How to Wear Paperbag Shorts

May 21, 2019

I am so excited to be teaming up with the fabulous Cyndi of Cyndi Spivey to show you how to wear paperbag shorts! This fun waist band is all over lately and for good reason – it is incredibly flattering and easy to wear! Cyndi and I thought it would be fun to give you a couple different looks at ways to style a similar item. Be sure to check out her post to see her take on the look. I love that we both ended up styling denim options for you all, but they are different! Mine are lighter with a cuff and hers are a bit darker making them a little dressier. We both also happened to wear clear plastic bags which is also a huge trend right now. 

post all about how to style paperbag waist shorts, paperbag denim shorts, styling tips for paperbag waist shorts

For me, you have seen this style short several times before because I like it that much! The denim shorts (similar in true chambray) I am styling today were my first foray into the style. Then I tried this amazing rainbow stripe pair which has actually been one of my top sellers. They are incredibly comfortable and plenty long (YES!). See blog post here. Lastly, I recently shared this dressier black pair. I love the material of these. In the post, I even styled two ways to wear them: one casual and one more dressed up. I wanted to round up all the ways I have styled this type short for you as well as restyle my denim pair. 

how to wear paperbag waist shorts, tips for styling paperbag waist shorts, denim paperbag waist shorts, dressy shorts for women, black dress shorts, rainbow stripe shorts #paperbagwaist #paperbag #paperbagshorts #paperbagstyle #paperbagwaistshorts #shorts #summershorts how to wear paperbag waist shorts, denim paperbag shorts, cute summer shorts outfit denim paperbag shorts with a button front top and flats, cute summer shorts outfit

How to Style Paperbag Waist Shorts

When considering how to style a paperbag waist, there are two main things to keep in mind: 

  1. Tuck your top fully into the shorts all the way around. This is probably a given, but I figured it was worth mentioning. 
  2. Pick a top that isn’t bulky so that it is easily tucked in and maintains the flattering shape of the shorts and your waist. 

As my examples show, you are not limited to a specific type or style of top. You can go for a tank top, short sleeve, or long sleeve top. You can pick a casual t-shirt like my last example, a dressy lace camisole or blouse for date night, or somewhere in between like my other options. I think my personal favorite is the top I am wearing with my rainbow stripe shorts because it is fitted in nature and just works well with the shorts to be easily tucked in the waist. This would be a great time to try a bodysuit out if you haven’t done it yet. 

light wash denim paperbag waist shorts with a light colored shirt and fun earrings

Where to Buy Paperbag Waist Shorts

I bought my fun rainbow stripe shorts from Shopbop by Madewell here. In general, I think Shopbop has an awesome selection to look at since they have so many brands. Free People has an adorable and really fun pink pair ($98) and a utility pair ($88), and re:named has a super fun striped pair ($56). My pairs in this post are by Madewell, Express, and WAYF (available at Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and other retailers). Madewell and WAYF are standby brands for me I shop a lot. I always recommend shopping them when looking for anything! 

how to wear paperbag waist shorts, denim paperbag shorts, cute summer shorts outfit

Shop This Outfit

Denim Shorts – $60

adorable denim paperbag waist shorts with colorful tank for summer

Rainbow Stripe Shorts Seen Previously Here – $70

rainbow stripe paperbag waist shorts and white button front top

Dressy Black Shorts Seen Previously Here – $78

dressy black paperbag waist shorts with lace cami how to wear paperbag waist shorts, dressy black paperbag waist shorts styled casually

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Jessica May 26, 2019 at 6:36 am

    These are so pretty dear, especially the striped shorts. Such a chic and comfy piece.

    Jessica |

  • Reply Julia May 23, 2019 at 9:40 am

    So many great outfits and styling tips for wearing paper bag shorts! I love the striped pair!
    Julia x

  • Reply jenna May 22, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Great post – I absolutely love how paperbag shorts look, but I have yet to purchase a pair… Maybe soon! Thanks for sharing!
    Jenna ♥
    Follow me back? The Chic Cupcake – A Sustainable Lifestyle Blog

  • Reply Miley May 22, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Your smile is just out of this world.

    The pillow girl

  • Reply Miley May 22, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Your denim is just awesome, Amy. Love it.

    The pillow girl

  • Reply Laura May 21, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Paperbag shorts are so flattering on you! I love all the ones you have and how you’ve worn them!

  • Reply The Fashion Folks May 21, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Love the idea of tucking in the top! So chic how the silhouette is more dynamic! Xx

  • Reply Nina May 21, 2019 at 11:18 am

    You look so cute!!
    xx- Nina

  • Reply LORENA May 21, 2019 at 9:51 am

    You certainly rock them ! The black pair is my fave.

  • Reply Ashley May 21, 2019 at 9:23 am

    This shorts style is SO flattering- I love it, too! Great styling tips, mama!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Reply Elise May 21, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Loving the paper bag trend! All of these shorts are so adorable, and your pastel striped top is the cutest!

    xx, Elise

  • Reply Kelsey Bang May 21, 2019 at 9:09 am

    cute summer look! I love the paper bag bottoms!

  • Reply JoLynne Shane May 21, 2019 at 7:23 am

    How cute are you in this trend!!! I love all the looks you styled.

  • Reply Rach May 21, 2019 at 6:58 am

    You know I love paperbag waist style! These shorts are so cute and love how you styled them!

  • Reply Jill May 21, 2019 at 6:57 am

    I just bought a pair of paper bag shorts that are a dressier material and I really want either a striped or denim pair! Love all of this inspiration!

    Jill – Doused in Pink

  • Reply Andrea Nine May 21, 2019 at 6:48 am

    I love when you wear paper bag shorts and those denim ones are fabulous. I just ordered paper bag jeans. Such cute looks.

  • Leave a Reply