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The Best Tops to Wear with Culottes

Love them or hate them; culottes are still going strong. Many of you have emailed to ask what tops to wear culottes since they are so wide, flowy, and cropped on the bottom. Here are a few ideas.

Tops to wear with culottes | v-neck sweater with black waist tie culottes

1. Fitted V-neck Top

By their nature, culottes are bold so, following the universal style hack of pairing something bold with something simple is a no-fail recipe. Here I’ve paired these swingy black-tie culottes with a classy-but-simple ice-blue v-neck sweater. V-neck tops are the best tops to wear with culottes since the deep v elongates your body and makes you look taller, which helps when you are wearing wide-cropped pants!

I’ve added the gorgeous crystal earrings that play with the colors in both the top and the bottoms and a classy black bag for accessories. Black mules would work, but I’ve chosen these flesh-colored mules to make the leg-line appear longer. This outfit is all class and no trash.

Best tops to wear with culottes | pink turtleneck with scarf

2. Turtleneck

If you like the look of culottes, but you’re still not sure, try this trick: wear your favorite pair with light or bright tops and eye-catching accessories worn close to the face. Remember, the eye goes to light first, emphasizing your top half, like I’ve done here with this drapey pink turtleneck, blush plaid scarf, and elegant drop earrings.

By comparison, the culottes will minimize your bottom half and seem more like a long, swingy skirt. In this case, you want the dark booties to keep the entire bottom half dark and a little mysterious.

Tops to wear with Culottes | Moto jacket with cream culottes

3. Moto Jacket

While today’s culottes are definitely elegant and chic, there was a time in their history (circa the 1970s) when they got a bad rap as being a little frumpy. To make sure your outfit isn’t mistaken for a throwback to that time, wear your culottes with a top that has a bit of an edge like this asymmetrical leather jacket.

Nothing says edgy like a leather jacket! I especially like this one from Halogen for the price – it’s on sale! – as well as the versatility – it’s not too far out there and can be worn with everything from skirts, to jeans, to a dress. Create a column of color under your jacket by pairing these lighter-colored culottes with a tank or tee in the same color and finish the look off with simple accessories. Lovely!

Do you wear culottes? What do you think are the best tops to wear with culottes. And if you haven’t worn culottes, are you starting to come around? Let me know what you think.

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5 thoughts on “The Best Tops to Wear with Culottes

  1. I noticed the first two tops are fairly long. Does that look good over culottes? I am assuming you’d wear it out and not tucked in??

    1. Hi Sylvia, We did wear them years ago and now they are back. But if they are not for you, just take a pass. No need to get in on every trend. Stay true to yourself.

  2. I’m taking a hard pass on this trend. Not for me, and I hope it passes quickly. This is just too weird and awkward to figure out shoes/booties, and I’m not wearing heels. Flats look dorky with them, to me. Ehhhh, just blech as far as I’m concerned.