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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
Table Of Contents
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!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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:
SHEIN Paperbag Waist Rolled Hem Belted PU Shorts
These vegan shorts have a waist-slimming effect and wearers call these “ultra-stylish” and say these fit true to size. 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 your shorts with these!
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 on Amazon | Sizes S-XXL
Uusollecy Faux Leather 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 S-XXL
These are other paper bag waist shorts that are cute and comfy:
Shop on Boden | Sizes 2-22 Available
Elgin High Waisted Paperbag Shorts
These chic paperbag shorts have plenty of movement and are made from a soft cotton-lyocell 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 2-22, so able to fit a range of women!
Pair your paperbag shorts with these pretty wedge sandals!
Shop on Club Monaco | Sizes 00-14
Club Monaco High Waisted Paper Bag Shorts
These belted paper bag shorts are a linen blend that’s sophisticated and chic and 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 00-14.
Shop on Amazon | Sizes 16-24 Plus
Hanna Nikole Paper Bag Shorts (Plus Size)
Who doesn’t love classic stripes? While admittedly, I don’t wear a lot of striped clothing, they’re popular for many of our readers! These paperbag shorts striped style 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 tee. These paperbag shorts plus size options are available in multiple colors and between sizes 16-24 Plus
Shop on Madewell | Sizes XXS-XXL
Madewell Drawstring Pull-On Paperbag Shorts
For women that love their neutrals! These high-waisted Madewell paperbag shorts can easily match with 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!
Shop on Nordstrom | Sizes XXS-XL
Open Edit Waist Linen Blend Shorts
These are pretty, refreshing linen shorts that are airy and just right for summer heat or humid destinations. Linen is a magic fabric that dries fast and wicks away moisture. But a blend makes them less heavy and more lightweight!
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 XXS-XL.
Shop on Amazon | Sizes 0-14
Levi’s High Waisted Denim Shorts
Shop on Mango | Sizes XS-XL
Mango Paper Bag Shorts Denim
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 a 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 XS-XL.
Shop on Amazon | Sizes S-XXL
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 on Everlane | Sizes XXS-XL
Everlane Paperbag Tie-Belt Shorts
A popular paperbag shorts pattern is stripes and the twill fabric and longer length of these tie-waist shorts offer a bit more coverage but also classiness. They’re made of lightweight, organic cotton so plenty of breathability and softness too!
One review says, “I love these shorts a lot. The feel of the material is nice and it seems to be of good quality.” These could be a huge summer favorite that’s versatile to hang indoors or outdoors! Get these in sizes XXS-XL.
Shop on Amazon | S-L
urbandaizy Paper Bag Jean Shorts
Though no cute bow on these elastic high-waisted shorts, you can add your own belt to make it your own. 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 on Lane Bryant | Sizes 12-28
Lane Bryant Perfect Drape Short With Belt
These gorgeous cotton blend shorts are ideal for a warm destination. The tan-based color screams ”easy going summer vacation,” and the tie gives it some polish when you want to dress them up. Available in sizes 12-28.
Want more summer shorts? Check out other picks!
Best Paper Bag Shorts Product Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|SHEIN Paperbag Waist Rolled Hem Belted PU Shorts||“ultra-stylish”||Check Price|
|SCHHJZPJ High Waisted Black Paperbag Shorts||“great material, super soft, and comfortable,”||Check Price|
|Uusollecy Faux Leather 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.||Check Price|
|Elgin High Waisted Paperbag Shorts||These chic paperbag shorts have plenty of movement and are made from a soft cotton-lyocell blend (wearers even call them “beautiful!”).||Check Price|
|Club Monaco High Waisted Paper Bag Shorts||These belted paper bag shorts are a linen blend that’s sophisticated and chic and ideal for hot weather in dressier cities, like Paris or Rome. Pair with a breezy blouse or solid tee for a classic look.||Check Price|
|Hanna Nikole Paper Bag Shorts||These paperbag shorts striped style 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 tee.||Check Price|
|Madewell Drawstring Pull-On Paperbag Shorts||“These are stylish and comfortable. Love the feel of the fabric!”||Check Price|
|Open Edit Waist Linen Blend Shorts||“great length,”||Check Price|
|Levi's High Waisted Denim Shorts||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!||Check Price|
|Mango Paper Bag Shorts Denim||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 a super soft cotton that feels downright cozy.||Check Price|
|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!).||Check Price|
|Everlane Paperbag Tie-Belt Shorts||“I love these shorts a lot. The feel of the material is nice and it seems to be of good quality.”||Check Price|
|urbandaizy Paper Bag Jean Shorts||A really easy choice for hot weather due to the cotton fabric and roomy feel.||Check Price|
|Lane Bryant Perfect Drape Short With Belt||”easy going summer vacation,”||Check Price|
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:
- Stylish Summer Shorts for Women: Must-Have Vacation Essentials
- Cute Summer Shorts for Women: 8 Trends to Buy Right Now
- Should You Wear Shorts in Paris…Ever?
- Get Creative! DIY Denim Shorts for Women
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