Just recently, I met the lovely Carrie who is behind the fashion brand Carrie Hammer. She was wearing the most adorable retro replica dress with an attached overskirt (or peplum) – one of her own designs – and I instantly fell in love with her designs.

I know peplums from the 1980's (big shoulders, big hips – the accentuated hourglass gone awry), but my favorite version come from 1940's. As I've mentioned before, the 1940's were a time of serious fashion. The world was at war and women were needed to be in the offices and factories getting stuff done. There were lots of serious suits and many of these were cut in a very masculine fashion. But as the war was ending and life was supposed to return to normal (aka women back at home, men at work), many feminine shapes were entering design, such as the rounded shoulder and the peplum.

Is it any accident that peplums and rounded shoulders are making a comeback in 2012: the Year of the Woman?

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it'll take more than feminine lines and cuts to slow us down! Unlike the 1940's/1950's, frills, flowers, flounces and femininity is an ironic and in-your-face juxtaposition with the power that women have these days. And I love it.

History of the Peplum

The word peplum comes from the Greek word for tunic. You can tell a peplum by the piece of cloth that hangs, usually at the waist (but I've also seen it come from the shoulder), creating a small skirt-like effect. Peplums can be pleated in various ways, sewn on horizontally or diagonally, but are usually meant to accentuate the narrow waist and curvier hips.

Personally, I'm going to invest in a peplum dress or two because I think they have lasting power this time around with their cleaner lines and more nuanced patterns. Not to mention, much like cutting on the bias, they accentuate a curvy figure, which, thanks to Kim Kardashian (yes, I'm thanking her for being brazen about her curves), is very much celebrate-able!

Here are a few gorgeous peplum numbers I'm eyeballing. What are your faves?

River Island Floral Print Peplum Dress $82

Carrie Hammer Danielle Dress $295

Jade peplum pencil skirt $39

Polka Dot Pink Peplum Dress $39.00

Signature Cocktails Dress $75