There seem to have been endless grey skies over most of the UK throughout May and I think everyone is sick of being stuck in a jeans rut. Given that summer dresses just haven’t been an option I’ve been looking for something different to wear. At the festival we went to on Saturday there was a group of urban 30 somethings who stood out from the rest by virtue of their chic attire (they must have been tourists who had come up specifically for the event). One in particular stood out because unlike her friends who were dressed in the boho mini skirts and boyfriend jeans that you’d expect, she was wearing cream culottes. She was an evident style maven and I watched as heads turned to follow her wherever she went. Although it wasn’t the obvious choice of outfit for an event in fields, she just gave you the feeling that fashion was on the turn and that a whole new length and mix of proportions is coming through.
Now I’d planned to spend an hour or so when we got back looking through the House of Fraser 40% off brand event. My intention was to order a few things out of my comfort zone just to have a play around and see what transpired and, as luck would have it, I came across some Warehouse cream soft pleat culottes . I ordered so much stuff it was delivered in a large box (and just about all of it is going back) but these were the things I was most interested in. So I thought I’d spend an hour on styling culottes with a few different tops just to get a feel for them. We’re relegated to a bedroom for the shots today by the way as the house is full of builders.
First of all I have recreated the 30 something’s look. Because it was a grey day she had paired them with a navy cashmere crewneck jumper (Boden) and slingback flats (Boden). Now I know I probably don’t have the glow of a 30 something with no kids and a highly disposable income but here it is.
However I actually like them better with my Warehouse satin front floral sweatshirt (necklace Zara, sandals Clarks).
Thinking about styling culottes for a meeting with a Zara blouse and Dune flats.
Or for an evening out on holiday with a Mango top and Boden sandals (this would obviously look much better with a semblance of a tan!)
Finally styling culottes for a casual summer afternoon with a simple t-shirt from Superdry.
So, my verdict. They’re fantastically comfortable to wear. It feels a bit odd adapting to a high-waisted midi length after above knee length has been de rigeur for so long however it’s actually a bit of a relief – you can just sit down without having to arrange yourself if that makes sense. On a practical level they’re better to wear in cooler weather as you’re not exposing as much leg to chilly blasts. They feel a bit easier for someone over 40 to wear than a midi skirt where you have to work hard to ensure that you don’t look like you’re wearing one you’ve had in your wardrobe since the nineties. They’re washable but even though they’re lined, they’re very see through and I found that a nude g-string was the only thing that didn’t show – even the nudest of other non-vpl options left an outline (sorry if that’s too much detail but after 40 you really need to be making the right lingerie call).
Am I keeping them? Well not this pair as there is a small fault in the fabric however I may well exchange them. There are certainly a lot of culottes and cropped palazzos appearing in places like Zara and Mango which is a sign that they’re being taken seriously but they may end up like city shorts – a look that people like but don’t really wear. What do you think?