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Styling Paperbag Waist Jeans

May 11, 2020

Welcome to Dressed for My Day…where I may not naturally be on the cutting edge of fashion, but I’m not afraid to try new things either. Ha! Of course, the paperbag waist pants silhouette is not exactly new. But it’s new to me. So I thought I’d take a stab at styling paperbag waist jeans this week. That’s right, I said week. This is actually the first of three posts I’ll be sharing this week in which I’m styling these trending jeans.

Styling Paperbag Waist Jeans
paperbag waist jeans (similar styles in shopping widget below) // striped tee (similar option) // pink cardigan // white leather sneakers (similar)// leather tote // similar earrings // bangles

First the bad news. My mid-rise straight leg paperbag waist jeans are almost completely sold out. And they’re a great deal from Target. Since they’re on clearance, I doubt they’ll restock. But you never know. Fingers crossed! Because these are really sweet jeans. I was so happy when I found them and eager to share them with you. Shucks.

paperbag waist jeans

I first ordered these paperbag waist jeans because a reader had asked about styling paperbag waist pants, so I decided to try the silhouette first in denim. I had very low expectations, and doubted I’d like them at all. But I have to tell you, if nothing else, these are some of the most comfortable jeans I’ve ever put on. Well, duh. They’re nice and loose in the legs. What’s not to be comfortable?

back of jeans

But even though they’re not close fitting, I think the tapered silhouette helps them to look more flattering than if they were wide or full leg jeans. So maybe one of the keys to wearing this paperbag waist trend is to look for a relaxed but tapered leg. In fact, I do prefer the look of these over those I’ve seen that are more fitted in the leg.

Unfortunately, unless you’re the lucky size or two they have in stock…or they restock…you won’t be able to find these exact paperbag waist jeans. But I’ve rounded up others for you to check out in the shopping widget below.

Styling Paperbag Waist Jeans

Of all the ones I found, I think I like the silhouette of these from 7 for All Mankind best. They’re a little pricey compared to mine, but they do have the full, but tapered legs. I also like these by Veronica Beard. They’re extremely pricey (a great brand), but 60% off right now. Yeah, they’re even more “out there” than the ones I’m styling here, but they look really sharp to me.

close fitting top

While you absolutely can wear a fuller top with this silhouette, I think the easiest way to style these loose fitting jeans is with a slim fitting top. So I topped them off with this classic ballet neck elbow sleeve striped tee. Because this tee is 40% off it’s quickly selling out, too. I’m wearing a size medium and it fits nicely. Of course, whatever you wear up top, you’ll need to tuck it in.

add cardigan

For warmth, color and interest, I added my simple pink cardigan (wearing size medium). I’m reaching for this pretty pop of color frequently, in fact, and it’s part of Talbots’ buy more save more deal today.

Also, adding a loose fitting cardigan over these paperbag waist jeans helps them look a little trimmer, I think. Like I said, I’ll be showing you these jeans two more ways this week, and each time I’ll be wearing a third piece over them.

paperbag waist jeans

I’ll also be showing you three ways to belt this paperbag waist silhouette of jeans. Here I’ve simply used the self-fabric belt that came with the jeans and tied it in a loop. I shared how to tie this look in this post.

When it came to jewelry, I decided to draw attention up to my face with large earrings (option) and passed on a necklace. Otherwise I simply added a couple of casual enamel bangles. My sunglasses are from Talbots, but no longer available. See my recent sunglasses post for more options.

paperbag waist jeans

By the way, I’m loving this Everlane leather tote. It’s an investment piece, as are all genuine leather totes. But this light taupe color is back in stock (along with the cognac and black), and it’s a great bag. While I loved my Madewell Transport Tote (which I gifted to my daughter), I prefer this one because it stands upright when put down, while the other one flopped over.

So let’s be kind, but I’d love to know what you think of these paperbag waist jeans. I’m not married to them, but I sure did enjoy wearing them the day I took these photos. I may just go ahead and slip them on again today! And, yes, you’ll be seeing them two more times this week! I’ll be watching the Target website to see if they get replenished.

