What to wear with paperbag pants

We've been watching a lot of throwback movies lately on our weekend nights in, one of which was Pacific Heights, a 1990 thriller starring Melanie Griffith, Matthew Modine, and Michael Keaton. It's basically about the horrors of being a landlord in San Francisco, and in spite of being 30 years old, it strangely touches upon some very current issues, including systemic racial discrimination. What struck me the most, however, was Melanie Griffith's wardrobe, which felt very 2020 with its mix of straight-leg mom jeans, boyfriend blazers, and drawstring bags. In one pivotal scene, she wears a fabulous pair of high-waisted paperbag pants and while I know I was supposed to be focused on the plot, I immediately got on Shopstyle and started looking for a pair in black. I always say you can never have too many black pants, so here's the latest addition to my repertoire. 

You may be thinking, "Hmm, those don't look like paperbag pants," and you wouldn't be wrong. Technically they are, but they don't quite fit me right. For one, I'm really short-waisted, so for these to be in the right place, the paperbag part would be almost hitting my boobs. For another, I am a little thick through the middle and thus the waist probably isn't as cinched as it should be. But in spite of the fact that these pants don't at all look how they're supposed to, I decided to keep them because they're super-soft and comfy, and I like the way they fit me regardless. They're casual enough that I can throw on a sweater with them for day, but if I do venture out, I could dress them up with a blazer and heels. So although these are "hard pants" (e.g. they're woven, not knit like sweatpants), they have an elastic waistband, which makes them a win-win if you ask me. I'm in a 38, which is my usual French size, but if you're thick through the middle and want a true paperbag effect, I'd recommend going up a size. 

When I featured 7 ways to wear a denim jacket a few weeks ago, I noted how infrequently I tend to wear one with pants, so as promised, here's yet another option. These pants can go dressier depending on what you wear with them, so I like how the denim jacket keeps the look on the more casual side. As I've noted a gazillion times before, this is Gap's icon jacket, I've had it close to 20 years, and I'm in a medium, although you may want to err on the smaller side—is it just me or have clothes gotten bigger over the years? 

A few months ago when I was cleaning out my drawers on a Kon-Mari spree, I found a random gift card for Abercrombie and Fitch, and I have no idea where it came from. Amazed that it was still valid, I treated myself to a packable down coat and this T-shirt, which is part of their cleverly named Soft AF collection. It is indeed soft AF, although it's a little more formfitting than I'm used to—I'm in a small and I wish I had gone up a size. I'd been hesitating about featuring it here on the blog because I couldn't quite find the right thing to wear with it, but I think the proportions here work well together, so here it is at last!

A change of seasons felt like a good time to break out some of my favorite darker accessories. The weather is still quite lovely here, but soon that nip in the air will return and I'll want my toes covered. I forgot how ridiculously comfy these Gucci loafers are; they've been sadly underutilized in my closet this year (you last saw them with a zebra print dress), which obviously needs to change immediately. You last saw my A.P.C. bag in July, and what can I say about this bag that I haven't already said? I'm just as much in love with it as I was when I bought it two years ago in Paris. And should that be how you feel about everything in your closet?

OUTFIT DETAILS: Gap jacket | Abercrombie & Fitch cozy top | IRO pants (current version here) | A.P.C. sac demi-lune | Gucci Brixton loafers 


Laura B said...

That is so fun you found that giftcard! It's like the universe was rewarding you for cleaning out your closet! This outfit is really cute on you!

Just Live Joy said...

I always love your classic yet trendy looks! Love this entire outfit on you!

Gail Is This Mutton? said...

I remember that film! It was quite creepy. The black trousers look great. I'm also short waisted and going to write a post about dressing for it. I've had problems too with how high up the paperbag waist of trousers can come! I love the way you styled around it. Thanks for joining #WowOnWednesday.

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Cheryl, this outfit is so cute and perfectly classic! I love that you were inspired by a 30 year old movie...showing how much fashion sticks around and comes back around! I love that you have had that denim jacket for 20 years! And I am like you, a bit thick in the middle and paper bag style pants just never fit me properly either. But I love how you made these work for you! Thanks for linking.


Mica said...

I can see why you kept the pants - they look great on you! I really like the printed tee, it does look so soft, and the denim jacket is a great topper! :) I often admire the costumes in movies too, hehe! :)

Thanks so much for joining the #WeekdayWearLinkup! Hope that you had a wonderful weekend :)

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