Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gaucho Pants and Culotte Skirts

John Marine | 12/19/2009 09:45:00 PM | |
(UPDATE: December 29, 2017)

"Do people still wear gaucho pants?"

If skulls are still being worn (especially those trying to be fashionable or trendy), if leggings are still worn as pants, then yes... these pants are still being worn. Reintroduced around 2005 apart from being trendy in the 1970s, these pants are seen as an alternative to wearing a skirt. Celebrities like Lucy Liu and (especially) Jessica Simpson have embraced gaucho pants when they became trendy. The look back around 2005 was to pair these with tall boots for cold weather times. Of course, they'd have to be knee-high boots; not the super-furry, snowy weather boots. Maybe these pants have gone out of style. Maybe the look of cropped pants + boots has given way to jeans/pants tucked into boots. However, you will still see some females sporting these pants and looking great.

This blog post is my own look at gaucho pants. In addition, I will discuss culotte/split skirts. I have edited this post a number of times because of it's popularity. I hope what you read here will be to your liking. Maybe you have the same sort of thoughts on gaucho pants and culotte skirts as I do here.


DEC 29 2017 - multiple edits, added new widgets

If you want to see an updated post on this topic, and if you love fashion; please visit this same topic on StyleSpace:

"Gaucho Pants and Culotte Pants" (StyleSpace)

Gaucho Pants: A Basic Overview

So what are gaucho pants? Here you go... enjoy:

gaucho pants
^ from: - Gaucho pants are cropped pants with skirt-like legs. Some even believe gaucho pants were the precursor to today's popularity of yoga pants.

What we've known as culottes or split skirts have been called gaucho pants since about 2005. Many have seen these as pants. However (while they are primarily pants), I like to think of these as split skirts. They are like wearing two skirts- one on each leg. Even the most flowing gaucho pants with the fullest legs closely resemble a skirt. It's sometimes a challenge wondering if one is actually wearing a proper skirt or these wide-legged cropped pants. The most common fabric with these pants is jersey. Jersey is stretchy and can offer a day-to-night fabric because of the style of jersey. These lightweight and stylish fabrics help make them wearable almost any time of year. Gaucho pants are even worn as lounge clothes. There are even gaucho pants for dancers. These dancing gaucho pants provide the lovely look and flow of a flowing skirt. Only of course, they are gaucho pants, not a proper skirt. For petites, these pants are considered a lovely pant alternative to skirts. They can also be a nice pair of pants to wear for pregnant women. They provide skirt-like flow and comfort while also delivering the comfort of pants. And besides... what pregnant lady doesn't want to look her best as she's due to give birth?

These pants come in various colors. Some even come in patterns or feature certain designs on them. Most gaucho pants are usually just slip-on style with no pockets up front or on the back. Some gaucho pants have their own sash or belt that adds some extra appeal. The most common colors I've seen gaucho pants in are either black or dark brown colors. A few times, I've seen teal gaucho pants, light pink gauchos, and gray gaucho pants. I've seen a little girl wear some black or brown gaucho pants with some floral details on the sides. So these pants vary in style.

Gaucho Pants and Their Versatility.

These pants were designed to be comfortable, but also versatile. You could wear a T-shirt and flip-flop/thong sandals in the day with these, then camisole and high-heel pumps or sandals out on the town. Most gaucho pants I see either fall just below the knees or to about mid-calf. A few times, I may have even seen some ankle-length gaucho pants.

What Footwear to Wear with Gaucho Pants?

At their reintroduction in 2005, they were most fashionable when worn with tall boots. Here is an example:

Gaucho Pants with Boots
gaucho pants pirate costume
^ from: - Although this is a costume, and before this look would be phased out to jeans tucked into boots, gaucho pants were meant to be paired with tall boots when they were reintroduced starting in 2005.

The combination of gaucho pants with tall boots was to provide the illusion of pant legs tucked into pants. And if you see gaucho pants as split skirts, then this look is just as stylish as wearing a mid-length or long skirt with tall boots. This gaucho + boots combination, however, was ultimately phased out in favor of tucking jeans/pants into boots.

Sneakers can even be worn with these, but you don't see them being worn as often as flip-flop/thong sandals. Sneakers can be worn with gaucho pants, ranging from your average lace-up sneakers to sneaker-like skimmers. Those who dance in gaucho pants sometimes wear sneakers for comfort while dancing or practicing. Here is an example of gaucho pants with sneakers:

Gaucho Pants with Sneakers
gaucho pants with sneakers
^ from, by way of - This pair of gaucho pants are worn with sneakers. Gaucho pants worn with sneakers is usually uncommon because most wear these pants with flip-flop/thong sandals or pumps.

