NO CULOTTES!


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I'm sorry, did I not say that loud enough? I said, NO CULOTTES! I swear, culottes are the work of the Devil. And I don't want to hear any guff about riding bicycles or horses or whatnot — a real lady can ride a bicycle in an actual skirt, not some bastardized waste of fabric designed to bunch where things shouldn't bunch and split where things shouldn't split.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but someday I think we'll find out that the same secret Trilateral Commission/Knights Templar/Elks Club-type group is responsible for culottes, carob, that guy you always think is Bill Paxton but isn't, corn syrup, David Blaine, and the vice-presidency, and that only by refusing to wear culottes will we manage to thwart their evil plan. And you know it's evil if it involves culottes.

In fact, I'm wondering if some misguided misogynist too chicken to show off his spindly shanks in a Utilikilt (guys: if you have the legs for this, it is a "do"–except not the leather one, eeewwww), in some fit of rage, designed the culotte. "If I can't wear a skirt, no one can!" (Cue evil laughter, the kind that ends up in an asthmatic coughing fit, and a "no, no, really, I'm okay, I just need a sip of water.")

You know, the lesson of the culotte is this: be what you are. If you're a skirt, embrace the skirtiness of your essential being. If you're a pair of pants — deal with it. Don't be straddling that pants/skirt fence. Don't be a sartorial mugwump. Choose a side, dammit! (The culotte does not have a side. It is all middle.)

(I'm very tempted to buy this pattern from eBay, just to make sure no one makes it. Like those police programs where they trade baseball tickets for guns. And, did you notice how none of the women in the illustrations have a direct gaze? Do you know why? Shame over being forced to wear culottes, that's why. Shame.)

So, one more time for the cheap seats: NO CULOTTES!

0 thoughts on “NO CULOTTES!

  1. Amen Sister!!!I also feel the same way about Capris (esp. the tapered ones), and cropped dress pants. If you’re going to wear pants, wear pants!

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  2. I am gasping. I love this:”The Utilikilt offers the Utility Patented Pleat System which separates our product from any other MUGs (Mens Unbifurcated Garment) on the market today.”Unbifurcated garment… it’s genius.

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  3. I’m with you*. If a garment wants to be a voluminous pant, then be a voluminous pant, and be proud! Be proud and be FULL-LENGTH, as a pant should be! Cropped pants are the work of the devil, making you look as if you grew several inches overnight. The only exception I make is for the capri (not one of those weird baggy ones, either) as workwear for biologists at the beach who aren’t comfortable in shorts.*I do disagree about the leather kilt, though. I have a friend who wears his to the office on casual days. Hot damn! Of course, this is from a woman who has several long, wide, 50’s style skirts in leather herself. The Conservative Ladylike Leather Skirt! It confuses people no end.

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  4. Oh dear. I love culottes. Now I suppose Erin won’t shop with me anymore. **Gulp** Vintagecrochetgirl heads off to her closet to shed some tears. “I’ll find other friends, I will!” she says fiercely, to no one in particular…

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  5. The pattern is a size 20, I wear a 20 and I will tell you it’s not just NO CULOTTES!- it’s definetly not on a size 20. Yukk!

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  6. but if you’re gonna ride a vespa and look like you’re wearing a skirt, culottes (or the “skort”, or the “split skirt” are the way to go. otherwise that skirt is going to end up at your waist if it’s voluminous, and a pencil skirt isn’t wide enough to straddle the damn thing. i prefer the split skirt, the kind with the pleats just in the center front and back. i have a few vintage pairs that are very nice.

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  7. No skorts, for me, thanks. Skorts are just as evil. It’s like a kick in the gut reaching for a cute skirt with a constructed waistband and side-button closure only to find that they are actually a Mr-Hyde pair of frumptastic shorts. This split skirt/culotte distinction–I think I follow… that would explain why my elderly ma looks so cute in her abbreviated, bifurcated, A-line garments. They are not culottes, they are vintage split skirts.

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  8. One of my very best friends is insanely devoted to gauchos, which are near enough to culottes to make no real difference. I just shake my head at her sadly, because I Just. Don’t. Get. It.

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  9. I had a pair of culottes in 7th grade that were blue and red, the red being the insert for the pants part. I loved it, but the red between the legs at that age when girls were blossoming into women — nothing but a target for stupid 7th grade boys. I think I wore them twice and then put them away. Never wore culottes again… probably a good thing.

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  10. Amen, sister! I feel the same way about gaucho pants — they always LOOK like skirts on the rack, but then you see it…the telltale crotch seam. Horror!

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  11. Drew is a special case. :-)And VintageCrochetGirl, we can shop for anything but culottes. Okay? Afgirl, I think whoever designed your culottes was a sadist. C’mon! Red in the MIDDLE?

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  12. Oh my. This is my pattern for sale. I agree culottes were not a real high point in fashion, but then again,”One woman’s trash is another one’s treasure.” Plus I am such a sucker for POTENTIAL. It is rare for me to ever out and out call a pattern ugly. I believe there is an inner beauty in nearly every one. The trick is to discover it. That may be why I am sort of a humane society for unwanted patterns. Just trying to find good homes for my babies.

