably… and the bourgeoisie or bourgy (as Tyler Perry’s Media would say) opera audience didn’t laugh because they were too prim and proper, they instead looked knowingly at each other. You never want to be the butt of the joke you’re not even in on.
Another excellent way to wear peplum is with a pencil skirt that goes all the way to or just below the knee. This gives the illusion of an elongated line and we all know that fashion is one with illusion. Even better for an elongated line is to pair peplum with skinny geans. Shorter cuts are not terrible but it takes a certain body type to carry them without looking like Sponge Bob Square pants.
When all is said and done, peplum is your friend. In this festive season when the process of getting acquainted with the delicious looking buffet may mess up the silhouette of your carefully planned look, it is great to know that you can just slap on that peplum number and even go for round two (wink wink ladies). Have a very Merry Christmas and a jolly New year, now go out and show that buffet who is boss ;D.