A year ago, I wrote a post about culottes and wide leg cropped pants. At the time, I wasn’t sure how I felt about them. This isn’t uncommon. When a new trend emerges, it takes time for the eyes to get used to seeing it. I vividly remember this happening on one of my trips to Europe when I was a fashion designer in the 90’s. Pointy toed shoes hadn’t become a trend in the U.S. just yet and they were everywhere in Paris. I thought they looked so ridiculous because my eyes were used to seeing square and round toed shoes.
So a year later, I’m much more used to seeing culottes and wide leg cropped pants. Yet, despite this, I still think they can be a bit tricky to wear and not for everybody. If you are looking to embrace these trends and are wondering if you can wear them for work, here are some outfits and tips.
Culottes and Wide Leg Cropped Pants for Work
Culottes and wide leg cropped pants can be appropriate for work but you have to be careful. These aren’t pants I would put on clients who work in super conservative workplaces where suits are required. However, in more relaxed business casual environment they can be worn.
One of my clients purchased this first pair from Theory. They are adorable and quite possibly the pair that changed my mind about this trend. In the look above, I styled them with a cute double layer sleeveless blouse from BOSS, a pair of red sandals from Sole Society, layering necklace from Banana Republic, stud earrings from Lord & Taylor, white handbag from Ann Taylor and, for arm coverage if needed, a navy cardigan from Reiss.
These next wide leg cropped pants are from J. Crew and, be careful, they are linen. Some people love the fabric and others find it very tricky to wear because it wrinkles. Just like the full midi skirt trend, length should be considered on the culottes and wide leg cropped pants you choose. Make sure that the hem of these pants end at a flattering part of your calves.
I styled the look above with a simple black t-shirt and a novelty jacket in white from Boden. To warm up this outfit and make it look less stark, I accessorized with cognac, using this reversible tote from Longchamp, tortoise cuff, earrings from Alexis Bittar, and perforated peep toe booties from Steven by Steve Madden. I liked using shoes in this color versus black because very dark shoes will cut off the look of the legs and make them look shorter and larger.
The good news it that you don’t have to teeter around in heels in order to wear culottes and wide leg cropped pants. You can wear flats, but keep in mind that the wider the legs of your pants are the shorter you will look. So if you need some extra height or are worried that your legs will look heavy and stumpy, even a small heel might make a big difference.
However, if you wan to wear flats, check out how I styled this pair of black wide leg cropped pants from Vince Camuto with these lace up flats from Louise et Cie. Of course, lace up flats are merely a suggestion, you can choose ballerina flats or even flat sandals. To this look I added this tie front top from Theory, colorblocked tote from Banana Republic, delicate gold chandeliers, and, for arm coverage, a slim cardigan from Hugo Boss.
Wide leg cropped pants and culottes can be a great warm weather alternative to pants, can replace skirts when you have a lot of moving around to do and can certainly be worn casually this summer as well. What do you think? Will you be checking out this trend for summer?
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I still have a pair of culottes that sat in my closet for years unworn. Time to bust them out again. If culottes can be “classic”, these are. And yes, I think I’ll wear them tomorrow! And thanks to your tips, I’ll wear them with heeled sandals so I don’t look stumpy.
Honestly, the shoe styles were merely a coincidence. I think if you have heavy legs or large ankles avoiding ankle straps would be better.