Denim & Jeans Denim DIYs DIY the 70's

DIY Wide Leg Cropped Denim Jeans & 3 Ways to Wear Them Stylishly

DIY Denim Culottes+3 Ways to Wear them into Fall

Culottes are huge right now, or shall I say, having a moment, and to be honest, and as you probably know, they’re not particularly flattering on every body, but they do have a fun ’70s vibe about them that I just LOVE.

Annnnnd even when you do find a moderately flattering pair of said culottes (or contemporarily called “wide leg cropped denim“, they’re not so easy to pull off and style appropriately, so I thought I’d make a fun deconstructed pair with some of my vintage Levi’s and style them a few different ways to give you a little bit of inspiration to pull together your own culottes look.

So grab your old baggy jeans that you never wear anymore and let’s get to it!

Here’s What You’ll Need…

DIY Distressed Denim Culottes_Vintage Levi's-1

  • Two pairs of Jeans: 1 you like the fit of, but are maybe too short or too baggy overall, and the second pair is striclty for the the denim. It’s also a great way to repurpose old “legs” of jeans you’ve already turned into shorts for summer.
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Pen or marker
  • Needle/Thread {or sewing machine if you prefer} & dressmaker pins


DIY Distressed Denim Culottes_Vintage Levi's-2

Try on the jeans that will become your culottes base and visually decide where you want your jeans to begin widening – usually somewhere in between your hips and your thighs, the area of your leg that narrows for a moment… and mark it with a small dot.

Remove your jeans and lay them flat. Measure from the waist down to your dot and mark the other leg accordingly.

DIY Distressed Denim Culottes_Vintage Levi's-5

Cut off the hems of your legs with scissors… now grab your seam ripper and open the outer seams on both legs all the way up to your marked dot.

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Grab your second pair of jeans and cut the legs off as high up as you need… and make a pair of shorts with the rest.

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Since you won’t be using all the fabric to the edges, you can use scissors here to cut the thicker seam entirely off and open up your two new pieces of fabric.

These will become the panels to create your culottes.

DIY Distressed Denim Culottes_Vintage Levi's-8

Line up the center seam of both your open leg and the panel fabric and pin in place at the top of the triangle.

Using your arm as a base to sort of hold your panel up and in place, pin your open leg seams to your denim panel working downward without gathering or pinching the material in any way. Your arm will ensure you’re leaving enough material to create a “wide leg” or culotte effect.

DIY Distressed Denim Culottes_Vintage Levi's-9

After you pin both panels in, simple stitch your panels in place.

I chose to hand stitch because I always think it’s easier than whipping out the machine and setting it up and blah…blah…blah. But if you prefer a machine or serger, go for it!

DIY Distressed Denim Culottes_Vintage Levi's-10

I used a quick hem stitch and hid most of the thread on the under side.

Once your panels are in place, try on your pants and decide how long you want them… remove them and trim away the excess along the bottom.

TIP: I cut mine asymmetrical almost, into slight points for a flared effect. I also used my scissors to distress the bottoms to align with the rest of the deconstructed denim look. If you begin with jeans that aren’t ripped up, you can create a nice large ’70s inspired cuff at the bottom of your culottes for a completely different look that’s just as fab. Hem your cuffs to keep them in place.

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Turn your culottes inside out and cut away the excess panels leaving only the triangle inserts intact.

NOTE: If you want your culottes WIDER than mine, you can opt to slit your side seams up HIGHER to create a fuller leg AND/OR open your inner leg seams and add panels there as well.


And… Voila!

You are now the proud owner of a trendy pair of culottes that you didn’t have to pay for!

Denim Culottes_Celine micro luggage tote

3 Ways To Style Your Culottes into Fall…

Dressed up Casual

Vintage beaded tank {also seen here} // Camel coat by SMYTHE // Leopard print bag by Lauren Merkin Handbags // Leopard print Nudist sandals by Stuart Weitzman // Sunglasses by Thierry Lasry

Distressed denim culottes_ camel coat_leopard strappy sandals

dressed up distressed denim culottes

Modern 70s’ Chic

Vintage suede jacket // old oversized turtleneck sweater // Vintage Chanel hobo bag // Gucci sunglasses // suede boots by Boutique 9

Denim culottes_70s fall styles_chanel bag

denim culottes_fall style_beige quilted chanel bag

Long Layers for a Boho Vibe

Marni platforms // Celine Micro Luggage tote // DKNY denim jacket -ancient // trapeze tank by MYNE // Fendi sunglasses // Necklaces from Tiffany’s

DIY Denim Culottes_vintage levi's

DIY Denim Culottes_Marni Platforms_Celine bag

Have Fun!

* Find all my DIYs here

Maegan Tintari

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.

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