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Cool Off with Culottes

March 3rd, 2011


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

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25 Responses to “Cool Off with Culottes”

  1. Victoria / Justice Pirate

    how informational!! I learned so much. thanks. :)

  2. Zane

    awesome skirt, love the jacket and hat too

  3. Regina

    love the print of the skirt!!! love the hat and the jacket too!!! chic

  4. Folle

    I really like that jacket!

  5. Leah G.

    Culottes are also great if you are a modest girl playing casual sports, running errands, etc. I have 4 pairs that my mom’s borrowed from me (permanantly!).

  6. Vicky

    SIMPLY AMAZING! LOVE THOSE PANTS!
    XOXO
    VICKY

  7. Closet Fashioinista

    Ooh how fun!! I love the pants and the history lesson, hehe :D
    http://www.closet-fashionista.com

  8. Rachel @ à la Modest

    Haha! Too funny! I used to share clothes with my mom until middle school, stopped completely in high school and college, then went back to it after I got married and became more modest. It’s part of the daughter-mother-become-one life cycle.

  9. Danielle Arruda

    Hi beautifull… I see you on chicisimo, and now, i´m following you on your lovely blog! I loved it!
    If you like my blog, can you follow me too?
    Kisses from Brasil
    Dani.
    http://www.myvanitydiary.blogspot.com

  10. alexis

    SKORTS! NOOO those things are awful & so mid-late 90s.
    nauseating, if i can be totally frank right now.
    it’s awful when people combine words when it’s usually unnecessary. (guy-liner? no, still eyeliner, just on a man, doesn’t need to be called that!)
    Like everyone else, I LOVE that skirt.

  11. Rachel @ à la Modest

    I celebrate being frank. Frankness is a virtue.

    Bromance or placing “man” next to another word (e.g. man den) is my husband’s new hated trend. I came across one silly girl’s blog post that said she had a “man crush” on Jack White. I love Jack White, but the correct term is just “crush,” missy… unless of course I had hugely mistaken her gender. Doubt it.

  12. Natasha Atkerson

    Such a cute and daring oufit! Your hat reminds me of the leopard print hat I bought! (Actually I kind of bought it because of you! My mom was like, A La Modest can pull off anything I think! And I told her it was sick, and she told me to try this crazy hat on, and I LOVED IT!) So I bought it! :) Thanks for inspiring me! : )

    Those are the cutest Crocs I’ve ever seen!

    Can I ask a question about your bangs? Did you cut them yourself, or have them cut professionally? I ask because I’ve been thinking of cutting my bangs :).

  13. Victoria / Justice Pirate

    actually I thought the outfits would be MUCH worse in prince of persia but they were fine. She wore very pretty outfits. The only issue was that they showed her cleavage because she had a necklace that they were drawing your attention towards. There are women in the background in one scene with midriffs and it was fast. Was pretty clean.

    My Favorite Wife. . .the lingerie is very covering in the one scene on the woman and she has a robe on over it. in another scene at the end of the movie the woman is laying in bed and it is just low cut space on part of it but they don’t show cleavage but it is alluring I think, so that’s why I said it.

    Eisley is a Christian band but their lyrics aren’t very blatant about it, sadly.

  14. SHey

    oh I remember those back in the days, I love the outfit without the jacket, it’s perfect for Summer days and it goes perfect with the shirt tied around your waist.

  15. jess

    I like the print on your pants. Thanks for tumbling my spring post.

  16. Krystal/Village

    that is a perfect outfit, i really like it!!! and those kind of pants are like those ones that were popular a few years ago….um, but i can’t think of the name. with the swishy legs.

  17. Rachel @ à la Modest

    Hi Natasha,

    Thank you! You are very sweet. I would like to see that leopard print hat you bought in an outfit—unless of course, I missed that post of yours with it in it!

    My mom bought me those Crocs, and I couldn’t believe they were from that same company that makes plastic or rubber clogs. I like these though because they are stylish and SUPER comfortable.

    Bangs: Good news. I cut my own. Only the salon lady really notices that I do my own bangs when I go for my occasional visits! It’s really easy to do with regular scissors and a comb.

  18. Laura Connell

    Those patterns remind me of my mom: she used to sew from those. Who designed your culottes? The pattern is so familiar.

  19. Rachel @ à la Modest

    The now bankrupt and non-existent Leslie Fay :-(

  20. Rachel @ à la Modest

    Bell bottoms (decades ago), flared (several years ago), elephant pants (middle school)? I doubt I got any of those right!

  21. Cheryl

    Wow, these look like the shorter version of the palazzo pants and it can look like as a skirt too. Nice! :)

  22. Aquí

    Love these! The vintage patterns are amazing! Congrats on making the links á la mode list! I made it too :)

  23. Sher

    I think culottes are cool! And you definitely made it your own with the fur hat and leather jacket:)

    xx

  24. livvvvvvv

    that hat is so great! love it! and i love the concept of your blog, i really do!

  25. Kristin

    I haven’t seen culottes in ages. You are workin’ that pair lady and I’m loving your shoes!

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