If you wore wide leg cropped pants all summer long, you might be feeling a hole in your wardrobe now that cooler weather is here. After all, you can’t wear them in the winter, right? Not necessarily.

How to Wear Culottes and Wide Leg Crop Pants in the Winter

Wide leg cropped pants and culottes are basically interchangeable terms and the two styles have minor differences. Typically, culottes are wider and sometimes shorter than wide leg cropped pants. For our discussion today, we’ll consider them the same thing because what we’re essentially talking about is wearing short, wide pants that expose the calves in cold weather. It’s not for everyone and if it’s a ‘no way’ for you, you can move on. However, if you would like to extend the wear of these styles of pants, I have put together five outfits below.

Outfit #1

If the idea of exposing the calves in cold weather feels like a counterintuitive mistake, one way that women are wearing culottes and wide leg cropped pants is to wear them with tall boots. If you remember the early 2000’s and way back to the 70’s, wearing culottes this way was quite popular, so it’s not new and it seems this type of look is rolling around yet again. The only downside, it can look a little Russian folk dancer.


Certainly, it doesn’t always look this way, and it’s a great solution for wide leg cropped pants in the winter. In the outfit, I styled these Vince culottes with a cable sweater from Rag & Bone, a cognac pair of tall boots and camel coat from Lauren Ralph Lauren. I finished the outfit wtih a dark cider bag from Tory Burch.

Outfit #2

Another way women have been wearing wide leg cropped pants has been to wear them with booties. I know, I know, it seems weird and can be a little Oliver Twist, “please sir, I want more.”

It’s not to say I entirely hate the idea of wearing booties and wide leg cropped pants or culottes, lots of women have made it look awesome in photos on Pinterest, this type of look just requires attention. First, make sure you don’t wear this style with tops that are too fitted, particularly with 3/4 or bracelet length sleeves that will only enhance the appearance that you outgrew your clothes. Second, this is probably not the best look for anyone who is uncomfortable with the size of their ankles and calves.

In the look above, I styled these wide leg cropped pants from Mango with a boxy sweater from Cos. In this case, the 3/4 sleeves keep the sweater from look too oversized. I finished the look with a pair of Chelsea booties from Marc Fisher, a black and silver necklace, a black bag from Sole Society and bright orange blanket scarf from Rebecca Minkoff.

Outfit #3

This is likely the most approachable way to wear culottes and wide leg pants in the winter, particularly for work. Instead of looking like pants, these pants look more like a skirt and, dare I say, you can actually wear them with very sheer nylons (Eek! Did I just say that?).

In the look above, I styled these pants from Cos with a chambray shirt and navy blazer from Nordstrom. I finished the look with a burgundy bag from Coach, heeled loafers from Michael Michael Kors, and hoop earrings from Gorjana.

Outfit #4

Another approachable way to wear wide leg cropped pants and culottes is with flats. I styled these plaid pants from H&M with a honey colored sweater from Everlane. I finished the look with leopard flats from Steve Madden, hunter green bag from ALLSAINTS and resin hoop earrings from Madewell.

Outfit #5

In this last casual look, I styled these black culottes from Paige with a striped sweater from 1901. I added these Commes des Garçons Chuck Taylor sneakers, a red backpack from Matt & Nat and leather bracelet from ALLSAINTS.

You don’t have to pack away your culottes and wide leg cropped pants for winter. Certainly, make sure they are heavyweight enough to make sense. Winter is not the time to wear lightweight jersey pairs.