How to Wear Denim Culottes

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Style Denim Culottes Like a Fashion Pro

Street style denim culottes
We show you how to style denim culottes like a fashion pro. Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

If you love making a style statement in your outfits, then culottes -- especially crafted in American's favorite denim fabric -- are a pant silhouette you'll want to add to your wardrobe. For those not familiar with this fashion-forward style, denim culottes are essentially a wide-legged, cropped jean. A classic pair of denim culottes will actually look and hang much like a midi-length denim skirt, with very wide-cut, flared legs that hit at (or even above) mid-calf level. You'll also see slimmer cuts of this jean, but all culottes have wider hems and shorter legs than your standard blue jeans, making them both ultra-trendy, and fairly tricky for normal-shaped humans to pull off. That doesn't mean you should avoid this trendy style though! It just takes some fashion effort to look great in denim culottes -- but once you learn to do that, you'll definitely be dressed to impress. To help you look fabulous in denim culottes, we've put together some tips on what to wear with this trendy pant style, plus how you can avoid some of the figure challenges of this jeans cut. Browse through this handy guide and learn how to wear trendy denim culottes like a fashion pro. (Don't forget to read through to the end of this guide, for shoppable links to our favorite brands and styles).

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Wear Denim Culottes to the Office - With a Jacket

Street style denim culottes
Wear denim culottes to work with a tweed jacket. Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

You've gone out and bought a pair of denim culottes, and now they're sitting in your closet, waiting to be worn. Don't let them get lost in the back of your wardrobe because you're not confident about how to style them! If you're not sure quite sure where to start, try thinking about this denim silhouette as you would an A-line skirt, when it comes to which of the separates you already own will match well with them. As seen here, denim culottes are perfectly styled for the office with a tucked-in shirt and a ladylike tweed jacket. 

Tip: A cross-body bag and chic ballet flats are the perfect accessories for more casual workdays, when you're dressing to impress

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Wear Denim Culottes to Work - With a Blouse

Street style in denim culottes
Wear denim culottes to work with a pretty blouse and bright bag. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Some denim culottes can have a slouchy look that's more associated with casual wear, than office attire. Just as with boyfriend jeans, though, you can easily upgrade denim culottes for the work day, by pairing them with more expensive-looking clothing and accessories. As pictured here, all it takes is a silky blouse and a colorful leather bag to create a chic and comfortable office outfit.

Tip: Skip the belt and simply tuck your blouse into higher-waisted denim culottes for a modern look.

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Casual Style in Denim Culottes - Head-to-Toe Color (Great for Petites!)

Street style in denim culottes
Casual weekend street style in denim culottes. Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Women who are average length or shorter may find that culottes can accentuate your lack of height, because of the cropped length and wide hems. That doesn't mean that all you petite body types out there have to sit out this fashion trend, though. If you're interested in combating the effect of a shorter, wide leg jean style, you can try wearing a monochromatic outfit. Why does this work? When you wear a single color from head to toe, you create the visual illusion of a taller and slimmer body shape. This is especially effective when you choose a darker color palette. Try wearing darker wash denim culottes with an indigo denim shirt, as pictured here. 

Tip: If you're on the shorter side, you can also add high heeled ankle boots for an extra boost of height -- and fashion edge -- when you wear culottes

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Try a Trendy Double Denim Outfit in Jean Culottes

Street style in denim culottes
Fashion a denim suit with denim culottes. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

If you're a true denim lover, why not fashion a trendy head-to-toe denim outfit in denim culottes? Pair your culottes with a denim top in the same shade, for a suited denim look you could wear from casual to dressed up occasions, depending on how you accessorize it. Here, cheeky styling choices -- including ballet flats worn over socks, and an attention-grabbing faux fur coat -- make this outfit a show stopper.

Tip: Despite their shorter length, denim culottes are not like capris -- in other words, you don't have to save them for summer. As the weather cools, transition your culottes into fall and winter fashion as you would a denim skirt, with a heavier coat or a big scarf.

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Polished Weekend Style - Wear Denim Culottes With a Leather Jacket

Street style in jeans and a leather jacket
Edgy city style in denim culottes and a leather jacket. Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

Some women worry about looking bigger than their actual size in denim culottes. If that's the case for you, try balancing your proportions by choosing a slimmer cut of culottes, as pictured here. Layering on a leather jacket gives you hip coverage -- and looks fiercely fashionable for the city.

Tip: Choose a leather jacket with special details to draw attention upward on the body, and away from those areas you'd rather camouflage.

