Would You Wear It – Paperbag Waist Chino

Would You Wear It – Paperbag Waist Chino

Happy Saturday ladies and welcome to your weekend. It’s time for would you wear it so grab a cup of tea or coffee and let’s get to it. For the last few months, Pam and I have been doing a mid-week popup would you wear it on Wednesdays but it’s time for me to just dial it back to Saturdays. Mannequins are becoming harder to access and frankly, their creativity has been lacking lately so I think it will be fun to do something else on Wednesdays.

If you’re new here, each week we share a mannequin and ask our readers if they would wear what it’s modeling. Please keep your comments specific to you so no one gets insulted by sweeping generalities like,  “this is awful, no one would look good wearing this!”


So what do you think?

Please share how you might style this to work for your shape and lifestyle.


Here are a few weekend sale updates-

Macy’s – take an extra 20% off your order with the code SAVE

Talbots – 40% off two items and 30% off one new merchandise and plus their clearance sale continues.

Here are some great new arrivals

Nordstrom -no sale roundup would be complete without including the Nsale, but in addition, their clearance sale is epic.

J. Crew – 25% off full-price styles with the code MOREISMORE plus up to 70% off sale styles.

Banana Republic – up to 50% off must-have styles and an extra 50% sale. PLUS – b

Gap – Friends & Family sale, 40% off everything with the code FRIENDS plus an additional 10% off with the code FAMILY!

J.Jill – 30% off full-price styles with the code AUGUST30

Now let’s go see what Pam’s mannequin is modeling at Over 50 Feeling 40.

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.


This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. Janey
    August 8, 2020 / 10:09 pm

    It is a cute outfit, but I can’t wear those pants. I have a stomach that sticks out and some pants can cover it fairly well, but that style is the absolute worst for me.

  2. Nancy
    August 8, 2020 / 4:24 pm

    I really liked this outfit. For me, it’s all about comfort and the paper bag waist is so much more comfortable than a pair of tight pants. I would definitely fill out these pants more than the mannequin but they would give me the extra room I need in the waistline. I really hope this retro style catches on. These pants would look great with the green twill jacket you featured last week.

  3. Kathy
    August 8, 2020 / 3:31 pm

    That outfit looks cute, modern and chic on the mannequin, but I would never wear it. Those pants would add too much bulk around the middle, and I’ve never cared for the way pleated pants bunch up and puff out all over the place when you’re sitting down. The top might work; it would depend on the material and the fit.

  4. J
    August 8, 2020 / 3:15 pm

    I never heard of the term “paper-bag waist” pants back in the 80’s. I used to do a lot of sewing in those days but mostly made dresses and skirts. I think I could wear these if they are at least ankle length. I would wear them with a navy or olive green fitted top with 3/4 sleeves and a belt instead of the tie.

  5. Patti Shannon
    August 8, 2020 / 2:16 pm

    I love the top and I think I had the pants in the 70’s when I was thinner. Even when I was very thin I was kind of thick waisted so I don’t think that the pants would be flattering but I might be surprised if I tried them on. I would love the pants with a drawstring or just elastic waist but would wear the shirt untucked to avoid accentuating my thick waist. I love the color of the shirt; it makes me think of fall, my favorite season.

    • Jennifer
      August 9, 2020 / 11:09 pm

      Fall is my very favorite season too!

  6. Terry
    August 8, 2020 / 1:45 pm

    I think the outfit is very cute! It took me down memory lane. I had a pair of tan paper bag waist trousers in the very late 70s that I wore with a purple plaid shirt with a gold thread running through it and a repurposed man’s vest—I was strongly influenced by Annie Hall. 🙂 It was my very favorite outfit for a least two years, I don’t know if I have ever loved an outfit as much since then. I felt like a million bucks in that outfit, I’m smiling now just remembering. I’d give the pants a try again. The shirt is lovely, but I’m too bosomy now and it would accentuate that.

    • Jennifer
      August 9, 2020 / 11:08 pm

      It struck me as very Annie Hall too, in a very good way.

  7. Kay
    August 8, 2020 / 1:10 pm

    I like the colors. I like the cut of the blouse. I think I might wear this, but I would lose the tie. That is what makes the pants look “fat.” IMO, of course.

  8. Becky
    August 8, 2020 / 12:13 pm

    There is nothing about this outfit that appeals to me. I fear the pants would accentuate parts of me that I really don’t care the have emphasized, & I prefer more structure in my clothing.

  9. Deborah
    August 8, 2020 / 12:09 pm

    Nope! As a senior lady…I don’t have Ia waistline and don’t normally wear baggy pants.
    can see a tall slender lady wearing it tho…very chic.

  10. beth byrd
    August 8, 2020 / 11:06 am

    My first reaction was NO – NO – NO. But after reading the comments above, I think I might try this outfit on.