Shop the Post:

You can shop the look through the links in the copy above or through the shopping widget below. Sale prices are not always reflected in the widget, so click through to get pricing info. Remember, if you purchase anything through these links I potentially earn a commission, but at no cost to you. Thank you for shopping through Dressed for My Day. I am grateful!

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Is anyone pushing your buttons lately? Maybe they’re not offending you in big ways, but it’s the little things that are getting on your nerves. We’ve all been cooped up with our closest family members recently. And even though we love them dearly, these are the people we sometimes find the hardest to bear with…especially when it comes to those little things they do that annoy us.

But let’s consider that we’re not all that easy to live with either. Ha! When the “specks in their eyes” start to irritate us to no end, maybe we should shift our gaze to the log sticking out of our own eye before we start pointing fingers in theirs. (See Matthew 7:3-5) Let’s pause and pray for patience today, so that we can be kind, tenderhearted and gracious to those around us. They’re our people! Let’s love them well.

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. ~ Ephesians 4:32

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xoxo, Kay
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39 thoughts on “Styling Paperbag Waist Jeans

  1. I think this outfit looks adorable on you! It would not be a good look for my apple shaped body but someone like you, with a defined waist, can wear it for sure. Also – I love the bright pink cardigan…… cheery!

  2. I think you look nice in these. I think you need to have a small waist to pull these off and I do not , haha working on that. You look great as always

    1. Thanks Eileen. These pants can actually help define a straight waist too. Probably not best for a protruding waistline. But they can absolutely give definition to an H shaped woman. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for sharing Sally. I had my doubts too. It was a great reminder to me to try things on before deciding. Have a lovely day. ☺️

  3. I remember wearing pleats and tapers in the early 80s. Two kids and 40ish years later I am not sure I want to do it again. I love the legs it’s the pleats on my hourglass figure that has me worried. Never say never but I think I may leave this look to you Kay! Do you think the belt will soften with wear? It seems a little stiff, I think it would be better if it was a little floppier. Thanks for trying to stretch our minds. Always great to think about new silhouettes!

    1. Hi Catherine. Thanks for sharing. Yes the belt is a little stiffer than I prefer but I’ll show you two other ways to wear them too and I think I like those better.

  4. I like them on you! I’ve been wondering about them too, so thanks for trying them on. I think they’re fun!

  5. Hi Kay. The pants look great on you and I love the outfit you put together. The color scheme is very becoming. Have a great day!

  6. Kay, I think you did a great job pulling this style pants off in a very fashionable way! There is no doubt in my mind that the paper bag waist is not meant for me. I can’t wait to see the other outfits you created with them! I only own one pair of sunglasses because I have to wear prescription ones, so changing to coordinate or add interest to my outfits isn’t an option. ?. I’m glad that you had a nice weekend and a good Mother’s Day!

  7. Not a fan. I think they are not flattering both from the front and the back. You are adorable, but not the pants! 🙂

  8. I think they look FABULOUS on you. It definitely makes me want to try them. My only concern is that while I do have a smaller waist, my torso is very short and I have a large bust. I’m afraid I will just look like boobs sitting on top of legs. 🙂 Still, it’s worth a shot to try some on, right? I think they’re super cute!

  9. Kay, I think you have the shape to wear them. I like them on you. The pink sweater looks great als

  10. They are cute but I’m not a fan of , what looks like , a high paperbag waist or the big bow. I bought a pair of dressy pants with that waist and it does not stick up that high. I ‘m looking forward to the other ones that you have to show.

  11. I think these pants are cute and trendy on you. I just don’t think they would be very flattering on my somewhat ’thick’ middle. A little too much bulk there with the pleats and tie belt.

  12. Kay, these jeans are darling on you. My concern with the style is that there’s so much bulk around the waist. I’m wondering if a different belt, maybe not in the denim fabric, might make a difference.

    Thank you for keeping all of us on track and for not letting us look older than we should!

