Rompers are childish, reducing women to presenting as toddlers. And how does one use the toilet? Must you disrobe entirely? I’m not saying these leggy girl women don’t look cute. On the contrary. I get the appeal of one-piece dressing. I’m just not sure we still need to be doing it. But clearly, that’s just me. Can you rock a romper? Kendall Jenner in the photo below admittedly looks quite polished. The young lady in the white gas station-like jumpsuit with white socks and sneakers, not so much. Thoughts?
Trend alert: There are simply too many street style photos of stylish bloggers, models, and editors wearing abbreviated and often voluminous bottoms to ignore it any longer. But the question is, what do we call these short, wide pants—”culottes” or “gauchos”?
The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion defines the split or bifurcated skirt as any garment which hangs like a skirt, but is actually pants.
Long, split skirts were developed for horseback riding in Victorian times so that women could ride like a man (side-saddle simply wasn’t practical). Later, split skirts were worn so women could garden, ride bikes, and such and still look like they were wearing a skirt.
In the 1970s, the trend came back into fashion, hailed as the more comfortable version of the former capri pant. This era also saw the introduction of the palazzo pant trend, which has a similar billowing silhouette, but which hangs to the floor.
Let’s set this straight—gauchos and culottes are cropped. If you’re referencing a flowing full-length pant, please call it a palazzo pant.
So that’s how the gaucho trend / culotte trend came into vogue, but are they the same thing? Glamour says yes, gauchos and culottes are one and the same, and uses the terms “culottes” and “gauchos” interchangeably. WhoWhatWear calls them “gauchos” as does Lucky. The Telegraph dubs them “culottes,” as does Elle, Marie Claire, Stylecaster, and Refinery29. Perhaps more importantly, moste street style images on Pinterest label these lush, calf-grazing wide pant/skirts as “culottes.”
The term “culottes” was co-opted from the original French definition of the word to describe these split riding skirts. As for tracing the term “gauchos,” Wikipedia’s gaucho entry only references the Argentine cowboy, not the clothing style. Dictionary.com defines gauchos, or gaucho pants, as wide,calf-lengthtrousers based onthe pantswornbySouthAmericangauchos.
Unwilling to dig any deeper (I’m writing a blog post not a fashion thesis), I will concede that the term “culotte” and “gaucho” are synonyms. BUT, I am unwilling to use it as a blanket term for billowing pants that look like skirts. Use the term “gauchos” and “culottes” for split skirts. That is, pants on the wide side (a more tailored short trouser is just that, a cropped pant). Also, they must be cropped—below the knee, hitting the calf, or at least above the ankle.
I wore gauchos in junior high, but I’m not so sure about wearing the culotte trend now. These ladies wear them well. Below are 20 street style photos of style bloggers, editors, and influencers pulling off gauchos/culottes beautifully.
Model Laura Bailey at the Vogue UK Festival in pink culottes,
striped boucle jacket, “Breathe” tee, and blush sunnies. Photo by Dvora.
Style blogger Olivia Gold wears leather culottes by Zara,
Alexander Wang x H&M top and Stuart Weitzman sandals. Photo by Paul Akinrinlola
Editor-in-chief of Costume Norway Hege Aurelie Badendyck
wearing spotted drawstring culottes by Acne. Photo by Adam Katz Sinding
Parisienne Camille Charrière of style blog Camille Over the Rainbow
in London for the SS14 shows wearing voluminous white culottes from Tibi
paired with a Zara top, Jimmy Choo sunglasses, and Joseph cut-out boots. Photo by Diego Zuko
Kate Hudson in Alice + Olivia culottes.
Danielle of style blog We Wore What pairs Zara black leather culottes
with an H&M tank and Guess? lucite and snakeskin slides.
Style blogger Blair Eadie of Atlantic Pacific goes bow crazy in Tibi culottes
with a matching shell over a black Vince turtleneck.
Heels by Gianvito Rossi and sunglasses by Karen Walker.
Camille Charrière of style blog Camille Over the Rainbow
during NYFW SS15 in black culottes with
boxy grey sweater, flats, and a fringed clutch.
Culottes with a shearling-lined moto jacket at NYFW SS15. Photo by Victoria Adamson
Journalist and jewelry expert, Avril Groom, at London Fashion Week
wearing Whistles culottes, J.W. Anderson printed blouse,
Schumacher coat, Dior sneakers and Louis Vuitton tote. Photo by John Nguyen • Telegraph
Jenny Kennedy, Junior Fashion Editor of ES Magazine,
wears blue culottes by Whistles and a black turtleneck by Wolford
accessorized with sparkly cobalt chain strap bag by Jimmy Choo,
and white and silver metallic oxford shoes by Marni. Photo by John Nguyen • Telegraph
Danish street style star Pernille Taisbaek in black culottes,grid print top
and contrasting grid ankle socks, topped with a fur.
