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When described out loud, the paper bag pants trend sounds terrifying. The silhouette is usually gathered at the waist, cinched by a sash, belt or button, with a loose-fitting leg that is either tapered at the ankle or pooled to the ground. Perhaps that’s why we keep reaching for our straight mom jeans or basic skinnies — out of pure comfort and the assurance that we already know how to manage such proportions.

But the wide, high-rise paper bag style is not to be missed, especially since it emphasizes the waist and creates the appearance of a long, lean figure. If you choose a design that’s smartly made in quality fabrics, you’ll quickly replace your fitted, cropped trousers with paper bag pants, available in every material from free-flowing silk to satin or linen for a little more structure.

Ahead, we recommend the perfect outfits to center around these seemingly polarizing slacks and bring you a few favorite pairs on the market that have won us over in recent history. The denim aesthetic of the 80s, achieved by the likes of Miu Miu, Asos and Anne Fontaine, features a subtle slouchy and cinched waistline and often a slight acid wash effect, from TB’s nylon joggers or the sporty vibe of Zara’s neutral lounge pants. You can finish off with heels for a sleek and sophisticated twist, scroll through to get inspired and shop the paper bag pants that best speak to your sense of style.

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