Fashion Trends: 7 Ways to Style Culottes

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how to style culottes

One of the trends that has appeared in stores in the past season or so is the culotte. Now I remember wearing these in my teen years and I wasn’t that keen to try on another pair as sometimes in fashion you can feel like “been there, done that trend and not going back”.  When you’re older a trend like culottes can end up looking aging and frumpy if you’re not careful, but in the interests of all you wonderful readers I thought I’d try out a pair and give you my opinion on ways to style them whatever your age.

how to style culottes with a bootie

Style wise they suit A and X shapes best as they have that flare that follows that body shape.  They also are best for those with long legs as culottes do have a leg shortening effect, similar to the midi-skirt. Ideally have them end just under your knee, the ones I’m wearing a longer (fortunately I do have long legs) but are harder to style if you don’t have long legs.   But of course just because the style isn’t perfect for our shape doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with it if we choose to do so.  Here are some tips on how to style them if you don’t want to look dowdy!

1. Wear them with a tight in a colour that blends to your culotte and shoe – above  I’ve chosen an open bootie which has a lower vamp than a regular ankle boot (which is the shoe I’d say does NOT work with a culotte).  I’ve also worked it back with a similar coloured top to create a column of colour which helps to make one long unbroken line from my neck to my feet!

how to style culottes with a blouse

2.   Another way to elongate your legs with culottes, and brilliant in winter is to team them with a knee high boot.

culottes with a pump

3.   A blouse tucked into the culotte creates quite an elegant look.  You can then add a belt to help minimise the effect of too much volume (remember one voluminous garment at a time) and a high heeled pump with hosiery to tone.

how to style a culotte peep toe shoe

4. So you hate wearing tights (or it’s just too hot)?  Then always wear with a low vamp shoe like these so that your legs aren’t further shortened.  A peep toe is great to give a more casually elegant look.  Consider that a culotte is similar in volume to a flared skirt, so you want to keep your tops more fitted and jackets shorter – no longer than hip-bone length.

how to style culottes beauty bundle

5. Why not wear a column of colour then break up the monotony with a beauty bundle in a colour?  Here I’ve played join the dots with red shoes, belt and necklace to draw your attention upwards to my face.

how to style culottes column of colour

6. Make the shoe the star – my leopard pumps are the feature piece in this ensemble and I’ve used the column of colour to ensure I look as long as possible.

culottes more casually with ballet flats

7. Casual cool with ballet flats for comfort  Notice that I’m wearing a ‘nude’ version so that my feet are not the focus and I’ve created interest up high with the necklace and denim style jacket.

Have you tried culottes? Would you? Will you? How do you like to wear them?

These culottes I’m wearing are from Target Australia

Shop for culottes

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16 Comments

  • Dear Imogen,

    I saw some culottes in XXL stores but I guess that they are not good for plus size as I can’t tuck in my shirt. What do you think about that?

    All the best,

    Tina

    • Tina – as with all clothing styles you need to try them on and see if they work for your unique body – it’s also about proportions and what you wear them with. They aren’t the easiest trend to wear so you may find that they are one you pass by.

  • The culottes look great on you! I am petite so doubt I can get away with that…..but there are more things I can wear. I am 5’0″, normal or below weight but short legged so always looking to lengthen those limbs, ha! You look amazing in all the pics and thanks for sharing!

  • I am not a fan and have not noticed anyone wearing them, but I will try a pair on to see what they look like on me.

    • You need to keep them shorter, – just under the knees not down on the calves if you’re petite – and not too much fabric – so not too wide and flowing for petites.

  • Hi Imogen,

    I nearly clicked straight past this post. I didn’t think anyone could make culottes look good, but you did. Love the long boot and ballet flat outfits the most.

    I think the dark colour of the culotte also helped.
    Well Done
    Donna

  • Will be passing on this trend. I am too short. Besides i wore culottes at least one night every week for 13 years as part of my guide leader uniform. As fond as I am of that time I would feel like I was back in uniform. Lol.

  • Culottes are hideous. I feel like they are forced on us by the fashion industry because they need something new to sell. You look great in each picture but you would look even better with a decent pair of pants.

    I feel like this is a forced trend just to sell clothes.

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