Culottes can be a tricky trouser, and getting them right can be easier said than done, but when they look good, they look really good. So whether you're already familiar with culotte trousers or a total newbie, we've put together this buying guide to show you how to choose the perfect pair that'll blend seamlessly with your wardrobe.
Whether it's a smart black pair for the office, a formal white stripe for a soiree, or a colourful knee-length number for a holiday, ladies culottes are adaptable, comfortable, and extremely chic. Included in our guide is a list of our favourite culottes from Amazon, John Lewis and ASOS. With something to suit everyone, we've got a variety of sizes from petite to plus-size, in denim, linen and jersey, in structured, tailored or relaxed everyday styles.
Melissa Melles is a Wardrobe Concierge based in Manchester, helping both women and men find their style and have confidence in what they wear by organising their wardrobes. With 10 years industry experience, Melissa's clients trust her expert opinion when it comes to style advice. Her experience spans from TV, music and editorial styling, to working in Paris showrooms, to personal shopping in luxury department stores and more.
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Melissa Melles is a Wardrobe Concierge based in Manchester, helping both women and men find their style and have confidence in what they wear by organising their wardrobes.
With 10 years of industry experience, Melissa's clients trust her expert opinion when it comes to style advice. Her experience spans from TV, music and editorial styling, to working in Paris showrooms, to personal shopping in luxury department stores and more.
Find out more about Melissa via her Instagram or head over to her website where you can see all the expert consultation services she offers - from simply organising your wardrobe space to sourcing those hard to find 'New Season' pieces!
It can be hard to decide on the right pair of culotte trousers as there are so many different styles, shapes, and prints available. But worry not, as we've created this guide to give you a hand in finding the pair to perfectly suit your purpose, preferences, and proportions!
Chances are you already have an occasion in mind for your new culottes, whether that's for a party, an event, or to achieve that chic but comfy summer look. Denim culotte trousers or those made from a lightweight, thin material make a great choice for everyday wear to accomplish that laidback feel.
On the other hand, if you're hoping to find a pair of sophisticated-looking culottes for a celebration or work function, opt for thicker materials such as a cotton twill or a metallic knit to add a dash of glamour to any outfit. Be on the particular lookout for culotte trousers that combine a cinched waist with a super wide leg to create a stylish and contemporary shape.
There are so many types of culottes now, a crepe fabric can be nice for summer months for a more formal occasion like a wedding or a work event, denim culottes are really cool if you're going on a city break and want something versatile to go with all your outfits if you need to pack light.
Consider your body shape and height when deciding on your chosen length and cut to create a perfectly flattering fit that you look and feel great in. If you're short and curvy, go for culottes that are cropped around the calf. Trousers that hem at the most narrow part of your leg adds length to your figure, whereas full-length culottes can shorten your appearance or create a blocky shape if you have wider hips.
Those who are tall and slim can usually get away with any style of culottes, but if you're slightly more apple-shaped, opt for ones with a tie-belt and cinched, pleated waist to balance out your frame. A super wide-leg can also look amazing on this body shape by creating a feminine silhouette.
There are different cuts of culottes just like any trouser, so bear in mind when shopping if you would rather a high rise or a mid rise. It might be nice to go for culottes with a built in belt or tie waist if you want to be tucking in t shirts and blouses to give an elegant finished look.
The material your culottes are crafted from is an important factor, as it'll determine things like comfort, style, and how or when you will wear them. In this section, we'll explore the most popular fabrics to help you decide which one's for you.
Cotton is the most popular natural clothing material that comes in many forms, creating many different looks. 100% cotton denim creates a structured shape for a vintage style that suits both daytime and evening wear. On the other hand, cotton blended with elastane gives denim culottes a bit more stretch for a comfy, casual style.
For culottes that you'll love to chill out in at home or at the beach, a cotton jersey material is the perfect choice due to its lightweight and breathable qualities. Then, for a tailored statement look, opt for heavy, high-quality cotton that'll take you from day to evening in a snap.
I'm an advocate for sustainable fabrics, so cotton is a really great option for when you need a cooler breathable option in the summer months, you can even now find clothes made from recycled cotton too which is even more sustainable.
When it comes to choosing a material that is relaxed yet elegant, linen is the winner. It works just as well for a laidback beach vibe as it does for smartening up a casual outfit. The breathability and sturdy nature of linen also make it an excellent low-maintenance choice.
Although linen makes for a great casual outfit, it also looks super chic dressed up. Think evenings on holiday dining at the piazza, or accessorised with dangly jewellery and statement heels for a polished evening ensemble.
