How To Wear Paperbag Shorts

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Paperbag shorts have been hot for a few years now. I happen to love the trend and have figured out how to wear paperbag shorts with just about everything.


Today I’m sharing the best ways to style paperbag waist shorts because I don’t want you to miss out on a potentially amazing outfit. Whether you’re headed to work, out for coffee with friends, or just need a comfy weekend outfit, I’ve got you covered!


What are Paperbag Waist Shorts?

Paperbag shorts are a high-rise style with a pleated/cinched waist. The cinching falls at the slimmest part of your waist making them extremely flattering. They come in all fabrics, colors, and prints and pair well with a wide variety of tops.


How To Wear PaperBag Shorts

Outfit Idea #1 – With a Floral Top

woman wearing a floral top and high waisted shorts

Paperbag Shorts | Floral Top

Pairing paperbag shorts with a long sleeve top is a great option for the summer to fall transition. This pair is lightweight, stretchy, and of great quality. They also come in over 30 colors.


This outfit would be great paired with wedges for a summer night out and would also work well with booties for a casual fall weekend.


Outfit Idea #2 – Paperbag Shorts With A One Shoulder Top

woman wearing black paperbag shorts and a one shoulder crop top

black faux leather paperbag shorts & crop top outfit

Faux Leather Paperbag Shorts | One Shoulder Top | Heels

This is a great date night outfit! These shorts are of incredible quality and look so much more expensive than they are. I love them paired with this top but you could also style these with a sweater for the cooler months. Black ankle strap stiletto heels would be the perfect shoe for this outfit.

Outfit Idea #3 – With a Tank Top Bodysuit

woman wearing high waisted shorts and a bodysuit

Shorts | Bodysuit | Sandals (run 1/2 size small)

These are the same shorts as the pink pair above. I love them so much I went back for more colors. I styled this pair with a simple tank bodysuit and flip-flops for a hot summer day of running errands.


Outfit Idea #4 – Paperbag Shorts As A Matching Set

woman wearing striped paperbag shorts setStriped Paperbag Shorts Set | Sandals

I knew I had to have this set the second I saw it. It is so comfortable and it fits true to size. The top has a pretty bow in the back and it pairs well with both sandals and flats. You could also swap out this top for a simple white cami or bodysuit if you prefer.


woman wearing leopard shorts and black crop top

Leopard Paperbag Shorts Set

Here’s another matching set in a different print. This set is very lightweight and comfortable. It is perfect for a summer night out on the town. Like the outfit above you could swap out this crop top for a black satin cami or a black sweater depending on the occasion.


Outfit #5 – Bold Prints

woman wearing leopard paperbag shorts and a black long sleeve bodysuit

Leopard Shorts (similar) | Long Sleeve Bodysuit

Do you love leopard? Pair the always-trending print with a solid top for a stand-out outfit perfect for day OR night. I wore this outfit for a daytime event but you could easily swap out the wedges for black leather booties for a night out.


You could also take this outfit through fall and winter by throwing on a pair of tights with your booties!


Outfit #6 – Striped Shorts With A Simple Cami/Tank/Bodysuit

woman wearing striped shorts and a white tank top

Shorts (similar) | Bodysuit

Pair linen paperbag shorts with a simple top for a casual outfit. I keep solid tank tops and bodysuits stocked all year round for outits just like this. As the weather cools off just throw on a denim jacket over top.


Outfit Idea #7 – Paperbag Shorts With A Crop Top

woman wearing black shorts and a crop top

High Waist Paperbag Shorts (similar) | Crop Top (similar)

Another way to style your black paperbag shorts is with a crop top. I wore this outfit while on a tropical vacation because it was HOT and the outfit fit the destination!


Outfit Idea #8 – Denim Paperbag Shorts

baby must haves

Denim Paperbag Shorts | Bodysuit | Sandals (run 1/2 size small)

There’s something about a great outfit put together with just the basics. Pair denim paperbag shorts with your favorite white tank or bodysuit and a great pair of flats for an easy yet put-together look.


These flats are my all-time favorite. They are super comfortable and classy and they go with just about anything.


How To Wear Paperbag Shorts FAQ’s

What kind of top do you wear with paperbag shorts?

Since paperbag shorts are a looser fit they often look best with a fitted top. Opt for tops that are a bit snugger to balance it out. My personal favorite is a bodysuit.


These are my favorite tank top bodysuits. They are AMAZING quality and very comfortable.


Are paperbag shorts flattering?

YES! Paperbag shorts accentuate your waist at the smallest part because of the cinched/pleated high-waist style.


What shoes do you wear with paperbag shorts?

As you can see from my outfits above you can pair your paperbag shorts with just about any shoe. You can dress them down with flip flops, dress them up with wedges for summer, with heels for date night, or with tights and booties as the weather gets cooler.


How should paperbag shorts fit?

Paperbag shorts are meant to have a looser fit throughout with a tighter fit at the waist. The cinching should fall at the slimmest part of your waist.


That’s it for this post on how to style paperbag shorts! I hope you’ve found a look you love and have gotten some inspiration for outfit ideas.


if you enjoyed this post be sure to follow me on Instagram where I share daily outfit ideas, affordable fashion finds, and the week’s best sales.


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Lauren is a wife, mom of 3, and personal trainer with a passion for fitness, fashion, and blogging. She shares affordable fashion finds, fitness tips, and helps you learn how to make money with YOUR blog!

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