Fashion: The frill of the waist

By Susan Edmunds

I am really surprised peplums are back for another season.

I had thought they wouldn't take off again in a big way because who - apart from Brooke on Shortland Street, who appears to live in hers - would want to add a band of frilly fabric around their waist or bottom?

For years, all the styling tips I've read have been about how to draw attention away from this area. Adding a frill seems almost as bad as wrapping yourself in a bit of wadding before putting on your tightest jeans.

But, after being told by several seemingly knowledgeable people that it is possible to wear a peplum without adding an illusion of extra girth, even when you aren't on a soap-opera set, I decided to test the theory.

And it seems it is achievable - but that comes with a number of caveats.

Whether you wear a peplum on the top or bottom half of your outfit can make a huge difference to how it looks.

A peplum at the bottom of a fitted top can actually help disguise a thicker waist, and one set high on a high-waisted skirt can help cinch in your middle. Whatever you wear below the peplum should be fitted, otherwise you'll just end up with a really bizarre effect.

This might sound counterintuitive, but people who are a bit curvier often look the best in a well-placed peplum. The style draws attention to hips and waist, so if you don't have a lot of shape there it can look a bit strange. And peplums can be a great way to make a stretch, body-con shift dress work for a slightly fuller figure.

If you're wearing a peplum, the skirt should fall to just below your knee. The horizontal line it adds around your waist can give the impression that you have shorter legs than you really do, so don't add another horizontal line around your ankles - a court shoe or peep-toe is the only style that really works here.

This is a retro look so pick a modern fabric to update it.


- Hamilton News

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