Yes, you can wear culottes and look cool. The trick to wearing culottes is to pick the right top; then treat them like any old pair of pants. You want a fitted shirt that’s cropped or that you can tuck in to balance out the wider silhouette of the pants.
When it comes to the culottes themselves, choosing the right style is key. Culottes can easily be unflattering and make you look shorter or wider (unless you’re one of those tall thin types who look good in anything, in which case I hate you). The key is to find a pair that hits a few inches above the ankle and that are streamlined on the sides — no bunching or pockets, which can add bulk. Size up if you need to. Add length (and polish) to a pair of culottes with a pump or sandal, or go low-key with a slide, sneaker, or loafer for a more casual look.
I always like to look at bloggers and street style pics to help me figure out how to pull off a tricky trend. Here are my favorite ideas for how to wear culottes.