Fur coats aren’t just for the society set. Fur coats and jackets (both faux fur and real fur) are showing up in outfits of every incarnation, well beyond the milieu of ladies who lunch. Off-duty models in particular favor the fur coat trend, along with fashion bloggers and street style stars in general. Rather than breaking out the mink to attend the opera, modern fur coat enthusiasts favor shaggy fur coat styles shrugged on over denim (torn jeans? even better), leather leggings, and if you’re Jenna Lyons, perched on your shoulders while gliding through the city in a feather ball skirt.
The fact is, fur is warm. If you can rock the fur coat trend, especially in Boston, life is a lot more comfortable. I have friend who wears her grandmother’s hand-me-down furs along with vintage fur coat finds, all over Boston in winter. Back when I first met her, about ten years ago, I found this a novel concept. Clearly she was ahead of her time. (Or rather, given her proper lineage, carry on tradition, but with a twist).
I remember when I was around seven, thinking a rabbit fur coat was the height of style. I could probably get away with the look now. I’d certainly pair my (theoretical) fur jacket with my winter beanie, like some of these street style specimens. Have you seen the crazy multicolor chevron fur jacket by Elizabeth & James? It exceeds my wildest childhood dreams.
I may be wrong, but it seems all the fuss over not wearing fur and resulting proliferation of faux fur coats and jackets has quieted down. Perhaps PETA quelled the population of its animal killing inclination (unlikely). Rather, what I perceive to be decreased interest in the cause is more likely the result of public boredom. Or simply the fascination with fads and trends have prevailed.
Here are 28 ways to not only wear fur coats, but rock the fur coat trend wholly and fully.
Model Joan Smalls strikes a pose in a black leather and fur jacket with contrasting fur sleeves (and a leather men’s style vest – ick) after the Chanel haute couture show in Paris. The plaid flannel shirt underneath is a nice, rugged touch.
Off duty model Daria Strokous during New York Fashion Week in black leather leggings and sumptuous fur parka with Nanouk style hood. I kind of want to crawl in there with her.
Off duty model in emerald green fur coat during New York Fashion Week Fall 2015. Could a mere mortal pull off green fur? I wish I could. Color certainly puts an interesting twist on the fur coat trend. (CollageVintage)
I could get on board with this style blogger who throws on shaggy grey fur over leggings, gray Converse, neon yellow handbag, and messy bun. (Frassy)
Nicole Richie is perfect and polished in luxe fur coat, black cashmere turtleneck and beanie, and glam cat-eye sunglasses.
Olivia Palermo sports a black fur vest, Hermes exotic skin clutch, and pristinely polished red fingernails.
Model Carolina Thaler after Dolce & Gabbana in Milan in February 2013. Dark lips and peep toe booties give her patchwork fur jacket street cred. (Models Jam)
This shaggy white fur jacket looks like it would work over any outfit. I kind of love how she’s wearing luggage colored boots, instead of the obvious black with black. I’d never have thought to do that. (Carolines Mode)
Looks like an Olsen twin, but actually it’s fashion blogger Maja Wyh wearing Ralph Lauren denim, the longest shirt ever, and a luxe vintage fur coat. Oh yes, and the must-have accompaniment to fur—barely there kitten heels.
Olivia Palermo sure loves the fur coat trend. Here, she pairs a gray and white fur jacket with distressed denim skinnies. Looking amazing as always.
Statement maker Jenna Lyons attends Solange Knowles’ wedding in a sweeping feathery skirt and fur jacket worn over her shoulders, natch. (Elle)
Super shaggy black fur. I love how her swept back bun echoes the lines of the fibers. A red lip, pastel blue fingernails, and she’s done.
A white faux fur coat dyed with random burgundy and turquoise markings by Maison Scotch.
Fashion editor and street style star Julia Sarr-Jamois on The Strand in London wearing a fabulous multi-color fur jacket that’s as haphazard as her gorgeous hairstyle. Casual perfection. (Photo by Mike Adrell/flypublic)
Australian model/musician Abby Lee Kershaw is looking a little annoyed. Is her black and grey fur coat not keeping her toasty?
Shaggy aqua fur jacket over gingham dress and grey tights. So totally cute. So Julia Sarr-Jamois. The fur coat trend to perfection.
Sea of Shoes blogger Jane Aldridge grabs a fur stole that’s almost as bright and shiny as her hair. Clutch by Carlos Falchi and an Aerosmith tee (that her mom borrows too).
Monochromatic neutrals and a camera. A demure fur swing coat in Paris, March 2012. (Garance Doré)
Ashley Olsen dons a white fur blazer style jacket over black, with an Hermes shoulder bag and a hair elastic ’round her wrist.
