The paperbag trouser – why you need a pair in your life

zara tie waist pants and red floral top

Trousers: Zara (similar), Top: Denim and Supply by Ralph Lauren (similar here under $50, and here under $100), Shoes: Carolinna Espinosa (also like these scalloped ones), Bag: Coccinelle Clessidra (similar leather option, similar suede option), Sunglasses: Thierry Lasry Draggy (similar here, more affordable option here)

Ah, the paperbag waist. The name might conjure up visions of your worst fashion nightmare but trust me, it’s actually one of the most flattering cuts you will ever wear. If you’ve read even just one other post on this blog, you probably already know that I’m a huge fan of anything high waisted. So it’s really no surprise that I would love the paperbag waist because it’s basically an exaggerated high waist!

Denim and supply red floral top with paperbag trousers by zara

zara paperbag waist trousers with red bag and red top

denim and supply red floral top with coccinelle red bag

In theory, excess fabric at the waist sounds like something you’d want to run far away from. But in reality, the paperbag waist actually creates an extremely flattering optical illusion that tricks the eye into thinking your waist is much smaller than it really is. So how does this work? The key is in the super high ruffled waist that ends a few inches above your natural waist. Also notice how the belt loops sit a few centimetres lower than normal and belt cinches everything in, including your waist. The end result is that you look like you’re wearing trousers that are slightly too big for you, or conversely, that you’ve lost some weight. Wonderful, isn’t it?

denim and supply red top

coccinelle red bag clessidra

These particular trousers are currently available at Zara for $70 cad which I think is a good price for trousers in a great cut and material—they’re made entirely of cotton. The khaki colour is also very versatile. Here I’ve paired it with an old red floral top but you could also wear it with white for a classic summer look or even yellow, for something more fun. I’ve linked lots of similar options to what I’m wearing down below as well as many more paperbag waist bottoms that’ve caught my eye so check those out too. This type of waist looks good on trousers, shorts and skirts alike. I’ve owned or tried all three versions at some point in the past so I speak from experience. Just try them out once and I assure you, you’ll be fan forever after experiencing their waist whittling magic yourself.

ralph lauren denim and supply red floral top and zara tie waist trousers

Thanks so much for reading!

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More paperbag waist bottoms I love