Come with us, if you will, and cast your mind back to 2011. You’re scrolling through your older sister’s Facebook page when you come across an album entitled "Girls Gone Wild ;P". The uniform for every single girlie in the local Slug & Lettuce? A peep-toe patent heel, bodycon skirt, statement necklace and the pièce de résistance: a peplum top.
A stiff shoulder and a pointy peplum was somewhat edgy at the time but in the rearview, the failsafe night out look leans more business casual. Regularly accessorised with a longline blazer and Elnett-infused hair bump, TikTok millennials are now defining the corporate club aesthetic as "LinkedIn looks" due to its office-appropriate appearance.
But while the flared top may induce war flashbacks among the 30+ crowd of 2-4-1 Jägerbombs, the frilly style is coming back thanks to the new generation. According to Google Trends, interest from online shoppers has increased exponentially in February, with a 60% rise in searches for peplum tops and a 40% increase for peplum blouses.
One reason may be the recent deluge of celebrities wearing peplum looks on the red carpet. At the 2023 BRIT Awards, Album of The Year winner Harry Styles accentuated his floral corsage with a black velvet peplum jacket from Nina Ricci by Harris Reed. Florence Pugh showed her love for the look at the recent London Critics’ Circle Film Awards in a crimson peplum gown from Robert Wun, while Reese Witherspoon went for a nostalgic triple threat, wearing a teal peplum bodycon by Valentino to the Your Place or Mine premiere.
As with all trend resurgences, the peplum has undergone a makeover since its heyday, with the new wave looking much more relaxed. Where previous iterations included stiff scuba fabrics in neon colourways, the styles currently taking over our feeds are softer in form, more floaty feminine than #workexperiencechic.
From understated poplin peplums to cosy ruffle-hem knits, the new era is looser, lighter and all the more free, making it perfect for the spring months ahead. For those on the hunt for a more structured silhouette, the new guard also includes a number of chic strapless options.
To discover the peplum regeneration for yourself, click through the slideshow ahead…
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