Culottes can be a tricky trouser, and getting them right can be easier said than done, but when they look good, they look really good. So whether you're already familiar with culotte trousers or a total newbie, we've put together this buying guide to show you how to choose the perfect pair that'll blend seamlessly with your wardrobe.
Whether it's a smart black pair for the office, a formal white stripe for a soiree, or a colourful knee-length number for a holiday, ladies culottes are adaptable, comfortable, and extremely chic. Included in our guide is a list of our favourite culottes from Amazon, John Lewis and ASOS. With something to suit everyone, we've got a variety of sizes from petite to plus-size, in denim, linen and jersey, in structured, tailored or relaxed everyday styles.
Melissa Melles is a Wardrobe Concierge based in Manchester, helping both women and men find their style and have confidence in what they wear by organising their wardrobes.
With 10 years of industry experience, Melissa's clients trust her expert opinion when it comes to style advice. Her experience spans from TV, music and editorial styling, to working in Paris showrooms, to personal shopping in luxury department stores and more.
Find out more about Melissa via her Instagram or head over to her website where you can see all the expert consultation services she offers - from simply organising your wardrobe space to sourcing those hard to find 'New Season' pieces!
'Culotte' was originally a French word meaning an item of clothing worn on the lower half of the body. Yet, throughout European history, 'culotte' came to describe many things - from the apparel of aristocratic upper-class gentlemen during the Renaissance, to the lower garment of past military uniforms, to even the split skirts worn by Victorian women whilst riding horseback.
These days, however, culottes are characterised as wide-leg trousers. The hem is usually cropped somewhere between the ankle and upper calf but can also be cropped above the knee. Mainly a piece worn by women, culotte trousers can come in various styles, making them suitable for everyday, smart-casual, and eveningwear.
It can be hard to decide on the right pair of culotte trousers as there are so many different styles, shapes, and prints available. But worry not, as we've created this guide to give you a hand in finding the pair to perfectly suit your purpose, preferences, and proportions!
Chances are you already have an occasion in mind for your new culottes, whether that's for a party, an event, or to achieve that chic but comfy summer look. Denim culotte trousers or those made from a lightweight, thin material make a great choice for everyday wear to accomplish that laidback feel.
On the other hand, if you're hoping to find a pair of sophisticated-looking culottes for a celebration or work function, opt for thicker materials such as a cotton twill or a metallic knit to add a dash of glamour to any outfit. Be on the particular lookout for culotte trousers that combine a cinched waist with a super wide leg to create a stylish and contemporary shape.
There are so many types of culottes now, a crepe fabric can be nice for summer months for a more formal occasion like a wedding or a work event, denim culottes are really cool if you're going on a city break and want something versatile to go with all your outfits if you need to pack light.
Consider your body shape and height when deciding on your chosen length and cut to create a perfectly flattering fit that you look and feel great in. If you're short and curvy, go for culottes that are cropped around the calf. Trousers that hem at the most narrow part of your leg adds length to your figure, whereas full-length culottes can shorten your appearance or create a blocky shape if you have wider hips.
Those who are tall and slim can usually get away with any style of culottes, but if you're slightly more apple-shaped, opt for ones with a tie-belt and cinched, pleated waist to balance out your frame. A super wide-leg can also look amazing on this body shape by creating a feminine silhouette.
There are different cuts of culottes just like any trouser, so bear in mind when shopping if you would rather a high rise or a mid rise. It might be nice to go for culottes with a built in belt or tie waist if you want to be tucking in t shirts and blouses to give an elegant finished look.
The material your culottes are crafted from is an important factor, as it'll determine things like comfort, style, and how or when you will wear them. In this section, we'll explore the most popular fabrics to help you decide which one's for you.
Cotton is the most popular natural clothing material that comes in many forms, creating many different looks. 100% cotton denim creates a structured shape for a vintage style that suits both daytime and evening wear. On the other hand, cotton blended with elastane gives denim culottes a bit more stretch for a comfy, casual style.
For culottes that you'll love to chill out in at home or at the beach, a cotton jersey material is the perfect choice due to its lightweight and breathable qualities. Then, for a tailored statement look, opt for heavy, high-quality cotton that'll take you from day to evening in a snap.
I'm an advocate for sustainable fabrics, so cotton is a really great option for when you need a cooler breathable option in the summer months, you can even now find clothes made from recycled cotton too which is even more sustainable.
When it comes to choosing a material that is relaxed yet elegant, linen is the winner. It works just as well for a laidback beach vibe as it does for smartening up a casual outfit. The breathability and sturdy nature of linen also make it an excellent low-maintenance choice.
Although linen makes for a great casual outfit, it also looks super chic dressed up. Think evenings on holiday dining at the piazza, or accessorised with dangly jewellery and statement heels for a polished evening ensemble.
Also, linen production is significantly less water-intensive than cotton, giving it a much lower environmental impact. Being a natural fibre too, it's biodegradable and also good for the skin.
Again Linen is another really great sustainable fabric, made from natural fibres this is even lighter than cotton! It does crease easily though so consider that when choosing the right event. If you're not going to be doing a lot of sitting then linen is perfect, especially for those beach strolls on your holiday.
