Cool Off with Culottes


Before anything, I apologize for how GRAINY these photos are. I took these at dusk! It’s still winter, and I’m still too tired to take photos earlier in the day.

I decided to put on my new favorite—leather jacket with puffy sleeves and asymmetrical detail (when zipped up) because it got…. COLD.

Some women who opt for both modesty and practicality wear culottes instead of long skirts, especially when working in the field. I don’t often have problems wearing my jeans really since I prefer them high-waisted and a bit loose. Most of my pants are flared, so they’re still a tad tight around the thighs. What I would love to get my hands on though are high-waisted bell bottoms from the 70s, but they seem really hard to find. I don’t know about you, but I rarely feel stellar in jeans or pants without having to do something extra with everything else I have on. Skirts and dresses though are immediate mood boosters for me (a must for modesty) and are almost on the same level as those shy-shooing shoe stimulants called heels.

For some of you who might not know the history of culottes, the term originated from French gentlemen couture in the late 1500s and were also worn by military men in Europe. They looked entirely different back then and were actually “knee-breechees” instead of what some others now call “skorts.”

As an aside, the word skorts bothers me for some reason! Maybe because the term sounds so kiddy, commercial, and annoyingly trendy. Flashes of Walmart people come to mind. By the way, I admit that I have happily shopped for clothes there and have nothing against their clothing in general, but I must say, some of the shoppers are not exactly a sight for sore eyes…

Anyway, it was only during the Victorian era when the term was used to describe split riding skirts for women who went horseback riding, and those were very similar to the culottes that we now know. Ironically, our fantastic French friends now mean panties when they say “culottes.” Oh the evolution (and/or corruption) of words (and style)…

Here are some examples of vintage catalog covers I’ve collected with culottes:

What I Wore: Leslie Fay culottes from Goodwill – Burlington Coat Factory leather jacket – Crocs sandals – layered gold necklaces