Oh, the return of the paper bag pant. I remember them so well from the 80’s. I had a love/hate relationship with them back then and I do again this iteration. You may be noticing them quite a bit for spring, but can you wear them? Sure you can. But this is a trend I suggest you really master and feel comfortable with with or simply pass. Seriously. If you are top heavy (big busted) like me, you may want to sit this trend out because it is really easy to look ridiculous unless you really know what you are doing. Don’t worry, we are here to help you consider and even master the look. Here’s how to wear the paper bag pants trend when you’re over 40.
If you dare to try paper bag pants here are some useful tips:
Balance Loose pants with a fitted top
If you are thin and have long legs paper-bag pants can be incredibly flattering because they define the waist. Yet, because you are over now 40 you can’t wear a crop top like the millennials who have not yet had babies and still have rock hard abs. Yes, paper bag pants look amazing with cropped tops but you can’t go there. You are going to want to wear a fitted tee or top to make the most of the waist-showcasing effect by choosing a snug top that’s tucked in to balance these voluminous pants. If you wear an untucked loose top you are going to look a good 10-15 pounds heavier than you truly are and who wants that?
Make Sure Your Jacket Is Cropped
While we loathe crop tops at our age we are all for the cropped jacket, especially when it comes to wearing this style of pant. With a tucked in top, the cropped jacket will showcase the waist detail. Do NOT wear a long jacket with paper bag pants. I repeat do NOT wear a long jacket with this style. Don’t believe me? Turn around and catch what your back side looks like in a full-length mirror. Actually I suggest doing this before you walk out the door. Always.
PICk a PAiR That don’t really bag out
OK, so this is cheating, but there are many styles of “paper bag” pants that don’t really paper bag out but are actually simply high-waist pants with a belt situated an inch or so from the top. This gives the illusion of the paper bag without the bulk. This would be the kind I would opt for, myself. It’s a lot more forgiving and wearable.
Try a Frilly, Ladylike Top
You know what looks awesome? A pair of moss colored paper bag pants with a frilly yet fitted cotton top. This combo is a modern update on your classic work go-to of simple trousers and a feminine button-down. Again, make sure the top is fitted. Have I stressed this enough?
OPT for a Cropped Pair
I love the wide legged, cropped version because they showcase delicate pumps and heeled sandals so well. Style them like you would a pair of culottes. Again, that means a tucked in slim-fitting top and killer shoes.
OR Go Super Wide
Since paper-bag pants are dramatic, make a statement and try them with a super wide leg. Word of caution, I only suggest you try this if you are tall, appear tall or are super thin. Be sure to balance out the volume of the pants with a top that ensures you don’t look like a mass of fabric.
Try Them in Bold Colors
Yes, you will certainly get more use of your paper bag pants if they are in expected black or khaki, but you might find you love them a lot more in a really bold color like red or yellow! Heck, it’s already a statement piece, so why not just go for it? If you do, please keep your top super simple (like a fitted black tee or blue oxford shirt) and wear a draped moto jacket.
shop for paper bag pants
You may also like our Top 10 NYFW Spring ’18 Trends Women Over 40 Can Wear.or Better Off Red For Spring!
Are you following Fountain Of 30 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest? We’ve got lots going on, so join in on the fun! Subscribe to our newsletter here. Oh and we also started a Facebook Group called Aging Backwards for women to discuss everything good and bad about being over 40.