7 Ways To Style Culottes — Because These Wide-Leg Pants Are Tricky Little Things

Oh, culottes. How to style culottes? That seems to be the prevailing question on everyone's mind as the wide-legged pants become the official silhouette of this spring. Some rejoice over the casual shape after a winter trapped in skinny jeans and layers of long-johns, while others eye the cropped length warily. By definition, they shouldn't work. Haven't we been taught over and over again that anything hovering above our ankles is a no-go unless there's a flood in your parents' basement? Or you're now 40 and a parent at Disney World? So why would we see this crop taking over all the shop windows and gracing just about every blogger's legs?

They're murky waters to navigate, but fashion has proven time and time again that it likes to create rules just to break 'em. Try not to think too hard about what is supposed to make sense, and instead embrace it if it has caught your interest. Because if you get down to it, fashion rule breaking is where the fun stuff lies anyway! That being said, jumping all-in can be a bit intimidating if you don't know where to start. That's where I come in — I'll be your spirit guide. Take my hand and let's see seven tips and ways on how to style the tricky culotte shape:

1. Pair It With A Flirty Crop Top

Alright, these pants are a shape you're not used to. But if you're going in, go all in! Instead of pairing it with a button-up or a sweater, pair it with another interesting shape, like a flowing or boxy crop top. The crop will help break the outfit up at the natural waist, and the shape will add a statement to the overall look. You'll feel like a total fashion person.

2. Go Casual

You know when you try something new and you just feel like everyone is staring at you? And with a flick of their eye, they're silently judging you? Disperse some of those crazy thoughts by bringing some of the look onto your home-field. Pair the pants with casual, easy pieces so you can get used to the bold statement of the pants. It's like dipping your toe in the water. And when you get used to them, you can upgrade to the more interesting, creative pairings!

3. Choose A Well Tailored Pair

While I'm absolutely head over heels for this trend, my one gripe with it is that it can look like a midi skirt if you're standing still. I've passed up many a pairs for just that reason. But I've found there's a remedy for that issue: Buy a pair that is well tailored. Find one with sharp pleats, a well defined waist, or made out of a sturdier material so your pants can look like, well, pants at all times of the day.

4. Go Monochrome

Trends are a little less intimidating when they're part of a set. It might be because of the lack of responsibility. You liked the top, but you couldn't possibly have bought it without its matching pants. The monochrome color also helps tone down the loud voice of the flared pant, making you feel less self-conscious if you're not one to venture away from your comfort zone too often. Which means you don't necessarily need to buy the culottes in a set — simply create your own! Just match the color of the pants to your top.

5. Try It In Different Textures

If you're feeling like too many of the culottes you're trying on look like midi skirts, try one in a different texture like leather or suede. The shape will hold more because of the sturdier material, and they'll come off looking as more luxe and detailed. The added texture will also be fun to mix and match with your tops and jackets!

6. Focus On The Shoes

Depending what shoes you choose, your culottes will give off a different vibe. Choose cage sandals for a quirky, fashion-forward look, heels for a sleek and elegant feel, and sneakers for a casual and relaxed look. Depending on what you put on your feet, you can completely change the message of your outfit.

7. Aim For Prints

This is a fun tip because it can both ease your pain if you're nervous to try this trend, or amp you up if you're looking to go more bold and fashion-forward. How? Easy: If you're nervous about pulling off such voluminous pants, go for a printed pair as they'll blend easier together and appear to be a skirt half of the time. And if you're looking for a bolder statement, there's no easier way than picking something with giant tropical print leaves or electric patterns. Everyone wins!

Images: piecesbyny, stylonylon, smoochthelabel, elenwho, yvesxsinnerxlauren , parisandjuliet , theblurline/Instagram