...and here is another example of gaucho pants + sneakers:

gaucho pants with Converses
^ from: - a young woman wearing chocolate brown gaucho pants with purple Converse-like sneakers.

So almost any kind of shoes (as long as they aren't extremely furry boots or whatever) will go with these. The most common shoes I've seen worn with gaucho pants are your basic flip-flop/thong sandals. I sometimes see gaucho pants worn with rubber clogs. Very few females I see wear gaucho pants with boots. You could even try some ankle boots or shooties. A little peep-toe pair of shoes wouldn't hurt either. If you want to try a different style of shoe with gaucho pants, try a cute pair of wedge sandals to go with gaucho pants.

Because I see gaucho pants as a chic pair of pants, I usually don't regard sneakers. However, sneakers are perfectly fine to wear with gaucho pants. So you have some options as to what works best when wearing gaucho pants. Just avoid furry shoes or tall gladiator sandals (among other shoes).

Women's Western Wear Gaucho Pants and Riding Skirts.

Gaucho pants and culotte skirts have served as a skirt alternative for riding horses. Many of the riding skirts of the early 1900s are skirt-like pants that could be unbuttoned to be able to ride horses. Some Western wear gaucho pants offer this skirt alternative to pants. Before you assume that these gauchos are like the gaucho pants you'll normally see around town, think again. These Western-type gaucho pants are actually supposed to be long skirts for women on ranches or are around horses. The fabric is heavier than the usual jersey gaucho pants you normally see. Also, gaucho pants are cropped skirt-like pants. These are more like palazzo pants since they extend to the length of a regular pair of pants. Despite the fact these are mostly tailored towards ranch-style fashion, the amount of flare provided by these gaucho skirts are beautiful. Another aspect is that since these are Western-type fashions, you can't just wear flip-flops or some other casual or dressy shoes. So a pair of riding boots or cowboy boots would go great with these. Here is an example of Western wear gaucho pants (or a gaucho skirt):

Western gaucho riding skirt
^ from: - Some Western wear gaucho skirts can be made of buckskin, which is much heavier a fabric than jersey or modal or spandex. This one, however, is made of a polyester/rayon combination

This Western-style gaucho skirt is made of buckskin, which is not a good fabric to have as an every day pair pants or as a culotte skirt. I really believe that this is what most fashion designers were going for when designing gaucho pants. They wanted to make a comfortable pair of skirt-like pants that are stylish and adaptable. It is probably this interpretation of riding skirt that has led to these being called "gaucho pants" in common circles. But as you can tell, these are full-length pants rather than pants that rest anywhere below the knees or above the ankles. I think 21st century fashion designers wanted to bring this style of skirt-like pants to the trendy and fashionable female. Only instead of more Western-appropriate fabrics, they go with materials like jersey and modal to make stylish skirt-like pants.

Here is another example:

black riding skirt
^ from: - A Western riding skirt made by Scully. Western riding skirts are made more towards riding horses than wearing with dressy or casual outfits.

Due to the popularity of Western gaucho pants since editing this section, I want to link you to where you can find these Western gaucho skirts online. I may edit this blog entry to include a few more resources to Western gaucho pants. Follow the link at the end of this sentence to find Western skirts and dresses for Women at Rod's. There are Western-style gaucho pants for women at that link, like the ones I posted in this blog entry. Shop on there if you see a pair of Western gaucho pants you love. Thank you again for reading my blog entry! Again, that link to Western gaucho pants on Rod's is here: .

Here are some other online stores where you can buy Western gaucho pants and Western-style riding skirts:'s riding skirts (link is actually a search result to "riding skirt")
pants and skirts on (some riding skirts are available here if you browse around)
Western Women Gauchos from the Ann 'N' Eve Collection (there are more Western gauchos on this site, including some for Plus Size women. So feel free to look around if you click on this link)

Keep in mind that this sub-section is all about Western wear, so it's probably not a good idea to pair this with your dressiest clothes. You can definitely try out these looks if you know how to pull off cowgirl chic.

(ADDED: February 18, 2012)
If you came to this blog post because you're interested in Western riding skirts, I have created a blog post about country/Western fashion. So I invite you lovers of country/Western fashion to visit Country/Western Chic here on John's Blog Space for more on this topic.

