The runways are always great in turning the unexpected into infatuation and in making the unsought utterly-cool again, that we all know. Following these same principles, the spring 2014 fashion trends marked the surprising return of the calf-skimming trousers known as culottes, as the cropped silhouette for women’s pants underwent a super-chic makeover. Far from the sloppy style that we all remember from the early-mid 2000’s, the cool culottes began signaling their fashionable comeback during resort 2013, when powerhouses like Céline, Acne and Louis Vuitton, included them in their collections.
For spring 2014 it was 3.1 Phillip Lim, Tibi and Mulberry’s turn to revive the split skirt silhouette, alongside Proenza Schouler, Hermes and Victoria Beckham, all of whom reenvisioned the mid cropped pants as to fit the sleek aesthetic of the modern-day woman.
Not entirely ladylike, the culottes do carry a certain level of sophistication despite their apparent casual feel, especially when styled the right way. Read on after the break to find out which styles are currently trending and how to effortlessly wear the cropped culottes now.
Cropped culottes: the super-chic comeback.
The cropped culottes already found their way onto the city streets, which can only mean that their comeback is serious business. Perceived as a tricky garment with a slight tomboy feel about it, this halfway-skirt (the culottes having enough volume to give the impression of a skirt) stands to prove that it can look incredibly polished and flattering given the chance.
Camille Charriere wearing Club Monaco culottes. Photo by Fashionising.com
Cropped culottes: the evolved silhouette.
Either fully relaxed, or featuring a tailored silhouette with a slight flare at the bottom, the culottes style for 2014 is all about building a look upon an understated elegance.
Slouchy vs. Sleek.
Sporty or sleek, laid-back or super-sharp, there’s no such thing as a wrong approach to culottes, not as long as the silhouette flatters your body type and fits your general aesthetic. Featuring clean lines and smart cuts, the culottes can easily transition from day to night by the means of a quick shift in style.
Cropped culottes at Tibi S/S ’14 and Proenza Schouler S/S ’14
Nothing speaks of sophistication louder than a neutral ensemble introducing the wide-legged culottes as part of a super-chic whole. With simplicity set at their very core, the culottes ensembles can work towards unifying a large spectrum of styles, while maintaining the femininity in plain sight.
Culottes ensembles at Proenza Schouler S/S ’14 and Mulberry S/S ’14
A dramatic change in silhouette undergoes evolution particularly when it’s also cut in an unexpected fabric. A defining element of the contemporary urban uniform, leather brings along that perfect modern touch, infusing the cropped culottes with an alluring edginess that makes them almost impossible to resist.
Leather culottes at Hermes S/S ’14 and Mulberry S/S ’14
Texture, patterns and prints.
In terms of texture, patterns and prints, the culottes offer plenty of fashionable alternatives for the upcoming seasons. If you seek a modern approach that holds onto its timeless feel, stick to a neutral color palette, basic cuts and solid fabrics. If you are on the look out for something that will make you stand out in a crowd, 3.1 Philip Lim’s cool patchworked culottes offer enough inspiration. Same goes for Mulberry’s utterly feminine floral print that balances out what is the culottes’ signature relaxed silhouette.
Culottes at Sachin + Babi S/S ’14, 3.1 Phillip Lim S/S ’14 and Mulberry S/S ’14
The mid-crop pant silhouette: how to wear it now.
Once you have the new silhouettes all figured out, the prints and textures all clear in mind, it’s just a matter of learning to style the culottes the right way before finally being able to flaunt them on the streets. The bottom part is the easiest to get right, as the culottes look their best when paired to heels, particularly ankle strap sandals, or wedges, as all these help elongate the leg.
When putting together the upper part of your culottes outfit, try wearing:
- a classic white shirt, tucked into a pair of high-waisted culottes; choose a wide belt to further define your waist and top the outfit with a neutral coat worn as a cape;
- a sleek blazer in a neutral color that features a deep plunging-line; this will instantly elevate your look by adding tons of sex-appeal;
- a crop-top worn under a fitted jacket, as these will even up the proportions of your look, working towards elongating your physique
Culottes done the feminine way at Hermes S/S ’14, Proenza Schouler S/S ’14 and Sachin + Babi S/S ’14
If you would rather take the adventurous road in styling the cropped culottes, nothing beats this season’s bold play on volume. For this you could try:
- wearing an oversized coat hitting just above the line where the culottes are ending;
- choosing to layer a voluminous blazer on top of a slouchy blouse with a flared hem (here is where the culottes should be both perfectly tailored and sleek-looking).
Culottes at Proenza Schouler S/S ’14 and Victoria Beckham S/S ’14
The safest and most flattering way of sporting the culottes during the upcoming seasons is by sticking to a neutral color palette. White, black or timeless combinations of the two will assure you appear polished and modern, without looking like you’re trying too hard. A tailored blazer can balance the less-structured culottes, while a voluminous top with a delicate shoe will allow you to enter more feminine grounds.
Cropped culottes at Sachin + Babi S/S ’14, Victoria Beckham S/S ’14 and Proenza Schouler S/S ’14