How To Wear Culottes

Make a great style statement with these pants and learn to pair them up to look trendy.

Reviewed by Josephine Rigney, Certified Fashion Stylist Josephine Rigney Josephine RigneyCertified Fashion Stylist facebook_icon
Written by , MSc Pratima Ati MSc linkedin_icon
Edited by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijita De MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
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Welcome aboard as today, in this article, we will give you all the deets about how to wear culottes and make the whole dressing process easier. Though it looks like these pants just sprung out of absolutely nowhere, they were a trend in the 70s. For all the right reasons, these pants made an excellent back and are loved by the current generation a lot. The most practical reason behind these pants being famous is that they are super comfortable. And it is not just the comfort that these pants provide; they look super chic if carried well and paired with the right pieces of clothing. So if you want to try out culottes, you are definitely in the right place because below are some styling ideas that are so worth trying. So go ahead and check them out.

protip_icon Ace The Look
  • Fabric: Opt for light to medium-weight fabric, such as double or triple crepe, rayon, linen, lightweight wool, peach skin, or viscose linen for the perfect draping.
  • Color: Wear solid-colored culottes with patterned tops for a striking look, or with a monochrome top for some gorgeous color blocking.
  • Footwear: Wear strappy heels on flowy dress-like culottes for formal and feminine vibes. Put on wedges or athletic shoes for a casual look with the ankle-length or shorter culottes.
  • Length: Culottes that end right at the skinniest part of your legs, i.e., ankles, are the most flattering.

How To Wear Culottes – 21 Styling Ideas

1. Pleated Culottes With A Shirt

Style pleated culottes with a shirt
Image: Instagram @hanna_storykorea

Ditch your regular pants to work or an event that demands formal wear and choose these pleated culottes instead. Pair them with a chic shirt like this one, which is both stylish and elegant. You can just wear flat ballerinas or sandals if you are not the kind who can do pumps.

protip_icon Trivia
From the late Middle Ages or Renaissance period to the early nineteenth century, gentlemen of the European upper classes wore knee-breeches that were the precursors to culottes in English-speaking history.

2. Black Striped Culottes With A Bold Colored Top

Style black striped culottes with a bold colored top
Image: Instagram

Monsoons can be quite tricky because it’s easy to step on puddles and wet the bottom of your pants. So, how do you deal with it? You guessed it right, a pair of striped culottes with a cold shoulder top or an off-shoulder one can keep it functional, chic and airy.

3. With A Loose Checkered Shirt, Cap And Sneakers

Style your culotte pants with a white shirt
Image: Instagram

For a sunny afternoon brunch, throw in a pair of bright culotte pants. Team it up with a loose checkered shirt, sneakers, sunglasses and a hat. You can just keep the pants plain and play around with other details.

4. With A Leather Jacket And Floral Top

Style your culotte pants with a leather jacket and floral top
Image: Instagram @__esti__

When you first imagine a culotte, it’s hard to visualize and put things together in your head. But, sometimes it’s just a mix of clothes from your wardrobe and marry it all together. Wear a floral tank, a vibrant pair of culotte pants and throw in a leather jacket. You could wear wedges or just sneakers too.

Karolina, a blogger, shares how she took a risk and jumped on the trend of trying out culotte pants. She writes, “I tried to keep my outfit minimalist, so I paired my black culottes with a gray plain sweater. On top, I am wearing my favorite leather jacket that goes really well with my black leather handbag (i).”

5. With A Captioned T-Shirt

Wear your culottes with a captioned t-shirt
Image: Instagram

Of course, a captioned T-shirt, something we all practically live in these days. Instead of your regular denim, wear it with a funky pair of culotte pants. Comfortable and trendy!

6. With A Sweater, Scarf And Stockings

Style your culottes with a sweater, scarf and stockings
Image: Instagram @doridoritaa

Who says winters should only be about pants and boots? I think we should try and avoid them as long as we can. Next time around, try a formal pair of culotte pants and wear it with an elegant blue sweater, scarf and also stockings if you can pull it off.