Also, linen production is significantly less water-intensive than cotton, giving it a much lower environmental impact. Being a natural fibre too, it's biodegradable and also good for the skin.
Again Linen is another really great sustainable fabric, made from natural fibres this is even lighter than cotton! It does crease easily though so consider that when choosing the right event. If you're not going to be doing a lot of sitting then linen is perfect, especially for those beach strolls on your holiday.
Polyester and viscose are the most popular synthetic materials you'll come across, and both are good options. Machine washable, durable, and easy to take care of, polyester is a favourite amongst shoppers. Polyester is also cheaper than many natural fabrics, such as cotton, making it a great choice if you're on a budget but still want to kit yourself out.
Viscose is also known for being inexpensive, easy to blend with other fabrics, and breathable in a similar way to cotton - unlike polyester, which can feel sticky and sweaty against the skin in warm weather. Viscose also drapes beautifully, with a silk-like, luxurious feel.
However, viscose manufacturing is extremely polluting and is classified as an unsustainable fabric despite being made of natural wood pulp. Thus, the trade-off with most synthetics is that they are more harmful to the planet than natural fibres.
Opting for synthetic options isn't always a bad thing as it can be a more affordable option in some cases, and if you choose the right pair, they will last you a long time with proper care. Just be sure when you come to no longer want them that you recycle them or sell them and don't leave them to end up in a landfill.
As you now know, culottes can be worn in multiple ways for a variety of occasions. For a comfy chilled-out vibe, choose a pair with an elasticated waist and a cropped ankle to create a breezy look and feel.
For something a little fancier, go for culotte trousers with a high-rise cinched waist with pleats and a tie-belt to add an air of elegance. Tie belts range from a thin band to a wide statement belt, with some featuring stylish buckles for a touch of retro charm.
Or take your outfit to the next level with extreme pleating from the waist and super wide legs. These are perfect for a work event or a cocktail evening with friends. It's all in the details!
Culottes are quite a statement piece so it's a nice touch to opt for a pair with a belt or a waist detail, it's quite common to tuck in a t shirt or a top into a pair of culottes to elongate the legs and if you have a belt this is a really nice way to tie in the waist and draw attention away from the tucked in top.
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Somerset by Alice Temperley
Tie Waist Culottes
Classic Cotton Culottes With a Chic Cropped Length
Cotton Cropped Trousers
Highly Breathable Culottes in an Inclusive Range of Sizes
Plisse Culotte Trousers
Gorgeous Pleated Jersey Culottes in Grey Marl
Asymmetric Stripe Culottes
Keep It Current In Bold Monochrome Stripes
Isobel Stripe Culottes
Soft, Floaty and Cut From Pure Hemp
Kiera Culotte Trousers
A Summery Choice in 100% Linen
Wide Leg Denim Culottes
Denim Culottes For a Contemporary Silhouette
Abstract Animal Print Culottes
A Jungle-Inspired Print for a Wild Look
Metallic Wide Leg Trousers
Lightweight Culotte Trousers in a Glam Metallic Knit
Easy to Care for Culottes in a Range of Shades
Exclusive to John Lewis, the Somerset by Alice Temperley range epitomises luxury British style, and these Tie Waist Culottes are perfect for statement dressing. If you love the idea of tailored trousers, this pair is an amazing imitation of the real thing, and with this level of quality, they had to be our number one.
Cut from high-quality heavy cotton, they have an almost twill texture creating a premium look and feel. Pleated from the waist with a wide tie belt and cropped just above the ankle, these culottes create a very flattering silhouette to suit most body shapes.
For a brilliant bargain option that comes in a wide range of colours and sizes, take a peek at these Cotton Cropped Trousers by Ecupper. Available on Amazon, you're just a few clicks away from a dreamy pair of culottes! Available in multiple colours, from mustard yellow or powder blue to muted neutrals.
Made from 100% cotton, the fabric is very breathable and lightweight, and the high-rise, relaxed style is perfect for everyday summer wear. Comfortable, stylish, and sure to become a wardrobe staple!
Superb for slouchy days, these PLISSE Culotte Trousers by ASOS DESIGN have a relaxed feel for a chicer alternative to trackies. In a lightweight, tightly pleated jersey material, they're comfy and cute, making them perfect for chilling or running errands.
These culottes have a soft, flowing shape with a high-rise elasticated waist and wide leg that's cropped just above the ankle. Coming in a wide range of sizes, they're a great go-to, and grey marl goes with everything!
