Withdrawing my mind from the machinations of hideous nature on an economic level, lets talk beautiful things. Yes, fashion.
On this "educational post" (quotations before anyone jumps to conclude) we're talking about peplums (as worn gloriously yet effortlessly by the magnificent Natalie Joss above; yes I like her a LOT) and other midriff stories which involve less material - baring it all out. But before your mind swings to baring out your whole belly, and before I scare some of you away, let me inform you that the bare midriff is broken down into levels of bareness, and varies from a universally flattering, barely bare midriff to full exposure.
Tracing down the midriff fascination, the peplum was spring's big silhouette story last spring. You can also recall that the high-street was flooded with them, and I was one of the victims but none the less a happy one. And as I learned from dressing up as an financial advisory intern, it look pretty damn good with cropped black trousers and pencil skirts and it made me less averse to jobs that come with dress codes.
Moving on and fast tracking to SS 2013 shows, the peplum silhouette is still trending. Peter Pilotto's take on the peplum goes beyond what is in essence, a frill around the waist, and looks more like a masterpiece of clothing, as pictured above.
But as we won't all be buying Pilotto, keep an eye out for printed peplum tops to match pencil skirts (a la Natalie Joss), midi skirts, or cropped pants.
Peter Pilotto SS 2013, via stylebistro.com
Structured, squarish tops featuring a peplum, a la Chloe SS 2013, will also come to good use and as versatility is a prerequisite in my books, such tops will do the trick while ticking all the right boxes.
The bare midriff has also stealthily entered our worlds around the same time as the peplum, yet, from empirical results by means of observation it has entered it's peak for ss 2013, as midriff after midriff paraded down the catwalks. See Balenciaga, Balmain, Rochas, Miu Miu, Giambattista Valli and Chloe.
To those skipping the gym, lest you worry, I'm among you. And I can reassure you that this can work out even in the absence of killer abs. The educational note, for you to take home today, is that there are different levels of bareness- the range being 1 to 3, 1 being the least bearing. The commonality of the levels, is that matching with high waisted pants or skirts is key.
Level 1: This invloves just baring a couple of cm of flesh and it's the ladylike way of taking up the trend. If I haven't convinced you on the co-existance of lady-likeness and baring out your tummy, look no further than Giambattista Valli's collection.
Level one is universally flattering and can be applied on whichever area of your midriff you feel more comfortable exposing.
Level 2: Level two is all about going up(or down) a notch or two, and exposing a few additional cm of skin. This highlights the waist. For a more casual take, wrap a shirt around the waist. It decreases exposure while it adds further enhancement to your waist.
For a less casual take, match with a 1950's skirt, or pencil skirt or maxi skirt or high-waisted tuxedo trousers (versatile much?). Just remember to add a structured jacket or blazer to make the effect more subtle and chic!
Balenciaga SS 2013, lyst.com
Another trick, yet again from Chloe, is layering. To achieve it, wear your cropped top and wear a mesh one on top or vice versa. It ads softness and is discrete. An additional note is to stray away from body con mesh when it comes to an everyday look. They're easier to find but trust me the search for a baggier mesh top will be worth it. And body con mesh in summer weather can become pretty scary (and sweaty). If you're thinking colour palettes for this layering, opt away from black for a fresher look. And if you have a spare sheer/mesh dress from the days when maxi sheer dresses were all the buzz, why don't you wear it over separates; those separates being a cropped top, level 2 and a skirt?
Level 3: This is were it all gets daring. Level 3 is about baring it all. It involves a crop top that falls just below the bust line, or alternatively a bustier. Although Marc Jacobs sent down the runway a full out stomach, I'd suggest keeping that bellybutton covered if your opting for level 3. Super cropped tops in this category again work with high waisted skirts and pants.
Pair with abs, or with confidence.
Ending these midriff stories, which midriff trend are you? A Peplum or A Bare Midriff?
And if you're opting for the Bare midriff, are you level 1, 2 or 3?
Please do share!