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  13. I love skorts. There. I’ve said it. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m far from pencil thin, and my thighs, when left to their own devices, are all about chub-rub on days when I am bare legged in a skirt.I wear shorts under my skirts all summer long, and I wear skirts almost every day.A skort that looks like a skirt from front and back becomes my favorite.And gauchos? In a soft stretch cotton, is the perfect pant for yoga. Because again, I’m not so big on the ugly too tight yoga tights that make me take on a decided sausage shape. So gauchos and capris get worn by me each day I’m in Downward Dog.

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  14. Aww, c’mon! Tell us how you REALLY! (I have to agree. I never understood the whole concept of culottes. Hate them!!!)

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  15. And gauchos? In a soft stretch cotton, is the perfect pant for yoga. Because again, I’m not so big on the ugly too tight yoga tights that make me take on a decided sausage shape. So gauchos and capris get worn by me each day I’m in Downward Dog.But doesn’t it drive you crazy when they all bunch up when you’re doing an inversion of something? I’ve decided I just don’t care what I look like in yoga class, I don’t want to have to keep fixing my clothes during the movements. Of course, I’m having a problem finding shorts that are just right for summer classes.

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  16. Ms. Kat – you must discover Spanx Power Panties! Lovely for a girl with *thighs* to wear under skirts in the summertime. As for yoga gauchos, I think all that fabric would drive me crazy. Not to mention how much I would expose myself during a shoulder stand! While I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing cropped pants as Real Clothing, they work very well for yoga. I’m not going to weigh in on the culottes because if Erin knew I kind of liked gauchos she wouldn’t let me read her blog anymore. đŸ˜‰

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  17. Erin, are you familiar with this band? Neither am I, but they turned up in a Google search (I was hoping to post a witty comment about the French Revolution, but had to do some research first), and I figured you’d like them, at the very least for their name.

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  18. My question about this pattern is how are they getting them to stand out like a full skirt with a crinolin? Sure, the circle skirt patterns all show a shape that will only be acheived with wearing underskirts, but with these. How?

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  19. [unpaid product endorsement follows] Monistat makes an antichafing jelly that works well. (For external use only. No putting it on toast or anything.) It’s been a full season since anything has come between me and my skirts. Well, bike shorts, anyway. No chub rub! I swear!

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  20. i’ve seen les sans culottes many times–they all wear pants, that is, besides the cute girl lead singer who wears cute mod mini-dresses–i even saw her perform in them 8 months pregnant!-r

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  21. Yes, I’ve tried the BodyGlide, which works wonders when I ran marathons, but is less wonderful after a day of teaching. I’m askeered of the monistat.These are one of my current favorite pair of pants minus the big bow belt. And they don’t bother me in inversions at all.When I do handstands they are fine, unlike my shirts (I have top issues). The Be Present Kona pants are my next favorite, though the lotus makes an oddly labial icon on your butt. Though you can get them without.

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  22. Wow, I dont know where to begin. I never have cared for this look. I do however own one skort from 1989 Esprit lable , that I bought in Canada. I loved how it looked and I love the fabric. I still have it even tho it is a size 5 and Iam a we wont even go there!!!I love the leather kilt I would so wear this.. Iam with La Belladonna I love leather skirts and I dont even own one. I almost bought a long pleated one 7 inches above your ankles in black. Alas it was 700 quid on sale!!! More then I could afford. I have always regretted not buying it. I used to have to walk by the store everyday. I thought about that skirt for weeks. At the risk of being thrown off the blog. I do not like pants. I own very few of them I never have felt confortable in them. Ya all dont hurt me now!!! I love leggens I still have lots of them left over from the eary 90’s. My dh hates them with a passion. They are Nordys leggens I have plain and ribbed, 3 different colors. I love capris and cropped pants. I do wear jeans too. I would like to have a pair of cropped or capris made out of leather. I have wanted to have these made for 4 yrs now, but I dont live in London/Scotland anymore. You can get all kinds of fantastic leather in the U.K in brilliant colors and teaxtures. It’s not as great in U.S. to expensive too. I used to have a friend in London that owned his own manufacturing leather shop on Bricklane. I loved to go look at all of his leather and styles and colors and he would tell what was going to which shop. Sigh….

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  23. Another long winded article I couldn’t bear to finish. You really suck as a journalist – PLEASE TAKE SOME WRITING CLASSES.Clearly when they say a blog can make a journalist out of everybody, they meant those who actually can write.

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  24. Jilli? Erin? Meara? Have I found a lost nest of Buffistas/Anarachists?Um. Shorts of Satan’s summer wear. I wish one could wear bloomers in public but alas, this is not the case.

