We’ve all seen them: the extra fabric around fashion-forward celebrities’ middles and the dainty additions to otherwise bland necklines. Yes, those would be the peplum and Peter Pan collar trends filling up all of the latest magazines and blogs. Why are they so exciting? They’re controversial. Some girls swear the peplum detail makes you look bigger regardless of how it’s styled, and others promise you can’t wear a peter pan collar without looking like an old lady or a seven-year-old in boarding school. The good news is that neither of those statements are true as long as you follow some simple rules on styling. Yes, the peplum does add volume. This volume, however, has the potential to hide our less fantastic parts and create the illusion of perfect proportions. Follow these five style suggestions for optimal braggability:
Focus on placement. Choose a peplum that starts just before the spot where your hips begin to curve outward. This location emphasizes your tiny waist and will smooth out the lumps and bumps that come with college food and late-night fun.
Wear a skirt or dress. Make sure that the hem, however, ends just before the knees or goes all the way to the ground. If you choose a shorter hem, you’ll create an unflattering line that will steal valuable length from your legs whereas if you choose a hem between the knee and floor, you’ll be risking a frumpy silhouette. Also make note of the shape of the skirt or dress because only pencil and body-hugging shapes will be attractive with a peplum.
Wear pants. Pants and peplums were made for each other, but if you sway from straight-leg or cigarette, you’ll be sacrificing the slimming benefits of the trend. Embrace the peplum’s ability to make everything, including thighs, look slim and shapely in comparison.
Modernize it. Choose geometric patterns, structured shapes, and sleek lines over complicated fabrics, flimsy frills, and undefined edges. If you love lace, just be sure you choose a coverage-conscious design to balance out the potential detail overload.
Keep accessories simple. The bigger the peplum, the more subtle any jewelry, bags, or hair accessories should be in order to complement the look so as not to overwhelm onlookers. You want to look like a fashion pro, not like your closet threw-up on you.
It’s important to remember that peplums are not just for one body type and should be explored by all girls. The curvy ladies on campus will draw attention to their hourglass shapes and perfectly peplum-prepped backsides while athletically-built girls will create the illusion of feminine curves that nature may have forgotten to give them.
Now for the collar craze of the season, the Peter Pan collar. Surely a small presence on campus prior to Spring, but don’t be surprised to find more fashionistas embrace this neck detail. It is able to dress up any outfit and add a touch of innocence to outfits with a bit too much bite. Here are five helpful hints to make sure you get maximum amount of chic-ness out of your collar:
Show off your neck. When wearing a basic, crew-neck top, add a peter-pan collar to bring attention to one of the most elegant parts of the body. This will be especially effective while worn with hair in a slicked-back ponytail or slept-in ballerina bun.
Match your body. You want to wear the collar and make certain to not let the collar wear you. If you have a bigger bust, go for a collar in an exaggerated size and, similarly, if you have a smaller chest, choose a smaller collar. While this rule of “size mirroring” has recently been broken when relating to fabric patterns, breaking it with a collar can cause you to look distractingly chesty or swallowed up.
Make pearls your collar’s BFF. This is one of the only times that you can pile on two completely different types of neckwear and still look fabulous. A strand or two of metallic pearls placed under your collar makes for a very modern Jackie O. style salute.
Commit to it. The key to this style is to commit to creating a feminine aura while wearing a Peter Pan collar. Pretty makeup, pretty hair, pretty perfume, and pretty silhouettes are essential to mastering the look. This style, whether already attached to a neckline or added on a whim by your savvy self, is meant to be girly. Don’t fight it.
Ditch the faux-fur. You may have some fur-esque versions of the Peter Pan collar in your accessories bin, but those were for winter and should remain as such. There is nothing cool about a warm-weathered outfit and a snow-bound neck decoration. Favor a lightweight cotton choice or, if the rocker in you can’t resist, a faux-leather collar as alternatives to last season’s fluffy fad.
The best part about the Peter Pan collar trend is that anyone can try it out at a low cost by simply choosing a collar independent of a top or dress. Dip your toes in the water and, if you find you love the look, then you can jump in with gusto.
While the press has made the peplum and the Peter Pan collar seem scary and, at times, infamous, don’t be scared to rock them on campus. Everyone secretly likes a villain.