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Paper Bag Waists | Boho Hobo

Updated on October 20, 2010

The latest trend to touch down on planet fashion is the 'paper bag waist', which can be simply described as a gathered waist that scrunches up around the wearer as if they were wearing a paper bag.

One might wonder why looking as if one is wearing a paper bag is a good thing, and indeed, this writer also struggles to understand the sense of the look. However we must accept that fashion designers must occasionally do things that make no sense simply in order to differentiate collections from year to year. If every fashion look made sense and flattered the human body, what would be the point of creating new trends? Precisely.

If you want to be hyper on trend this year, you'll be seeking out these wide waisted nightmares and gathering them about your hips with all the aplomb of a penguin belly sliding into icy waters.

Jess Cartner-Morley of the Guardian offers some solid advice on wearing the paper bag waist "There is an art to getting the paper bag waist right. You want gathers on the front only. The back view should be sleek and smooth. (A paper bag bottom is not a good look, unless you are a circus clown.) Wear a slender belt with it, a mere slip of a thing that underlines the shape of the fabric, rather than obscuring it."

Her advice was bang on in the manifestations of the paper bag waist that appeared at Toronto Fashion Week, in particular at the Line collection, where paper bag waists appeared a plenty in various forms. The paper bag waist pictured with this article was one of Line's pieces, a particularly exaggerated paper bag waist guaranteed to confuse onlookers. There were also more restrained paper bag waists in evidence however, proving that it is possible to tone down this look and not appear to be a well dressed hobo. 

When wearing a paper bag waist, remember that the size and volume of your pleats determine how glaring the look appears. If you're bold and completely secure in your fashionability (a new word I have created specifically for wearing paper bag waists,) feel free to go about in the largest paper bag waist you can find. Feel no shame if the points of the waist approach your ears, for you are avant garde. If, on the other hand, you want a toned down appearance, choose little bitty baby paper bag folds that sit crisply about your waist.

This is a trend that will inevitably pass us by, probably sooner rather than later, so take advantage of it now if you are to take advantage of it at all. This is your chance to go about the place looking like you tied someone else's pants about your body! Go! Go!


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