My fashionsitas, culottes are the perfect example of youthful and playful fashion, while at the same time it is very comfortable during summer time. I sported this comfortable-city-chic look on a day out in Oslo, Norway during my recent visit there.
Culottes can be quite a chaotic piece of clothing. Not pants, nor shorts, or skirts, not too long, not too short (actually past the knees is the length), hot in the 60s, 70s, and even in 80s as well. To top this culottes game strong, my desk research result says, culottes in French means knickers. So… talk about a creative confusion!
Confusing…they are not! In fact culottes are everything but, and they translate into quite fashionable, seasonal, polished and smart looks.
Why Culottes game strong?
Honestly, we need a break, at least temporarily, from jeans, chinos and shorts, and embrace more feminine, less sexy-by-exposure trends, and more sexy-by-style-&-silhouette looks. Or we’ll just become ”safe” sartorials, you know!
Secondly, design-wise, culottes DO come in various cuts and styles. Literally any fabric works. Silk is a great option if you don’t like stiff culottes designs. Linen is great if you are like me and prefer more easy-going feel in your silhouette.
Last but certainly not the least, there’s something very easy going yet luxurious about culottes. They can be very Italian Capri-island-rich-woman-on-vacation (white culottes, wedges and striped top), they can be a Sicilian Dolce & Gabbana style (black culottes, floral or lace bustier top). They can be French artist or a Parisienne fashion blogger on a Sunday (culottes with side pockets and a slim tiny sweater), they can be 70s New York City intellectual artsy beautiful women (brown culottes, shirt, and a blazer on top).
How I like to wear culottes?
Yes, culottes may seem like a tricky pant style, because it is all about proportion, and finding the right pair could turn into a tricky endeavour, regardless of your size. Unless of course we’re all 6 feet models, then we’re good. Although fashionistas across the world are seen donning culottes with a more slim cut, fitted or cropped top, some have rocked it best with a high waist, well defined, side pockets, because the cut will elongate the silhouette, and tiny tops, fitted shirts, tucked in tiny sweaters, t-shirts, blouses, & bustiers help create a balanced silhouette. I, on the other hand, liked this loose fitting Mandala print Culottes from Forever21 and found this flowy pattren feminine, unique and elegant. They grab just the right amount of attention! When styled it with this cheesecloth shirt with embroidered bib front from Zara, suddenly made me notice they both are ”made in India”! This oversized style of culottes actually looked good but it’s a matter of proportion. You gotta try it to see if it works, like I did here.
Top tip: If you want to layer, keep your jackets waist-length.
Although heels will always make culottes look smarter, corporate-esque, posh but flats can look very French chic, so can oxfords or brogues. Chunky heels are perfect for a 70s take on the culottes and take this look from day to night—yay versatility (is key)! For me, on a nice summer day, this sparkly flat pair from New Look‘s range of flat sandals styled with this breezy culottes created a perfect comfortable-chic look.
Since the outfit is quite simplistic, it was easy to transform this look with soft curls and a dash of tinted lipgloss into a feminine, carefree and travel-friendly look. An ethnic neckpiece with a modern twist has created a little drama to this otherwise ordinary look. In fact styling this necklace with this cheesecloth shirt was not my idea but Zara’s own. The mannequin in the window at the Oxford Street Store of Zara was my style inspiration for this bit of this look. Fashion legends say, leave the last piece of accessories before leaving home, I say, always add that last piece- a case in point is my citrine ring from Zariin Jewelry. A beaded clutch bag with side sling and a trusted aviator completed this look.
I hope you guys are embracing fun patterns for the warmer weather and don’t be afraid to take a bold risk with your pants.
What Was I Wearing?
New Look Sandals