CULOTTES – SPLIT DECISION
If you live long enough you get to see many trends come and go. I was alive and trending, (or so I thought) in the 80’s when culottes last reared their schizophrenic legs.
The skirt/pants combo actually dates back to the eighteen hundreds. The culotte was created as a way to be appropriate and comfortable at the same time. You’re wearing a skirt, but no, not so fast, you can’t get up there, nor can you take a peak at anything. It looks like a lady, but moves like a man.
This is true of that other fashion fooled you item, the skort. Looks like a skirt – but I see London, I see France, I can’t see your underpants. While an adult can get away with culottes, any female over the age of seven, unless she plays tennis for a living should never put on a skort.
So we lived very nicely for a long time without the culotte, until they suddenly reappeared. They tried to slip them in last season. I ordered a pair thinking I would be ahead of things, and then cancelled the order when I remembered what they really looked like.
Why would a grown woman wear a pair of pants that pretends to be a skirt? And why in the age of short shorts and see through everything and the jegging would this form of fashion propriety really matter?
Unless you are spending time on the jungle gym, go with a skirt or a pair of pants. If you’re dressing up as Punky Brewster for Halloween go on Etsy and find yourself a skort, otherwise stick to the real deal.
So I was not remotely divided by the new culotte craze. I stood firm in my pants or my skirts.
But then I kept seeing them all over fashionville. They appeared on fashion bloggers in crazy combinations and chic ones too. They were on the runway. They were spotted at all the various fashion weeks, in every shape and size. Culottes were back.
And there is that point where something you really don’t like, perhaps for all the right reasons, starts looking appealing to you, perhaps for all the wrong reasons. You get sucked into the trend vortex. About a month ago I found myself staring at culottes and they had lost that Shelly Long quality.
Now if you pick up that reference you were totally around for the last phase of culottdom.
So each day when I got bored with my work I would take a cyber stroll through my favorite place – Net A Porter. Inevitably, I would find myself on the culotte page. The first pair I truly liked was by Philosophy. They were black and sleek and I suddenly envisioned myself pairing them with a little sweater and low boots. I showed them to one of the girls. They laughed at me. I went back and snuck a peak at them the next day. They were sold out of all sizes. Somebody was not finding them so funny.
I continued to lurk in the land of culottes for a good four weeks. I would find a pair I like, though I was unable to pull the buy trigger. Then the next day, they too were sold out or down to one size. Not mine.
Now something happens when you don’t think you want something, yet everyone else is snatching it up. You become obsessed. That item you were iffy about becomes the only thing you want. And this is what happened to me as pair by pair all the cuottes disappeared into other women’s closets.
Monday I had had it; I had my eyes on pair of black ones by Marni. They were totally sold out the first time I clicked on the sizes.
Suddenly, I had to have culottes . Just one pair. Just try them on. I know I was deep in the rabbit hole of trends and pressure by peers I didn’t even know, but I didn’t care.
So, I bought a black pair. I had them delivered that day. I tried them on after work. Lucy laughed at me. She told me I looked like a fool. Lucky she’s never watched Three’s Company, she would have started making eighthes jokes. She told me to leave her room and take them off.
But, then at dinner she announced she was only wearing black things with holes and buckles. So she was deep in the land of teenage goth. Which is not like real goth. It’s goth light. It’s Lulu Lemon leggings with my old sweaters and Zara boots with broken zippers. I could not take her opinion seriously.
So the next morning I tried them on for Glenn. He said I looked “adorable.” I don’t know if that means young, like I might have looked in the 80’s only with wrinkles. Or he missed me so much when I was on the road I looked cute no matter what I was wearing. But I chose to go with he meant they were adorable. Culottes were adorable. So I bought them.
And I wore them that day.
And there were moments I felt good, and moments I stopped and caught sight of myself and I thought I’m wearing culottes. WTF?
Who knows if they will last – the trend. I will wear them all year. They could end up on RealReal next fall. Or you never know – they could end up on Lucy. Fashion is funny that way.