    The top really appeals to me and it does look great with those pants. I imagine I’ll have to play around with this look before I get it right for my body type. But that’s kind of fun!!

    But, lesson learned. Don’t rule anything out at first glance!

    • Jennifer
      August 9, 2020 / 11:07 pm

      That’s why I love these!!

  11. Cyndi
    August 8, 2020 / 10:44 am

    Not a fan of the paperbag waist pants but if I was wearing them, I would pair with a more fitted top. I like that top and would wear it but would pair it with a more fitted pair of pants. I’m going to miss the Wednesday “Would You Wear It”, maybe it will return someday

  12. Susan B
    August 8, 2020 / 10:35 am

    I once thought I would never like this style as it seemed it would add bulk to the middle. But I recently found a pair & tried them on because I loved the color. OMG, they are so comfortable! I bought them a size larger ( I know, who does that) but I think they drapes better. I usually wear them with a belt and a sweater or some kind of longer topper and find that very flattering.

  13. Nancy Walden
    August 8, 2020 / 10:00 am

    I have never been a fan of paper-bag waists. I have always felt that they added visual weight and did not flatter my figure. I avoid any excess fabric around my waist/tummy.

  14. Eve
    August 8, 2020 / 9:22 am

    I don’t like the pants because I need to wear my top on outside so this wouldn’t work for me. I just don’t like to tuck. Too much tummy, not enuff backside. But the blouse is darling and I would try it. If it looked good with my straight leg pants, fitted but not tight jeans, I would love the red. I’d like the blue too. Although sleeves like these won’t transition to winter, there is still plenty of hot weather left here on the coast.

  15. Theresa
    August 8, 2020 / 9:01 am

    I like the top but not with these pants. I would pair it with a more tailored pant, or jeans. I would wear a modified version of the pant…less fabric in the front where the pleats are, and no tied belt. I’m short and well above my target weight but I recently made a pair of pants and experimented with various waist styles. Surprisingly, a high waist controls my “muffin top”. For me the key was the choice of tops. I wore a tucked in tank with a loose shrug that has a curved front so that it almost meets between my bust and the top of the pants and ends a few inches below my natural waist line. I realized that I shouldn’t discount a style without trying it on and experimenting.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 9:48 am

      Good for you Theresa. I’m often surprised once I try a look on.

  16. Linda
    August 8, 2020 / 8:54 am

    If I was 20 pounds thinner I would give it a try! I would be afraid to wear this as I am now because that style accentuates the waist, which I am avoiding. The color of the shirt wouldn’t work for me but it it was a bright blue or sky blue, I would give it a try!

  17. Rose
    August 8, 2020 / 8:48 am

    I actually have that top! The pants remind me too much of the 80s and they didn’t look good on me back then. They would be cute on a much younger person then me.

  18. Penelope
    August 8, 2020 / 8:35 am

    A yes on the shape of pant but with a more fitted top. A tank would be best. I’d look for pants with a wider leg to balance the volume at the waist, in a fabric that has some softness & drape.

  19. Bab
    August 8, 2020 / 8:21 am

    The cake made me drool. Like the top but would pass on the pant as I don’t care for anything that is high waisted.

  20. Elaine @ Following Augustine
    August 8, 2020 / 8:18 am

    I’ve never worn a paper bag waist, but since I’m seeing more of them lately, I’d like to try a pair on. I’m tall and thin, but even so, I’m not sure I’d want to draw that much attention to my middle. I especially don’t like the bow sticking out like that. Perhaps a fabric that drapes more would be better.

  21. Sherry
    August 8, 2020 / 8:15 am

    I am getting ready for fall thoughts. Have in my mind , loose tunic tops that fall to hips or slightly below with leggings. In materials that can stand laundry for everyday wear. I see lots of these on questionable sites, suggestions for legitimate sources
    I am 5’8” and 16 W on top 14 to 16 regular pant

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 9:46 am

      I will source some out for you Sherry. That sounds like a great looking heading into fall.

  22. Julie Traxler
    August 8, 2020 / 8:14 am

    I had these exact pants in the 80’s! I will always love them. But because I am 20 lbs heavier with a larger waist, I wouldn’t wear them. The blouse is really pretty, but I don’t think it is a good choice with this style of pant. Times have changed, however! I never thought I would wear a dressy blouse with jeans!

  23. Julie Anne
    August 8, 2020 / 8:02 am

    Because I’m very short, I can be easily overwhelmed.

    The top is a yes – no collar & length sleeves can be pushed up. A delicate pattern too.

    The pants are a firm no. I had a similar pair and even though they were comfy, I realized they were too bulky and the tie added to that. Two wearings confirmed it and they were laundered and donated.

