Experimenting with Culottes

Hi Fabbers,

Some free time this afternoon, and I rescued my culottes from the donate bag:)  They were in the donate pile because they have been a little tight.  Well I tried them on and they are fitting better so I might just hang on to them until I can find a replacement.  

I had an idea of what I want to put together not many of my tops work.  I tried it with the top in the pictures worn backwards and then with the front to the front.  I was attempting to style the culottes for Spring.  I might need to look for a top that works better but generally what do you think of the proportions here?  

#1 High low top with low worn to the back. & 
 Low hem worn to the front (this is actually the front of the top)

The pants are still a firm fit across my tummy and I think in movement they will be too firm in the area of one's lady bits!! That is why I think I need to replace these.

I am thinking I would like a jersey pair.  

#2 Jersey culottes I am interested in from Asos (more budget friendly)
#3 Rick Owens pants that are not so budget friendly :)

Would love to know if you think this styling idea works, keeping in mind the items are not quite perfect.

Thanks for taking a look
xxx Deborah

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • AJ replied 9 years ago

    It's hard to see the details with the lighting, but I think it looks good both ways.

    Definitely worth seeking out a pair to try. I'm still on the bench with this trend.

  • Lyn D. replied 9 years ago

    I like both 1 and 2, with a slight preference to the higher neckline.

    The draw string in #3 would give me pause, but I guess it could be tucked away? I prefer the extra drape and earthy material in the RO's, especially if you were to wear for weekends and casual outings.

    Great look for you Deborah :)

  • Deborah replied 9 years ago

    AJ, I hear you:)  Culottes are tricky to achieve figure flattery, especially if like me, one is short and not thin:)   It's actually something about their unconvention that really appeals.

    Lyn I should have lightened the pics:(  The RO's are special.  I am currently rethinking my budget and my clothes spending as I consider if I have the discipline to just stop buying and save for these fab items I see.  I am asking myself, can I be satisfied with 5 or 6 new items over a 12 month period that are truly fab and excellent quality.

  • Neel replied 9 years ago

    I can't see the lines where the top ends either. But I think since the top and bottom are of the same color it's easier to get away with longer lengths. You have done a fantastic job styling them IMO.

    The RO ones are really cool. But I wonder how you would style it. May be you will have to show us ;)

  • Sharon replied 9 years ago

    I really like the ones you have now, Deborah! The volume and drape look better to me than the two possible purchases. I have realised, however, that I prefer culottes that look more skirt-y than pants-y, so please consider that bias when reading my opinion :)

    I love the way you have styled it with the back-to-front tank. The long column, the A line shape and the booties reads very avant-garde and suits your style perfectly. 

  • lyn67 replied 9 years ago

    i cannot see the "bits" you are speaking about:-), but the proportions  looks good to me both in 1and 2. Love the styling with the booties, and that top, no matter the front or back-no help, I know!:-(

  • replied 9 years ago

    I don't want to enable you, but I kinda love the ones in number 3.  It could be the styling, but they seem to fit what I have seen of your style.  I think jersey is the answer.  

  • RoseandJoan replied 9 years ago

    I really like the top worn backwards with the culottes because the higher neckline creates more structure. Steal or splurge, do you think the culottes will be a seasonal fling or a long term love affair?

  • Deborah replied 9 years ago

    Jules good question:). I had (and wore) these culottes when they were still quite a fringe item. I'm not trend driven and tend to wear what I like so the right pair of culottes would be a long term,option for me irrespective of what's trending;)

  • Beth Ann replied 9 years ago

    You've styled these culottes beautifully -- very flattering, and very "you."  I think the skin on the leg and arm keeps the look "open" and "structured," if you know what I mean.  Now --- being slightly high in the hip, I know well that pull in the "lady bits," so I see why these are still in the donate pile.  That said, I like their proportion better than either the Asos or RO pair.  The RO pair have the expected "cool," but they look, partdon me, a bit like a streetwise hack -- as if someone with a great sense of style cut off and styled thrifted, oversized sweat pants.  That's not a bad thing in my book, but I wouldn't want to shell out lots of my budget for it.  I have a preference for culottes that are either quite slim -- more like short pants, or full and drapey, like a divided skirt.  The Asos pair are midway between.  That's more a matter of personal preference, I think.

  • kerry replied 9 years ago

    I love your styling of these, Deborah! I've been considering some culotte-lites and wanted to do it with new black booties so your look is a real inspiration for me. Can I ask how high the wedge of your bootie is? Thanks :)

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    Gosh. I love the ones you have and especially love the styling with the higher neckline!! Stunning! I would love to wear an outfit just like that. 

    Like Beth Ann I actually prefer them to the Rick Owens version -- I think I like their crispness or more angular drape as Angie might say -- but then that is my own style preferences (or flattery needs) coming through, perhaps. I do think they might be longer lasting, also -- in the sense of sturdier. But I could be wrong. Presumably the RO are high quality for the high price! 

    Having said all that, if these are not comfortable, better to upgrade than keep. Unless a small alteration might do the trick? 

  • Deborah replied 9 years ago

    Kerry the heel height is about 5cm. With a wedge I can wear a high heel quite comfortably and I get that little extra height I need.

    Valid points re the RO pants, and I think you may be right Beth Ann and Suz about the more tailored pants. The tailored cut kind of "contains" the wearer and creates a more structured and dramatic line. Food for thought.

