Style 101: Now in Session!

Although the height of summer is upon us, going back to school is not too far from our minds. And while we won’t give you yet another article about the best back to school fashions, we thought it would be appropriate to hold our own class β€” style class, that is.

That’s where our new series for Take Her Look, “Style 101,” comes in. In “Style 101,” we will be going over the basics of dressing (how to put together an outfit, how to mix prints, etc) and decoding fashion lingo so you can shop in any store and know exactly what something like a cigarette pant is and what to pair it with. Consider this a crash course in building your personal style and expanding your wardrobe, so get out your notebook and pencil, because class is in session!

In today’s “Style 101,” we will be discussing the term ‘peplum.’ Peplums, or a flared strip of material flowing outward from the waist of a garment, can be found on several articles of clothing, ranging from tops to skirts and dresses to jackets.

Garments with a peplum are universally flattering. Because the flare of material begins at the waist and extends outward over the hips, it has a tremendous narrowing effect on the waist. Peplums are also a great way to accentuate your hips and create curves on your body, since the end of the flare sits at the hips. Another way in which peplums are universally flattering is that they are a simple camouflaging tool; they can easily hide anything you may be concerned about in your stomach area while also maintaining a structured shape. So instead of wearing a shapeless tunic or t-shirt to hide your problem area, a peplum is a great alternative to hide any areas of concern without compromising shape.

If peplums sound like something your closet might be craving, there are a few ways to work a peplum into your wardrobe. Start by trying out a peplum top; peplum tops can easily be dressed down with your favorite pair of jeans or dressed up with a pencil skirt or trousers. This V-Back Lace Peplum Top from Forever 21 is the perfect way to try out a peplum; done in a beautiful navy lace, this peplum top can be worn for any occasion and paired with just about anything. And it won’t hurt your bank account either, available for only $19.80 on Forever21.com.

The V-Back Lace Peplum Top, found on Forever21.com.

The V-Back Lace Peplum Top, found on Forever21.com.

Wearing a peplum jacket can be a great look for work, especially when it’s as fashionable as the Tailored Peplum Jacket by Topshop. This navy striped jacket is the perfect alternative to the traditional business blazer, as it offers a tailored, professional silhouette while still being trendy and fun. The stripes on this jacket also emphasize the effect of the peplum; its diagonal stripes converge at the waist, therefore accentuating your waist. Available for $95 at Nordstrom.com, this jacket is a great way to spice up your workwear.

The Topshop Tailored Peplum Jacket, found on Nordstrom.com.

The Topshop Tailored Peplum Jacket, found on Nordstrom.com.

Peplums also add a little bit of life to even the simplest of dresses. Take the Step by Pep Fuchsia Peplum Dress from Lulu’s, for example. The basic shape of the dress without the peplum is a bodycon tube dress; it is curve-hugging, but there is no real structure to it otherwise. Now consider the shape of the dress with the peplum; the peplum not only adds structure to the dress by emphasizing the waistline, it also adds shapes to the dress by accentuating the curve of the hip. The peplum also makes harder-to-wear styles like a bodycon dress more accessible, since it will help to conceal any problem areas. For only $29, this makes for an easy, affordable way to test out a peplum dress in your ever-expanding wardrobe.

The Step by Pep Fuchsia Peplum Dress, found on Lulus.com.

The Step by Pep Fuchsia Peplum Dress, found on Lulus.com.

So now that you know what a peplum is, the benefits of pieces with peplums and how to wear a peplum, you really have no excuse not to try it out!

Class is dismissed!

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