If you were a budding fashionista in the mid-2000s, then you remember the previous rise of the culotte. Sure, they had several resurgences in decades prior, but in the past few years they’ve returned to fill the hole the once-beloved skinny jean has left in the modern woman’s closet. Long gone are the days of wiggling into skin-tight twill, so snug you can barely sit.
In this new age of dressing, comfort is key. Heralded as a universally flattering style, the best of the category have a mid or high-rise waist, and wide legs that show just a bit of ankle.
Rust Flared Culottes
Every closet needs a pair of effortless pants. Since you’re not the type to play it safe, grab them in rust and have fun exploring all the ways to style these pants.
Barber Waikiki Jeans
You’ll be the topic of conversation in this contrasting patchwork denim option. Give the people what they want and finish the look with a satin tank and the most incredible ankle booties.
High Waisted Culottes
This dainty pair from & Other Stories deserves your attention. They’re giving major bohemian vibes. So, pairing them with a flowy crop top and strappy sandals just feels right.
Knit Pant in Peach and Red
This Eckhaus Latta peach and red color block knit pair at Need Supply are perfectly unique. Add further personality to your outfit by going all in on chunky gold jewelry.
Flower Print Culottes
This flower print pair from Mango are statement-making. Let them take center stage by teaming them with a simple bodysuit and your favorite pair of strappy heels.
Soft Cropped Pants
This seriously pretty pair from Mango are the perfect companion piece for any ensemble. Go for a chic aesthetic by teaming these cream pants with a khaki blouse and high contrasting color shoes for a pop of color.
Everlane Wide Leg Crop
“The most flattering pant you’ll ever try,” reads the banner at the top of Everlane’s page for their best-selling wide leg pants. Launched about two years ago, these pants align seamlessly with Everlane’s mission to provide essential, easy and modern staples. There’s a pant in every color, to suit every taste and every mood.
This writer prefers her pair in white and feels it’s appropriate to wear all year ‘round, despite what old fashion rules may dictate. For a nautical-inspired spring look, wear a pair with a classic striped tee (with a French tuck of course), backless leather loafers and top it off with a square silk scarf around your neck.
Beach Riot Celine Pants
This pastel pair from Beach Riot feels so essentially spring, especially with its little daisy print. This pair, with its high-waist silhouette, is perfectly suited for cropped or fitted tops.
If it’s still not warm enough to show off your whole midriff, this pair would also look lovely with a white ruffled blouse. Add a pair of embellished sandals and woven bag, and you’re ready for a sunny date in the park.
Asos Design With Origami Waist
These pants from ASOS take volume to an entirely new level. They have the same tailored waist but with extra pleats in the front. This pair of made of lyocell, which is almost silky to the touch (but not shiny) and makes for incredible movement.
They only come in navy, but thankfully it’s a versatile color that’s suited to being dressed both up and down. Because this fabric elevates the style, they could easily be paired with a plaid blazer and barely-there heels – a look best suited to take the wearer from work to late-night drinks at a swanky cocktail bar.
Islander Embroidered Pants
Kind of like a vacation, but in pant form. This pair from Anthropologie is a breezy mix of cotton and linen. The colorful embroidery gives them a vintage yet modern feel, and is just begging to be matched back to a poppy and colorful top.
For fool-proof dressing, perfect for both actual vacation and a vacation state of mind, they can be worn with a matching top. Linen can be a tricky fabric to wear during the day, only because of its propensity to wrinkle, so we would suggest wearing these on a fun girls night out with the highest heels you own and a statement ear cuff.
C/meo Collective Through You Belted Puff Sleeve Jumpsuit
This one, from trendy Australian contemporary brand C/ameo Collective, is complete with puff sleeve detail and self fabric belt. It takes the mental work out of styling if this pant is new to you. What’s lovely about this jumpsuit are the trendy details, so to channel this look with a pair you already own, try pairing them with a puff sleeve cropped blouse.
Horn Button Culottes
This pair from Topshop has the same cropped length and wide leg that we know and love, with an extra touch. The buttons down the side of the legs not only add visual interest, but they help to elongate the leg as well. This pair, in a bright shade of poppy red, while fresh for spring is essentially a season-agnostic color, so feel free to wear them all year ‘round.
Reformation Savannah Pant
This pair from eco-friendly brand Reformation are just that in more, with a lightweight linen fabrication and elastic waistband for ultimate comfort. These also have functional pockets, which make them the perfect summertime “throw on and go” pant.
We love the idea of taking them from brunch to beach by layering them over a cute one piece swimsuit and wearing them with a pair of elegant sandals.
UO Plaid Belted Pant
If they’re not already part of your wardrobe rotation, wide leg pants might sound scary and overwhelming. Won’t they swallow me up, you may ask? Our answer is no, not with the right fit they won’t!
This pair from Urban Outfitters not only has a flattering nipped waist, but the belt will help to define it even more. For a sharp look that’s masculine inspired, try wearing this pair with a blazer in a coordinating color, like this one in burnt red that complements the yellow stripe in the plaid.
High Waisted Side Stripe Culottes
Channel your inner track star with these athletic-inspired pants from Express. Living at the intersection of sporty and chic, this pair is for the ultimate style chameleon. Wear them during the say with a cute pair of sneakers, or dress them up at night with some sleek high heels.
And, don’t be afraid to play with color and silhouettes, too. A perfectly fine but rather obvious option to wear with these is a classic white tee, but try a fitted top in a bright red if you’re up for a style adventure.
Prologue Wide Leg Crop Pants
This pair from Target’s in-house brand Prologue are made from a similar twill but in a more elevated color. Treat them as you would your favorite work pants, and don’t be afraid to play with volume on top. We love the way these are styled with a puff sleeve blouse and round-toe mules. These little touches of femininity keep the silhouette feeling modern.
Cuyana French Terry Wide Leg Pants
This pair from Cuyana, made of the softest french terry, is perfect to throw over top of leggings for when you’re in transit to and from barre class. Lean into the ballerina-off-duty look and pair them with a cropped sweatshirt.
Together, because they’re the same color and fabric, look more intentional than any old sweatpants or shirt you may throw on when you’re running errands.
Frank & Oak Wide Leg Corduroy Pants
If you were a child of the 90s then you’re sure to remember when corduroy had its heyday. This writer recalls owning a pair in both pastel green and peach, complete with an elastic around the ankles. This pair is decidedly more grown up due to its modern cut. The soft teal shade feels fresh and corduroy fabric is great at holding its shape.
Express High Waisted Windowpane Culottes
Have fun with your pants. This windowpane plaid print from Express is both modern and classic at the same time, while the thin lines and graphic print are universally flattering. The combination of vertical and horizontal stripes are also a great complement to their wide-leg shape.
BDG Leon Belted Chambray Wide Leg Pants
This pair comes in a lightweight chambray that looks just like denim but has a softer and more fluid feel. Check out the classic tailoring details at the waist, too, like the wide belt and pleats, that give this pair a pulled-together and sophisticated look. For daytime, we would tap into their easy roots and wear them with a cool graphic tee.