Culottes, the Modest Short Alternative

Amazon license.
Culottes. Love them or hate them, believe it or not - Elle magazine lists them as a fashion trend for spring 2014. Don't believe me? Here's the original article: 14 Best Culottes for Spring.

Do culottes strike you as modest apparel, or as too much like pants to be modest? I have mixed feelings about them.

They can look like a modest skirt or look like you forgot to update your wardrobe for the past 30 years. I had a pair of denim culottes in the seventh grade that I lived in, and the funny thing is that when I read comments online about them, most of the women say the same thing - denim culottes. How 1970s!

But there are some pros and cons to wearing them.


  • They're definitely more modest than the usual styles of shorts.
  • They cover more of the leg, so if you're prone to cellulite, they'll cover all the ugly lumps and bumps.
  • Ditto with varicose veins (ugh, can you tell I'm a woman of 'a certain age')
  • They flow like a skirt, so they look more feminine than other styles.


  • They're still pants, so if your religious convictions are against pants on principle, they're not for you.
  • They can be as difficult to fit as pants if you have a waist of one size and hips of another.
  • They can make you look chunky if the material is heavy or doesn't flow well, the way a skirt flows.

Culotte Slips

Culotte slips look so much like old-fashioned pantaloons that they may make you giggle the first time you see them. Bear with me as I explain their benefits, especially for us ladies of a certain, shall we say, proportion? Listen, even when I was at my skinniest, my thighs still rubbed together. I was skinny as a stick, but the way God put my legs on my body, my thighs always tough. So be it. But I hate walking for long distances in a skirt because the skin gets rubbed raw on my legs and it hurts!

Enter the culotte slip...which offers some basic protection for your legs under a modest long skirt. It's also useful for those winter days when it's cold outside and you want a little something on the legs without resorting to leggings or tights.

My Own Experience

I own one pair of culottes I purchased last year from Modest Apparel USA. They're black, have an elastic waist, and are made from the same type of material as a heavy t-shirt or sweatshirt. They're very comfortable, but I find that balancing the proportions with the right blouse and/or shoe is difficult.  I don't think I would buy another pair of them, but I do think they may be useful for hiking this summer.  Since I don't plan to buy more jeans, I may just dust off the culottes for our next long walk on the High Bridge Trail.

What do you think about culottes? Yucky or nice, modest and elegant alternative to shorts?