Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 30th 2015 Contents A33
Monday, November 30, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Don t believe it. Escape while you
still can run in your Aldos.
"Culottes are this season s It
pants, taunts Elle magazine.
Oh yeah? For whom? Seven-foot
tall models who eat boiled air for
Culottes stopped being cute the
day you first clambered out of the
crib and walked upright. The last
time I wore culottes was in
Brownies, although I have a
vague recollection of an unfor-
tunate experience in the 80s
with black cotton "gau-
chos," which is the Argen-
tine version of this divided
Culottes just look bipolar---is it a
skirt, is it pants, did you steal a dwarf s
Let s face it: some posteriors are
not meant to be encased in pants at
all---although a loose palazzo could
possibly resist condemnation by the
Fashion Police. A gentle skimming of
the thighs by a well-tailored no-wrin-
kle skirt could be a lot friendlier on
Too many things can go wrong with
culottes. Cut too narrow, they look
as though you ran out of fabric for a
proper pair of trousers. Cut too wide,
and you look like you are carrying
helium balloons under the circus tent
strapped to your waist.
Too long and your body shrinks
and widens like an inverted mush-
room; too short, and your name will
be crossed off the invitation list for
all the chic holiday parties.
Then there is the camel-toe issue---
it happens, even to the best
of women who deserve to be
trendy without losing their
souls to bifurcated garments.
Add the crop-top trend to
the equation and you have
major potential for a Joan
Rivers-que "Fash-Hole of
the Week" disaster.
risk, culottes are show-
ing up all over the run-
ways and magazines---in
power prints; in romantic lace, with
chiffon blouses ; in work-worthy linen,
with silk shirts; in classic black and
white, with Tommy Hilfiger boots.
At least Vogue is honest enough to
call culottes "this season s trickiest
trend" but its writers still laud the
"new culotte" as shown by Gucci and
Valentino---ankle-grazing and volu-
minous--- as "really, really easy to pull
But then Vogue lost me altogether
when it recommended such styling
additions as the Sparta sandal and
tortoise shell sunglasses.
Before culottes became a way to
make mortal under-tall women feel
dowdy, they used to be a feminist s
best friend---back in Victorian days
when women wanted to ride their
horses without the ridiculous, con-
fining side saddle.
So the divided skirt became the
clever way to gain freedom while still
placating sensibilities about the female
The word "culotte" is actually
French and used to refer to men s
breeches which ended below the knee
and were the hottest thing in haber-
dashery among the upper classes in
Europe from the 16th century.
During the French Revolution, the
hungry, marching, shouting revolu-
tionaries were called "sans culottes"---
because they rejected aristocratic
Nowadays, if you are "sans culottes"
you are either a drunk celebrity or too
stupid to understand that Victoria s
Secrets and Cacique Intimates were
created for a transformative purpose.
If you feel brave enough, here are
some rules for the wearing of culottes.
Get a nice linen blend (don t go stingy
on quality) and have it tailored to fit
your fabulousness, with darts and a
Pair with a fitted or flirty top---like
a tucked-in voile blouse or a crisp
shirt with the cuffs turned back. Those
70s-revision poet blouses will just
add too much volume and you will
risk looking sloppy.
My beautiful friends, such as For-
ward Forty creator Judette Coward,
Home Again producer Lisa Wickham
or award-winning photographer
Andrea de Silva, could probably rock
this look, especially after they throw
on some unique accessories and daring
But my mid-section is still having
existential issues and threatens to
rebel, with its own identity and area
code. While I could possibly see some
cuteness involved in a well-turned-
out culotte ensemble, I prefer to be
benched until this trend blows over.
The one possible redeeming effect
of this old-is-new-again trend is that
you need some really bad-ass shoes
to pull it off.
Since the modern culotte has to hit
at the ankle, it is like an exclamation,
pointing down there---to the hot high-
heeled lace-ups, the dominatrix
pointy-tip, the patent platform, the
seductive suede sandal.
Some flirty toe cleavage? A confi-
dent instep crossed by a diagonal
strap? Sexy ankles elevated by a sleek
wedge? Maybe I could forgive the
culotte after all.
Are culottes the bane of 2015 fashion?
The culotte might be all the rage
in fashion now but Elsa isn't a fan.
Too many things can go
wrong with culottes. Cut
too narrow, they look as
though you ran out of
fabric for a proper pair of
trousers. Cut too wide, and
you look like you are
carrying helium balloons
under the circus tent
strapped to your waist.
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