I know I stated that I was taking a break for a while, but I recently found this old post that I had written a while ago, and just never finished. I had a little time today, so I finished it off, made a Polyvore board of how I would style culottes and decided to post it. I still won’t be making consistent posts for a while, but please keep checking back. Now on to the post.
For the spring of 2015, we see the trend shifting away from skinny jeans and start embracing pants of other shapes and sizes. About two months ago I wrote a post on Joggers, and today I am following up on that post by talking about yet another type of pants, the Culottes.
Culottes were actually the knee breeches worn by gentlemen of the upper-class from the late Renaissance age though the early nineteenth century. They were normally worn closed and fastened about the leg or knee by buttons, straps, or buckles. These are typically the pants you would being worn by our first five presidents in their portraits.
The word culottes were later used in the Victorian Era as long split skirts that were developed so that women could sit astride a man’s saddle when horseback riding instead of having to ride side-saddles. These pants were later developed to provide women more freedom to do other things (like gardening, bike riding, cleaning, etc.) with ease, but still allow it to look like they are wearing skirts. These are the culottes that are making a comeback this spring.
Culottes are truly the best of both worlds. They offer the elegance of wearing a midi skirt, with the freedom to move around as you wish. And yes, culottes may be a bit harder to style than your go to pair of skinny pants since they do tend to cut your legs off at an awkward spot, but you really can make them work if you do the following:
- Culottes are wide legged pants that end somewhere between your knees and ankles, that do have the ability to shorten your leg line, making most of us (unless you are a model with legs a mile long) look shorter and squatter. To counteract that aspect of a pair of culottes, make sure to pair your culottes with a pair of flesh colored heels. This adds length to the part of the leg and elongates your look. Make sure when choosing a pair of flesh colored heels that you stay away from those with a really thick ankle strap. Shoes with thick ankle straps break up the line you have created in an unflattering way. Stick to either pumps or thin strappy sandals. I would also recommend that you do not pair culottes with a wedge or a stacked heel. Those types of shoes tend to look more clunky and weigh you down a little. If you plan to continue wearing your culottes into the fall months, I would suggest pair them with a pair of high heeled over the knee boots. Ankle booties do essentially the same thing as a thick ankle strap, in that they break up the line of your leg, making you look shorter.
- Since culottes are already so dramatic, I would recommend pairing your culottes with a simpler and slightly more form fitting top. This allows you to balance out the wideness on the bottom. I would also suggest wearing a top in a either the same shade, or a similar shade as your culottes. Wearing a monochromatic outfit also creates a longer, lean line with will also make you appear taller. If you are planning to wear a pair of culottes with a looser fitting top, I would suggest pairing it with a top that you are able to tuck into your culottes. This will allow you to carve out a waist and create a more hourglass shape, as opposed to a more boxy shape.
- There is nothing I want more sometimes than to wear shorts to work, especially if the AC is broken in my office like it usually is. However, like most work places, wearing shorts is definitely frowned upon. In times like these, the only other option that I have to come to work wearing a skirt, which I don’t always want to do. However, culottes totally solve that problem. By wearing culottes, I can wear wide legged pants with a higher hem length, while still looking professional. Simply pair your culottes with a button-up shirt and a pair of heels for the perfect office attire.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post about culottes and that it inspires you to try pants other than skinny jeans. Please check out my Pinterest page below for some of my favorite culottes that work well in both spring/ summer and the fall season. Be sure to check back often to read more posts like this one!