Culottes: Are They Right for You?

Culotte-ing. Photo: Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Do you suffer from constrained calves? Have you had difficulty skipping lately? Has your sense of whimsy been depleted to a dangerous low? If any of the preceding questions prompted you to tilt your chin, sigh, and say, Oh, I don’t know, I guess, then you may be a candidate for culottes.

Culottes are too often described by what they aren’t: pants, skirts, reliably flattering. The platypus of the legwear genus, culottes are famously finicky, difficult to understand, and known for their pouch-centric orientation.

Recently, culottes emerged from the woodwork and onto the street. There, culottes are turning heads, heads that ask all sorts of questions like: huh?

They are a visual contradiction, both voluminous and cropped. Their wide-legged berth suggests an unending swagger until BOOP! they stop their run right above the ankle or at some uncharted mid-calf region. This should not be cause for alarm.

Some innocence about the mechanics of the culotte is actually welcome in a culotte-wearer. Like the culotte itself, you must not only have but overflow with je ne sais quois. Culottes are the visual representation of the unknowable, so this must be a place of comfort for you. Like the elusive point where uptown meets downtown, the culotte exists in the place where sleepwear meets Katharine Hepburn cosplay. 

Culottes might be right for you if: You often find confirmation that dogs and children adore you. You have some affectations. Your affectations are endearing. None of the following things have ever intimidated you: throwing a dinner party, Tilda Swinton, people who casually spent time in Prague, the pronunciation of jicama.

Even with these qualifications, understand that you need to be able to properly accommodate your culottes. Your closet must have length enough to comfortably hang culottes and the width enough for them to flow in a carefree breeze. If your closet doesn’t have a breeze because it’s a cramped-ass dungeon of fabric, culottes are not for you — apologies about that. 

Also bear in mind a few guidelines while using culottes. Never sit. Subsist on lemonade. Only use pockets as holsters for your delicate hands. Never use pockets to hold anything common, like money or keys.

Speaking of keys, have you lost your keys in the past three months, but everything turned out great and there were no real consequences? Wonderful: Culottes are indeed right for you. Enjoy your summer, please! 

Culottes: Are They Right for You?