It happens every season: Trend Shock. It’s that fashion curveball daring us to catch it—or in this case, to wear it. You know, the um, seriously? trend you wish you could pull off without looking ridiculous, but you’re pretty sure is going to be a lost cause. Last spring, we suffered through trend shock with the return of the crop top and harem pants—our guides for how to wear them turned out to be two of our most popular posts ever!—and now we (kind of?) welcome back The Culotte.
These somewhat voluminous sort-of capris have come and gone a few times since the 1960s (did you know they were first a style of men’s breeches?). These pants, that might actually be a skirt in disguise, are one of those fashion choices that have us scratching our heads when we look back at the photos. Are you wondering why they’re back and if they’ll suit you? Worried that wearing them will make you feel like a laughing stock?
Here’s a little background on the culottes. These pants pattern themselves after the A-line skirt so they’re loose-ish, comfortable and flattering. They’re high-waisted to nip you in at your smallest point and because of their length, they don’t need hemming (short women celebrate!). Most of all, they look fabulous on everyone, as long as they’re styled right. So get out there and buy a pair and they’ll soon be another spring staple you can’t live without. When shopping for culottes, keep these tips in mind:
- They are generally high-waisted, so they should fit snugly around the waist to really accentuate it
- Buy your first couple of pairs in classic colours that will pair with most of what you have in your closet
- Go for a clean, simple style that’s not too voluminous at first—so you can get used to the look
- If you’re bothered by the length, add a heel then look again
- Pair with a fitted top that is comfortable and hits the waistband so you balance out the look and show off your assets
Still a little wary? Need some help envisioning how you’ll wear your new culottes? We’ve got you covered. Here are 5 different culottes to wear 5 different ways.
5 DIFFERENT CULOTTES WORN 5 DIFFERENT WAYS
1. LEATHER VIXEN Add some sass to your business attire with these uber trendy leather culottes.
HOW TO WEAR THEM: Although you can pair them with a fitted top for a night on the town, they look classy for day with a white shirt tucked in. And don’t forget stand-out accessories to make the outfit fabulous. This look will take you from your morning meetings straight through to any after-work event.
2. CLASSIC BLACK Your most versatile clothes are going to be black because it matches everything. But you don’t want black to look boring.
HOW TO WEAR THEM: Go for a pair of classic streamlined black culottes (they’re enough of a fashion statement) and then add some pops of colour for flair. Bonus: Because your culottes hit at just the right length, you can sport a pair of comfy mules without looking like you have cankles. Pair with a small fitted top and a trendy floral kimono and you’ve got a flawless outfit for an evening out. Cecile black suiting culotte trouser, $300; Asos floral kimono, $78; White v-neck crop top, $15; Black snake skin Enzo Angiolini leather mules, $124; Fuschia tassel leather clutch, $130; Marc Jacobs stacking rings, $125
3. NAUTICAL WHITE You already know that all white, all the time is one of the freshest looks for spring. You certainly don’t have to own a yacht (although how nice would that be?) to look like you’re about to set sail to the Greek Islands.
HOW TO WEAR THEM: Pair these simple, clean white culottes with a light-knit sweater, nautical bag and must-have straw hat. Kick it up a notch with some killer red sandals and you may get mistaken for Amal Clooney. Golden Goose deluxe white culottes, $479; Sailboat knit sweater, $53; Carvela Kurt Geiger cage sandals, $285; Ella Vickers sail cloth rope tote, $170; Eugenia Kim Cecily straw hat, $130; Versus gold lion stud earrings, $120
4. ARMY GREEN As you know by now, the military trend is huge this year. But thankfully, you don’t have to look like you’re going on a casting call for GI Jane by wearing it. In culottes, you’ll look like you’re walking the stylish streets of Paris.
HOW TO WEAR THEM: Have some fun with colour and pair a bright coral fitted top with these gorgeous lightweight culottes. By adding simple gold accessories, a trendy backpack and cute spring flats, you’ll bring a little Paris with you everywhere you go. (I mean, don’t we all deserve a little Roger Vivier in our lives?) Khaki green smart culottes, $60; T By Alexander Wang top, $277; Roger Vivier ballet flats, $825; Asos smart scratchy backpack, $60; Madewell open point ring, $35; Monsoon Evesham metal bracelet, $31
5. STREET STYLE NAVY We all have days when we just want to pull on our comfiest clothes and still take on the world, and with this outfit, you can. You’ll feel like you’re in your coziest sweatpants in these soft navy culottes. HOW TO WEAR THEM: To get this sharp look, comfy look, give your feet a break with some All-Stars, throw on a loose tee topped by a fitted leather jacket (gotta keep that waist highlighted, remember?), and grab your subtly trendy accessories. Now you’re all street in your culottes. Rebecca Taylor refined culottes, $405; House of Holland oversized tee, $83; TopShop leather biker jacket, $305; Converse Chuck Taylors, $45; Spiked pearl studs, $31; H&M patterned scarf, $7; Dual sunglasses, $700