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My new travel fashion find is paperbag shorts—they add polish and style to any outfit. Check out these 14 pretty, yet diverse choices to add to your summer wardrobe!


Best Paper Bag Shorts



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I’m always on the hunt for the BIG three: form, function, and fashion. And when I hit the jackpot I enjoy sharing my finds with you!


I discovered paper bag shorts a while back and absolutely love them!




With J.Crew 365 stretch T-shirt (similar)


I find them to be a feminine and flattering option for my body type. And with a wide range of fabrics (not to mention colors and patterns) there are so many amazing summer options that work for business travel, vacation, or being out and about.

First off, you may be wondering…




With J. Crew Tippi Sweater (similar)


What are paperbag waist shorts?


They’re shorts that are cinched in at the waist and generally have an a-line flare shape on the leg. Even though they cinch at the waist, many have elastic-type waistbands that don’t feel constricting. They add a dressy touch to any summer outfit yet feel darn comfortable.   




With J. Crew Tippi Sweater (similar)


I mentioned how they work for my body type, but in fact, the paper bag style can be flattering for a range of body types:

  • For an hourglass like mine, it allows the waist to be cinched and the hips to have more space in proportion to my body’s natural shape. It also hides a tummy, which is nice!
  • For pear shapes, this will emphasize the hips and leg area so I’d pair a top with shoulder detail or wide collar opening to show more of a balance between shoulders and hips. A button-down blouse is a chic and flattering combination.
  • For an inverted triangle, it would create the illusion of wider hips, which you’d need to balance the shoulders and create an hourglass look. Choose a fitted top and structured shorts that open at the legs to widen your hip area and create balance with your shoulders.
  • For a straight body type, similar to the inverted triangle, you can create more curves should you want them by widening the hip area. Just be sure to choose a style that’s not fitted. Instead, look for bottoms that flare out in the legs in order to create fullness around the hip area.




With Michael Stars Drape Top


Although I own paperbag shorts in casual denim and dressy crisp prints, my favorite is the above leather pair by Zara. If you like my shorts, a similar style are these Zara ones shown above.




With J. Crew Tippi Sweater (similar) and Zara Ankle Boots


Personally, I prefer wearing shorts to skirts. So this style allows me to wear shorts, but they look dressy and more feminine than a regular short making me feel more comfortable to wear them in cities vs. a casual beach look.


Because so many readers have asked about the faux leather paper bag shorts I always wear, I’ve found a few different options.



More similar styles to my faux leather paperbag shorts:




Shop Sizes 24-31: Amazon


BLANKNYC High Waisted Vegan Leather Sash Tie Shorts


These vegan shorts have a waist-slimming effect and wearers call these “ultra-stylish” but do say to go a size up since it is faux leather. The cuffed hem gives them a sleek sheen. Tuck in your beloved tanks, t-shirts for something semi-casual, and more polished blouses for a rockin’ nighttime look.


Pair these shorst with comfortable walking sandals that are stylish, too!




Shop Sizes XS-XL: Amazon


SCHHJZPJ High Waisted Black Paperbag Shorts


One reviewer says these paperbag shorts Amazon sells are a “great material, super soft, and comfortable,” and can go with any top you throw at it. The soft lining means you’ll move in them easily and can segue from casual outings to cocktail hours with ease.




Shop Sizes XS-XXL: Amazon


DALLNS Paperbag Leather Look Shorts


These stylish leather look shorts have a removable belt so you could even pair it with another one (maybe faux snake?) and have adorable side pockets to store something little, like a tube of red lipstick. These would look fab with tanks, tees, sleek ankle boots, or sandals (wedges too!). Comes in sizes XS-XXL.



These are other paper bag waist shorts that are cute and comfy:




Shop Madewell: Sizes 23-33 Regular | 14W-28W 


Madewell High Waisted Paper Bag Shorts


These chic paperbag shorts have plenty of movement and are made from a soft linen-rayon blend (wearers even call them “beautiful!”).

These are so lightweight and breathable for a Mediterranean summer holiday, or it’ll at least feel like it when wearing them! Offered in sizes 23-33, so able to fit a range of women!


You’ll learn to pack like a pro with our signature packing lists in no time!




Shop Sizes XXS-2XL: Macy’s


On 34th Paperbag Shorts


These paper bag belted shorts are made of linen and rayon, and they’re so sophisticated and chic, but also ideal for hot weather in dressier cities, like Paris or Rome. Pair with a breezy blouse or solid tee for a classic look. Available sizes XXS-2XL.




