As a tried and true '90s girl, I simply will never understand '80s fashion nostalgia.  From members-only jackets to mullets, parachute pants to banana clips, the decade screams fashion faux pas. One '80s look that doesn’t require rose-colored glasses? Peplum — and I can happily say that this versatile trend is making a triumphant return.

Ultra-feminine peplum dresses are a great alternative to a standard sheath. I spotted this Fashionista on the streets of NYC, and her look — confident, classy, and effortlessly chic — immediately caught my eye.  With the ruffle on the waist, her Romeo & Juliet Couture dress creates a beautiful silhouette. If you’re nervous about trying the trend, stick to a simple, monochromatic color. Our Fashionista juxtaposes the black dress with a pop of red in her Urban Outfitters Cooperative suede wedges.  Feeling bold? Pair patterned peplum with minimalist heels. This Maurie & Eve number is at the top of my summer wish list.

For an even flirtier approach, peplum skirts are both fun and sophisticated. A bright, voluminous skirt, as featured in Jason Wu's Spring 2012 collection, is perfect for a dressed-up dinner. To highlight your waist further, cinch the skirt with a skinny belt (you can’t go wrong with anything from the J.Crew).  If you’re wide in the hips, slip a peplum top over streamlined pants for the perfect cocktail ensemble.  To go edgier, offset the femininity of the top with heavy booties or leather leggings.
With a variety of dresses, skirts and tops, the peplum trend is extremely accessible. Remember that the key to rocking whichever style you choose is balance. Be sure the rest of your outfit is tailored and crisp to compliment a flouncy silhouette.

Delicate, demure and wearable: it’s no wonder peplum couldn’t stay in the '80s.

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