Styling Paper Bag Waist Pants Five Ways

Julie Marshall
by Julie Marshall

In this post...


In this post, I will show you five different ways to style paper bag waist pants. When I first saw this style of pants last spring, I was reluctant at best to consider this trend. But like lots of things in fashion, some things have to grow on me. And these pants did just that! I have tried them in a number of outfits, and I am really enjoying them. In addition, I like the reasonable price point, the ability to wash them in my washer, and the rich color. I now consider these brown paper bag pants to be somewhat of a classic item. Who knew?!

Read along with me as I show you five different paper bag waist looks that could take you from errands to lunch, and to the office. See if you agree with me about this style’s versatility.

Outfit Number One (in the Paper Bag Waist Pant Series)

In this first paper bag waist trouser look, I paired the brown pants with a cotton camp shirt, and a medium wash jean jacket. Pro-Tip: I love the pairing of the brown pant with the classic jean jacket as I think the juxtaposition of trousers with denim is an interesting blend of styles. Then, for extra style elevation, I added a simple floral scarf knotted at my neck. Pro-Tip: Scarves are such workhorses as a fashion accessory! This one pulls all the pieces together in a classy, tailored way.

For a handbag, I wore a brown tote. My loafers are so neat! They are from Evereve and they are cream leather with a little gold chain across the front. The leather is so soft and they’re considered a mild platform, but it’s very subtle. My sunglasses are my favorite Oakleys.

My jewelry is a pretty gold watch, a gold bangle (that was my mom’s), and a fun amber glass and gold-linked bracelet. I got the bracelet ten years ago or so, in Paris in the Marais shopping district. It was from the town of Murano, Italy which is famous for glass blowing! So every time I wear it, I remember that fun day in Paris. Pro-Tip: When traveling or out with your favorite people, consider purchasing small items such as this bracelet, or a scarf. These mementos won’t take up much room in your suitcase, but will remind you of that happy moment in time forever!

Outfit Number Two (in the Paper Bag Waist Pant Looks)
In this second high-waisted paper bag waist pants outfit, I paired the brown pants with a navy boyfriend blazer and a navy print pajama top! I purchased the top last spring because of the darling heart print in honor of Valentine’s Day! I wore leopard D’orsay pumps which is a very classic style of shoe. Pro-Tip: D’orsay is an elegant style and when paired with a block heel as in this outfit, very comfortable too!

Again, I wore the gold watch, gold bangle, and the amber glass bracelet. My earrings are diamond studs. Pro-Tip: An easy way to elevate your look when wearing a blazer, is to roll the sleeves a bit. This is especially sharp when there is a contrasting lining as with this jacket.

Outfit Number Three (in the Paper Bag Waist Pants Series)

Isn’t this a cute choice? For Christmas, my oldest daughter bought me this pretty blue “tea” shirt! I loved the color and I really was excited when I spotted this very similarly hued cardigan already in my closet from a previous season. (Here’s a fun post on long cardigans for you to enjoy: A Woman’s Long Cardigan Styled Three Ways).

Again I wore the leopard block-heeled pumps (so comfortable!), and the same jewelry as the second look. Doesn’t the brown tote look great against the blue cardigan?

Outfit Number Four (in the Paper Bag Waist Pants Series)

In this fourth paperbag waist pants ensemble, I paired the brown pants with a boat-necked black and brown leopard top which I layered over a white cotton shirt. I could have just worn the top without the blouse, but I thought it looked interesting to pair the white collar with the animal print top’s neckline.

I thought this look was especially sharp. I liked the leopard in the top and the pumps, and I think the black pebbled leather clutch (with the tortoise-shell clasp) coordinated well with the other pieces.

Outfit Number Five (in the Paper Bag Waist Pants Series)

In the fifth and final look in this series, I wore an outfit inspired by my friend Tammy Kelly. She loves pointy shoes, so mine might not exactly match her style… But I wore the brown pants with a white cotton v-neck tee and a black moto jacket. I added a darling brown cross-body bag and an amber beaded choker to fill in the neckline.

So folks, did I convince you that paper bag waist pants can be worn in many interesting ways? For those of you who hate high-waisted pants or hate tucking in your tops, consider wearing simple brown trousers, such as these from Talbots. I think the color of the pants is interesting. I especially like it with black, navy or denim blue as the above outfits suggest.

Happy Tuesday!


Dr. Julie

PS Here are a few more blogs for you to enjoy:

Black Blazer Outfit, Six Different Looks

How to Wear a Cardigan Four Ways

Fun Teacher Outfits

Bunny Decor for Easter – Spring Has Sprung!

Dermatologist Advice for Anti-Aging Products

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Julie Marshall
Want more details about this and other fashion and style ideas? Check out more here!
Join the conversation