7. Floral Culotte Pants With A Plain Black Top

Style your floral culotte pants with a simple black top
Image: Instagram @blonde_mery

Reverse your floral top, and plain culotte looks like this one. There’s something about this that makes you look like someone who knows her fashion game. If you look at it, there’s hardly anything here, but it’s just the outfit that works like magic.

8. Sequin Culotte Pants And A Silk Top

Pair your sequin culotte pants with a silk top
Image: Instagram @flawsandfeminine

I know what you are thinking. Yes, who would have thought of this? Stand out in the crowd with these sequin culotte pants and an elegant silk top while keeping everything else simple. You don’t need to wear anything extraordinary to get attention, an attractive attire like this is enough to get heads turning.

9. With A Plain Shirt

Pair your culottes with a plain shirt
Image: Instagram @makeetcbooks

You think blending dull white pants with a plain shirt is not such a great idea? I thought so too. But have another close look at it. An easy, yet classy way to style those culottes, isn’t it? The midi-length, flared culottes look absolutely stunning when paired with the humble shirt to creat a crisp and clean look.

10. With A Sweater Tucked In

Wear your culotte pants with a tucked in sweater
Image: Instagram

Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons. Everything around you is vibrant, colorful and it’s best just before winter enters making it all gloomy. Enjoy your last few days of manageable weather with a pair of culottes and a warm yellow sweater tucked in. Team it up with a choker or preppy accessories.

protip_icon Quick Tip
A light gray or white turtleneck will look equally stylish and comfortable with your dark culottes.

11. With A Trench Coat Or Jacket

Wear your culottes with a trench coat or jacket
Image: Instagram @atailorsblog

Culotte pants are definitely not the first thing that comes to your mind when you want to wear a trench coat or a long jacket. But, it’s the next big thing right now. So, you should try this too, it looks uber chic and is functional too!

12. With An Oversized Sweater And Sneakers

Culottes with an oversized sweater and sneakers
Image: Instagram @isaswall

Oversized sweaters, shirts, and T-shirts are like comfort food to most of us. Plus, it is a rage now and considered kind of cool if you can pull it off. I’m sure we all can do it in style. That and a pair of those big white sneakers that are all over the place right now. You are all set to go take on the world girl!

13. With A Crop Top And Boots

Culottes with a crop top and boots
Image: Instagram

Let’s face it, we don’t need a reason to wear crop tops, just more ideas to pair them up with will do, right? So, here’s yet another set of pants that will look just as dapper with crop tops. Complete this look with a pair of ankle length boots!

14. With A Hip Length Top And Shrug

Culottes with a hip-length top and shrug
Image: Instagram

If you have been assuming that only short tops go with your culotte pants, you are mistaken. Pair those striped culotte pants with a plain top that goes beyond your hips and layer it up with a shrug of the same size. You could add a thick waist belt if you want to take it to the next level. A contrast pair of heels will make this interesting.

15. With An Off-Shoulder Bell Sleeves Sweater

Culottes with an off-shoulder bell sleeves sweater
Image: Instagram @dillards

If you have used the regular culotte pants, try the slit pants and team it up with an off-shoulder sweater with bell sleeves. Pair it up with pumps and a side body bag to get you party ready.

16. Get The Monochrome Look With Black Culotte Pants

Black culottes with black cold shoulder top
Image: Instagram @detailsph

Monochromes are so in right now. So, here’s another way to try this look. A simple way would be to team up culotte pants with a black T-shirt or spruce up the look with a cold shoulder, tank or off-shoulder. Follow it up with black pumps or change gears with red shoes, accessories and smoking hot lipstick.

17. Camel Colored Culotte Pants With A Lace Bodysuits

Camel-colored culottes with a lace bodysuit
Image: Instagram

If you’ve been living under the rock and had no clue about the bodysuits yet, these are fitted shirts that are to be worn like onesies. They give you a great fit and sit like a perfectly tucked in shirt. Wear a high-waisted pair of camel culottes with a lace or chiffon bodysuit.

