You don’t have to limit your warm-weather wardrobe to skirts and shorts.
Once the mercury creeps above 79 degrees, the idea of pulling on thigh-encasing, sweat-inducing, heat-creating trousers sounds like the least appealing sartorial proposition ever, especially when a breezy midi skirt or casual cotton shorts are just one hanger over.
There are, however, certain circumstances—work, for one—that just demand a pair of pants, even in the dog days of summer.
Thankfully, the fashion world has offered up a solution to this uncomfortable conundrum: Enter the culotte. While the term may call to mind youthful skirt-fronted shorts (or worse—boxy, awkwardly hemmed khaki pairs), we invite you to take a look at the new, more modern, flattering, and—perhaps most importantly—comfortable take on the style.
The definition of “culotte” has shifted over the past few years to reflect a fashion-forward style of pant that has a wide cut and hits at mid-calf or a little below. They are essentially the pant version of a midi skirt, falling at that universally flattering part of the leg. And thanks to the roomy silhouette, they’re equally as blissfully breezy in hot and humid temps.
Options abound, from lightweight, beach-ready styles, to iterations done up in evening-ready fabrics like brocade, to office-appropriate pairs in suiting fabrics. Not sure how to style them? The answer is simple: Just the way you would a midi skirt. Dress a black pair up for work with a smart button-down and sleek pumps or pare down a denim version with a white tee and sneakers for an updated take on a boyfriend jean outfit.
Scroll through for some of our favorite options.
Zara Culottes With Bow
To buy: Zara culottes with bow, $40; zara.com.
Mango Striped Palazzo Trousers
To buy: Mango striped palazzo trousers, $50; mango.com.
Madewell Wide-Leg Crop Jean
To buy: Madewell wide-leg crop jeans, $80; madewell.com.
Kobi Halperin “Shanaya” Silk Culottes
To buy: Kobi Halperin “Shanaya” silk culottes, $398; nordstrom.com.
Banana Republic Blake-Fit Wide-Leg Sateen Crop Sailor Pant
To buy: Banana Republic Blake-fit wide-leg sateen crop sailor pant, $78; bananarepublic.com.