Gaucho Jeans.

There are also other gaucho pants that are more pant-like. I've seen some denim gaucho jeans that have full legs and a skirt-like flair. Here is a picture of such gaucho jeans:

gaucho jeans
^ from: - While not as flowy as their non-denim counterparts, the general skirt-like feel of gaucho pants can be had even with denim gaucho jeans like these..

Other Gaucho Pants.

More professional gaucho pants are cropped trousers with full, skirt-like legs. And need I mention... do not be confused with the gaucho pants worn by bombachas. The most common colors for these pants are usually black or brown.

Now that you know about gaucho pants, what led to their downfall as a trend? Go to the next section.

Gaucho Pants: Their Downfall as a Trend

I couldn't care less if gaucho pants are no longer trendy for whatever reason. However, there are reasons why gaucho pants don't appeal as a trend anymore and why you don't see them being worn as often. This is perhaps the biggest reason most dislike gaucho pants:

That Clingy Feeling.

gaucho pants butt
^ from: - a young woman wearing rusty red gaucho pants. This picture demonstrates the biggest deterrent of gaucho pants that most people have- the fact they cling to the butt and provide an unflattering rear view. Despite this demonstration of what makes gaucho pants so disliked to many people, this is the sexiest and most appealing characteristic of gaucho pants (besides their comfort): a fabulous booty! :D

Perhaps the biggest complaint to those who loathe these pants is how much they cling to the legs, often providing a discomforting view of a female's butt. They fail to flatter the backside. But for those who just want a fabulous booty, you can't go wrong with these! ;) In fact, I can probably say that the bootylicious appeal of these pants are why these pants are still real popular even if they're no longer fashionable by today's standards. They are still a comfortable pair of pants to wear and are still eye-catching even today. Silky smooth and stylish usually equal comfy. That's all they are, in addition to stylish. And on some figures- sexy.

The clingy feeling can be a double bonus- a fabulous booty and a comfortable pair of drapey pants. Many see these gaucho pants merely as loungewear, but they have proven to be casual and chic whether with a chic pair of shoes or with some casual shoes. At least be proud of these as a skirt you can wear as confidently as pants. The silky material of most gaucho pants helps to make them comfortable as well as stylish. These pants can be easily dressed up or down based on what you pair these pants with.

What Went Wrong?

Davina McCall pregnant gaucho pants
^ from: - a pregnant Davina McCall wearing gaucho pants with crocs rubber clogs.

Many feel that these pants died out as a trend out of laziness. It is not common to see these pants paired with a simple T-shirt and a pair of flip-flop/thong sandals. It was this feeling of wearing these from day to night (and maybe even in your sleep) as to how these pants became popular. Many females that I've talked to that have worn these talk about how these pants are so comfortable both to feel and wear.

Gaucho pants have mostly been seen as around-the-house pants, but they are comfy and cute even outside of the house. They can be comfortable for almost any female ranging from babies to children to adults. If you're talking lounge fashions, at least gaucho pants are more comfortable and stylish to wear than pajama/pyjama pants. And at least this is something different than today's legging-obsessed, skinny leg obsessed bottoms.

Gaucho Pants Demonstration: Why I See Them as Skirts

gaucho pants skirt demonstration
A photo edit of gaucho pants from Xhilaration. The same image has been edited to show how much of a split skirt gaucho pants are.

I downloaded a picture of Xhilaration gaucho pants in Ebony to prove a point. I then edited the image to show what comes to mind to me when I think of traditional gaucho pants as a split skirt. Take a look at the above image. On the left, the original pair of gaucho pants as they are. On the right, I edited the same image to take away the pant details and make it into a proper skirt. This isn't gaucho pants and a skirt; it's the same image, only the right-side image was edited to resemble a real skirt.

The point of this is to show that gaucho pants are pant-like skirts. When you look at an ordinary pair of gaucho pants, the legs are skirt-like. Problem is... most gaucho pants don't flare out as much as a proper skirt. That's why I say that wearing a pair of gaucho pants or culottes is like wearing a skirt on each leg. You could take apart elements of gaucho pants and turn them into a proper skirt. Certain gaucho pants appear very skirt-like and from certain poses. Besides the sexy appeal of these culotte pants (especially from the rear), the appeal of gaucho pants is in wearing a mid-length or long skirt that can be worn confidently as pants.

