Shop Talk

SHOP TALK: What’s a peplum?

Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.

Click for a gallery of peplum looks. Photos courtesy

So what’s a peplum you ask? The Apple dictionary defines it as ‘a short flared, gathered, or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist of a woman’s jacket, dress, or blouse to create a hanging frill or flounce.’ Having a hard time picturing what the heck this looks like? Us too.

But we are all in luck, as peplums have been on the red carpets as well as on the runways . When a trend is seen on the runway and then transcends onto the red carpets, you know the trend is about to explode. Nicole Kidman was photographed wearing an Elie Saab peplum sheath at a New York City screening of the Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

Another spotting saw Emma Stone (if you don’t know her yet, you should!) sporting a two-tone Giambattista Valli ensemble.

Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli. Click for a gallery of peplum looks. Photo courtesy

Ottawa Magazine publisher, Dianne Wing, brought the peplum to our attention during one of our discussions on royalty prior to the Royal Wedding. She informed us that Princess Diana often wore peplums, and told us Diana was so influential that as soon as she wore a certain trend, women all over the world would know and follow suit. I guess we can say with the rise in popularity of the royal family once again (and Kate filling Princess Di’s very large shoes) the peplum trend is back on top — or the middle, as it were.

Or is it because of the growing interest in showing off your curves? The peplum is not for you if you are looking to hide your figure, because the ruffles will definitely draw attention to your hips. If you are willing to adopt this trend make sure that the peplum is the centre of attention by either pairing the top with a simple pencil skirt or minimal jewellery with a dress.