Trends are cyclical, and though I’m happy to leave some firmly in the past, there’s one I’m falling for right now: the peplum. Popular in the ’40s (on tailored dresses with collars and buttons) and in the ’80s (exaggerated versions that balanced the era’s padded shoulders and bold prints), the flounce has long been loved for the way it emphasizes the waist and instantly creates an hourglass figure. It’s made a comeback in recent seasons, not least due to the multiple iterations of Preen’s signature peplum dress.
Today’s designers leave behind the busy patterns and bulky details of bygone eras, passing them up in favor of solid colors, streamlined silhouettes, and a modern sensibility. Simple, strapless dresses in winter white by Alice + Olivia and DSQUARED2 are adorned with architectural peplums, and Club Monaco makes a bustier top on-trend with an asymmetrical peplum and a shade of blush pink. For something more relaxed but no less refined, Derek Lam’s cotton version is perfect for a resort getaway now or a garden party come spring.