Gauchos vs. Culottes: Which of These Women's Pants is Right for Me?

Gauchos vs. Culottes: Which of These Women's Pants is Right for Me?

Two classic spring and summer pant styles are gauchos and culottes. These women’s pants are very similar in style. Both are wide-leg trousers; the difference is that gauchos look like pants and culottes look like a skirt.

There are lots of ways to wear gauchos and culottes. You can dress them up or down, depending on the occasion. Here are some ideas for pairing tops with both types of wide-leg cropped pants:

Lightweight Cotton Tops for Breezy Style

There’s no better top in the summer than one made from breathable cotton. Look for Supima cotton, which is different from regular cotton because of its long-staple fiber. The fabric is colorfast for enduring vibrancy, and it retains its structural integrity through repeated washings. Wear a Supima cotton tee with wide-leg pants for a look that’s cool and comfortable. These women’s summer shirts come in a rainbow of colors and various styles, including V-neck and scoop neck.

There are feminine fit tees that enhance your figure, along with front-knot tees that have a retro-inspired look. You’ll also find classic crewneck T-shirts that go with virtually any type of pant, including gauchos and culottes.

Cotton Modal Tops for Form-Flatting Comfort

Wear your wide-leg pants with a cotton modal top for an outfit that’s casual yet polished. This material goes well with gauchos and culottes because it’s flowy and smooth. A lightweight boatneck sweater is one top that goes well with wide-leg pants; you can also wear a cotton modal tunic if you want a top that provides hip coverage.

Cotton modal is appropriate for any season. It’s light enough for spring and summer, and it can be layered with other materials for fall and winter. For example, you could wear wide-leg pants with a cotton-modal top and blazer or layer a cotton modal sweater over a collared shirt.

Buttoned Shirts for a Flowy Look

Another option is a buttoned shirt. They come in all kinds of materials and styles, so you can find ones that are casual and ones that are dressy. Oxford shirts fall somewhere in between and go well with any style of wide-leg women’s pants. If you want a relaxed look for running errands or staying home, there are casual women’s blouses made from lightweight cotton and linen.

If you want to add a dressy touch to your gauchos or culottes, consider a buttoned shirt with pintuck detailing. Another way to dress up wide-leg pants is with a buttoned shirt in a luxe material, such as jewel-toned velvet. If you want a formal look that works for late spring and summer, wear gauchos or culottes with a lightweight crepe or sateen fabric.

Tunic Tops for Versatile Everyday Style

Put together a stylish outfit for most any casual occasion with a tunic top and wide-leg pants. Tunics come in lightweight knits and sweater styles, so you can find one that works for the season and occasion. Most tunic tops fall past the hip to be flattering and create a streamlined silhouette. Multiple colors are available, including neutral tones and brights. No matter what color top you choose, you can wear it with a pair of black, white, or khaki wide-leg pants.

Women’s tunic tops are also great for wearing with leggings and jeggings. They also pair well with skinny jeans, whether you opt for a mid-rise or high-rise style. Tunic tops can be worn with virtually any type of bottoms, making them one of the most versatile types of tops you can own.

Features to Look for in Gauchos and Culottes

Now that we’ve discussed tops that go with wide-leg pants, let’s talk about pant features. Whether you prefer gauchos or culottes, there are some things to look for to ensure style and comfort. Elastic around the waist ensures your pants never feel too tight, while a high-rise cut gives them an on-trend look that enhances every body type. If you prefer a mid-rise pant, there are plenty of colors and styles from which to choose.

When it comes to fabric, linen and cotton are light and floaty for summer. Look for a linen/cotton blend pant with an elastic waist and drawstring for warm-weather comfort and resort-ready style. In fall and winter, you can wear wide-leg pants made from denim and other heavier fabrics.

What Kind of Shoes Go with Wide-Leg Pants?

There are several footwear options that you can wear with wide-leg pants. For beachy style, wear slides or flip flops. Water shoes are another option, especially if you plan to walk by the seashore in your wide-leg cropped pants. Sandals are always an option and come in an array of flat and heeled styles. Speaking of heels, a pair of pumps adds dressy flair to gauchos and culottes.

Find the right pair of gauchos or culottes by trying different styles. Capri pants are also a stylish option for almost any season. Shop around to discover the wide-leg pant styles you like best.


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