Don’t be intimidated by culottes! These outfits will help you rock them from winter through spring.
Fashion moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around every once in awhile, you might miss the fact that pants everywhere have ballooned in width. Ah yes, my dear pupils, 2021 is the year of the culottes (as I predicted, you may recall). And yes, I listed them as “a fashion trend you’re going to hate that you want,” but I don’t even hate that I want them anymore. I just want them. Bad.
Just last week in Club Monaco, there were honestly four pairs of culottes that I would have taken home if they didn’t cost many sums of money. Seriously, look how many there are! And yes, culottes are tougher than throwing on a pair of jeans, but they’re also not that difficult to figure out. With the high, fitted waist, they are actually exceedingly flattering pants. So, in the name of doing my part to spread the Gospel of the culotte, here are a few styling tips for you to pull off this season’s trendiest pants.
But let’s get one thing straight before we move forward: Culottes are not gauchos.
Basic Work Culottes
This outfit is so simple and chic that even you couldn’t screw it up. Kidding, you’re great and will look fabulously chic in this! Step 1: Get a basic, semi-tailored pair of culottes (Smart Grey Culottes, River Island) that hit around mid-calf. Step 2: Grab a fitted turtleneck (Whistles Ella Cropped Turtleneck Sweater, John Lewis) and tuck into your culottes. Step 3: Add pointy-toed heeled ankle boots (High-Heeled Slim Boot, Nelly) and a sleek but eye-catching necklace (Jennifer Fisher Stop It Right Now Choker). You win!
I don’t know what to call this outfit exactly; I just had to put these culottes together with these heels (Luichiny Daw Son Pointy Toe Bootie, Nordstrom Rack.) A structured culotte (Topshop Scuba Culotte, Nordstrom) can go from office to happy hour so easily. Just add a cropped leather (or faux leather, or vegan leather) jacket (Moto Zip Jacket, NastyGal) and some dangly earrings (Roberto Coin Black Jade Earrings, J.R. Dunn), and you’re golden.
There are so many culottes in stores now that are satin and crepe that they’re practically begging you to become evening wear. A pair of sexy heels (Black Laser Cut Suede Heels, Jimmy Choo) and a bandage top are the perfect balance to these gorgeous culottes (Fendi Cotton-Crepe Culottes, Net-a-Porter). Yeah, I know, they’re Fendi. Here’s a similar $24 satin pair from Topshop.
I’m so surprised and thrilled that this turned out to be one of my favorite outfits of the five. These Rebecca Taylor culottes are absolutely stunning—seriously, you need to see them on the model—and the whole look just makes me long for Spring garden parties. (If anyone wants to throw me an invite to one of those, let me know.) A peplum top (Prabal Gurung Draped Peplum, Moda Operandi) works with culottes as long as it’s on the shorter side, and again, I would go with a pointy-toe heel (Scorpio Cut Out Slingback, Office).
Another favorite look of the bunch, this casual look is an easy way to amp up your usual weekend t-shirt and jeans. These faux leather culottes can be worn in any of these looks, but I think they’re particularly fantastic with platform slip ons and a wide cropped tee.