Nettie & Tania in NOLA

Last weekend my husband and I took a quick trip to New Orleans for my 24th birthday. Neither of us had been there before, and it’s within reasonable driving distance from Austin, so we figured “why not?”

I made these Tania culottes a few weeks ago, but hadn’t worn them yet because I didn’t have a top that would work with them. Enter the Nettie bodysuit. It really is the perfect accompaniment to skirts/culottes.

Incredibly, I’ve never owned culottes or a bodysuit before. But let me tell you they are both brilliant pieces of clothing. Seriously. I need about ten more of each. So breezy, so comfortable, so practical yet effortlessly chic. The next day I wore jeans and it was really amazing how hot and uncomfortable they were in the New Orleans humidity compared to culottes.

I’ve never been much of a skirt girl because I hate worrying about things like indecent breezes and carefully climbing in and out of cars. They’ve always been more of an occasion piece, and less of an everyday staple. Culottes are set to change that. While they’re not totally foolproof, they certainly decrease the likelihood of flashing passers-by, and when they’re paired with a bodysuit there’s really not much to flash.

The culottes were pretty easy to construct. As many others have mentioned, you definitely want to let them hang overnight before you hem them. Mine grew by a couple inches in some places. Certainly the most time-consuming part of this make is evening out and hemming the two wide circles of the legs.

I cut an XS, and was planning on cutting the length of a L, but I didn’t have quite enough fabric (these are total fabric eaters, by the way). I was worried they would be too short, but they ended up being a great length. They look a lot shorter on the model than they do on me, which I’m assuming is because I’m 5’4″, and not model-height.

As if it wasn’t enough to discover the wonders of culottes and bodysuits while making this outfit, I also discovered my new favorite fabric: rayon challis! I don’t usually go for big, bold prints, but I fell in love with this red floral from The Common Thread in Austin. This fabric is so soft and lovely and drape-y, but also very breathable.

(In the pictures below you can see how the culottes look with a tucked-in cami instead of a bodysuit: not so good.)

I’ve already sung the praises of the Nettie dress in this post, and the bodysuit is just as great. For this version I went with the scoop neck, high back, and short sleeves.

The fabric is a lightweight cream-colored jersey from Jo-Ann. So lightweight that it’s actually see-through. In order to keep my bra hidden from view I doubled up on fabric in the top half of the bodice. I basically added the optional shelf bra, but without any cups or elastic.

The bodysuit fits great, is easy to get in and out of, and is super comfortable. I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I’ve never worn a bodysuit before, but I really love it.

New Orleans was a blast! It’s such a beautiful and culturally rich city. And those lax liquor laws…let’s just say I’m all in favor of drinking cocktails from plastic cups while looking out over the Mississippi. And if you want to buy beer at 8am on Sunday morning, hey, why not?

<3 Lindsay