STYLE

Not Comfortable Wearing Shorts Over 40? Try These Chic Culottes Instead…

Culottes Over 40

IF you are like me, as you’ve gotten older, you don’t always feel super comfortable wearing shorts or short skirts and dresses.

I started noticing dimpling on the front of my legs about five years ago and was asking myself…”Where the heck did this come from?” I actually visited a dermatologist and asked her how to get rid of this “new cellulite’? She quickly corrected me saying, “That’s skin laxity. Not cellulite.” Translation…? I’m getting old. 😉 JK. I seriously feel like I’m 30, but, alas, my body says otherwise. Gravity is definitely kicking in and my skin is not as taught as it used to me. Ugh. And, even though I have always loved my legs, I sometimes feel more comfortable keeping them covered.

Anyone relate?? If you do and you have been searching for a chic and stylish shorts alternative, this is the post for YOU.

Enter: culottes! Yes, culottes. These knee-length pants that look more like a skirt are sophisticated and flattering, but will still keep you cool. You can even wear them to the office.

Keep scrolling to see why you should wear culottes, how to wear them, and the new pair I found recently that I’m loving right now!

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Why Wear Culottes?

Culottes are knee-length which is such a flattering length for women over 40.  The wide leg also makes them look more like an a-line skirt, but with the ease and functionality of pants. The a-line shape also helps make your waist look smaller. I love these pants so much more than capris or even ankle trousers.

Some other reasons why culottes are awesome:

1) They can be dressed up or down.
2) They flatter most body shapes and work on both tall and petite women.
3) They are unexpected and stylish!

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TOP | CULOTTES | BELT | HEELS | FOR LESS | HANDBAG | LIPSTICK

How To Wear Culottes

I’m including even more styling tips below, but first wanted to share more about this gorge look that I bought at Neiman Marcus (Online clearly since I’m shooting in Madrid). Neiman Marcus is a go-to when I’m looking for those high-quality contemporary basics or something that feels a bit more special. Be sure to make your online shopping experience simpler by delineating your search by: product type, size and brand. I always choose my favorite brands which makes a huge difference in terms of saving time. Two of the brands I like to check are See by Chloe and Ulla Johnson. (These chic culottes are See by Chloe and the blouse is Ulla.)

You can easily wear this look to the office or out to dinner. The pants are very versatile. I love that this pair has a high-rise, super fitted waist, which is SO flattering.

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Printed Blouse

I’m not usually a huge fan of prints but Ulla Johnson makes some of the most beautiful, subtle floral prints out there…including this blouse. I love the puffed sleeves and how lightweight it is… perfect for women in warmer climates going into fall as well as menopausal women dealing with hot flashes. Since it’s so thin and lightweight, it easily tucks into these culottes without creating bulk. I’ll also wear this pretty blouse with black or blue jeans, a skirt, or denim shorts! Major versatility points.

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Accessories

To finish off the look, I’m wearing a pair of Bottega Veneta woven heels. You’ve probably seen these heels on Instagram before because they’re very popular right now! They’re comfortable, on-trend, and very chic, but there are more affordable, similar options too like these sandals. The belt I’m wearing is also by Bottega Veneta and follows that woven accessory trend happening right now. (You can check out more of-the-moment fall trends here.) I love the thicker width of this belt with these pants, dresses, and skirts. To finish off the look, I’m carrying a gorgeous Saint Laurent bag with black leather and suede chevron. If you’re looking for a new black, luxury handbag, this is a gorgeous option for fall and winter that you’ll want to carry everyday!

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More Culotte Styling Tips

1) Wear your culottes with something more tailored on top (or a top tucked in like I did), to offset the volume of the pants.
2) If you’re shopping for culottes, pick a pair in a darker shade for the most flattering look.
3) The most flattering length is just below your knee… not mid-calf.
4) Pleats are not great if you have a little extra weight in your belly. Look for a flat front pair instead.
5) Don’t forget that the shoes are just as important as the rest of the look! I prefer either matching my shoes to whatever color the culottes are or skin toned shoes to keep that elongating line.

HUGE thank you to Neiman Marcus for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Be sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter to receive some awesome style resources.

How To Manifest Anything, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of Busbee Style wearing an orange and blue Staud Ina dress with white sunglasses walking around in Telluride, Colorado
Erin Busbee
After a decade in TV news, a desire to help women "look pretty" sparked a career pivot. I started my own wardrobe consulting business, styling "real" women for many years. In 2014, I changed direction again, using my TV background and styling expertise to launch this website and my YouTube channel. We are now a community of nearly 700,000 dynamic, vibrant, amazing women over 40... who know that age isn't something you need to hide from. For us, life is just getting started!!
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