Denim Culottes : 4 Tips for Styling

Denim culottes : A trend that elicits mixed reactions. Some love it, some hate it. As with many trends, though, I see more and more people warming up to this trend over time. These wide-legged cropped denim pants are moving from the runway to reality in some really fashionable, fun ways. Though culottes might not be thought of as the most “sexy” cut of denim, the style is alluring in its own fashion forward way.

Here are our top 4 tips for styling your culottes:

1. Cut it off at the calf

The key to wearing culottes is to get the length right. The culottes should hit you mid-calf. If you need to have yours hemmed, or if you need to try on multiple pairs to find the right length, then do so. The right length prevents these culottes from making you look shorter than you are.

2. Select a single shade

This tip also combats the fear many have of culottes making them appear shorter. A monochromatic outfit will create that long and tall silhouette we all want. As you can see here, I stuck with shades of blue on both top and bottom.

3. Play with proportions

Have fun with this look! Let the proportions of the pants inspire you to try different shapes with other pieces of your look. For instance, I opted for an off the shoulder top. Denim culottes also provide a great opportunity to try a cropped top, as the culottes tend to be high-waisted.

4. Show off your shoes

I’m always looking for a way to showcase my shoes. Denim culottes provide the perfect opportunity for that! There is nothing wrong with wearing a traditional, pointy toe heel with these. But I let the retro 70s vibe inspire me to wear a chunky heel to enhance the overall feel of the look.

Bonus: these culottes will transition fabulously from summer to fall. I can’t wait to wear mine with a chunky sweater and some knee boots.

Denim Culottes : Shop Our Top Picks

Here are our top dozen denim culottes, in a range of prices, styles, and shades of blue.

Denim Culottes : Shop My Look

Johanna Ortiz top (sold out, but here are some other options I love: one shoulder topprinted option less than $50, very similar less than $50; I also think this top would look great) | J.Crew Rayner wide-leg jean (here) | Delpozo gold bow sandals (sold out, but other options here and here) | Chloe Faye bag (here) | J.Crew necklace (sold out; another option here for less than $50) | Prism sunglasses | Nars heat wave lipstick (here)

Is this a look you would be open to trying? Would you like to see more ways of styling these pants? Let me know your thoughts! Have a great week.


Photos by Justin James Photography


  1. Sheri says:

    Hi Carrie,
    I remember when culottes came around in the 70s. I was pretty young, but I had a pair in Grade 4/5 and desperately wanted a pair of high boots to wear with them.

    I like this trend, but I am on the short side, so need to be careful of my proportions. We shall see….

    Have a great day,

    1. Carrie says:

      Ah yes… I barely remember them. 😉

      Definitely give some a try! I really really love my JCrew pair. So comfy.

      Thanks as always!

  2. You look so amazing in these photos and the shoes are on point.

    Since I am so short, I would likely need to get them tailored. I really like the darker ones you linked by Derek Lam. I will have to see if I can find something similar, but cheaper, lol. The challenges of being a poor student!


    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much, Bella! Yes, the key really is getting the length right.

      Did you see this darker pair from Topshop? I can see these on you!

  3. Reagan says:

    You do wear this very well! I appreciate the styling tips for how to wear this! I may have to try it… lol! You look great!


    1. Carrie says:

      Ah, thanks a bunch, Reagan! I’d love to see your take on the look. Hugs –

  4. Anita Sookan says:

    I really love how you styled your culottes! and those shoes are simply amazing 🙂

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much, Anita!

      Yes, I really love these shoes I got last year. I really wish they came in more colors this season!

  5. Vanessa says:

    I love those denim culottes on you, Carrie! So fresh!

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much, V! Have a great week.

  6. Ashley says:

    You are rocking these culottes girl!

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much, Ashley!

  7. Carly says:

    Such a cute summer look! Great tips
    Dresses & Denim

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks, Carly! Have a great day.

  8. Sheree says:

    I absolutely love how you styled this!! My favorite culottes look so far! Great tips and those heels def got their shinning moment (no pun intended). Love your style and your blog.

    ~xo Sheree
    IG: @poshclassymom

    1. Carrie says:

      Wow thanks, Sheree, for the very nice compliments! Hope you’re having a great day.

  9. I love the look!!!
    Mademoiselle Coconath

    1. Carrie says:

      Thank you, beautiful! 🙂

  10. Hannah says:

    These tips were so helpful! This trend is a little intimidating… but you killed it! xx


    1. Carrie says:

      That’s really nice, Hannah. Thanks so much.

  11. emily says:

    love this look — so cool

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much, Emily!

  12. Sabina B says:

    nice look, love the off shoulder blouse and the bag!

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks you, Sabina! 🙂

  13. Iren says:

    Awesome denim culottes!! Adore your look, great tips!


    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks, Iren! I really appreciate that.

  14. Merritt says:

    your hair looks amazing!!! I’m still not 100% sure I can get on board with culottes for myself, but they look great on you!

    The Style Scribe

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks, Merritt! Girl – I’m sure you would rock them, like you do everything else. Xo

  15. Rozemarijn says:

    I love this outfit! And the curly hair is lovely!

    1. Carrie says:

      Thank you so much! I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂

  16. Carrie says:

    Thanks, Merritt! Girl – I’m sure you would rock them, like you do everything else. Xo

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