Blazer, J. Crew Factory; top, Theory (thrifted); pants, Club Monaco; shoes, Manolo Blahnik; necklace, Banana Republic
Blazer, J. Crew Factory; top, Theory (thrifted); pants, Club Monaco; shoes, Manolo Blahnik; necklace, Banana Republic

Um, yes. I am indeed wearing culottes. If you have not already turned away in horror and dismay, let’s plunge on. I did buy a pair of trousers that were described as culottes, at least by the sales associate at Club Monaco. First of all, I hate the term “culottes”; it always makes me think of the sort of underclothes that French ladies might have worn at the turn of the last century. Second, I am not entirely convinced that the term is appropriate in this case. I thought culottes were cropped much higher than the ankle. Regardless, this is definitely a “look”, and one firmly outside my comfort zone. I think (and my husband agrees) that photos don’t do it much justice; I swear it looks better in real life, although that’s cold comfort in a blog post. The reality is that, after years and years of skinny pants, it will take a while for my eyes to adjust to a new silhouette.

new lengths
new lengths
the view from the back
the view from the back

I ended up buying the trousers (new, on sale though not inexpensive) for a number of reasons. One, my evolving style is skewing more towards the archictectural/minimalist direction, where the cut of things is the key to staving off visual boredom and the goal is not necessarily figure flattery. It’s a strange new land for me, but I’m having fun trying to find my way. Two, the colour is one of my favourites, and a core non-neutral in my wardrobe palette. I knew it would work well with several existing pieces, which makes that whole discovering-a-new-style thing much more manageable.

So, there we are. I am wearing culottes and we are (hopefully) still friends. Happy Valentine’s Day!

plum crush
plum crush

15 Comments on We Need To Talk 

  1. Love the culottes, the color if lovely. Not a fan of the blazer with the culottes. Maybe a more sleek top half would be better with the cut of the culottes. Your picture without the blazer is very nice. I was always taught if the bottom is looser fit then the top should be more fitted and vice versa. But truthfully, you always look beautiful.

    • I totally get what you’re saying, but I was doing a day-long client-facing conference that day, so I needed the blazer. I went with the slimmest cut blazer I have, and I think it was OK. I will definitely be wearing the culottes without a blazer next time to switch up and streamline the silhouette.

  2. I bought a pair of culottes this summer! So, we’re still friends. Like you, I found the new silhouette a little jarring at first. But it somehow has some classic, timeless appeal to it, while at the same time being on the leading edge of a new fashion trend. Its weird. But good. And they look good on you.

    I don’t always feel “myself” in the culottes, even if I do like the outfit in the mirror. My husband says they are fabulous. I felt the most comfortable in them while on a tropical vacation, with sandals and a large sun hat.

    • Whew! Glad I’m not the only one who finally succumbed. I feel like the fashion industry has been trying to make culottes happen for a few years now, and first I scoffed but now … this is the first season when I’m, like, yeah, I can see this working … It still takes some adjustment though.

  3. I think these are gorgeous! I thrifted some similar black Armani pants with tuxedo pleats last year. Unfortunately, dry cleaning them gave them tiny holes so I donated them. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone. Cheers!

  4. It works! But if not for those swoonworthy shoes, which this outfit definitely shows off, what kind of shoes would you pair with it? I look forward to future combinations!! Very thought-provoking. Oftentimes I get dressed in an outfit and then…I can’t figure out what shoes and nothing feels right. This outfit feels cohesive.

    • Definitely pumps, and definitely high heels. I can’t see the silhouette working on my (short) legs otherwise. And true story: the day I bought these pants, I was wearing the same shoes. I think the shoes are at least 75% to blame for my impulse purchase – they make everything else look great.

  5. Hi there, I’m a new reader and I’m enjoying your blog very much. I agree – these are not actually culottes, at least, not as I understand them. Years ago I heard ‘culottes’ also being called a ‘divided skirt’ and I think that’s a good explanation. For example, I had a pair of culottes (early ’80s) that looked like an a-line skirt with an inverted pleat down the front. So I guess I could have rode a horse or a bike and still looked somewhat ladylike? :0) It seems like nowadays the term just means wide-legged trousers!

    Anyway, I love the plum colourway and those shoes definitely make the whole outfit!