One of the most stylish pant trends this fall is culottes. And why not? From afar culottes appear to evoke a midi; but, with the split cut and wide leg crop these pants can be office appropriate and still look amazing for a night out on the town. A bonus is the wider the leg, the smaller the waist looks. Again, why not? So, convert your wardrobe with these stylish culottes and rock the bifurcated skirt. For those of you that fondly recall wearing these in your youth, you will be surprised at the multiple ways you can style this look. I remember wearing these to school (but we called them gauchos) with knee socks adorned with tassels and a ribbed turtleneck. I could probably still pull off the turtleneck, but it’s questionable about the knee socks.
Culottes, like most everything on trend in women’s fashion, began as menswear. Of course, way back they were a posh French pant reserved for the upper class male. But as time marched on, as it always does, they evolved into a symbol of feminism for politically active Victorian-age women to give them the freedom that corsets and lace could not. These “divided skirts” became iconic pieces for many high end designers. The ever-beautiful super model before the term super model, Lauren Hutton rocked culottes in the 70’s and who could forget how effortless Ali McGraw made them look. Culottes give off a playful vibe that is flattering (when accessorized correctly) with a nod to history.
Pairing these culottes with patent wedges make the look more polished. I just think heels bring an elegance to this trend (not that I have anything against flats!). Stilettos take the look to new heights for a sophisticated evening ensemble. Pair them with booties or even knee boots for a cozy winter feel. If the pants are not right below the knee or mid-calf, flats can make the ensemble look like a dress up game gone wrong. Because the pants billow, a heel or at least some height give off a sense of thoughtful styling.
This simple bright clutch pops against the navy pants and I adore the contrast with the stripes on the shirt. A fun crossover would be a nice addition for a leisurely stroll. I would recommend against big, bulky bags as they tend to overwhelm the cut of the pants. Personally I’m a fan of solids for this style, but bold patterns certainly can make a statement this season. Since the pants are your statement piece, I recommend going for simple accessories so as to not overwhelm the flowing nature of the culottes.
I love this navy and white shirt! I chose to tie it at the waist for a little less stuffy look. My favorite aspect of the top is how well it wears. After a day at the office, no visible wrinkles! I still looked like I did when I left that morning (well, the clothes did anyway!). I also love that this shirt can be paired with a pencil skirt or even jeans. It’s versatile but lends itself to a classic piece. A great alternative to pair with the pants is a cropped sweater. It makes a great weekend look and elongates your legs. Adding a cowl neck sweater or cropped jacket to these pants allows you to really cash in on the versatility of the pants.
These pants! Oh, where have you been? I have a fashion crush on them. Seriously. They look great but feel even better. I’m pretty sure I was a little sassier when I wore them. These are work pants, brunch pants, evening on the town pants – you name it! They can be dressed up for an event that demands cocktail attire (think silk tank top) or scaled down for a raucous girls’ lunch (cropped sleeveless sweater). Did I mention how comfortable they are? They’ve become a substitute to my typical office suit pant. You can find culottes in a variety of fabrics from leather to wool to everything in between. These definitely are not the culottes of our youth! This borrowed-from-the-boys look can put off vibes from bohemian to sophisticated in the blink of an eye. So don’t be afraid to rock those culottes ladies. They have come a long way!
Culottes: Club Monaco (similar and super affordable style by Alfani Prima)| Striped Top: Club Monaco (also available at Shopbop, similar sleeveless style by Joie) | Clutch: Elaine Turner (similar clutch by Diane von Furstenberg and two gorgeous splurge clutches by Delvaux and Givenchy) | Wedges: Christian Louboutin, sold out (similar style by Pierre Hardy)