"Culotte" entered my vocabulary pretty early. As a kid, I spent two summers in Bonn, Germany with my grandmother, a diplomat. I trailed after her and her old lady friends chatting along, absorbing detailed minutiae concerning subjects like cathedral history, Villeroy and Boch design and culotte drape.
Think about your proportions. As a short person, I find pleated culottes with layers of material too overwhelming.
Tops: crisp, tucked in; or short, clean lines and square-ish but not too boxy
Base: Shoe that traces the shape and angle of the foot