18. Leather Culotte Pants With A Well Fitted Top

Leather culotte pants with a well fitted top
Image: Instagram @missfortysomething

Okay, we’ve done a lot of talking and styling ideas with regular and striped culotte pants. If you are someone who likes to explore it further, try the leather culotte pants and pair it with a well-fitted top. It makes you look stylish instantly and effortlessly!

19. Striped Culotte Pants With A Blazer

Striped culotte pants with blazer
Image: Instagram @ju.lia.91

Yes. Of course, you can wear it with a blazer! And, your pants do not necessarily have to be prim. You can still wear loose culottes, a plain tank and blazer with stilettos still look ravishing.

20. Culotte Style Jumpsuits

Culotte style jumpsuits
Image: Instagram @mimosasandheels

It is established by now that jumpsuits are not going anywhere, plus we welcome them in any form they come back to us in. The culotte style jumpsuits are taking over right now, and we could not have been thankful. For women like me who are conscious about wearing tight fitted bottoms, this is a blessing.

21. Wrap Blouse With Beige Culottes

Wrap blouse with beige culottes
Image: Shutterstock

If you are looking for an effortlessly cool and chic look for the office, a wrap blouse with culottes is the answer. You can opt for a subtle shine with metallic shades, making it an ideal choice for standing out in meetings and interviews. Additionally, you can wear the ensemble even after office hours when catching a drink with your friends and colleagues. You can go for either open hair or top knot and accessorize with minimal jewelry, a bright red lip, and a light-colored handbag and heels for the perfect after work drinks attire. You can also layer with a long trench in winter without bringing down its appeal.

Infographic: 6 Uber Stylish Ways To Wear Culottes

Whether you adore understated minimalism or are a sartorial risk taker, culottes are just the ‘it pieces’ that can go with every style. When heading to the office, toss on that blazer and pair it with neutral-toned culottes. Or, add some jazz to your look with sequin pants for a party. Still unsure of how to style them? Check out the infographic below for some ideas.

7 uber stylish ways to wear culottes(infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

We cannot deny that culottes are crowd favorites and in trend nowadays. But even then, fashion faux pas can happen to the best of fashionistas, and everyone needs to have multiple pairing options with culottes. Long gone are the days when you would spend ages thinking about different ways to wear culottes and how to pair them up. The versatile garment complements all looks and can be donned in all seasons, be it scorching summer, breezy autumn and spring, or chill winters. You can easily elevate the look with accessories like handbags, clutch, or minimalist jewelry. Go with a leather jacket, humble sweater vest, or with a block top — they do the trick just perfectly. Remember this; if you are unsure of what to wear to the party, culottes are there to save you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should culottes fall on the leg?

It depends on your height. If you are short and curvy, your culottes shouldn’t be lower than 2-4 inches from your knees to look flattering. Taller people can wear slightly longer culottes that fall on the lower half of their calves.

Are culottes slimming?

It depends on the fabric and the stitch. If your culottes are heavily pleated, they can make you look curvier than you are. However, the ones with no pleats and a vertical zipper can be slimming.

What is the difference between palazzo and culottes?

Palazzo and culottes differ in their lengths. Palazzos are full-length, wide-legged pants, while culottes always end above the ankles.

Key Takeaways

  • For a revamped office look, wear pleated culottes with a shirt that exudes formal elegance, while also being stylish and trendy.
  • Pair solid color culottes with floral tank tops and a leather jacket for the perfect fall season outfit style that oozes endless oomph.
  • Level up your classic T-shirt by ditching the denims and pairing it with a pair of stylish culottes.
  • Go beyond the boring by styling sequin culottes with a chic silk blouse and bring the spotlight on you.
how to wear culottes

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

If you’re wondering how to style culottes, you’re in luck! This video has outfit ideas for work, weekend, and even date nights. Check it out and get ready to rock those culottes!

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Josephine Rigney
Josephine RigneyCertified Fashion Stylist
Josephine Rigney has been involved with fashion for over 9 years, including owning an accessories boutique, organizing and commentating for fashion parades, and offering personal styling sessions on color and style. She did her advanced diploma in Fashion Styling & Image Consulting at the International Career Institute.

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