  13. The look is great on you but on me, not so much. That said, the outfit is comfortable and casual and can be duplicated with my favorite jeans.
    Thanks for BFMD. I always find a blessing as I meditate on it.

  14. I think these jeans look great on you! I think with the volume of the jeans, you can get away with skimpy tops (especially when it heats up!) such as a tank top or camisole.

  15. I love how you styled the outfit. For me I will be passing on this trend. My bulkiest portion of my body is my waist, unfortunately. So I do not think I could handle wearing paperbag waist pants. Plus I am short waisted and I could see the top of the pants running into my bra. ugh not a good look for me. So I am going to let this trend pass me bye. I don’t know if I would have had such succient thoughts on why before I started reading your blog. I have valued info you have shared. Like body types, not trying all the trends, finding your own personal style. Thanks for helping me out so I can be better dressed for my day.

  16. I love the idea of paper bag waist pants. But they seem to look best on tall thin gals. On average size women I like them best with heels. It helps elongate the leg I think and visually balance the bulk of the waist. I am not tall, nor as thin as I once was ?and do not wear heels much. I think your height definitely helps you pull this off. Looking forward to seeing how you style them two more ways!

  17. I had been thinking of ordering a pair of this style pants, in yellow, from Ann Taylor but was really on the fence. After seeing your post I took the plunge. We have the same body type, though I am much shorter and did indeed order them in a petite, and am hoping they look as cute on me as they do on you! I look forward to your other styling options this week. Thanks so much for helping me visualize new styles on a real person.

  18. The pants seem to need a top that tucks in. I own too many tunics, which I love, to buy this style pant. I love that you step out of your comfort zone so I can make an informed decision!

  19. I like the jeans with the pink cardigan, but I don’t think the striped T pulls the outfit together.

  20. Kay, the whole outfit is adorable on you and you pull off this look very well! Your outfit is modern and classy with a punch of fun! Early in the season I wasn’t a fan of paper bag jeans but they’re growing on me; so much so that I’m going to give them a try! I’m petite 5′ 2″ and short-waisted so I’m not sure my frame can pull them off. I already have a navy striped tee and bright pink cardi in my closet so I’m 2/3 of the way there! I ordered the Loft jeans in the widget since they’re a dark wash. I’m hoping the dark wash with the navy striped tee will elongate my short silhouette and I’ll probably wear a wedge sandal as well to help lengthen my legs. I can’t wait to see the other ways you style them this week. Thank you for not only trying new trends but show casing multiple ways to wear them!

    1. PS: I meant to add the Loft jeans appear to be much slimmer through the legs which I think will work better for petites. And I noticed these jeans aren’t really paper bag jeans but the belt gives the illusion they are so I’m hoping they work for me!

  21. I use to wear these a lonnnng time ago. Most of those back then were elastic or drawstring waist and formed a nice soft ruffle at the top. I don’t think they made them from denim either. Everything old is new again but never in exactly the same way. I did enjoy wearing them though when I had a waist.
    You have styled these really cute. I love the yellow earrings. You look model perfect in these but I’m thinking a lot of us won’t..

  22. You do a great job of showing the style, and pull it off well. I am hoping this is a quickly passing style, just the name is unflattering, “paper bag waist”. This style reminds me of the high waisted jeans of the 80’s, that often had many buttons and fold over tops. Those seem preferable now compared to a sak waist band and huge tie waist strap,

    1. Yeah, I wouldn’t say these are the MOST trending jeans, but they’re definitely out there. I had some readers ask about them so I thought I should try them. I don’t naturally gravitate to them myself. But they are comfortable! ?

      1. I agree, comfort is an essential factor. Most days now are all about comfort, and jeans aren’t as comfy as yoga pants. Now, jeans are dress up pants. So maybe these jeans are comfy casual dress up. ?

  23. I’m really glad you posted this because it reiterated my belief that this horrendous style should never have happened in the first place. The literally look like diapers. Please, for the love of all that is holy, never put those on again. You are way too cute for this look.