I don’t get people who wear culottes so I tried wearing them for a week
They’re just not warm enough for Scotland
For me, any item of clothing that errs on the side of being shortening and boxy-enhancing is absolutely a no-go for fear of going out looking like Tweedledum/dee, putting culottes slap bang in the middle of the don’t-even-try category of fashion wear.
But I see you cool, edgy girls rocking your culottes in the most effortlessly ‘I really found myself during my three weeks in Cambodia’ kind of way and honestly, I want in. Only on a university campus could looking like you don’t give a single fuck and being so comfortable be so strongly embraced.
So I bought a pair, as you do, to collect dust in the bottom of my closet. I really tried, I promise, but every time I was about to leave the house in my very meticulously thought through culottes outfit, I always ended up changing in to jeans or a skirt instead. I was never quite ready to take the plunge – culottes are a weird hybrid and they make me panic, particularly as someone who’s known to always dress like a primary school teacher:
There’s this trade off, right, between looking effortless, and still looking just put together enough to pull it off. Which leads to the irony of making a lot of effort to look effortless, when you don’t think you can pull of being quite as effortless as those art students who could honestly rock a bin bag and make it a statement.
So, for the purposes of trying to get over my fear of culottes, I embraced this overthinking and put it to use. One riffle through my closet later (a very limited collection here at uni, which didn’t make this any easier), I found out culottes are, perhaps, more versatile and slightly less scary than I thought, so I tried to shake up the outfits as much as possible. These are my three ‘best’ results for how to wear culottes:
The first advice I got on wearing culottes: an oversized sweatshirt. Arguably I might have taken this to an extreme, but I’m gonna remember this for next time my hangover’s as bad as it was when I took this photo. Yikes. Mandatory accessories: backpack, panda eyes and bed hair.
It was so comfortable that I kept falling asleep in the JMCC, and was just warm enough to get me from there back in to bed safely but when I tried walking to uni it quickly took a turn for the worse. Sadly, and just practically, I don’t think culottes are made for Edinburgh in March. This is the issue of that tricky hybrid thing I was talking about – they’re so thin and blowy like a skirt that you feel like you should be wearing tights, but still trouser-y enough so you can’t do that without looking like the type of person to wear socks and sandals. Why does no one else seem to have this issue?
Verdict : Save culottes for summer and hangovers.
Or if not the boss, at least the cool intern or something (I’m a huge Clique fan atm).
Okay. Alright. I think I get it now. The next suggestion I got was wearing a blouse and dressing the whole situation up a bit, which is probably cheating since it lets me avoid having to try and look edgy, and was still primary school teacher enough to keep me in my comfort zone.
Most importantly – heels were an absolute godsend this week. Not only did it low key make me feel pretty fierce, but it also solved the fear with culottes of looking short and stocky. In fact, next time I’ve got to look smart I think I’ll wear this since I felt much more like I could be taken seriously wearing trousers than if I was wearing my beloved skirts.
Verdict: Heels can solve every problem.
‘The am I edgy yet’
This should make up for cheating with the last outfit. Culottes, crop top and a turtle neck? Well and truly beyond my comfort zone. I forgot to wear my heels too, so there’s also that. All in all, I left my room being sure I was going to feel awful and insecure all night.
In the end I’m not sure whether I felt more like a wannabe art student or French philosopher, but either way, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting. Maybe it was because wearing red lipstick makes me feel like I have my life together, but maybe it’s because uni is a magical place where you can wear literally whatever you want.
You get embraced for the most lousily put together, wavey, stoner ensemble just as much as any wild, new, fashion statement piece. Oh, and whatever you think is a big deal, no one else will notice.
Just don’t be that guy that turns up to lectures in a suit.
Verdict: Wear what you want, no one gives a shit.
After a week of ups and downs forming my new relationship with culottes, I can say we’ve happily made our peace and come to a mutual understanding.
So if you’re ever scared of some fancy new item of clothing – crop tops, high-waisted jeans, leather skirts, all those tricky things – just brave it, you’ll find some way to make it work for you.