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Style and Fashion Ideas: Different looks with Culottes

Culottes are something I only recently got into.

I mean I think I dabbled with gaucho pants (?) back in 2004 but never really got into them because then I felt like they were out there and too trendy for me at the time.

Looking back, I realized that it was because they were jersey, of a low flimsy quality, and that’s why they looked kind of crappy.

The real key to wearing culottes for me, and to look chic, is to wear a higher quality fabric like cotton, silk, or something with pleats, pockets (!!), and draping. A drapier culotte will look stylish no matter what, like cute, long shorts but without that awkward weird bunching up in the crotch that I dislike.

Some style ideas with a deep red linen culotte, which is a little more casual for me, and less formal.

Tucking a flowy dress into it

In this, I show off a different dimension of the pants, by having these red culottes sort of blend into the dress. Dress is a printed maxi silk dress that’s one of a kind (these vintage saris are only big enough for one dress) but a similar feel in a printed stripe in this maxi dress here.

Some people might be put off from the assymmetry of it, I but I really like it especially when you’re walking and the dress floats around you as you move.

I added this dark brown men’s belt to ground the whole look, and an interesting twisted cuff on my wrist (old but similar twisted cuff here and here in a matte gold instead).

I could also have tucked the whole front into the pants and left the rest trailing back.

Topped off with some pointed flats (old, but similar in Sarah Flint NYC in this style Natalies, use this referral code for $50 off).

Matching with similar shades/tones

I saw this and immediately thought of the Buddhist Tibetan monks because they were a lot of reds, oranges and yellows, and this combination reminds me of that immediately.

Again with this exact Crossover leather belt (I can’t help myself), and I let the top hang out with the belt instead of tucking it in all the way (another look I could have tried).

I then added a simple patina cuff (old, similar shorter cuff here)

With a simple button-up

Any button-up works. I like tying this one with a marble print in the front (old) because it adds a little interest, and the colour picks up in some of the print in the top as well.

This is the only look I think I’d wear to the office and feel professional enough in, maybe on a Casual Friday, but culottes can also be more formal.

The cuffs are brass lace links, exactly the same, worn on either wrist (similar here and similar cuff here).

Another variety of the same dress over more formal culottes:

These ones are dark blue culottes (exact on sale but only in a size 12, but another similar version here). The belt for me, really makes a big difference.

You can see it unbelted (it looks unfinished to me), then in dark blue (similar leather dark blue obi belt) for something more subtle, and then a red obi belt (similar red leather obi belt) that really picks up on the red in the dress.

My favourite would be this one with the red belt:

I also like very fresh light coloured culottes, and these white ones are great, especially with a side slit:

The culottes are old, but similar white culottes here, paired with a one-shoulder top with a nice drapey sort of feel, and these perfect pumps here.

I also love white culottes because they can be more formal as well:

Same culottes, this time with a stunning Lululemon scuba shirt with a pleated back (old, but similar here in a tailored cotton version or if you like, this more dramatic Olivia Palermo version).

Throw on some trusty high heels, and you’re good to go with this exact gold wire cuff.

A simple tuxedo-style top tucked into those same thicker navy blue culottes (exact on sale but only in a size 12, but another similar version here), and a graphic geometric cuff (old, but similar laser cut gold cuff here).

And obviously, black culottes in silk are always a winner.

Exact black culottes here in US8 on sale, but these Eileen Fisher ones are perfection as well.

I added black shoes (heels) with them and even flats would work!

The first picture is a sleeveless tuxedo duster blazer (old, but very similar here), a statement neckalce to set it all off, and a blue-y black tank top underneath.

In the second shot, I did my trusty white J. Crew tipped linen blazer (old, similar white blazer here). I like this look because it really makes it look like a more professional look, while still being fun. Culottes are like a skirt, but a comfortable one – a pair of long shorts!

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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Posted on April 12, 2017

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  1. Anne

    I really appreciate your wardrobe posts, you have so beautiful clothes and style them interestingly. Unfortunately my short legs don’t look good in most culottes, but now I am thinking that something like the white ones might be worth trying…

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Thank you! I plan on doing more wardrobe posts. The slits on the side help, and you can always get them hemmed to a nicer length for your legs, and I’d also say wearing heels helps. Flats don’t give that same length that is needed.


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