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Polished Weekend Style - Wear Denim Culottes With a Leather Jacket

Street style in wide leg jeans and a leather jacket
Street style in wide leg denim culottes and a leather jacket. Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

An attention-getting yellow leather jacket in a slim-fitting cut is the perfect match for longer denim culottes.

Tip: The right culotte length for your body is a personal thing that depends on your shape -- but also your fashion sense. While the typical pair hits at mid-calf, your ideal length may be a longer-ankle grazing pair, as pictured here.

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Cool Weather Style in Denim Culottes - With a Long Coat

Street style in jeans and a graphic coat
Street style in denim culottes and a graphic coat. Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Fall and winter fashion demands layered outfits that can take you from the city streets, to (sometimes over-heated) indoor spaces such as offices and shopping malls. That's why we're big fans of wearing a long coat over an easy outfit of denim culottes and a simple shirt, for days when you want to look chic without spending too much time getting dressed.

Tip: Buy a head-turning coat in a graphic pattern, as pictured here, to layer over all your outfits in jeans.

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Cool Weather Style in Denim Culottes - With a Long Coat

Street style in jeans and a long coat
Wear a long flowing coat over denim culottes. Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Adding a long, flowing coat-- even in white, as pictured here -- is a great way to streamline your outfits in denim culottes, for a slimmer look. 

Tip: A long coat is also a great way to camouflage your lower body, for those days when you don't feel like showing it off in jeans.

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Chic Outfit With Denim Culottes - Wear a Longer Blazer

Street style in denim culottes and a blazer
Street style in denim culottes and a blazer. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Who says you can't look polished in weekend jeans? Put together a envy-inducing outfit for meeting your friends for shopping or brunch, when you pair denim culottes with an easy sweater and boyfriend-style blazer. 

Tip: Adding a designer bag (this one is by the Missoni brand) to your denim outfits is a sure-fire way to instantly upgrade your style.

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Chic Outfit With Denim Culottes - Wear a Longer Blazer

Street style jeans and blazer
Polished weekend style in wide leg jeans and a white blazer. Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Want a low-maintenance weekend look in jeans that's dressy enough for gallery hopping? Play with your weekend outfits by mixing polished pieces, such as a classic white blazer and statement necklace, with easy denim culottes and basic sneakers. 

Tip: Darker colored denim culottes are easy to wear and can be treated like a neutral item in your closet, allowing you to experiment with other colors and accessories on top.

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Wear Culottes With High Heels

Street style in jeans and boots
Show off your best boots in cropped denim jeans. Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

While you certainly can style culottes with flat shoes, this jeans silhouette is a lot easier to pull off, frankly, when you wear high heels. A mid-height heel or higher will elongate your leg line, helping you to avoid looking stumpy in shorter jeans. With their shorter hems, denim culottes are also the perfect silhouette of pants to show off your most fabulous shoes and boots -- especially those with eye-catching heel detailing, as on the pair pictured here -- as your feet will be on full display in this denim pant style. 

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Shop the Trend: 7 For All Mankind Culottes Jean with Let Down Hem

7 For All Mankind Culottes Jean with Let Down Hem
7 For All Mankind Culottes Jean with Let Down Hem. 7 For All Mankind

Designer brand 7 for All Mankind offers these high-quality denim culottes, with a trendy "let down" hem. Culottes jean style features faded legs with hems that flare outward. These jeans include a high degree of Spandex for stretch and comfort, and a clean finish with no distressing (just light whiskering at the hips). 

Sizes: 26-32
Price: About $200

Buy this jean on Amazon

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Shop the Trend: Hudson Sammi Wide-Leg Crop Jeans

Hudson Sammi Wide-Leg Crop Jeans
Hudson Sammi Wide-Leg Crop Jeans. Hudson Jeans

The HudsonSammi is a modern wide-leg culottes style that's designed to hit just below the calf. Cropped jean style features flowing wide hems with custom fading and fraying. Stretchy denim fabric is meant to move in comfortably.

Sizes: 24-31
Price: About $200

Buy this jean on Amazon

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Shop the Trend: NYDJ Kate Culottes

NYDJ Kate Culotte Jeans
NYDJ Kate Culotte Jeans. NYDJ

NYDJ offers its patented lift-tuck technology jean in a dark denim culottes fit, for a flattering take on this trendy denim style. Stretchy, high-quality denim is soft and smooth wear, and slims from within to streamline your figure. Shorter culottes style with an ultra-wide hem is perfect for chic summer wear.

Sizes: 0-14
Price: About $140

Buy this jean on Amazon