Shop Sizes XL-5X: Amazon


RITERA Paperbag Waist Short Plus Size


Who doesn’t love a little flounce? While admittedly, I don’t wear a lot of ruffles,  they’re popular with many of our readers! These paperbag shorts have a casual-cool vibe and are easy to dress up or down. You could wear them with a sun hat and wedges or sneakers and a tee. These paperbag shorts plus size options are available in multiple colors and between sizes X-Large Plus-5X-Large Plus.




Shop Sizes S-3XL: Amazon


Dokotoo High Waisted Paperbag Shorts


For women that love their neutrals! These high-waisted paperbag shorts can easily match a number of outfits, whether you’re traveling far away or exploring locally. The material is cooling for summer since it’s a linen-cotton blend and the elastic waist means easy wearing—just pull on, adjust the drawstring, and away you go! 

Wearers say, “These are comfortable Which is great for the summer.” Would look great with espadrilles, sandals, sneakers, and tees or longer sleeved tops. Grab this in sizes S-3XL.


Checkout TFG’s essential list of the best travel clothing brands for women!




Shop Sizes 00-16: Nordstrom


NYDJ Cotton Paper Bag Shorts


These are pretty, refreshing 100% cotton shorts that are  just right for the summer.  You can level up style and sophistication, by wearing these for an evening out or dressing them casually for some daytime excursions. Wearers say the shorts are a “great length,” and you can choose between three other colors and sizes 00-16.




Shop Sizes XS-XL: Macy’s


Steve Madden Paperbag Shorts Denim High Waist


These high waist paperbag jean shorts exemplify casual chic. You can dress them down with a tee and sneakers. Perfect for a beach weekend or a music festival! You can get these in sizes XS-XL.




Shop Madewell: Sizes 23-33 Regular | 14W-28W Plus


Madewell Denim Paper-Bag Shorts


These denim shorts work as something casual yet more dressy than regular denim shorts when hanging at the beach or being out and about! They’re made from super soft cotton that feels downright cozy.

One paperbag shorts outfit you could wear is pairing them with a more dressy sleeveless top or on dressed down days, a regular tee. Available in sizes 23-33 and plus sizes 14W-28W.


We’ve rounded up our readers’ top recommendations for the best women’s travel shirts!




Shop Sizes S-XXL: Amazon


Grace Karin Elastic Paperbag Summer Beach Shorts


These cute high waist shorts have an elastic waistband so they will have some give there, and the fabric is quite soft (that’s what users say!).

Wearers also say these are perfect for everyday summer wear, so you may want more than one pair to get you by! These beauties are offered in sizes S-XXL and in over 21 colors!




Shop Sizes 24-32: Evereve


Evereve Paperbag Tie-Belt Shorts


A popular paperbag shorts go to is black and these tie-waist shorts offer total classiness. They’re made of lightweight, cotton blend so there’s plenty of breathability and softness too!

These would look amazing with slide sandals or slide wedges. Get these in sizes 24-32.




Shop Sizes 0-16: Nordstrom


Petal & Pup Hawthorne Paper Bag Elastic Waist Shorts


These elastic high waisted shorts have a cute tie waist and is a really easy choice for hot weather due to the cotton fabric and roomy feel. Would look fab with casual sandals or airy slip ons!




Shop Sizes 24-32: Anthropologie


Sanctuary High Waisted Paperbag Shorts


These easygoing high waist shorts can look polished with a white button down, but be casual with a classic white t shirt, too! Dress them up with sneakers or a more Mary Jane formal shoe to mix up your looks. Comes in sizes 24-32.



Best Paper Bag Shorts Product Comparison Chart


[wpsm_comparison_table id=”351″ class=”center-table-align”]




Compass Rose Packing Cubes


Traveling With Paper Bag Waist Shorts? Here’s How to Pack Them


If you’re planning a getaway with your adorable paperbag shorts, packing cubes will change the way you pack. I designed my own brand of slim packing cubes, with a unique color and numbering system, so it’s easy to remember where I’ve packed everything—even my summer shorts!


Learn our hacks with packing cubes in the video above!


We also put together a five-part YouTube series showing the different methods to use packing cubes for travel. If you use this specific packing strategy, packing cubes can also compress your belongings. This method has helped me travel carry-on only!



What is your favorite paperbag short for women? Share your top pick below!


For more women’s shorts, please read:






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