Culottes – even the word is intimidating. With their somewhat awkward length and voluminous silhouette, culottes have proven to be a hard sell for many a fashionista. Believe it or not (and I know that a lot of you won’t believe me), culottes are an extremely flattering cut of pant that makes your waist look tiny and instantly ups your fashion cred. When choosing your culottes, look for either a voluminous pair made from a lightweight fabric that provides fullness not bulk or, for a flat-fronted pair in a heavier fabric (like denim or cotton) that is slightly fitted through the hips and then flares out. Don’t be discouraged if the first pair you try on doesn’t wow you. Try a couple different pairs in different styles and fabrics until you find the right pair for you.
Now that you’ve found your perfect pair of culottes, are struggling with how to style them? Try to think of them more like a midi skirt than like a cropped pant and wear them just as you would a skirt. Don’t be afraid to play with proportions and fit. As we’ve all learned from midi skirts, mid-calf length voluminous bottoms look super chic with a form-fitting cropped top or a loose fitting and tucked in tank, t-shirt or button-up shirt, just make sure your top is less voluminous than your pants.
Also, because your feet are very “out there” in culottes, be sure to focus on your footwear. Lengthen your look and up the sophistication factor with a pair of pumps or block-heel sandals or go casual-cool in slides or sneakers.
Wilfred Lalemant Pant
These slightly slimmer fitting culottes are made with a textured fabric from Japan to create a perfectly draped silhouette. Pair with a silk cami (tucked in) or with a button-down shirt tied at the waist.
Available at Aritzia $135*
You can never really go wrong with basic black. Pair with a tighter fitting top (cropped if you dare) and strappy sandals for a chic yet comfortable night look.
Available at H&M $24.99*
High-Rise Chino Culottes
Part culotte part cropped flare.Pair these striped pants with blocked heel sandals and a plain white tee for a laid-back nautical look.
Available at GAP $69.95*
These are probably the most culottey (is that a word?) of the bunch. Draped fit, pleated front and pockets. Pair with white sneakers and a striped button-down shirt. Or a striped cold-shoulder t-shirt if you can find one!
Available at Plenty $49*
Cotton-Linen Pleated Culottes
For all you petite ladies out there, these high-waisted culottes hit just below the knee and are available in regular, petite and tall lengths. Pair with lace-up flats and a tucked in tank.
Available at GAP $59.95*.
*Prices quoted are regular prices, before taxes. Price and availability are subject to change. Please see stores for details.