Whether you like it not, culottes have been the hottest thing for the past two seasons, and from the looks of things they are here to stay. Makes you wonder why, suddenly the most undesirable garments are once again being rejuvenated in the fashion world?
I’m taking this serious and so should you! 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, if I recall 80s as well. To top it off the name in French means knickers, need I say more!
But for the past two season we have seen the evolution of culottes, and they translate into quite architectural, well structured, quite polished and smart looks. Very high fashion, Parisian and chic effortless when desired. So… my initial reaction to them is in fact, today, A COLOSSAL YES!
Why you ask?
- Honestly we need to break up, at least temporarily, with cutoffs and short shorts, and embrace more feminine, less sexy-by-exposure trends, and more sexy-by-style-&-silhouette looks.
- Culottes, are well defined design-wise. They are available in different cuts and styles. Any fabric works. Silk is a great option if you don’t like stiff culottes’ designs. Denim is great if you like more definition in your silhouette.
- There’s something very easy going, yet luxurious about culottes. They can be very Italian Capri-island-rich-woman-on-vacation (white culottes, sandals and striped top), they can be a Sicilian Dolce & Gabbana style (black culottes, floral or lace bustier top). They can be French artist/fashion girl on a Sunday (culottes with side pockets and a slim tiny sweater), they can be Woody Allen’s 70s New York City intellectual artsy beautiful women (brown culottes, shirt, and a blazer on top).
How to wear them? And can everyone wear them?
Yes, it may seem like a tricky pant style, because it is all about proportion, and trying to find the right pair could turn into an epic struggle, regardless of your size.
Culottes go best with a slimmer cut, fitted or cropped top. They look 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, or bustiers help create a balanced silhouette.
If you want to layer keep your jackets waist-length, or cropped. Boxy tops, or oversized styles may look good (more high fashion, funky sophisticated) but it’s a matter of proportion. You’ve to play with the look to see if it works for you.
Heels (sandals, pumps) will always make culottes look smarter, office appropriate, posh. Flats can look very French chic, so can oxfords. Chunky heels are perfect for a 70s take on the culottes.
Yes, culottes can be a hard trend to swallow, but it’s worth it. We get to step out of our comfort zones, play more with our shapes, finally find a great item to pair our favorite tops with, while looking like sophisticated rich vacationers, or fashionable professional women, depending on how we style them.
Are culottes in your line of sight this spring or summer, let me know with your comments below?