They’re Back! How to Wear The New Culottes

Street stylers at Fall 2013 Fashion Week made one thing clear — the culotte is back and better than ever. The wide-legged ankle pant has a reputation for being hard to wear, which helps explain its lengthy stay in fashion faux pas territory. However, the latest incarnation of the culotte is far more flattering and sophisticated than the styles you may remember growing up (yes, I rocked culottes back in the day). To pull off the spring-perfect trend, take a cue from these cool culotte-wearing chicks.

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For the office, there are pleated and even cuffed versions in neutral hues (a crisp cream being my fave) done in work-appropriate materials that can easily sub in for your typical suit pant. The look is longer and more akin to a cropped pair of wide-legged pants.

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For a versatile investment, try a pair in a fancier fabric with a bit of sheen. Pair with a silky or sheer blouse for evening, add a jacket for the office, and take it into the weekend with a slouchy sweater or tee.

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I love the idea of pairing a pair of cream or black culottes with a silk tank for an unexpected after-five look that is sophisticated yet fashion-forward.

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Silk and linen variations will take the look down a notch for summer cocktails or a spring rooftop soiree.

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An oxford tucked in makes a more playful print office-appropriate — a jacket will make the look more fitting for a more conservative setting and/or overly-AC’d office.

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For a super casual look, double up on the slouchy feel by pairing with a tee. Just beware of fit and the rest of your accessories, so you don’t look like you borrowed some clothes from the guy you just met for the walk of shame. Heels, bracelets, and a feminine hue will keep the look from looking sloppy rather than slouchy.

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For the more advanced stylers, the shorter versions look more like the culottes you may remember (or you may have seen your mom wear in pics from the 60s and 70s). While harder to pull off, especially on shorter and curvier frames, they’re the perfect way to take the borrowed-from-the-boys look into spring and summer.

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Consider a leather pair in a rich tan for spring and fall as a nod to the ’70s Lauren Hutton look that first made culottes a thing. To avoid looking to costumey, avoid any more bohemian references and look to something more modern like a colorblocked blouse (tucked in, of course) and chunky heels  for a stylish yet put-together work look.

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To channel a more casual vibe, play with proportions. While a tee won’t fit the vibe and a cropped sweater would cut most of us (who aren’t 6-feet-tall models) off in an unflattering place, a slightly oversized sweater in a chunkier material and add a pair of heels will do the trick. 0d0a8c58e39663cad19f9d2be7327787

Or, consider a lightweight (think: tissue thin, slightly sheer) sweater or even lightweight sweatshirt and sandals to finish off the look.

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{images via Stockholm Street Style; Wayne Tippetts; Pinterest; Tumblr; Vogue; The Sartorialist}
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