How to wear culottes

They do seem scary, don't they? Culottes are in fact one of the easiest ways to add an instant lift to your autumn wardrobe. 


 Simply follow our guide on how to wear the fashion-forward favourite.

Think of them as an A-line skirt

The first thing to remember is that a pair of culottes are roughly the same shape as an A-line skirt, so treat them as such. They also have the added bonus of being slightly boyish, which is currently shorthand for ‘cool’. Wear them with a pared-back coat (as seen here by Joseph) to project a boyish chic.

Keep it simple with a block colour

Pick a pair in a block neutral hue. Navy, black, grey and cream are all good options. This grey pair by Regina Pyo (right) or a beautiful black pair by Tibi (below) are perfect. Bright colours or prints will simply add extra styling strictures, so are best avoided initially.

Use them to transform your traditional suit

Try a super-soft silk blouse from Equipment (pictured left) and a slimline blazer to transform the culotte into a modern suit, which is perfect for work. This Jonathan Saunders sharply cut jacket below fits the bill perfectly.

They can really highlight your waist

You can always accentuate your waist with lightweight knits tucked in, or a boxy structured top to skim the middle. Adopt the style that best suits your body shape. Fine knits work well with hourglass figures, you can add a touch of sparkle with this M Missoni knit (pictured right), while skimming works best for apple shapes – this Goat top (below) is so simple and chic and would work beautifully with culottes.

And yes, you can wear them with flats

It's a myth that you can only wear a culotte with a heel. While the extra height does elongate your silhouette, an elegant pointed toe flat will do a similar job. Add extra interest with 3D crystal embellishment like these fab flats from KG Kurt Geiger.

Do consider the proportions

“Be careful with your proportions,” advises Hannah Rochell, In Style fashion features editor and founder of “You need to shop around for a pair in the most flattering length for you. Weirdly for me, at just 5'3" and a non-heel wearer, I find that an ankle-skimming culotte works best. If you're taller, a just-below-knee-length would look great with long boots.” Try these long line shorts from Joseph for size.

They are great for layered looks

Culottes are a great layering piece for when the weather gets cold. Play with proportion as your confidence grows by wearing yours high waisted and with a cropped knit – like this chunky one from MiH Jeans

They even work for evening

Voluminous culottes make an elegant evening option. This silk taffeta culotte jumpsuit by Tibi makes a interesting twist on the classic cocktail dress.

And remember, they will still be key come spring

The best thing is that culottes were prevalent on the spring catwalks, Kenzo, Tibi and Stella McCartney (pictured here) all had them. So invest now and wear straight through.

By Lucy Reber