I posted this outfit on my Instagram this week and the response was STRONG! People loved this culottes Summer style but I had so many girls say “I love this look, but I couldn’t wear it because…X” Well, let me tell ya… you CAN wear this look! I PROMISE. It’s all about how you style it.
I was worried at first I would not be able to pull off this look either, so hear me out. At just under 5’4″ I’m in the petite zone. Throw a short torso into the mix and curves on the lower half and TRUST ME not all styles work for me. You definitely have to know what works for YOUR body. But I honestly feel culottes can work for everyone if they’re styled right.
Keep reading to find how to style culottes for your body type…
How to Wear Culottes…
Tips for Everyone:
BALANCE is Key
Culottes are wide, so be sure to keep your top form fitting to balance it out. This way you don’t drown in the the width of the pants. I love a crop top with them since the pants are naturally high-waisted. If you aren’t into a crop I would suggest a bodysuit or other type of form fitting top to keep your proportions in line.
Dress them up or down with accessories
In general when we think of culottes I feel like a more causal, bohemian vibe comes to mind – and they’re great for that. However, culottes can absolutely be dressed up with a sophisticated heel and sleek accessories. I’m thinking black culottes, these suede and acrylic heeled mules, a sleek top and statement necklace. Chic.
If You’re Petite
Heels ALWAYS, but not just any heel…
My main concern with the culottes trend was that between the width of the pants and mid-calf length I would get swallowed up. The trick is to always wear them with some sort of a heel. Proportions are everything, so IMO because culottes are wide I would stick with a high heel that is thin to medium width. If you go super chunky with the heel I think it can make your legs feel off because the pants are already so wide.
To elongate your legs if you’re petite I would opt for nude or natural colors so it seems like your legs just keep on going. Click here for the exact pair I’m wearing in limited sizes but 50% off! But I’ve linked a bunch below that are more widely available and would work SO well for my petite gals with any pair of culottes.
Show those Shins:
Another trick to keep those legs looking long in these flouncy things is to show as much of the front of you leg down to your toes as possible. The heels obviously help with this, but if you’ll notice all the shoes I’ve linked below maximize front of leg skin showing. That keeps the long-leg illusion going.
Show Some Skin
Just like we want to maximize how much of our leg is showing in our shoes, it helps to break up the look with a little skin elsewhere. If you’re comfortable with a crop top I recommend that. Just a tiny sliver of skin helps break up the look and keeps you from drowning in fabric. I think if you have a sliver of waist showing you can even get away long sleeves off the shoulder or otherwise, as long it’s form fitting.
If you aren’t comfortable with a crop top, no problem! Just stick with a form fitting piece/ bodysuit and maybe opt for a tank top so you have a little skin bared on your arms.
As you can see in these shots I completely covered myself with fabric once I threw this Chambray button up on, but the slit of waist showing combined with my legs showing keeps it proportional.
Culottes don’t necessarily have to be long. If you wear a sky-high heel and go with a full length version it will seriously elongate your legs. Take a look at this pair.
If You’re Tall
Slide into some Mules
You tall ladies don’t need the extra height us petite gals need. I would throw on some slides if you’re keeping the look super casual, or if you want a little height but to feel grounded through on a Summer favorite, MULES.
Play with Pattern
Because there’s a bit more distance between where your culottes end and shoes begin I think you have some more room to play with some fun shoe patterns. If your pants are solid I would even go a bit crazy and add some pom poms or tassels into the mix. Fun for you!
If You’re Curvy
Cater to your Curves
I think culottes are very flattering for curves because they don’t constrict, they lay over your natural curves and flow from there, so it turns into this really beautiful, flowy silhouette where everything flows out from your curves. It accentuates your waist with the high waisted fit and many have tie details at waist which creates a natural break between the top and bottom curves.
Play the Proportions
Same as the petite babes, you want to keep things tighter up top so you don’t get overwhelmed with fabric. A form fitting crop top would be so chic and I love the shoulder cap styles. They look great on anyone, but if you’re curvy that sleeve fabric takes the silhouette out a little bit at the shoulders, then comes back in at the waist, and then the look flows out again with the pants laying over your curves and creates an hourglass shape that is to DIE for.
I truly think the culottes trend can be flattering on everyone. They are so comfy for warner weather because you have room to breathe and so easy to dress up or down, I think it’s a wardrobe must-have.
Let me know if you’ve tried culottes and what your thoughts were!
PS Photos by the fabulous Julia O Test Photography!