Runway to Real Way: "Pep" Talk – Picking The Best Peplums for Spring

It can be tough to decide which spring trends you may want to try this season. So we’ve plucked out some of our favorites for your consideration, including the perky, pretty peplum trend seen all over the runways. Designed as a ladylike ruffle that skims the hems of tops, dresses, jackets and skirts, the peplum is one of those universally flattering trends that everyone needs to try!
Green is not only one of the most popular hues of spring, it became the official color of 2013 when Pantone picked Emerald Green as their Color of the Year. We’re falling for all shades of green this season though, especially the vibrant electric green on this peplum dress in the Douglas Hannant Spring collection. The petite peplum ruffle and sleek pencil skirt is the perfect combo of a classic silhouette and modern shade. After searching high and low, we found a stylish and wallet-friendly option from the retro fashion lovers at Modcloth. This emerald green confection boasts the same peplum ruffle and pencil skirt, along with work-friendly cap sleeves and a peter pan collar.
Keeping with our colorful peplum theme, red is another shade that should be fully embraced this spring. Zac Posen took a page out of the feminine fashions of the 1940’s for his Spring 2013 runway show. Amid the floral frocks and voluminous ball gowns, menswear-inspired pieces that Ingrid Bergman and Katherine Hepburn would have approved of stole the show for us. This red peplum skirt suit was a fresh and refined take on the work wear staples of the Golden Age and we wanted to channel that same sense of retro meets modern in our spring separates. Luckily, we had to look no further than the fast fashion experts at  Express to find a “suit”-able option for a red peplum skirt with the same sense of panache. Paired with a lightweight sweater or shell tucked under a blazer, this Studio Stretch Skirt racks up the bonus points for comfort, versatility, and undeniable style.
Despite our picks for solid-colored peplums, not all of these ladylike ruffles need to be monotone to be modern. Printed peplums are a fun, zesty take on the trend that can spice up an otherwise mundane wardrobe. Falguni and Shane Peacock, common risk takers on the runway, served up a bevy of futuristic and neo-modern prints in their Spring 2013 collection. Though each of the graphic prints dazzled, we were particularly taken with this deep blue and ivory white printed number. Sure, the cut outs may be a bit too much drama for everyday wear, but it was the geometric symmetry in the print that had us yearning for more. A perfectly peplum alternative was offered up, compliments of Milly, who can always construct a cutting edge dress in an effortless and nonthreatening fashion. The blue, green, and black print provides the same sense of unique modernity while providing an easy and wearable cut that will last the whole season through.
Besides the undeniable femininity of the peplum ruffle, many peplum pieces can be worn in a current and casual way without any fuss. Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet channeled the soft elegance of the 1960’s in her Spring 2013 collection. And among the poodle skirts and saddle shoes, the Godmother of the perfect party dress served up a bevy of beautiful separates as well, including this delicately lacy peplum bustier. Though paired with an equally elegant skirt, we were more intrigued on how the bustier could translate to day wear. Luckily, fellow lover of all things feminine, Rebecca Taylor, provided an uber chic option that could just as easily with a maxi skirt as it could with a pair of distressed jeans. Sweetheart necklines and tiny prints amp up the innocuous sex appeal and only a pure shade of white can keep a piece like this both naughty and nice. Put some “spring” in your wardrobe with a little ruffle here, a dash of color there, and whole lot of perfectly perky peplum!
1.  Green Peplum Dress
Runway: Douglas Hannant Spring 2013 RTW
Real Way: Mod Cloth Work With Me Dress in Mint, $49.99
2. Red Peplum Skirt
Runway: Zac Posen Spring 2013 RTW
Real Way: Express High Waist Studio Stretch Peplum Pencil Skirt, now $35.94
3. Graphic Printed Peplum Dress
Runway: Falguni and Shane Peacock Spring 2013 RTW
Real Way: Milly Peplum Dress – Thea Printed, $375
4. White Peplum Bustier
Runway: Alice + Olivia Spring 2013 RTW
Real Way: Rebecca Taylor White Cotton ‘Bell Flower’ Bustier, now $135
– Alia Rajput
Runway Photos: WWD and NY Mag
Image Layout: Second City Style

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