They’ve been seen on Rihanna, Kendall Jenner and almost ever “It” girl. The fashion world loves them and they are outfitting mannequins in trendy retail stores across America. So what is the latest trend that is having women question their skinny jeans? It's culottes.

For many women who follow fashion, or just like to dress trendy, culottes are kind of head spinning. This pant trend is high-waisted, with a flared leg cut above the ankle. The wide cropped leg may remind some of gaucho pants that were popular in the early to mid-2000’s. The similarity has been puzzling at first, making fashionistas wonder, “what am I wearing?”

Many fashion institutions use the term "culottes" and "gauchos" interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference between these cropped legwear. A gaucho, which was named after the pleated trousers worn by Argetinenian and Uruguayan cowboys, has a slight flare and crops underneath the knee.

Get-Cool-With-Culottes-2Photo Credit: 1st State Style, Asos

Culottes have a much longer history. The term culottes originated from a cropped menswear pant worn during the late Middle Ages. The pants have evolved over time in womenswear, first as bifurcated skirt during the Victorian era. They were a popular clothing item for active women, made for activities that ranged from gardening, horse-riding and even bike riding.


Today, culottes have a smaller leg than their Victorian counterpart and are made from much thinner fabric. In order to wear this trend, heels are a must, even for the tall girls. Opt for a strappy sandal or pointed-toe mule, and stay away from anything clunky. For the top, it's anything goes, and looks best with an oversize sweater or crop top.

For inspiration, take a look at fashion’s bad girl Rihanna. She pairs brightly colored culottes with some strappy heals and a muted crop top.

Get-Cool-With-Culottes-1Photo Credit: Splash

Get-Cool-With-Culottes-4For the curvier ladies, blogger Inez from Style Chic 360 offers  a classy example. The blogger paired white culottes with a white tank and snakeskin patterned heels. To accessorize the look, she threw on a snakeskin clutch and a beaded necklace.

Although intimidating, women everywhere are not letting the tricky cut of culottes deter from their style. With the proper styling and a confidence in oneself, women are feeling drafty calves and looking good.

For more inspiration on this pant trend, visit's Shop It page and check out Kendall Jenner's cool culotte style! 


Header Photo Credit: Asos, StyleChic360, Splash

Share It