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How to pull off culottes

If there's one word that strikes fear into a woman's heart, it's culottes! These cropped, flared trousers are notoriously difficult clothing items to wear – but they don't have to be. There are a couple of key decisions to make when you buy a pair that will have you looking fabulous. First, look carefully at the length. They should hit you a couple of inches above the ankle. If they're too short, they'll look awkward; too long, and they'll just look wrong. Look at the silhouette, too. If you are curvier, go for a pair of gently flared trousers that aren't too voluminous above the knee. Don't carry too much in your pockets, or you'll risk a lumpy silhouette that looks out of proportion. Slimmer figures can get away with bigger, wider culottes for women.

Styling women's culottes for a fabulous daytime look

Pay close attention to the shirts and tops that you wear with your culottes. As they are flared trousers, they add a lot of volume to your bottom half – so you'll need to balance them out. This is the perfect time to wear a crop top and show off a little bit of midriff. If that thought makes you nervous, go for a high-waisted pair of trousers so you'll just have a sliver of skin on display. Otherwise, choose a button-down shirt or close-fitting top that you can tuck into your trousers. The key is to keep the top half of your body sleek and streamlined. Leave your coats, tunics and bulky jumpers at home: This is not the time!

Choosing the right shoes for your flared trousers

Be careful with trainers and similar styles, which will make your legs look short and stumpy if you're wearing flared trousers. Instead, choose sandals with culottes in summer. These are an instant leg-lengthener, even if you opt for a flat pair. You could wear heeled sandals, though, to add a little bit of glam to your look. You can wear culottes for women as the weather gets cooler, too. Try a fabulous pair of ankle boots that leave a thin band of bare leg on display or go for loafers and tights. For this funky autumn style, you'll want to think about jackets, too. Again, be sure to keep it fitted, and avoid looser, baggy styles. Think of a classic jean jacket, for example, rather than a more voluminous bomber.

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