We know it may well be inconceivable, but there was a time when there was only one way to tuck in a shirt. We’re talking before everyone became obsessed with street style and Instagram #ootds. Now, if so inclined, you can show off your tucking prowess with the Mullet, the Half and Half, the Around the World… (OK, we actually made that last one up.)
Thankfully, for all those tuckered out by all that tucking, paper-bag waists are here to simplify things. With such exaggerated waistlines, these pants, skirts and even shorts leave no room for a lot of excess shirt fabric hanging out. But even with its easy tucking strategy, paper-bag waists can still be tricky to style. The key is to find tops that look good partially obscured and don’t fight with those gathered waists for top billing.
At least we have a steady stream of styling inspo to get us over the hurdle. From the Spring, Resort and Fall 2017 collections offering up a wide variety of unconventional techniques and toppers to fashion influencers who walk the street or make social media their virtual runway, there’s no shortage of top-notch tips to glean. Bottom line? Almost any shirt can be slid into a paper-bag waist as long as you know what you’re doing. And with almost no consensus on what exactly qualifies as a paper-bag waist, the selections are pretty extensive. (Seriously, google it and see how many different versions are out there.)
So, whether you’re a paper-bag waist newbie or someone who has almost mastered the silhouette, here are some essential styling tricks and tips. We’ve even included some shopping picks so you can easily bag a set of gathered-waist bottoms.