Blue culottes £225, by Folk, folkclothing.com

If a skirt feels too flouncy and shorts too – well short – why not opt for the best of both worlds with a pair of culottes

Sometimes, the items that garner the most notice – of the complimentary variety rather than pointing and laughing, of course – can come as a surprise. Take culottes: they’re not the easiest item to pull off, but let’s be honest, therein lies the appeal, not least because of their surprising adaptability.

“Transitional dressing” is the sort of phrase bandied about willy-nilly by glossy titles,  but all it really translates to is items that can see you through from one type of weather  to another.

The weather at the moment is particularly transitional – seemingly switching between multiple seasons every day. Which tends to mean that what you put on in the morning will leave you too warm by the time you get to work, too cold on your lunch break and soaked through on your evening commute.

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Denim culottes £29.99, zara.com

While not actually weatherproof, culottes are surprisingly versatile and a great way of looking rather put-together for work, while still feeling suitably wafty if the mercury begins to rise.

They’re great for more casual looks too and a preponderance of denim versions are in the shops this season – the best of which have a slightly broken-in feel thanks to super soft washes or frayed trims.

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Grey denim culottes £310, Raquel Allegra, net-a-porter.com

It’s all about a balancing act, and a boxy white shirt will look great with wider leg styles, especially when finished off by a mannish sandal and rather undone hair, while more casual varieties look great with a fitted denim or leather jacket and a simple T-shirt. And, as always in the British summer – don’t forget your brolly.

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