Support TFG by using the links in our articles to shop. We receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) so we can continue to create helpful free content. We earn from qualifying purchases made to the featured retailers. Thank you, we appreciate your support!
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:
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 your shorts with these!
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 Sizes 0-16: Nordstrom
Wit & Wisdom 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!”).
Pair your paperbag shorts with these comfortable orthopedic shoes!
Shop Sizes 0-18: Macy’s
Ralph Lauren Paperbag Shorts
These paper bag belted shorts are made of linen 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 00-18.
Shop Sizes 16-24 Plus: Amazon
Hanna Nikole Paperbag Waist 4″ Short
Who doesn’t love classic stripes? While admittedly, I don’t wear a lot of striped clothing, they’re popular with 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 a tee. These paperbag shorts plus size options are available in multiple colors and between sizes 16-24 Plus
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!
Learn the benefits of packing light!
Shop Sizes XS-XL: H&M
H&M Linen-Blend Paper-Bag Shorts
These are pretty, refreshing linen blend shorts that are airy and just right for the 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 XS-XL.
Shop Sizes 26-32: Amazon
Levi’s Paperbag Shorts Denim High Waist
Madewell Denim Paper-Bag Shorts
Looking for the ultimate packing list? We’ve rounded up the best checklist for you!
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 XS-XL: Evereve
Evereve 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 XS-XL.
Shop Sizes 23-33: Madewell
Madewell 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 Sizes 00-16: Anthropologie
Maeve High Waisted Sash Tie Pleated Shorts
These are pretty as a skirt, but with the coverage of shorts, and one wearer says the “fabric flows nicely.” Pleated shorts can level up style and sophistication, wearable for an evening out or for out of town event. Available through sizes 00-16.
Want more summer shorts? Check out other picks!
Best Paper Bag Shorts Product Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL
|FEATURES | REVIEWS
|RATING | PRICE
|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.
|SCHHJZPJ High Waisted Black Paperbag Shorts
|“Great material, super soft, and comfortable.”
|DALLNS Paperbag Leather Look Shorts
|These would look fab with tanks, tees, sleek ankle boots, or sandals (wedges too!).
|Wit & Wisdom High Waisted Paper Bag Shorts
|These are so lightweight and breathable for a Mediterranean summer holiday, or it’ll at least feel like it when wearing them!
|Ralph Lauren Paperbag Shorts
|These paper bag belted shorts are made of linen that’s sophisticated and chic and ideal for hot weather in dressier cities, like Paris or Rome.
|Hanna Nikole Paper Bag Shorts
|These paperbag shorts striped style have a casual-cool vibe and are easy to dress up or down.
|Dokotoo High Waisted Paperbag Shorts
|“These are comfortable Which is great for the summer.”
|H&M Linen-Blend Paper-Bag Shorts
|These are pretty, refreshing linen blend shorts that are airy and just right for the summer heat or humid destinations.
|Levi's Paperbag Shorts Denim High Waist
|Perfect for a beach weekend or a music festival!
|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!
|Grace Karin Elastic Paperbag Summer Beach Shorts
|These are perfect for everyday summer wear, so you may want more than one pair to get you by!
|Evereve 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.”
|Madewell Paper Bag Jean Shorts
|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!
|Maeve High Waisted Sash Tie Pleated Shorts
|Pleated shorts can level up style and sophistication, wearable for an evening out or for out of town event.
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
- Best Hiking Shorts for Women to Explore the Outdoors in the Summer
- These Long Shorts for Women Will Add Pizzazz to Summertime
- Be Summer Breezy in the 10 Best Denim Shorts for Women
LIKE THIS POST? PIN THIS PIC TO SAVE IT!
We hope you liked this post on the best paperbag shorts. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!