Culottes for spring 2015


To culotte or not, that is the question. Was it Hamlet that posed it? Oh wait, it was me. In the fall, I wrote Gaucho-oh no (or oh maybe) bringing me back to the question of whether I should shop culotte or not for spring 2015. I have made my decision and it’s a firm yes. What a pretty look for spring, especially in the delicate pastel-on-pastel look, or paired with opposites like black and white. We have seen skinnies and cigarette pants for the past few seasons, and last summer had a quick glimpse at the palazzo pant, so I say jump into a pair because it’s time to try something new.

Tibi culottes


I like the look of culottes paired with something strong. The wide leg, calf length trouser works well with a bold and chunky shoe like the Michael Kors Somerly wedge, or with leather details like a tank, or better still, get the culottes in leather, denim or suede, and pair it with a delicate drape-y blouse or a judo belt tied blazer or vest. You can also try the higher waisted version with a boxier crop top. However, it’s equally nice with softer details, as Vince Camuto showed in pastel pink-on-pink with a sleeveless bobble sweater, making it girlie girl perfection. Try it with a snakeskin or floral shoe, or if you have some spare cash, a sing from the heavens above Rockstud by Valentino shoe to complete the look. And while I prefer it with bolder footware, it is also pretty with a stiletto, strappy heel sandal or a pointy toed flat.

leather culottes

A different take on the culotte is mimicking the silhouette of both the top and bottom. Try a sleeveless triangular shaped top and pair it with a triangular shaped bottom.

Tailored and minimalist is really the key to executing this look with success. Think structured in shape, but strong accessories to make the look pop.

culottes culottes and cop top

Who can wear these pants?

It’s a tough look to wear, no bones about it. It’s a bit like the midi skirt, but when done right and on the right shape it can be gorgeous. This look is not just for the model thin. It works well on women with a bit more thigh, but who love their calves. The shape conceals the fuller thigh, but shows off the best part of the leg. It also works on the hourglass figure, but be sure to define your waist. Since the bottom is full, these shapes should wear it with a narrower fit on the top. Boyish shapes would do well in the triangular top and bottom look, the boxy cut or an oversize judo belted blazer or menswear vest. And I know all you petite women out there are saying, “oh great, what about me?” but it can be done. Yes, it cuts you off mid leg, but heels, heels, heels ladies of Petitesville. This will help you wear this better. Make sure it hits around mid-calf to longer balance and elongate.

culotte plus 3


white culotttes culottte suit

So challenging yes, but impossible, no. What do you think? Is it extraordinary, ordinary or meh? Will you try out this look or should all wearers be sent straight to fashion rehab? No matter your preference, I can guarantee that they are here to stay, at least for a season or two.

culottes culotttes for work



Carolyn Bissett


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