Paper bag pants may not have the most appealing name in the book, and a surplus of fabric around your midsection sounds like the kind of thing magazines would tell you to avoid, but the cinched-waist style is much more flattering than you might expect.
For spring, designers have given the pants a ringing endorsement, and we’re here to second their motion. Tibi has proposed a high-waisted culotte style this season (and, for the pants-averse, they have a paper bag pencil skirt, too!), while 3.1 Phillip Lim’s offerings include silk shorts and wide-leg pants, and tapered trousers in warm-weather cotton and lightweight wool.
As for how to style the sometimes-tricky trend, the secret is to go with either something cropped or something fitted—you don’t want to drown the silhouette in a lot of extra fabric. This is a great excuse to break out that bodysuit that’s been languishing in your dresser, since the paper-bag waist is more forgiving than skintight denim, or else a slim-fitting blouse will make the look feel a little more pulled-together.
Click through the slideshow to see ten outfit ideas to get you started.