Lately, all things French have been in the air. This includes Culottes who are trending since Spring and currently have picked up strongly. They don't seem to be fading away anytime soon--so, don't put this utilitarian piece away just yet because it makes a perfect modest option for any weather and transition. Culottes have been all over street style during the fashion weeks and throughout Spring/Summer 2015 collections--I'm afraid we have yet to reach the peak of their existence.
Culottes of today are not what they were in the middle-ages. By the way 'Culottes' is a French word referring to knee-breeches for men. Originally they were fitted back in the day and worn only by men--just take a look at any picture of President George Washington. The word it self in the present time translates to 'panties'. I was told in the Egyptian slang language it also refers to panties. But, like many things in fashion, styles along with words have taken new meanings. In the early 1900's culottes were then referred to the wide-legged pants that appeared as a skirt made available for womens' outside activity like riding bicycles and/or horse back riding. In that time it was not favored for the legs of a lady to be distinguished or for women to dress in mens' clothing. A women was to look feminine and act lady-like. Interesting enough some religions until today support the fact that women should not wear men's clothing and some don't permit pants. The wide-legged pants or as some may refer to it the 'Skort' was not a problem in the early 1900's because its overall visual was a skirt, but when the legs were distinguished as in the case of French designer Elsa Schiaparelli in 1931 at an outing, the British media had an upheaval and condemn it.
Present day culottes have evolved to different styles and lengths while stile maintaining their wide-legged appeal. So, why do they make a good modest option? Well, just like ocean waves which are hard to go against so is a lot of today's naked fashion. It is between the calmness of the waves that one must swim forward. Today's fashion waves brings culottes and although to some this might be a passing trend, in the modest realm, it is a utility for those women making a progressive step in their modesty journey. A good move between leggings to a skirt look-alike. Also, a good comfort piece for the home. Things seem easier when we do it together.
Styling these pieces is not as hard as you think! Treat it like any other bottom piece. Since we are in Fall and heading into Winter, I would say invest in wool or wool blend ones. Pair them up with boots, flats, heels depending on the occasion and your personal style. For a weekend look wear, contrast this refined piece with a comfortable over-sized sweater, scarf and your favorite pair of sneakers. Culottes can add a polished and conservative look to any of your outfit looks and the comfort can't be beaten! I personally like the ankle length ones with a pair of oxfords. How would you apply your personal style to them?
Written by Mariana