Can Kate Middleton Single Handedly Bring Back The Polarizing Y2K Peplum Trend?

The Princess for the job.

Being the Princess Of Wales means you’re inherently responsible for curating decade-defining fashion moments that transcend the test of time.

Now the most recent incumbent, Kate Middleton, is taking up the trend that her predecessor, Princess Diana, set by reviving one of the most polarizing trends of the early 2000s: peplum.

Kate Middleton donned a peplum skirt suit for the royal’s annual Commonwealth Day service. (Credit: Source: Getty)

Stepping out in a deep navy skirt-suit that is reminiscent of the Parisian ‘new look’ style of the 1940s—a style that Princess Diana wore in heavy rotation during her public appearances—the former Duchess of Cambridge attended the royal family’s annual Commonwealth Day Service and subtly made a case for why this silhouette should come pack. 

Yet despite Kate Middleton’s endorsement, the style has been ‘on the out’ for a number of years (even for the Princess herself), and it doesn’t take a fashion aficionado to figure out why.

Princess Diana wearing peplum to the royal ascot in 1986 (Credit: Source: Getty)

Just like every fashion-forward look that bubbles up from the international runway or inside fashion savant’s inner circle, these styles soon become reclaimed by high street stores and accelerated by the micro-trend cycle.

In the 2010s it was hard to escape the chokehold of a peplum. Want a tank top? Put a peplum on it.

In need of a conservative bandage dress for your corporate wardrobe? It simply must have a gathered piece of fabric around the waist or it won’t make it to shelves.

Over time, what was originally an innovative form of accenting one’s cinched waist or a creative spin on an overskirt became a banal way of ensuring pieces would be picked up off the shelves, purely because of how omnipresent the trend was.

And let’s be real with ourselves, it’s not like anyone really wanted to wear those gaudy peplum tops.

Our hands were forced purely because we were indoctrinated into believing that that exact style of peplum shirt was the style du jour.

But as Kate Middleton is proving, if we steer away from the kaleidoscopic aztec prints and gravitate towards a silhouette that could’ve fit into the final scene of The First Wives Club, peplum may be able to reclaim the top spot as an enviable aesthetic. 

If the peplum wouldn’t be suitable costuming for this film then we don’t want it. (Credit: Source: Getty)

So, does that mean we’ll soon be seeing peplum take over the runways?

Well, we already have. From Tory Burch’s anti-pleat refined take in New York to Christopher Kane’s dramatically oversized ruffle interpretation in London, it’s clear that the 2010s is once again on the rise.

Case in point: Tory Burch’s FW23 collection (Credit: Source: Getty)

As for the style set, it’s not just Kate Middleton who has given the peplum a pleated tick of approval, with Florence Pugh donning an outrageously camp peplum column dress with a matching merlot hat and tulle accent a few months ahead of Middleton trying her own hand at the updated style.

Florence Pugh is giving us Nancy Meyers romcom energy in this peplum gown. (Credit: Source: @babskymakeup)

Of course, if you’re a lady of leisure who enjoys her fair share of skirt suits, there’s no telling of the power that a good peplum detail can bring.

Because if there is anyone who can bring the look back, Kate is the Princess for the job.

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