EVERYONE NEEDS - High Waisted Culottes


When it comes to fashion, I spot trends early but I'm a late adopter. I've just looked back through my emails and I had a discussion in March 2014 with my buyer (for those who don't know, I'm a freelance fashion designer as well as an illustrator), as I let her know that culottes and wide leg trousers were coming through again. It's taken me 3 years to actually get on board and want to wear them myself. And usually when I adopt a trend it means the mass market are ready. So folks, get ready to start seeking out culottes.


The whole outfit is from Oliver Bonas and the culottes are beautiful. The fabric is super special, they have a paperbag waist which covers a whole manner of sins (ones involving cake) and there are POCKETS. They are available in sizes 8-16 (come on OB, there are women who are size 18+ who would love your range!) and are £59.50. I'm 5'4 and you can see they are pretty cropped on me, so I think these would work as full length on someone who was 5 foot, so don't be put off if you're short.

It's pretty obvious from this shot that I hate ironing......and that I don't care

It's pretty obvious from this shot that I hate ironing......and that I don't care

The silk top is also Oliver Bonas and available in sizes 8-16 for £69.50. I love anything silk, and that combined with a watercolour print is perfection! The only drawback for me was the subdued colouring, but I found that by adding a necklace and metallic accessories I managed to lift the look so it didn't wash me out.


The Multi Skies Kimono Top has the prettiest button detail at the back and is a really comfortable fit. As well as tucking it in, like I did for this shoot, I would also wear it loose over skinny jeans and some heels, I think it's a really versatile one. I used to work with the Oliver Bonas designers and so a big thumbs up ladies if you're reading this, the range looks fab!

I call this pose The Pre-Irish Dancing Shoulder Hunch.

I call this pose The Pre-Irish Dancing Shoulder Hunch.

I'm hoping that one day brands will shoot garments on a variety of diverse models, but until then I've decided to illustrate pieces that I love on a variety of shapes and sizes. I created the above artwork with a mix of pencil, watercolour, gouache and ink. I did a call out on social media for people who would be happy for me to base my illustrated UK size 8, 14 and 20 models on them. The size 8 is based on @alanababyhols, the 14 is based on @kbated and the 20 is from my imagination as not enough people came forward at the time (I've been swamped with messages SINCE then!).

And as the Oliver Bonas range doesn't go past a size 16 I found a similar outfit elsewhere for a size 20. The pale pink tailored culottes illustrated above are from Asos. They are £25 and go to a size 20. They are part of the tall range, but don't be put off - they are cropped so if you're short just buy them and they will be full length! The Annie Print Top is from Monsoon. It's silk, available in sizes 8-22 and is £79.

I'd love to know what you think of this post, please leave a comment below.



All photos Remco Merbis. Location The Ethicurean.