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History Of Peplum Style And How It Has Evolved Over The Years

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The Peplum style is a fashion staple for the many ladies as it does not go out of style.


This outfit made its way into the clothing industry many years ago, however, some persons do not know its history.


Though the peplum’s heydays were in the 1940s and ’80s, it has been around long before then. In fact, instances of this unique silhouette date as far back as ancient Greece.


During the Classical period (500 B.C.), Grecians wore an outfit called a peplos. Incidentally, this word is where the term “peplum” originated.


The peplos consisted of a long tube of fabric, draped and tied at the waist to create a fold of fabric on the top half of the body, then cinched again to create the peplum shape.


History Of Peplums And How It Has Evolved In Fashion Over The Years
Photo: So Vintage Patterns

Greek women frequently sported this style. It was an easy way to add a little bit of stylistic flair to their tunics, giving their outfits both shape and volume.


A much more structured version of the peplum came into fashion for a brief period during the Renaissance era. This peplum flared outward over the hips, rather than draping across the body, and was sported by men and women alike.

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The peplum resurfaced during the Victorian era. Women were becoming a bit more mobile and had to deal with the cumbersome and embarrassing issue of hiking up their skirts in order to walk around.


History Of Peplums And How It Has Evolved In Fashion Over The Years
Peplum Dresses In the 1940s. Photo credit: Pinterest

Thus, in the 1800s, voluminous skirts became more streamlined. However, these new styles still needed to afford the wearer a generous amount of modesty, and so the “overskirt” was created as a solution.


Rather than a layer that needed to be held up when moving around, the overskirt was a shorter piece that allowed for mobility, while still concealing the hips and thighs.

The peplum faded out of popularity by the 1950s, and would not resurface again until about 30 years later. The ’80s were another decade where the flared waistline prevailed in fashion.

For instance, the 80’s version typically began at the hips rather than the waist. Some were cut in a “v” shape rather than a seam that went straight across.

Peplum Dresses in the 1980s: Photo Credit: Pinterest

Others featured an uneven hemline or a criss-cross draping detail in the front. But perhaps the most telling element of the 80’s peplum was the layering.


Peplums of that era were typically comprised of multiple layers that added volume to a dress or ensemble.

History Of Peplums And How It Has Evolved In Fashion Over The Years
Photo: Pinterest

Now Peplum dresses and tops are made for everyday events or occasions. Be it a date, official meetings, or corporate events; it always stylish.


The beautiful thing about the Peplum outfit is that even though it has evolved over the years, it still fulfills its original purpose which is to cover a woman modestly.


This fashion outfit is here to stay and will still be in vogue years from now so introducing it into your wardrobe won’t be a bad idea.


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