Top 10 Paper Bag Shorts

The Super-Flattering Short That's Currently Trending For Summer

The Super-Flattering Short That's Currently Trending For Summer

Our Top 10 Lists help shoppers quickly and easily find what they need. Using an intense review and approval process (which you can learn more about here), we break down the best styles according to what consumers most commonly search for and want.

Come summertime, breathable, billowy silhouettes are at the forefront of most people's closets. While one-and-done options like dresses and rompers are essential to a solid summer wardrobe, it's only a matter of time before frock fatigue starts to hit. Which is when shorter-inseamed versions of trousers and jeans, finally get their chance to shine. Just as effortless and breezy as your go-to summer dresses, a pair of summery shorts is the perfect solution to pulling yourself out of a style rut. Equally as practical as your denim shorts, but a lot more flattering, a waist-cinching silhouette, like paper bag shorts, is an easy way to switch things up. Loved for their polished appeal and versatility, paperbag shorts pair effortlessly with everything from tank tops to sandals, and even sneakers. The easy-to-wear short provides a fail-safe option for an array of activities—think walking the dog, working from home, weekend adventures, or travel ensembles. Plus, the cinched waist delivers figure-flattering benefits that you'd be hard-pressed to find in a pair of denim shorts. To prove to you that paper bag shorts are really all that below, we've rounded up an edit of the Top 10 pairs on the web, all of which are backed by our data-driven algorithm. 

Our Method For Finding The Best Paperbag Shorts

Whether you prefer long inseams, classic stripes, retro patterns, or elasticized waistbands, there's a pair of paperbag shorts on this list that'll fit the bill. Factoring in information from user reviews, social media buzz, best-seller lists, and editorial mentions, our data-driven algorithm has discovered and ranked the 10 best pairs of paperbag shorts on the internet. From pretty and pleated options to soft and stretchy finds fits for your daily walks around the neighborhood, keep scrolling to shop the super flattering shorts you'll want to live in all summer long.

Up next, check out the 10 Best Pull-On Shorts. Opening image: everlane.com

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July 13, 2021

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Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings

Anthropologie Breezy Paperbag Shorts
Rank & Style Approved


Anthropologie Breezy Paperbag Shorts


WHY YOU NEED IT: A high-rise silhouette and eye-catching pattern give these paperbag shorts a fresh appeal. Plus, they're made with a linen blend to ensure easy-breezy wear. 

STYLE WITH: Top off the look with a trendy blouse.

A New Day High-Rise Paperbag Shorts


WHY YOU NEED IT: Look chic and stay cool while doing it. These paperbag shorts are designed to deliver a wide range of styling versatility and a silhouette that can easily be dressed up or down with the swap of a few accessories. 

THINGS TO KNOW: These high-waist shorts feature a hook and bar closure in the front and an interior button for added stability. Thanks to an elastic back, they offer just the right amount of stretch and flexibility. 

Gap High Rise Paperbag Shorts With Washwell


THINGS TO KNOW: Made with a smooth blend of linen and cotton, these paperbag shorts feature an elasticized waistband and front slant pockets. Plus., they're a part of Gap's water-saving Washwell program that saves millions of liters of water every year. 

USER REVIEW: "Great length - covers when bending down to pick up kids etc. Comfy and flattering. They stretch out a tiny bit after running around all day in the heat but to be expected. I bought them in another color and the Tencel as well."

Everlane The Paperbag Short


THINGS TO KNOW: Classic stripes and a slightly longer inseam give these vintage-y shorts a relaxed appeal. Since they boast a longer length than your average paperbag shorts, they bring a polished element to any outfit pairing. 

FUN FACT: These shorts are made with GOTS-certified organic cotton. The material is not only lightweight and soft but boasts practical benefits like better soil, water, and safer working conditions for harvesters. 

Grace Karin Bowknot Tie Waist Summer Casual Shorts


WHY YOU NEED IT: With 25 colors and patterns to choose from, a flattering tie waist, and a $22 price tag, these are the shorts to stock up on for summer.

USER REVIEW: "I love a high-waisted short with a tie at the waist, and these turned out to be a perfect choice! They’re both flattering and comfortable, plus I love the olive color I got. The elastic material in the belt also makes them super comfortable to wear."

Open Edit Paperbag Waist Linen Blend Shorts


WHY YOU NEED IT: A functional drawstring and subtle paperbag waist, give these shorts a laid-back feel. Since they're made with a breezy linen blend, they're practically guaranteed to keep you equal parts comfy and cool. 

STYLE WITH: Dress up these shorts with a white long-sleeve button-down and flat sandals

Gap 4" Paperbag Pull-On Shorts


WHY YOU NEED IT: These paperbag shorts are a subtle statement-making piece. They feature a bright, all-over throwback-inspired striped pattern and super-soft cotton for a comfy fit. 

THINGS TO KNOW: These shorts are also available in petite and tall sizing options. 

SheIn Solid Paper Bag Waist Belted Shorts


WHY YOU NEED IT: Equal parts affordable and chic, these solid shorts ring up under just $12 and come in a ton of chic color options. Stock up before they all sell out. 

STYLE WITH: Dress up these simple shorts with a short-sleeve button-down shirt. 

Old Navy High-Waisted Tie-Belt Linen-Blend Shorts


THINGS TO KNOW: Thoughtful details like an elasticized high-rise waistband and adjustable tie-belt ensure a flattering fit with every wear. Plus, these pull-on paperbag shorts are made with a breezy linen-blend and functional side pockets for extra storage. 

STYLE WITH: Top off the look with a pair of comfy sandals

Athleta Skyline Short II


WHY YOU NEED IT: Athleta has a reputation for designing versatile pieces, and these shorts are no exception. With subtle pleats and a waist-cinching tie, they boast the elevated appeal of dress shorts but deliver a fit that's just as comfortable as your go-to workout shorts. In other words, they're pretty much the epitome of athleisure.

WHERE TO WEAR: Slip these on for your next travel day. They'll keep you cozy whether you're at the airport or on a long road trip, and the wrinkle-resistant fabric means they'll stay in tip-top shape even if you wad them up in your suitcase.

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