A Peek at Peplum: The History Behind the Figure-Flattering Trend

After dominating yet another runway season, it’s pretty much official: the peplum trend is here to stay. With a nip at the waist and fabric hovering on the hip, the silhouette itself has essentially become the universal shape of femininity. But who was the first to figure out just how flattering this style could be?

BLG-1771 What Are You Really Wearing Peplum

The term “peplum” is derived from the Greek word peplos, meaning “shawl.” In ancient Greece, during the classical period, women often draped extra fabric around their waists, resembling what we now know as the peplum skirt. But it wasn’t until several centuries later that the ladylike silhouette really took off.

In 1947, Christian Dior designed the Tailleur Bar, consisting of a blazer with a dramatic skirted waist. The design complemented a woman’s natural hourglass shape and became an instant success. Today, we have the Tailleur Bar “2.0” – the peplum skirt – and our wardrobes are all the better for it.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column every Tuesday.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

October 1, 2013