  24. Barbara K.
    August 8, 2020 / 7:35 am

    Is that the dreaded pleat that I see on the waist? Although these pants look comfy, they would emphasize my middle – by far the worst feature on my body. I like the blouse though! It is an interesting shape that I think might work for me.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 9:44 am

      That is the “pleat” 🙂

  25. MRSBEN2
    August 8, 2020 / 7:05 am

    Would definitely have to try the pants on for fit and style as prefer a non-flare lower hem in paper-bag style (in other words more tapered) and review their fabric content as do not like to be a slave to ironing particularly when its warm weather …. lol! Also more than likely would consider stitching the slashed pockets closed and eliminate the extra interior bulk which I often do with pleated pants. With regards to their fabric tie belt; feel it would look better using an over-loop technique with two tails rather than a bow. As for the top; though do like its fabric the style is just not my taste.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 9:43 am

      I often do the same thing with pockets, depending on the weight of the fabric.

  26. Terri
    August 8, 2020 / 6:57 am

    I haven’t been a fan of this style and automatically dismissed it because of a thick midsection. However, I’m 5‘ 8” and might be able to carry the look off better than I think. I’m going to be open-minded and try on a pair.

  27. Donna Nance
    August 8, 2020 / 6:23 am

    Definitely not for my body shape!

  28. RoseAG
    August 8, 2020 / 6:20 am

    I agree that these would need to be tried on. I would definitly use a slim belt instead of the tie.
    I would also be pairing the pants with a top that wasn’t high contrast.
    A plus of the style is that they’re high-waisted, and the waist is forgiving.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 6:59 am

      Great points Rose

  29. Glenda
    August 8, 2020 / 6:10 am

    I like it (the whole look), but personally couldn’t pull it off with my menopausal middle. 🥴

    • Elsie
      August 8, 2020 / 6:39 am

      Good morning! This outfit would not work on me. There is too much fabric in the sleeves and in the fullness of the pant legs. I try not to draw attention to my short waist. I do like the return of high-waisted pants, but nowadays all my tops are left untucked.

  30. Elaine
    August 8, 2020 / 5:59 am

    Target eh? Nice! But not for me, because the photo above of the carrot cake and latte looks too good! Hence a thick waistline, so paper bag waists don’t work. But I do like the look, just not on me.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 6:58 am

      Lol, I can seldom resist carrot cake 🙂

  31. Su
    August 8, 2020 / 5:59 am

    I was very surprised to find that a pair of navy linen paperbags suited me very well. I think you have to try different cuts for one that suits you. Bit of a cheat as mine are wide leg (another style I didn’t think I could pull off) and full length, and lovely and cool.

    I have a bit of extra tum at the moment, but fastening the belt like a tie looks smart and less bulky on me. They go well with a fitted jersey top and a well-shaped lightweight quilted cotton waistcoat (vest) I hadn’t found a partner for. Either on the plain navy side or the extremely pretty floral on navy reverse.

    Can’t see them working with a jacket or cardigan though.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 6:58 am

      I agree about how you tie these soft of belts. It can make all the difference. I love this type pant in a soft drapey fabric.

  32. sheryl beil
    August 8, 2020 / 5:57 am

    wow, with my body shape, i would run not walk away from these! that is just too much action in the area i work hardest at disguising. now, that being said, i love that blouse and i see in the background a pretty soft blue version, im going to click on target and see if i can find it.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 6:55 am

      Lol, I missed that soft blue. You have an eagle shopping eye Sheryl.

  33. Gail
    August 8, 2020 / 5:54 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    Love your new logo-simple, to the point, no pretensions-with a reference to tradition in the beautiful design of your mothers earring. It all resonates with me.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 6:54 am

      Thank you so much Gail. Every time I look at it I am reminded of my mum and that fun trip to Ireland.

  34. Pamela over 50 Feeling 40
    August 8, 2020 / 5:45 am

    I would not wear this. It would not flatter my shape and I personally do not care for this blouse even with a different style pant. I would walk right by this one.

  35. Eileen
    August 8, 2020 / 5:44 am

    I would try it on, if, the colors were different, dark blue, with light blue top, and I would add a real belt. I’m a pear shape, and have bought things similar to this, but I look for a softer fabric in the pants so they drape more.

  36. Cindy
    August 8, 2020 / 5:34 am

    I’ve never been a fan of the paperbag waist & I don’t think this would look good on me at all. I’m short, so the high-waist proportion just wouldn’t be flattering.
    I do like the blouse & would give that a try.

  37. Jan
    August 8, 2020 / 5:12 am

    I wish I could wear these pants but they even add pounds to this pencil thin, tall mannequin. The large pleats, light color and big bow would do no favors to my shrinking frame and disappearing waist. I do like the high waist and can imagine that they are cool and very comfortable to wear. The top might pair well with a pair of jeans this early fall. So many ladies could pull off this look and I would be envious!
    Happy weekend to all!

