3 Ways to Wear it: Culottes
A year or so ago, fashion oracles foretold the death of the skinny jean, but having fallen head-over-heels with the style staple over the course of a 10 year affair, we were all reluctant to heed the warnings. And then, just like that, a change rippled through the trend collective. Slowly but surely, a new breed of trouser began popping up here and there; cropped at the calf, worn high on the waist, and designed to billow with every step? The age of the culottes had dawned.
No doubt you own a pair by now. Maybe two. Three, if you have any sense. In fact, it’s high time we all admitted that our fears were misplaced. Yes, culottes couldn’t be more different from their drainpipe-like cousins, but they are just as comfortable, equally versatile, and unlike skinny jeans, you can strut smugly pass any officious doorman enforcing a ‘no-denim’ rule. And to that effect, today we’re showing you three completely different ways to wear them. Denim’s dead. Long live culottes.
But where did culottes come from?
Culottes may have only recently sauntered into the hearts, and onto the legs, of the style collective, but this is by no means there first taste of fash-fame. For that, we need to look back to the renaissance, when a style of trouser known as breeches were a la mode among men of the upper class. Characterised by their cropped cut, the popularity of the three-quarter-lengths spread until they found their way onto French soil during the seventeenth century... where they became known as culottes.
Skip forward to the 1900s, and women had started to partake in more physically demanding activities. Unable to do so in the lavish garments of the day, they adopted culottes as a practical alternative. The voluminous trouser legs gave off the illusion of a skirt, while also affording ladies a little more room to move in… but it wasn’t until the 1930s that a woman dared to wear the supposedly male style as a fashion statement. That woman was designer, Elsa Schiaparelli, and by doing so, she took a very important culotte-clad step in the battle for gender equality. Eighty years later, we’re making the most of Elsa’s stand, by wearing culottes as often as we can. And thanks to our following ‘three ways to wear it’ culotte style guide, we’re urging you to do the same!
Look 1: culottes, cami, trainers and a bomber jacket
Culottes might offer a more tailored silhouette than you’re used to, but they can totally do the casj thing, too. And what with the party season now firmly on countdown mode, they’re the perfect day-to-night transition piece for when you need to change, double-time, for those post-work cocktails. But before we get carried away with thoughts of cosmopolitans and strawberry daiquiris, let’s nail your day option first.
Culottes front-and-centre, then layer our pink metallic cami over a plain white tee, and pop a pair of sneaks on below. Shrug on a bomber, and voila – fash-forward with a urban twist.
Look 2: culottes, roll neck, swing top and boots
As for a slightly more polished look, and one that will see you, eyes closed, through autumn, style your culottes with mid-heeled boots and a roll neck top. We're talking uber levels of comfort, uber levels of warmth.
Now, for the fashion-blogger-worthy finish... Layer our Tie-Shoulder Swing Top over the top, and work on your strut for maximum head-turning movement!
Look 3: Culottes, bodysuit, heels and a leather jacket
While some events defo call for an LBD, more often than not, a sleek trouser-and-top pairing looks just as sophisticated, if not slightly more considered. And the three-quarter-lengths lend themselves perfectly to just such an occasion.
Lace trim bodysuit, classic black culottes, and a pair of killer stilettos – what could be chicer? Throw on a leather jacket for instant-edge and keep make-up light but smoky.
How are you wearing YOUR culottes this season? Let us know in the comments below or tag us in a pic over on Instagram using #NCstyle - you never know, you might even make it into our next list of fave insta pics!