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  25. Erin is so right. Culottes must be evil. Look how nasty this thread has turned. It is the garment at work. Block your minds with happy thoughts of full skirts. Do not let this become the basis of the next Stephen King novel where humankind fades into history because women no longer bear offspring or run the world (properly) because they are all arguing about culottes.Play nice, all.

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  26. Yes, I’m all for the Utilikilts… bought my man one for Christmas. Much better looking on a man than shorts, I think.And I concur with the culotte-, capri-, gaucho pant-haters. I think it’s okay on kids, but on grown women — gah! Wear pants! Wear a skirt! Wear a dress! Make up your mind!Well, I will grant a place in the world for capris — yoga classes, as mentioned above, and maybe the beach. If you’re walking barefoot in the sand and low surf.

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  27. I’m sorry but I fail to understand where culottes are even on the radar in fashion? I mean, maybe you live close to the local WalMart and see a ton of women in them? They’re no where to be found where I live. Maybe I’m missing something?

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  28. Nice to see some good old-fashioned classism here. “Wal-Mart”? I don’t shop there (I shop at Target), but I did see these:From Style.com: “His sailor-girl jackets, culottes, and pleated skirts in twill, silk broadcloth, and seersucker were sweet through and through.” (Peter Som, Spring 2006 RTW)”Ecco Domani winner Victoria Bartlett set a laidback mood from the first look. In separates like slouchy “slope-neck” turtlenecks, cocoon vests with huge snap closures, and several jackets, the go-with-the-flow vibe was just right. But when it was translated into wide culottes, rolled-up shorts, and pants with pocket pouches on the outside, the flow outweighed the fashion.” (VPL Fall 2006 RTW)”Blame it on the sensitive assemblage artist Joseph Cornell, the designers’ inspiration, but the mood was delicate: The finale pieces featured pleated skirts and falls that had a tutu quality. But separates like culottes and a chic pocket-front coat, even the perfect little black dress, were surprisingly accessible and, of course, chic.” (Boudicca Spring 2006 RTW)

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  29. Chic? Someone described culottes as chic? UG! There must be a bet going on in the fashion world to see how long it will take before the general public realizes that a huge joke is being played on them with the pushing of culottes.

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  30. And just to throw another contender into the ring, I give you the Big Sky Riding Skirt:http://www.denverfabrics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=001&Product_Code=PF0231&Category_Code=PFI admit to a sneaking inclination to give this one a “pass” due to its historic lineage, and the fact that it would really rather be a skirt. I remember reading about one of the first women to wear one in Montana; she was told that if she wore it into town, she’d be arrested. The prostitutes, of course, were wearing skirts, which I guess made them “respectable”!

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  31. And anyway, no self-respecting rider would be caught dead in anything but proper breeches and boots now, as that’s the height of dressage fashion.

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  32. Erin, darling – it doesn’t mean people are wearing them. I noted furry handbags on the runway not long ago and lo, very few worked into street fashions (unless you’re Kimora Simmons, which you may be right?). I haven’t seen culottes in a good six months locally here, and there’s been plenty of examples where runway “trends” just don’t translate to mass market. Think of the whole russian-inspired ideal of Fall 05 – everywhere as hot, nobody wore it. So, I don’t agree. The gaucho is a close relative of the culotte and with the mass saturation of that nightmare in market last season, you can doubt it’ll reinvent any time soon for most women. There’s nothing but talk about the new silhouette (run a search on NY Times – I think they recently did a story about it). It is the polar opposite of the wide shape you are referencing as on trend (though ultra wide leg pants – not gauchos/culottes – are looking promising for fall 06). I just disagree, but again, culottes and gauchos have not been even on the radar where I live in a good half year.

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  33. Oh — the previous Anonymous poster claimed that culottes “weren’t on the radar” in fashion, so I thought I’d show that they’d been discussed, and recently. I don’t see a lot of women wearing them, either here (or in NYC where I spend about a week every month or so, or in LA where I was recently–I’ll be sure to check out London out for signs of culotte infestation in a month or two when I go over), but jeez, that’s not really the point … the point is that they are evil and must be stopped wherever they are, either in the musty patterns of yesteryear or in the latest runway shows!I don’t actually care much about what “people are wearing” — when you make nearly all your own clothes, you don’t have to, thank god. Every retail outlet in the country could stock nothing but culottes and mock turtlenecks (also harbingers of evil) and I’d still be happy in my dresses, circle skirts, and the vast stockpile of cute cardigans I’ve amassed here at Dress A Day HQ.

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  34. Evil and must be stopped? Dear God.Well the fact that you’ve just said you neither live in NY or LA says it all. OF COURSE you still think gauchos and culottes are a topic worth discussing – your only shopping is probably the mall.If you make your own clothes, why not put up a few of your creations so we can critique and discuss them versus tearing apart what others are creating?

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  35. Where have you been??? Erin has put up her own dresses.I beleive Erin does get around and she does not have a small petty mind.

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  36. I live in New York and I see culottes with some regularity. IJS. I’m neither for nor against them. A tall skinny girl can rock them if she’s working a Joan Didion in the ’70s vibe.

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