The Most (Surprisingly) Controversial Garment in History That is Probably in Your Closet

They’re not quite pants, but they aren’t shorts either. They aren’t a skirt really either. Great, now that we have ruled those out—WTF (as in “what the fashion”) are culottes then? Not in recent memory has such a modest piece of apparel raised so much controversy and reaction from the fashion world.

But it seems like the drama behind rocking culottes aren’t a new thing. In fact, culottes have a rich and bold fashion history. In 1931, Elsa Schiaparelli (aka Coco Chanel’s great rival) made a bold move of publicly wearing culottes and the world was outraged. Those wide legs; those bare ankles; the horror, I tell you! They disliked this icon’s fashion statement to such an extent that women were actually arrested in Paris for wearing culottes in public.

Flash-forward and instead of this look landing you behind bars, these “knee britches” are sure to garner you some proverbial and actual high fives from fellow Fashionistas.

Check out these eight arrestingly beautiful culotte looks!