There are lots of patterned culotte trousers out there, but an all-over pattern can be hard to get right on loose trousers and often look too bohemian for anything other than beachwear. But Mango is here to show how it is done, with their Asymmetric Stripe Culottes.
With barely even a hint of hippy-ness about them, this bold pair features a super-relaxed wide-leg combined with a tie belt and cinched waist for a gorgeous contrast. The irregular, asymmetric stripe pattern has a current, contemporary feel that makes these pants suitable for both dressing up or down.
If you like to embrace a rustic, rural look, the Isobel Stripe Culottes by Thought combine the best things about the past with a current and contemporary design. Cut from 100% hemp, these culottes only get better with wear and age, creating a piece to treasure for years to come.
These soft, floaty culotte trousers have a yarn dye stripe design created in-house for an artisanal touch. The wide pleated legs, hidden elasticated back, and deep pockets make these culottes so comfy that you'll never want to take them off!
Bring a touch of the French Riviera to your styling with the Kiera Culotte Trousers by Hobbs in sand. Made entirely from linen, they have timeless appeal and will keep you feeling cool and breezy no matter how warm the weather!
Details include a very '60s style circular belt made from the same fabric as the trousers, and these mid-rise culottes have a fluid, wide-leg silhouette that looks chic with both sandals and trainers. The classic shade and style make this pair very adaptable, whether worn with a floral jacket and jewellery or just a simple cotton t-shirt.
Culottes, by definition, are usually loose and flowing, which this pair isn't, but if you prefer a more structured silhouette, Boden's Wide Leg Denim Culottes embody the spirit of the style without going overboard.
This pair features a mid-rise and a cropped, wide-leg cut in a blue vintage wash. It also has a removable belt that nips in the high box-pleated waist. The natural cotton blend fabric is also cool and breathable but has a bit of stretch for comfort too.
Showing up twice on our list, Mango is creating some of the best summery wardrobe staples on the online "high street", and these Abstract Animal Print Culottes bring a hint of the wild to any ensemble. Unfortunately, they are made from viscose, which isn't the most sustainable option.
Still, jungle-inspired prints are all the rage, and this abstract option offers a subtle way to do the trend, with a detailed black and beige pattern. A mid-rise waist and free-flowing wide legs cut a chic and stylish shape for real animal magnetism!
If you're looking for a pair of culottes that have a classy, dressed-up look, these Metallic Wide Leg Trousers by Whistles bring the sparkle. Whether they're for a formal summer soiree or a Christmas celebration, these culottes make a glitzy addition to any closet.
Not only do they look opulent, but an elasticated, high-rise waist makes them exceptionally comfy too. However, they are designed to be eveningwear, so if you can only buy one pair, they aren't the most adaptable choice.
For a snappy shopping experience on Amazon, find. are a great go-to, and their Women's Culottes offer an elegant, simplistic style. They have the standard high-rise cut but with a length that skims the knee, making this pair an excellent summer staple.
Being made from thick polyester, they're not quite as breathable as those made from more lightweight synthetics or natural materials. However, they are machine washable, easy to take care of and come in four different colours.
'Culotte' was originally a French word meaning an item of clothing worn on the lower half of the body. Yet, throughout European history, 'culotte' came to describe many things - from the apparel of aristocratic upper-class gentlemen during the Renaissance, to the lower garment of past military uniforms, to even the split skirts worn by Victorian women whilst riding horseback.
These days, however, culottes are characterised as wide-leg trousers. The hem is usually cropped somewhere between the ankle and upper calf but can also be cropped above the knee. Mainly a piece worn by women, culotte trousers can come in various styles, making them suitable for everyday, smart-casual, and eveningwear.
Has all this talk of culotte trousers got you in the mood for a little more browsing? For more on-trend pieces that keep your look iconic, check out our related articles on shirt dresses, denim dresses, and dungarees. Let's make every outfit count!
And that concludes our rundown of the best culottes available online in the UK. Hopefully, our buying guide and recommendations inspired you to purchase some fabulous new trousers that feel just as amazing as they look!
Author: Melanie Mac
No. 1: Somerset by Alice Temperley｜Tie Waist Culottes
No. 2: Ecupper ｜Cotton Cropped Trousers
No. 3: ASOS DESIGN｜Plisse Culotte Trousers
No. 4: Mango｜Asymmetric Stripe Culottes
No. 5: Thought｜Isobel Stripe Culottes
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