There were variations on the “split skirt” or culottes theme on the Spring 2014 runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris. Styles were slim fitting, or wide and voluminous. Drapey or stiff. Lengths were above the knee, knee-length, or midi. Patterned, textured or solid. Bright or neutral. Lightweight or heavyweight. Pleated or flat front.
Take a peek at some of my favourite combinations:
- Above the knee with inverted front box pleat and matching coat.
- Narrow slouchy culottes with roomy tucked blouse.
- Fitted high-waisted culottes.
- Fitted, slouchy matchy-matchy culottes with cropped sweatshirt.
- Harem pants and culotte hybrid.
- Midi culottes two-piece dress.
- Colour blocked culotte suit.
- Flowing culottes with bare midriff.
- White culottes suit.
- Matchy-matchy patterned culottes from head to toe.
- Textured white culottes with boxy top.
- Slim-fit midi culottes with round shouldered jacket and peplum top.
- Wide culottes with unstructured crop top.
- Sporty culottes with crop top.
- Drapey knee-length culottes with long sleeved tee.
I’m glad that culotte styles shown here are varied, because there is something for everyone. They’re more practical than flouncy full skirts when the wind blows (no flashing), and make a nice change to trousers and pencil skirts. The wider styles swoosh as you stride, which is an added bonus if you like clothing with movement. And furthermore, some styles require a double-take. Is it a skirt or a pair of pants? That makes it a pretty fun piece.
We have seen culottes as a super fringe trend for a few seasons, and I wonder whether they will gain popularity over the course of the year. It’s anyone’s guess how well they will be received at retail. The slim-fit styles that look more like baggy long shorts have great mainstream possibility to my eye, as do the wider styles with flat fronts. The super wide styles that pleat from the waistband are harder to wear because they pouf out, and are “a lot of culotte”. Chances are high that you will feel larger than you really are in those versions, although thin drapey fabric will help to streamline the silhouette.
I like culottes. They bring back fond memories of when I wore them in the ’70s and I’d love to add a pair to my wardrobe. The closest I got was a pair of cobalt, slightly wider long shorts, but still, they aren’t real culottes.
I would like to see culottes go further than a fringe trend because they are very wearable, and provide a change from skinnies, straight legs, pencil skirts and cropped pants, that have been dominating the market for a while. What are your thoughts on culottes? Would you wear them?