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 6:46 am

      Have a great weekend Jan!

  38. Michele
    August 8, 2020 / 5:07 am

    I would have to actually try on this style of pant to see if it would work for me. In my mind, you would need a tighter fitting top to wear with pants that have a looser fit. The outfit is so oversized on the mannequin so it is not appealing to me at all. Why do mannequins, and models for that matter, always dress in oversized clothing? Is big, bulky, sloppy the way people are actually dressing now? Not me…I want my clothes to fit.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 6:43 am

      That’s one of the reasons I love us to discuss mannequins. Now if only some merchandisers would read us

  39. Sue
    August 8, 2020 / 4:51 am

    I am short waisted so I choose clothes to try to create the illusion of a longer, more proportional body. The extra fabric above the belted waist of these pants would chop off most of my torso and sit too close to my bra line. I rarely tuck in my tops and I usually avoid a high color contrast like this outfit in the waist area.
    I think this would look great on someone with a straighter silhouette and a longer torso.

  40. Bev Dickes
    August 8, 2020 / 4:40 am

    I have three pair of this style pant from Athleta. I love them. I wear them everyday, as a professional seamstress, with athletic shoes. They are so comfortable and easy to wear and care for. And I can dress them up also.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 6:41 am

      Thank you Bev! Thanks for sharing how you wear them.

  41. Cathy Holloway
    August 8, 2020 / 4:34 am

    I like the paper bag waist as a concept but would not choose this style. I wore the paper bag waist once before when it was in style but in a very different way. The top was a tee fitted close to the body. The tie belt was far less bulky than shown here. And if I’m remembering correctly the waist fabric was softer so the tie belt caused it to loosely gather rather than to bunch like this appears. And I have at 70 something a thicker middle than at 40 or 50 or 60 something. So this is a no.

  42. Lidia
    August 8, 2020 / 4:33 am

    Love high-waisted pants and they look great on me. I hate the look of the “tied” belt. If you make a “bow” it’s cutesy and bulky. If you just “knot” it it looks unfinshed. I usually use a regular belt (because my pants are a heavier weight than these) but might try summer weight pants with a scarf as a belt.

  43. Mary
    August 8, 2020 / 4:30 am

    Not for me. I don’t like the tie belt or pleats on pants. The top is cute and I might look into it. Thanks for shopping at Target. Your Macy’s code SAVE doesn’t work. Happy Saturday.

  44. Linda R Gaertner
    August 8, 2020 / 4:27 am

    I’m short so all that fabric at the waist adds pounds so it’s a no for me

  45. Yvonne
    August 8, 2020 / 4:25 am

    I have been meaning to try the this style pant all summer, but shied away feeling it would add too much bulk at the waist.
    These ones have quite a high waist, and since I am slightly short waisted, I would need to do this is a tone on tone look. I would choose a slimmer fit, 3/4 sleeve, V neck top in a similar colour to the pant. I would add cute, flat sandals and a straw fedora style hat. It’s fun to try new looks and get out of our comfort zone sometimes.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 6:39 am

      Great styling ideas. Thanks Yvonne

  46. MP
    August 8, 2020 / 4:21 am

    I really don’t like this look. The tie belt and pleats add bulk and attention to an area better left alone. I like plain front pants so this is not for me.

  47. Paulette Levy
    August 8, 2020 / 3:22 am

    I have considered this style pant. I’m pretty slim all over but do have a tummy, and this pant style accentuates that. I’d have to discard the belted tie I Think and pair with a more fitted top, perhaps or a top that balances the pant fullness. I really don’t think I’d purchase these pants.

    The blouse is cute and maybe I’d buy this for fall, paired with nicer jeans. I like that the neck mimics a vee neck, that is flattering for my face shape.

    • Jennifer
      August 8, 2020 / 6:37 am

      Thanks for sharing Paulette

  48. Linda J
    August 8, 2020 / 3:14 am

    I would love to try the pants. I feel that belt might add bulk to the waist. I would try them with a more fitted top and maybe switch out the tie waist belt with a brown leather braided belt I have and some brown Sandals. I have a smaller waist and carry my weight in my lower body and these pants look like they have plenty of leg room. The blouse isn’t something I would wear. I prefer knits and that neckline doesn’t appeal to me.

    • Jane
      August 8, 2020 / 4:33 am

      Love the top, the wide sleeve and shoulder would balance a wider leg cropped pant. I would try on the pant if the pleats were sewn down to mid tummy, and I would knot the belt or add rings to one end to make it into a belt, leave the tail of the belt long to camouflage my belly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any images or written material is strictly prohibited without express and written permission from this blog's author and owner. A Well Styled Life® a registered trademark.
| powered by chloédigital