Culottes can be tricky, but if you find a pair that fit you properly then they can totally change your pant game.
When culottes first made their comeback, I wasn’t too sure about them and I didn’t really want to spend money on them because I felt like they were too trendy. However, it’s safe to assume that by now they aren’t going anywhere, so you may as well invest in a nice pair and get as much mileage out of them while you can.
This is super important, right up there with fit. If you’re planning on ever wearing these outside of the house any beyond running errands, then you need to pay attention to the fabric. Make sure the fabric is stiff or thick enough, otherwise you’ll end up looking like you’re wearing pajamas.
Like I mentioned earlier, if you can find a pair of culottes that fit you well, then you’re golden. Make sure they aren’t too baggy or bulky otherwise they will engulf you and the result of that is just not cute. I also recommend finding a high rise pair: you can’t tell in these photos since my shirt is untucked, but a high waist ALSO means a defined waist when you tuck your tops into your pants. If culottes are too long, then they will just look like full length pants that are too short. To get the most out of your legs, make sure they hit (or hem them to) mid-calf.
The last thing I’ll say about culottes is that styling items with them is key. Even though culottes are comfortable, I feel like you have to dress them up or at least make sure you have great shoes or jewelry, otherwise they can look kind of dumpy. I try to always pair mine with some type of height, whether thats the block heel lace-up that you see here or flatform sandals (style trick: the height of flatforms keeps the outfit polished, even though the shoes are flat).
Come fall, I’m going to put these babies with a slim fitting turtle neck and some ankle-hugging booties with a heel. Culottes are a great transitional piece!
I’ve picked out my current favorites below in a variety of prices and colors. If you can score a pair of Theory ones on sale, then do it. They always have impeccable tailoring and everything is great quality.
P.S. If you’re looking for beautiful, minimalist tops to pair with your culottes, then look no further than LA based brand Zero Degrees Celsius. I’m wearing their sheer sleeve flower top in these photos.