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paperbag waist bottoms

An Ode to the Paper Bag Waist

Shop the trendy yet wearable style.

By: Camille Freestone

The paper bag waist is exactly what it sounds like: a loose-fitting trouser or skirt gathered at the waist, typically with a belt. The silhouette is reminiscent of the ’80s—a decade that has been often referenced on the runways by designers like Isabel Marant, Miu Miu, and The Attico.

The trendy silhouette is both flattering and forgiving. The cinched detail instantly creates an hourglass figure, while the rest of the shape is super boxy—perfect for a WFH-oriented lifestyle. The gathered waist typically comes with a coordinating belt, but it can be easily swapped out for your own.

 

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The styling options range from sophisticated pairings to casual contrast—think anything from a casual t-shirt to a polished blazer. Use the cinched waist to gather a boxy top or emphasize the boxy silhouette with a slinky, fitted tank. You can even lean into the ’80s connotation by adding a blouse with padded shoulders.

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