Polyester and viscose are the most popular synthetic materials you'll come across, and both are good options. Machine washable, durable, and easy to take care of, polyester is a favourite amongst shoppers. Polyester is also cheaper than many natural fabrics, such as cotton, making it a great choice if you're on a budget but still want to kit yourself out.
Viscose is also known for being inexpensive, easy to blend with other fabrics, and breathable in a similar way to cotton - unlike polyester, which can feel sticky and sweaty against the skin in warm weather. Viscose also drapes beautifully, with a silk-like, luxurious feel.
However, viscose manufacturing is extremely polluting and is classified as an unsustainable fabric despite being made of natural wood pulp. Thus, the trade-off with most synthetics is that they are more harmful to the planet than natural fibres.
Opting for synthetic options isn't always a bad thing as it can be a more affordable option in some cases, and if you choose the right pair, they will last you a long time with proper care. Just be sure when you come to no longer want them that you recycle them or sell them and don't leave them to end up in a landfill.
As you now know, culottes can be worn in multiple ways for a variety of occasions. For a comfy chilled-out vibe, choose a pair with an elasticated waist and a cropped ankle to create a breezy look and feel.
For something a little fancier, go for culotte trousers with a high-rise cinched waist with pleats and a tie-belt to add an air of elegance. Tie belts range from a thin band to a wide statement belt, with some featuring stylish buckles for a touch of retro charm.
Or take your outfit to the next level with extreme pleating from the waist and super wide legs. These are perfect for a work event or a cocktail evening with friends. It's all in the details!
Culottes are quite a statement piece so it's a nice touch to opt for a pair with a belt or a waist detail, it's quite common to tuck in a t shirt or a top into a pair of culottes to elongate the legs and if you have a belt this is a really nice way to tie in the waist and draw attention away from the tucked in top.
Keeping our simple tips in mind, it's time to take a look at our top ten favourite culotte trousers in the UK. With stylish offerings from the likes of ASOS DESIGN, Whistles and Thought, we're sure you'll find your new wardrobe go-to!
|Style||Everyday, smart casual|
|Detailing||Wide tie-belt, pleated|
|Detailing||Elasticated waist, metallic knit|
|Style||Everyday, holiday, smart casual|
|Detailing||Tie-belt, super wide-leg|
|Material(s)||95% cotton, 4% polyester, 1% elastane|
|Detailing||High box-pleated waist, double length tie-belt, wide hem, topstitched pockets|
|Style||Everyday, smart-casual, holiday|
|Detailing||Circular linen belt, front seams|
|Detailing||Elasticated hidden back, deep pockets, super wide leg|
|Detailing||Cinched waist, tie-belt, super wide leg|
|Detailing||Elasticated waist, plisse texture|
|Length||Cropped above ankle|
|Detailing||Elasticated waist, side pockets|
|Length||Cropped above ankle|
|Material(s)||99% cotton, 1% elastane|
|Detailing||High waist, wide tie-belt, pleated|
Somerset by Alice Temperley
Tie Waist Culottes
Cotton Cropped Trousers
Plisse Culotte Trousers
Asymmetric Stripe Culottes
Isobel Stripe Culottes
Kiera Culotte Trousers
Wide Leg Denim Culottes
Abstract Animal Print Culottes
Metallic Wide Leg Trousers
Classic Cotton Culottes With a Chic Cropped Length
Highly Breathable Culottes in an Inclusive Range of Sizes
Gorgeous Pleated Jersey Culottes in Grey Marl
Keep It Current In Bold Monochrome Stripes
Soft, Floaty and Cut From Pure Hemp
A Summery Choice in 100% Linen
Denim Culottes For a Contemporary Silhouette
A Jungle-Inspired Print for a Wild Look
Lightweight Culotte Trousers in a Glam Metallic Knit
Easy to Care for Culottes in a Range of Shades
|Style||Smart-casual, evening||Everyday, holiday||Everyday||Smart-casual, evening||Everyday, holiday||Everyday, smart-casual, holiday||Everyday||Everyday, holiday, smart casual||Evening, party||Everyday, smart casual|
|Length||Cropped above ankle||Cropped above ankle||Cropped, calf-length||Ankle-length||Ankle-length||Cropped, calf-length||Cropped, calf-length||Cropped, calf-length||Cropped, calf-length||Knee-length|
|Material(s)||99% cotton, 1% elastane||100% cotton||100% polyester||100% viscose||100% hemp||100% linen||95% cotton, 4% polyester, 1% elastane||100% viscose||100% polyester||100% polyester|
|Detailing||High waist, wide tie-belt, pleated||Elasticated waist, side pockets||Elasticated waist, plisse texture||Cinched waist, tie-belt, super wide leg||Elasticated hidden back, deep pockets, super wide leg||Circular linen belt, front seams||High box-pleated waist, double length tie-belt, wide hem, topstitched pockets||Tie-belt, super wide-leg||Elasticated waist, metallic knit||Wide tie-belt, pleated|
Has all this talk of culotte trousers got you in the mood for a little more browsing? For more on-trend pieces that keep your look iconic, check out our related articles on shirt dresses, denim dresses, and dungarees. Let's make every outfit count!
And that concludes our rundown of the best culottes available online in the UK. Hopefully, our buying guide and recommendations inspired you to purchase some fabulous new trousers that feel just as amazing as they look!
Author: Melanie Mac
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