FASHION Lots of culottes to choose from




Lots of culottes to choose from

Maggie Gibbons

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you will be aware of the big style trend this spring: Culottes – they’re back! They appeared on all the catwalks for spring/summer 2014 – with Simone Rocha, Victoria Beckham and Viviene Westwood all getting in on the act – and they’ve already started to appear in the boutiques and high street.
I think they must have been designed by some religious order. Originally the whole idea was to preserve the modesty of young ladies when they played sports. The split skirt configuration of culottes was ideal also for horse riding. Someone coined the term ‘skort’ for them recently, and it’s quite apt for this neither-skirt-nor-trousers fashion.
Are you a fan? I love them. So much more flattering I think than the micro denim shorts, though each to her own…. Back in the ’80s I had a wonderful pair of denim culottes and I so wish I had held on to them. Today, you can get them in every fabric from sheer to denim to leather, plain or patterned. The styles vary from tailored long shorts to wider styles ending either just above the ankle or mid calf.
I personally like the longer wider ones, as they tend to be more flattering on all body shapes because they flare out at the end. You might prefer the shorter style that just hits the knee, but this can be less flattering on curvy shapes, as it gives the illusion of shortening the body. That said, if you are aren’t tall, the knee length will be better on you than the calf length. The ones out now are really flattering, you just need to decide the length for your body shape.
Depending on whether you opt for a classic or a more casual vibe, culottes look great with a blazer, blouse or knit. Likewise you can wear heels or flats. They can be worn to work and they provide a lovely alternative to the trouser suit. Imagine a pair of wide leg trousers with a few inches lobbed off the end and you have the idea. Bring from day to night with the addition of a gorgeous blouse/T-shirt or jacket and glam up with accessories.

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at