The miraculous comeback of gauchos

When I started to play the violin in 3rd grade, semi-annual orchestra concerts became part of my routine. Parents dreaded the hour(s) of unbearable screeching and variations on Twinkle Twinkle, while we kids despised sitting still for longer than ten minutes. I can say on the behalf of the girls in my grade, though, that the one upside to orchestra concerts was getting to pull out the gauchos.

These flowy black pants solved all elementary-school girls’ problems. They looked much dressier than black leggings or jeans and were much more comfortable than a skirt. And they were every amateur cellists go-to since you didn’t risk flashing anyone. Paired with a beaded white shirt and a thick headband, they created the perfect look–a look that said “I’m a 9-year-old girl who plays the violin and doesn’t want to be here.”

Though I treasured my gauchos in elementary school, I had outgrown them by middle school. My fashion sense had moved on. Black dress pants became the norm, and by high school, actual dresses were sported by a number of teens who questioned why they continued to play in orchestra.

To be honest, I thought the days of gauchos had ended in fifth grade. I never would have thought that gauchos–oh, excuse me, culottes–would have made a resurgence in some of the most popular stores across the globe.

Places like H&M and Zara sell culottes in all kinds of styles and colors. Even Forever 21 sells them. That sends me the message that wearing culottes, or gauchos, or whatever they’re called now, is something you need to do to be 21 forever.



Believe me, I consider myself a person interested in fashion and well-versed in the latest trends, though I may not sport them often. I have the internet to thank for that. But the fact that my treasured black gauchos, probably purchased from Kohl’s for around $15, are back in style blows my mind. Because gauchos/culottes will always be elementary school orchestra concerts to me, no matter what international retailers say otherwise.

If you need me, I’ll be sitting here, waiting for skinny black rubber bracelets, Crocs, and short-sleeve shirts with a faux long sleeve layer underneath to come back in style.


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