Creature of Habit

Top: Eliza Parker

Skirt & Belt: Portmans

Shoes: Poetic License

Necklace: Gifted


I would be the first person to admit that I have a pretty extensive wardrobe, but if I’m being totally honest I have to say that I’m a creature of habit and a lot of what’s hanging on the racks is a variation on the same theme.

Over the years I’ve learned what works for my body shape, and what fits with my personal sense of style (I can pretty unequivocally say that suspenders, mini-skirts, tie-dye and harem pants do not fit the bill) so as trends come and go, by and large I let them pass me by.

It’s safe. But a little boring.

This season has had a few new trends that I’ve been tempted to try, including peg-leg pants, riding boots and… Peplums.

A peplum is defined as “a short flared, gathered, or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist of a woman’s jacket, dress, or blouse”. It originated in the 19th Century, had its heyday in the 1940’s, then a resurgence of popularity in the eighties. And of course, we all know that fashion is nothing if not cyclical, so no one should be surprised to see peplums enjoying another renaissance.

Peplums emphasize a waist, skim over hips and tummy and help create an hourglass shape – all good things in my book.

I’d never tried them though, and (as we established earlier) I’m a creature of habit so it was looking like peplums would be a trend that I never tried

Luckily for me, Jessica at Eliza Parker thought I should give them a go and sent me one of her Ballerina Tops to wear!

The “skirt” on this top is so long that certain other retailers *coughASOScough* might even consider it a dress in its own right, but it lends just the right amount of elegance without being too voluminous at the hips. The fabric’s the same as my favourite Geneva dress, and the top has a ruched v-neck back and a wide-scooped neckline that shows off collar-bones, but is perfectly appropriate in situations where you might not want to be flashing too much cleavage.

Because the peplum style was so foreign to me I put the call out on Twitter for suggestion on how to wear such an item, and people suggested belted over a pencil skirt. What do you think?

Have you embraced the peplum trend yet? How would you wear this “Ballerina” top?

42 thoughts on “Creature of Habit

  1. I think that top is just wonderful on you! You look so great in the color and the peplum.

    I also love the skirt you paired it with- I think together they are perfect. I would probably wear a peplum over jeans, or for a super super girly look an a-line, but I love the way you did it.

  2. Oh my this is fantastic on you! I’ll be honest i saw the top on their site and kind of shrugged but on you I can see how it might work for my shape as well. I must say seeing you in Elizabeth Parker’s clothing has certainly made me much more interested in trying a few things out. Just out of curiosity, are their dresses heavy? Do you think they would be too warm to wear for a summer wedding?

    1. Hi Nicole – thanks! Depends on how hot the day was and which dress you had your eye on. The red & purple dresses I have are quite heavy, but the cotton ones would definitely be appropriate for summer. Best thing to do is email Jessica at Eliza Parker direct, she is absolutely LOVELY, and would be happy to help 🙂

  3. Oooh Lilli, love this look on you! That peplum is very flattering and I think your twitter followers nailed it by suggesting the pencil skirt. Very sophisticated, and I love your accessories as well 🙂

  4. Hi Lilli, you look really lovely, I loved the Peplum back in the late 80s and dont know if I could do it again, but that looks great on you.

    BTW You inspired me to buy the striped Asos sundress.. It arrived today and i totally adore it! Fortunately Im off to a sunny spot in a few weeks and will have an opportunity to debut it.

  5. You look amazing! I think the top is perfectly styled like that. I also like the different
    look of the photos. No flash?

  6. It really does look amazing on you. You look so gorgeous and classic. Love it. It’s also a very luxe, sophisticated look.

  7. I’m a peplum fan because of all of the attributes you listed, and I LOVE the way you styled this particular piece. Seriously… marked this one for future inspiration. Thanks 🙂

  8. Hi Lilli,

    You look fantastic! The shape of the peplum looks great on you and as always you look wonderful in dark cranberry 🙂

    You’ve given me peplum lust!

  9. I love it with a pencil skirt! It looks so good, you have to wear it like that! The colour is so great on you.

  10. You look lovely the Colour suits you and it’s a very flattering style, and your hair looks Gorgeous as well you should be going somewhere really nice in this outfit 🙂

  11. It amaze me how different you look in every outfit!
    I love how you put the belt. It looks great. The combination with the skirt gives you beautiful silhouette…

  12. Oh – you are such a bad influence Lilli! I jumped on to the Eliza Parker website to have another look at this top (which btw looks much better the way you have modelled it!) and not only discovered that this top is on special, but they are offering a 25% discount for 2 days only. I caved and ordered several of the gorgeous pieces you have and I have been lusting over. So much for my resolution to save money!

    I do worry that one day I’ll actually bump into you, and I’ll be wearing one of ‘your ‘ outfits – well they do say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery!

    1. LOL, don’t worry about THAT, Tracey! I steal my looks from so many girls on the street and I think I’d get a buzz out of seeing other people wearing Eliza Parker – I love her stuff so much 🙂

  13. I think the peplum trend looks amazing on you! And most definitely, it looks perfect with the pencil skirt! I think the neckline is super flattering and the color is just divine. I feel that with this skirt, the peplum looks classy, professional, and dressy.

  14. Lilli you look fantastic! And so sophisticated (one can never look too sophisticated)! Embrace the peplum I say. I have two peplum tops and they are always remarked upon, I for one am super-glad they’re making a comeback.

  15. You look GORGEOUS, the shape is so flattering!! I am similar in that I have (slowly, with many tears shed along the way!) learned what suits my body shape and therefore have a pretty ‘stock standard’ wardrobe and let trends pass me by for the most part. I adore your wardrobe though and I never think it is too much of the same. Keep up the good work! <3 xxx

  16. Well done to you. You look very polished, I think you have styled that outfit perfectly, and it really shows off your waist. Nice work!!

  17. You look stunning in that outfit. Bold color really brings out your eyes 🙂

    Can you please share how you got your hair to look so “puffed up” in the back. It’s such an elegant look!

  18. It’s amazing! The colour is adorable.

    Btw: Love your blog, although my English is worse. Your dresses and combinations inspire me a lot and I’m very looking forward to every post.

  19. Funny, I was just at the Eliza Parker site, and put this exact top in my cart, but backed away from it because of the peplum. But this looks so good on you that I might reconsider! Even the color is a lovely red shade.

    Top = Stunning
    Skirt = Stunning
    Boots = Stunning
    Whole outfit = AMAZING!

    You never fail to amaze me in the fabulous outfits you put together

  21. I’m loving the peplum! It looks lovely. And when your link drew me to the Eliza Parker site I was even more excited to see she does the larger plus sizes too! Guess what I’m going to purchase while the exchange rate is so good?

  22. Utterly devine, have been following your blog for a while now and this is by far my most favourite outfit…. LOVE IT!

    Off to go shopping at Eliza Parker now, I hope she is paying you some commission!!!

  23. I am old enough to have been around for the last time peplums were all the rage. I was in high school at the time and they were just everywhere – so much that when they re-designed our school uniform, we even had a peplum on our shirt for awhile.

    It always was a style I really liked.

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