Joan Fontaine in culottes in 1947. Photograph: Getty Images
No mainstream trend from the latter half of the 20th century has inspired as much popularity, public revulsion and morbid curiosity as the simple (but not entirely humble) culottes.
Culottes originated as knee breeches worn by members of Marie Antoinette’s courts (among others), and were so reviled that revolutionaries called themselves “sans- culottes”. That’s still better than sans-skorts, “skort” being the hybrid name that culottes are now sneakily using to gain fashion traction.
No longer are culottes really masquerading as skirts – the modern style is tailored and unmistakably two-legged. Go severe with JW Anderson’s crepe black number (Topshop do an excellent facsimile) or a little slouchy with Zara’s belted culottes. Outside of block colours, See by Chloé has mum-culottes in denim, and e-tailer Boohoo has a wide selection. We like the billowy dogtooth pair below. Pair with crop tops if feeling adventurous, polo necks if not.