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How to Wear a Peplum

Fairchild Archive

Here are some things that are patently, ridiculously false:

A) You can't wear white after Labor Day.

B) You can't mix black and brown.

C) You can't wear a peplum if your body's not shaped like Karlie Kloss's.

Regarding the latter, I get why they seem scary. I do. But instead of assuming that a peplum's extra fabric widens you, think about it this way:

You know when you slip on a poufy, A-line skirt and your legs look thinner by comparison? It's like that. The exaggerated shape diminishes the other body parts around it. (In the peplum's case, that's your waist.)

It's a way to fake an hourglass figure that's much more ladylike and sophisticated than the clingy bandage dress route. Which is probably why so many designers love it (Jason Wu, Burberry, Michael Kors) and celebs both teeny (Emma Stone, above) and more curvy (Jennifer Hudson) call themselves fans.

With a few simple guidelines, that waist-whittling effect can work on almost anyone:

Black on black is the safest way you can possibly go. Opt for a slim pant to further emphasize the flouncey peplum.

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