Newsletter Signup

Shopping Unzipped

Unzipped: How to.. Make paperbag-waists work for you


Spring is in the air! This means that it’s time to step into the season with some new styles, and I’ve been on the hunt for some updated pants and skirts to add to my arsenal. So since heightened waistlines are dominating the market, I decided to dig a little deeper with paperbag-waists. This may not seem like the easiest silhouette to pull off, but looks may be deceiving.

One of my favorite interpretations of this trend was dreamt up by the consistently great, Isabel Marant. The purposeful dishevelment of paperbag-waists lends very well with her bohemian aesthetic. I also love that most of her styling focuses on cinching and belting to create shape and structure without compromising the practicality of the garments themselves. I’m totally loving the Spring 2017 collection from Stella McCartney too. While many of the runway looks were used to take a stand on social issues, I was fixated on the expert tailoring and bunched up waist lines. There were several drawstring elements throughout the collection from necklines to sleeves which helped to define the polished cool-girl vibe that she created paired with her super wearable fabrics. Don’t we all just want to look like we’re trying, but we’re not?

So how do we make this trend doable? The key is not to overthink it. Just wear them as you would any other high waisted bottom. The striped wide-leg pants from 3.1 Phillip Lim and By Malene Birger are cool white options for a clean, springtime moment. Or pump up the volume with oversized bottoms from Maison Margiela and MSGM. Take the street style approach and pair with your favorite graphic tee or a printed bodysuit. These same rules apply for skirts as well. Try knee-length neutrals from Chloé and Stella McCartney for picks that double for work and play. But if you’re feeling partial to prints, check out the Facet geometric skirt from Issey Miyake. Perfect for garden parties, baby showers and everything in between.

There’s so much to appreciate about this trend. Not only is it practical for milder weather, but who isn’t in favor of cinching the waist bit to create a slimmer shape? You’re bound to find a pair of these paperbag-waist bottoms that will become a part of your style rotation.


Brands we love: 3.1 Phillip Lim Striped Wide-leg Pants, By Malene Birger “Ginas” Cropped Striped Wide-leg Pants, Maison Margiela Belted Pinstriped Wide-leg Pants, Sonia Rykiel Cropped Gingham Wool Wide-leg Pants, Fendi Cotton-taffeta Culottes, Chloé Paperbag-waist Cotton Skirt, Stella McCartney “Nyla” Paperbag-waist Skirt, Issey Miyake “Facet” Geometric Bonded-appliqué Skirt, MSGM Chambray Paperbag-waist Wide-leg Trousers

By Ariel Serano

Tags: Isabel Marant / Paperbag-waist / runway / Shopping / Spring 2017 / Stella McCartney

Shop EZ Picks

View all EZ Picks

Newsletter Signup