  • gryffin replied 9 years ago

    Deborah - hard to see details but the line is uber elegant in these culottes.  Very practical and comfortable in look while being an interesting and flattering look!  I think the ro are really interesting but they seem to a a cross of culottes and track pants.  The pair you own and the asos, well they look like they can go from casual to dressy easily.  The ro are a statement and I like them but they seem like they might have less versatility and staying power.  Depends on if you are looking to live in the moment, or like me, do you buy long term. Either way, I think the look is great so you just need to clairify where you see them in your wardrobe to select the style.  PS love them with the boots perfect height and weight to balance giving an awesome leg line.  There's a Barbara Stanwyck "Big Valley" old world elegance to this look.  For dress up, do you have a cropped jacket/cardi to try them with?  I always think a cropped jacket or short cropped draped cardi looks great with this type of piece but I really like the tunic you've chosen.  I think this might be much more versatile than I initially realized!!  I can see why you like them!!

  • Joy replied 9 years ago

    Deborah, culottes look right for your style whether they are "in" or not. I hope that you can find the perfect pair. You look elegant and the culottes add the eclectic touch too.

  • Nicole D replied 9 years ago

    I do like your current culottes.  The main difference I see in the Owens ones are the drape - they seem to taper the slightest bit and so don't give as much of a sense of flaring out.  
    I ordered the ASOS new look culottes (before splurging on the Tibi ones, just to get a sense of fit - plus they have a tall line) and they are awesome for the price - very voluminous and flowy, unlined and somewhat thin fabric but not unwearably so.
    I like volume over volume on you and that is how I plan to wear my culottes as well.

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    Definitely replace them if these culottes are uncomfy, Debs. Nobody wants seams digging into their crotch point.

    May I suggest a less oversized top to match with the culottes? Shorter and not quite as drapey. That will create a slightly more flattering silhouette with the wideness of the culottes. 

  • jackiec replied 9 years ago

    I like your current culottes! Next fav are the asos ones. You certainly do the culottes look well!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 9 years ago

    I can totally see culottes in your wardrobe Deb and quite like the pair you have. The drape and length is very flattering. Like Suz has mentioned, I'm wondering if there's any type of alteration that could make these more comfortable for you?

  • replied 9 years ago

    Culottes work really well on you - you make them look classic and cool and not a bit trendy, which is quite an achievement .

    Can't really see the details of the length of the  top but I actually prefer it on you with the lower neckline.  Your pale skin is so beautiful against the black, and showing more skin around your neckline appeals to me, but that's just a visual response.

    The Asos pair look great - go for it!  Of course the Rick Owens pair are my favourite but I always find that a look like this works best on exactly the model used in the photo.  Put a "normal" body in them, and they end up looking like weird sweatpants with a big string and bulky waistband :)  That's me projecting my neuroses on them though...

  • shedev replied 9 years ago

    I like the RO ones. You just found the exception to my poison eye for culottes. They look less like culottes, but they also look less safe. I may have to stalk Ebay for these.

  • Alana in Canada replied 9 years ago

    I prefer the lower neckline as well. I am not informed enough to have an opinion about which culottes should replace these. My hope is that the current ones can be altered to fit better, too.

  • CocoLion replied 9 years ago

    I remember you were the first on YLF to have culottes!  I think these work brilliantly in #1, don't see any fit issues.  At all.

    As for your second pair, I do like the ROs but might suggest a slightly different silhouette from the present pair.  My two culottes are the bell/A line shaped Acnes and the straight, long Just Females.  When I get to actually wear them, I have no idea though!  


  • Lyn D. replied 9 years ago

    Deborah, I noticed that Witchery have some nice-looking ones, but just checked their site and they are quite long and polyester material :(
    The ASOS pair are at least a better length for you.
    Looks as though they are becoming more mainstream here- you will find 'the ones' I am sure!

  • Deborah replied 9 years ago

    Thanks for your input everyone.  Very wise thoughts and suggestions, much appreciated.  WIth this pair I really do need to cover my tummy:) But it's unlikely I would wear a top shorter than that anyway :)

    Noting Angie's suggestion, can I assume that we are still talking a 'fluid' top, just not so much volume:)?  Hmmm I may have something in my wardrobe after all.

    Gryffin, I remember Barbara Stanwyck in Big Valley!!  I was quite little and my parents used to watch it.  I recall thinking how glamorous she was:)

    Nicole, thanks for the feedback. I think the ones I posted from ASOS are the New Look.  They are not expensive and I was thinking a good tester before making an investment.

    I think the RO pants here probably are not right for me as some suggest.  He also does a Sorel pant which looks relaxed but dressier.

    While I do like the structure of the tailored pair, I suspect a jersey would get more wear given the comfort factor and I love how a jersey skims the body, it tends to flatter my figure more.

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    YES. Absolutely still fluid, but not as long and voluminous. 

  • Deborah replied 9 years ago

    Thanks Angie.. appreciate you popping back:)  I am loving culottes and can see them becoming a staple item in my closet:)

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    And they love you right back, sweet Debs. xo

  • Jaime replied 9 years ago

    I love these on you and want you to duplicate somehow with a more comfortable pair. The RO culottes have a completely different look. Hope to see more Deborah in culottes!

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