Very shaggy white (as tousled as her hair) fur over black jeggings during London Fashion Week. (Teen Vogue)
Why not wear chocolate brown fur jacket with a hoodie? Add vermillion beanie for extra warmth like fashion editor Alessandra Codinha. (The Sartorialist)
The bright red beanie makes another appearance, this time paired with puffy gray fur jacket over a sweatshirt and jeans. (Harper’s Bazaar)
There’s not much better than a chunky knit over leather leggings in terms of casual fall style, except maybe pairing said chunky knit with jeans. A chunky knit sweater works well with a fitted, short or mid-length skirt too. Even a cropped sweater with a maxi.
But what about wearing a slouchy sweater with a looser, longer skirt? An untucked cable knit sweater with a plaid midi? I wore a look like that to a college interview, thinking I was very collegiate. (Yes, an ivory A sweater with a plaid midi skirt. Hey, I got in and went to that school.)
I’m not sure I can pull off that look today. Actually, I’m certain I cannot. But on some of these women, the style looks modern and fresh. I’ll stick to chunky cable knits with jeans and leggings, but please, if you can go pair slouchy and slouchy, please do. Here street style photos of slouchy, chunky knit sweaters paired with a mix of skirt styles.
Cable knit sweater with plaid mid skirt and washed out red sneakers. Vogue Taiwan
Slouchy grey ribbed sweater with just-above-the-knee skirt and ankle boots. Who What Wear
Chunky gray turtleneck knit sweater with killer bob.
Slouchy cable knit sweater and sky high slit skirt. Who What Wear
Chunky blood red knit sweater and pink horizontal stripe midi skirt.
Casting Director Natalie Joos, Paris • Carolines Mode
Slouchy pink sweater and asymmetric mullet skirt.
Net-a-Porter Fashion Director Holli Rogers
Paris Fashion Week SS14 • Vanessa Jackman
Nautical stripe crewneck and blue floral print skirt.
Milan • Carolines Mode
Red athletic inspired mock turtleneck sweater and tweedy midi skirt.
Stylist Ursina Gysi, Paris Fashion Week SS13 • Vanessa Jackman
Cable knit cropped sweater and panther print midi skirt.
Net-a-Porter Fashion Director Holli Rogers
Paris Fashion Week SS14 • Photo by Diego Zuko • Harper’s Bazaar
Chunk grey slouchy sweater and elongated pencil skirt.
Net-a-Porter Fashion Director Holli Rogers, Paris Fashion Week SS14
Photo by Diego Zuko • Harper’s Bazaar
Slouchy grey V-neck sweater with over-the-knee black boots.
London Fashion Week SS14 • Photo by Diego Zuko • Harper’s Bazaar
Winter white slouchy knit sweater and wispy mini (or is that a shirt tail?) FIGTNY
Cable knit crewneck sweater and midi skirt.
Stylist Martha Ward, London Fashion Week FW14 • Vanessa Jackman
Chunky gray cableknit sweater, midi skirt and curvy heels.
Chunky black knit sweater and eyeball print skirt.
Tan knit wide neck sweater and blue and white circle skirt.
Florence • The Sartorialist
Not at all the granola type, I never even considered Birkenstocks. Even during ’90s grunge, which I wholeheartedly embraced (after all, as a fashion editor in New York, I was at those runway shows), Birkenstocks were not on my style radar. They were shoes worn by people in Oregon. To me, Birkenstocks were the shoes of guys with long hair and thick wooly socks. No thank you.
I’ve stuck to that for the last twenty years, even as the social currency for hikers, makers, and locavores has risen. But now . . . Well, looking at these street style shots of indisputably elegant, chic, and just plain cool women, I’m re-thinking the Birkenstock. Maybe.
Birkenstock sandals hail from Germany, though to me they have a Dutch aesthetic. I must admit its minimalist vibe with these equally streamlined outfits. Should I?
Kate Moss wearing Birkenstocks with white jeans Photographed by Corinne Day for Vogue, 1993
C E L E BS T Y L E
Ashley Olsen in black Birkenstock thongs
The Osen twins in Birkenstocks + socks (don’t do it)
R U N W A Y R E V I E W
Céine Spring 2013 | Marc Jacobs Spring 2014
H I S T O R YL E S S O N
The Birkenstock sandal of today was developed in 1964 by Karl Birkenstock, whose grandfather registered the brand in 1774 in Germany, where they are still made. They’re designed with contoured cork and rubber footbeds that conform somewhat to the shape of one’s feet. It became popular in the U.S. among 1960s hippies. In the early 199s the look was revived. (Wikipedia likens that trend, popular among high-school and college-aged Gen Xers, as comparable to the popularity of flip-flops today.) Birks showed up on European runways for Spring 2013. The Birkenstock sandal has now made its way to street style around the globe.