The peplum is back in style (yes, really)

Y2K style is back in full force this year—check out Katie Holmes’ dress over jeans for proof—but are 2010 the next fashion era to be revived? It wasn’t for a decade that long ago, but there are already signs pointing to yes. The business-casual look of the 2010s, for example, is slowly coming back into fashion. Although today it’s about elegant suits and less about body-hugging dresses and buns. Like it or not, there’s also a polarizing trend from the decade that’s making a comeback, both on the catwalks and on the red carpet. Are you ready for the return of peplum silhouettes?

Best described as a billowing, gathered or gathered piece of fabric at the waist of a garment, this embellishment really took off in the early 2010s. Lanvin’s spring 2010 collection featured ruffled cocktail dresses with exaggerated peplums; Jil Sander’s spring 2011 show had a colorful look with peplum tops and floor-length skirts; Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2012 collection even featured peplum waists on structured suits. The look gained further momentum when celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Rihanna and Nicole Kidman started wearing it on red carpets. It almost became a competition – who would play the biggest and bravest of them all.

Jil Sander Spring 2011

Monica Feudi /

Givenchy Spring 2022

Photo: Alessandro Lucioni /

However, by the early to mid-2010s, the dramatic peplum was all but retired. Until now, that is, this year we have seen how the much-mourned piece is slowly returning to the fashion fray. On the spring runways, brands such as Givenchy, Dior and Prabal Gurung showed new styles in tighter concoctions, making them a little more modern and less romantic or flowy.

Peplum shapes were also present on red carpets. At the Cannes Film Festival in May, Deepika Padukone hit the red carpet in a red Louis Vuitton dress with a controversial waistline. At the HCA TV Awards in August, Sydney Sweeney wore a vintage Mugler dress that looked fresh. Even the peplum top recently made a cameo at Comic-Con in July, on Danai Gurira.

These new peplums are less over the top than the first iterations. They have a more subtle sheen compared to the in-your-face ones from the 2010s. But you still can’t miss them, and they once again become the focal point of the ensemble. The question is: Will they? your bring back the peplum too? Or, like low-waisted jeans, you might leave it to the stars. The ball is in your court!

Below, more of this year’s best peplum sightings.

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