Proof That Culottes Can Be Fancy As Hell

Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images.
As far as bottoms go, culottes sort of fall halfway between everything. They're not quite shorts, and not yet trousers — they're too long for the sweltering summer heat, and too short for the winter windchill (without a sufficient layer of tights, that is). We tend to think of them as casual daywear, breezy by nature. But, as we've proclaimed time and time again, culottes are infinitely versatile.

So versatile, in fact, we'd strongly suggest bringing them out for the next fancy occasion on your calendar. (And, uh, we may have been a little too eager to get in on the culottes craze last year — so we're always looking for new ways to revisit the trend that overtook our closets.)

We're in luck, since it seems we weren't the only ones with closets overwhelmed by culottes: Celebrities have been bringing new meaning to the term "fancy pants" with these fresh outfits they've trotted out on the step-and-repeat. Plus, the four looks ahead are all the proof we need that culottes can, indeed, be dressed up for any occasion. Consider giving the cocktail dress a weekend off, and check out these celeb-approved party-ready bottoms.

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Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images.
A no-fail way to make your trousers feel festive? Cover 'em in sequins. Solange Knowles' embellished Tibi culottes are quite the statement piece. She keeps the rest of our ensemble toned down by going tonal: Knowles matched her sweater and mules to the same pinkish-plum shade. Now, that's a trick that can be easily adapted across the color wheel.
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Photo: JP Yim/Getty Images.
Olivia Palermo breaks up the one-piece effect of her patterned shell and culottes (and stays warm) by adding a high-neck sweater to her richly-patterned getup, during a particularly chilly New York Fashion Week morning. The bright leather boots make for a surprising color contrast, too — we dig how the navy and yellow ensemble pops, thanks to that hit of red.
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Photo: BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
For the premiere of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and Amazon's new series The Fashion Fund, Brother Vellies designer Aurora James' sparkly culottes were a perfect, whimsical match to her playfully cartoonish Gucci sweater. Paired with James' signature fur lined, low-heeled slippers, consider this outfit a deluxe take on pajama-inspired dressing.
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Photo: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images.
Red carpet wunderkind Alicia Vikander consistently impresses with sophisticated outfits that have a touch of the unexpected. See: Her pinafore-esque dress at the Golden Globes (Louis Vuitton), her mixed-sequin column gown at the SAG Awards (also Vuitton), and these differently shaded magenta top and structured culottes (not Vuitton, but rather London-based Brazilian designer Barbara Casasola). The varying shades of pink and contrasting textures, extending all the way down to her metallic Stuart Weitzman sandals, are an innovation version of the tried-and-true category that is the matching set.