Gauchos, cropped wide leg pants, square pants...whatever you want to call them, culottes have a special place in our closets because they're easy to style and super comfortable to wear. They're great alternatives to skirts when you need more room to move around, and are also an acceptable substitute when skinny jeans or trousers feel too restrictive when you're off to the office. But mind you, culottes aren't just meant to be worn as a reserve piece in your wardrobe. You can casually wear them out, too. Here, we list down 10 easy but equally chic and modern ways to style culottes.
How To Choose
First things first: you have to find the right pair. Here are easy tips to remember when you're out shopping for culottes.
1. Check the length.
Ideally, culottes should fall mid-calf. But you may opt to go a couple inches shorter or longer, depending on your height. The key is keeping the length proportioned to how tall or short you are.
2. Look at its width, too.
Apart from its length, you also have to check the width of the pants. The wider its cut is, the more volume you're putting on your bottom half.
3. Check the material.
It's not just the silhouette you should look at. Mind the fabric the culottes are made of to better match it with the event or place you're wearing them to. Since the usual cropped cut of the pant can seem a little less formal, you can balance it out with a luxe fabric to make it more office- or wedding-appropriate.
How to Wear
Now that you know how to shop for the right pair, let's move on to learning how to style them. Here are street style stars showing us creative ways to elevate the humble culottes:
1. Try a dual-tone look.
If you’re wondering how to wear your colored culottes, simply wear it with another color. You can opt to wear a complementary hue to employ a simple color blocking technique. You can also look at its neighboring shades for a richer monochromatic look.
2. Dare to go all white.
Nothing beats a crisp and clean all-white look. Culottes are a great choice for this kind of ensemble because the cropped cut won't make your outfit look too formal. Plus, you don't have to worry about your white pants grazing the floor, too! Elevate your ivory look by layering different textures. You can also experiment with some striking prints and colors on your footwear for extra oomph.
3. Experiment with fabrics.
Looking for a cool pair of culottes for the office? Consider looking for faux leather bottoms that will add a luxe vibe to your office look. These will easily elevate any of your button-down shirts, especially when you select a pleather culotte that comes in a deep color hue. Remember that black isn't your only neutral hue option for office wear.
4. Going for denim never goes out of style.
Of course, you shouldn't forget about denim when looking for culottes. These are breezy alternatives during your off days, but don't be restricted to pairing them with simple tees. While a tee is its no-frill partner, try dressing up your jean culottes with a floral wrap dress. The dress-over-pants technique is still pretty much on-trend, not to mention will make you look chic and elegant even on a casual day.
Make your denim culottes look extra stylish by reaching for pairs that are adorned with interesting details. Case in point: Camille Co's lace-up jean culottes!
5. Try the utilitarian trend.
It's time to polish up your office looks in utilitarian-inspired pieces. Warm browns, beiges, amd khakis that come in structured pieces are the way to go. But instead of opting for basic trousers, switch it up with a pair of voluminous culottes to balance the androgynous lewk with some feminine details.
6. Make it suitable for the office.
Speaking of office looks, wear your work uniform with a more relaxed and laiback vibe with the help of a pair of culottes. Style your button-down with a pair of gauchos that come in a softer fabric. Drape your favorite check blazer over your shoulders and power through your meetings in style!
You can even replace your skinny trousers with colored culottes to level up your office OOTDS.
7. Style it sporty.
Thinking of how to spice up a pair of plain culottes? Take notes from Eva Chen and turn your gauchos into a must-have when it comes to sporty dressing. The key is to play down the culottes by styling it with athleisure pieces like a bomber jacket, sports bra, a track suit, what have you. Slip on your fave sneaks and you’re good to go!
8. Double the fun with denim.
If you’re in need of another denim culotte outfit idea, here’s a no-brainer look you can easily recreate. Pair denim jeans with a denim shirt for the ultimate laidback look! If you want your OOTD to look a bit more polished, it will help if you stick with the same denim wash for both your top and bottom pieces.
9. Take it to the beach.
Yes, you can still wear this versatile piece even when you’re by the shore. In fact, it makes a cute cover up alternative! Style your lightweight culottes with your favorite bikini top, add a hat and a straw bag, and you’re off to a great afternoon by the beach.
10. Go for linen coordinates.
If you’re on the lookout for the easiest yet super trendy way to wear culottes this 2019, then you’re for sure to live in linen coordinates. This combo will offer you so many outfit options. When buying a set, keep in mind to have the top cut in a cropped, boxy silhouette to balance your culottes.
11. Opt for something printed.
Plain-colored culottes are not the only option. You can try getting into printed ones to elevate your usual tops. Dip your toes with gingham checks paired with brightly-colored blouses before switching to the more advanced print territories. Yes, we're talking about mixing animal prints!
12. Turn it into a pattern breaker.
Finally, you can use your culottes to break graphic patterns. Donning too many prints at once has the tendency to bulk you up, but you can solve this fashion dilemma by wearing a pair of culottes that will serve as a welcome break for the eyes. Pair the culottes with strappy sandals to show off your ankles to instantly give you a height boost, too.