The main point of this section was to show that gaucho pants can be thought of as wearing a skirt. Or then again, look at all the riding skirts from all the women who wore riding skirts while riding horses back in history.

Gaucho Pants Around the Blogosphere and Online

I've tried to find certain bloggers that blogged about them wearing gaucho pants. Here are my findings, but be warned- these gaucho pant posts are the only ones I could find. It was either these or nothing:

Gaucho Inspiration: The Closet de Natalie.

Natalie may go to a school where Burnt Orange is the color of choice, but she wears some gaucho pants that are of a lavender or purple color. She's cute and casual while sporting a basic T-shirt and some flip-flop/thong sandals. Check Natalie out in "Traveling Pants" on The Closet de Natalie

Please, fashionistas... share me outfit posts featuring gaucho pants so I can better educate my audience! Contact me directly (visit my Blogger/Blogspot profile in the sidebar and click on Email to send me an Email message) so I can provide more inspiration for my readers!

Split Skirts

ROXY Skinny Minni split skirt
^ from: - the "Skinny Minny" split skirt from ROXY. While it appears as a sexy mini skirt, they are actually skirt-like shorts. The fact that they are so short makes them every bit as lustful and as flirty as even the most risqué mini skirts.

NOTE: Culottes can relate either to skirts or lingerie. To avoid confusion when using "culotte" in this context, I will use "culotte skirt."

Gaucho pants are essentially split skirts. This blog entry will feature a few split skirts later in this blog entry. The appeal of split skirts like the one above is the fact that they are so short and skirt-like. These ROXY split skirts have caught my eye since they are shorts that look like skirts. These split mini skirts have about the same luscious appeal as gaucho pants.

I seen a split skirt like these on one woman once (though not in the above color). They looked more like a bootylicious pair of short-shorts, but the short legs are very much skirt-like. The best kinds of split skirts to wear are those that have vivid patterns. The patterns will greatly offer the illusion of a proper skirt. And of course, black is also good as masking the fact it is not a proper skirt.

Wearing Gaucho Pants... as a Dress? (BONUS MATERIAL!)

UPDATED: 4/3/2010
As a bonus, check this out:

Can gaucho pants be worn as a dress?
^ from: - She's wearing gaucho pants... as a sexy one-shoulder mini dress!

That picture was inspired by this picture:
gaucho pants as a dress?
^ from: - Wearing gaucho pants as a dress. Would YOU wear one as a dress (if you could), too?

I guess that some femmes think that gaucho pants are dead, so there has to be a new way to utilize them. BOTH are pictures of gaucho pants worn as sexy one-shoulder mini dresses. You'd really have to dislike wearing gaucho pants as pants to wear them like dresses.

You also have to have a certain figure to be able to wear gaucho pants this way. Have any of you ladies been able to wear gaucho pants like a dress like in the pictures above?

These are still lovely pants to wear, even if they are not trendy and fashionable anymore. Just wear what you feel most comfortable in. Fashion is about comfort and style in whatever you wear. So go look fabulous, ladies! :)

Here was a video I did a long time ago on these pants:
"John's Fashion Talk: Gaucho Pants

Gaucho Pants Online

(WIDGETS UPDATED: July 17, 2017)
Here are some links you can visit to shop for gaucho pants online from a variety of retailers. Have a look around and thank you for visiting my blog and this blog post! Some of these are links from earlier in the blog post:

Here are some gaucho pants on ShopStyle:


(UPDATED: July 16, 2017) These new items are for all of you to shop for gaucho pants and culotte pants. So take a look and find some pants you can enjoy wearing!

For gaucho pants...

For culotte pants...

gaucho pants on Amazon

Culotte Skirts...

Google Shopping search results for "culotte skirt"

If you want to buy some gaucho pants on Amazon, I can show you some that I like (and that you might too). Find out more by clicking on "Read More," or by finding a pair from my widget below. Keep reading for more gaucho pants!

Happy shopping and thank you for visiting "John's Blog Space!"

This concludes another blog post here on John's Blog Space. My question(s) to you:

Despite not being trendy anymore, do you still love gaucho pants and culotte skirts? What appeals the most to you about these bottoms?

Thank you for reading. You are free to comment on gaucho pants and culotte skirts! Take care and be well.

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John B. Marine said...

Fashion really is a cycle. The pants had been a hit back then and again last year, too! I wonder what other past fashion things will come back.

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