A paper bag is known to most as the environmentally damaging carryall of yesteryear, but when used to describe the waist on a pair of shorts or pants, it takes on a whole new meaning: A paperbag garment is one with extra fabric around your midsection. Typically, the fabric is pleated and cinched in via a wide detachable belt. The belly button-grazing style is usually popular during the fall — in the form of checked and corduroy trousers — but now that we're faced with excessively hot weather, the high-waisted bottom is available in breezy linen and cotton short options, as well as in a number of cropped denim varieties.
Styling a pair of paperbag shorts is simple: wear them with a tucked-in top, whether it's a white T-shirt or a striped ribbed tank. Throw on a comfy pair of Birkenstocks for the day and swap for a squared kitten heel slide sandal for the evening. Add an impractical mini bag and an necklet of pearls (or shells), and you're ready to take on Instagram.
Ahead, 19 of our favorite flattering, wallet-friendly styles that are available to shop now.
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