How to Wear Denim Culottes Like a Fashion Expert

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Style Statement

Street style denim culottes
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If you love making a style statement in your outfits, then culottes, specially crafted from 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 actually looks and hangs 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 standard blue jeans, making them both ultra-trendy and fairly tricky for normal-shaped women 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 cut of jeans.

The basic rules to remember: keep these flowing pants in proportion with fitted tops, use belts to emphasize your waist, and take this opportunity to show off your most special shoes. If you wear a jacket or a long coat, pair it with a close-fitting top underneath.These rules aren't hard and fast, but they are good guidelines to follow. But most importantly, follow your eye. 

Browse through this handy guide and learn how to wear trendy denim culottes like a fashion pro. 

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With a Jacket

Street style denim culottes
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 closet 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. Denim culottes are perfectly styled for the office with a tucked-in shirt and a ladylike tweed jacket. A crossbody bag and chic ballet flats are the perfect accessories for more casual workdays when you're dressing to impress.

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With a Blouse

Street style in denim culottes
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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 workday by pairing them with more expensive-looking clothing and accessories. All it takes is a silky blouse and a colorful leather bag to create a chic and comfortable office outfit. Skip the belt and simply tuck your blouse into higher-waisted denim culottes for a modern look.

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Head-to-Toe Color

Street style in denim culottes
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Women who are average height or shorter might find that culottes can accentuate the fact that you aren't tall 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. If you're interested in combating the effect of a shorter, wide-leg jean style, 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 dark wash denim culottes with an indigo denim shirt to achieve this long and lean look. 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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Trendy Double Denim

Street style in denim culottes
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

If you're a true denim lover, 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. Cheeky styling choices, including ballet flats worn over socks and an attention-grabbing faux fur coat, make this outfit a show-stopper. 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 gets chilly, transition your culottes into fall and winter fashion as you would a denim skirt, with a heavier coat or a big scarf. Wear on-trend ankle or mid-calf boots to finish the look.

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With a Black Leather Jacket

Street style in jeans 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. Layering on a leather jacket gives you hip coverage and looks fiercely fashionable for the city. 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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With a Colorful Leather Jacket

Street style in wide leg jeans 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. The right culotte length for your body is a personal choice that depends on your shape but also your fashion sense. While the typical pair hits at mid-calf, your ideal length might be a longer-ankle grazing pair.

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With a Long Coat

Street style in jeans 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. Buy a head-turning coat in a graphic pattern to layer over all your jeans outfits.

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With a Long, Flowing Coat

Street style in jeans and a long coat
Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Adding a long, flowing coat, even in white, is an effective way to streamline your outfits in denim culottes for a slimmer look. 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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With a Long 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 an envy-inducing outfit for meeting your friends for shopping or brunch when you pair denim culottes with an easy sweater and boyfriend-style blazer. Adding a designer bag to your denim outfits is a sure-fire way to instantly upgrade your style.

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With a Classic 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. Dark-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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With Spectacular Shoes

Street style in jeans and boots
Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

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

The brand 7 for All Mankind offers these high-quality denim culottes with a trendy let-down hem. These jean-style culottes feature 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. 

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 Jeans

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

Buy this jean on Amazon.

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Shop the Trend: NYDJ Kate Culottes

NYDJ Kate Culotte Jeans
NYDJ

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

Buy this jean on Amazon.