7 Ways to Wear Fall's Coolest Trousers: Paper-Bag Pants

We were recently up one night trolling Pinterest for outfit ideas—as we do—when we came across kind of our dream fall trend: paper-bag pants. You know, that style that sits high on your torso and is belted a few inches below the top of the fabric to give it a paper-bag effect. (Fun fact: We’re not alone; Pinterest has seen a 682 percent spike in searches for it.) So naturally, we went even further down the Pinterest wormhole to find the following eight outfits, all of which we’ll be copying in the next few months.

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Balance Loose Pants With A Tighter Top

Paper-bag pants can be incredibly flattering (hello, defined waist) depending on what you wear them with. Make the most of the aforementioned waist-showcasing effect by choosing a snug top (tucked in, always) to go with your voluminous pants. We’ll get into more daring styling later, but consider the above outfit an accessible way to ease into the trend.

Get the look: L'Agence pants ($385); H&M top ($13)

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Try Them In Bold Colors

Will you get more wear out of your paper-bag pants in black or khaki? Maybe, but it’s already a statement piece, so why not go all out? This deep red is not only the color of fall, but it’s also completely sick with a blue oxford shirt and a draped moto jacket.

Get the look: Boohoo pants ($40); J.Crew button-down ($80); Zara jacket ($129)

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Wear Them With A Cool Graphic Tee

Who wears the pants? You do. Play up the androgynous factor of trousers by wearing them with a vintage graphic tee. The resulting look is relaxed, chic and—thanks to the whole tucked-in thing—totally appropriate.

Get the look: Lamarque pants ($148); Midnight Rider tee ($60) 

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Experiment With A Frilly, Ladylike Top

On the flip side, a pair of paper-bag pants—especially in the most gorgeous moss color—looks great juxtaposed with a ruffled blouse. Think of this combo as a modern update on your classic work go-to of simple trousers and a feminine button-down.

Get the look: Soprano pants ($39); Madewell top ($82)

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Go Super Wide

Paper-bag pants are dramatic; there’s no getting around that. Lean into the whole statement-making thing in a pair that’s as wide as they are long. Per usual, balance out the volume of the pants with a top that ensures the world there is, in fact, a real-life human shape under all that material.

Get the look: Style Mafia pants ($149); Love, Fire top ($17)

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...or Go Cropped

Floor-sweeping pants are well and good, but don’t rule out shorter versions. Style these just as you would a pair of culottes, by which we mean (all together now) with slim-fitting tops, tucked in to show off your waist.

Get the look: ASOS pants ($56); Three Dots turtleneck ($55)

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Choose Unexpected Materials

While we’re trying new silhouettes, why not try them in a surprising fabrics like denim or leather? Think of these like your cool, dramatic new jeans and wear them as you would the rest of your denim wardrobe. Don’t overthink it—a simple black T-shirt is all you need to let a pair of crazy-cool pants shine.

Get the look: Red Card pants ($283); Everlane T-shirt ($18)

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