Crack the buying code: What’s the next paperbag trouser?

As the fashion cycle becomes shorter, and major retailers shift from design-led to buying-led structures, knowing the stock and trends to invest in is crucial.

Here at WGSN, we give buyers data-driven content in line with their workflow to support decision-making on the trends to invest, so they can identify opportunities across future seasons.

So what’s the secret to a successful buying season? We’re taking you behind the scenes at WGSN, as our experts reveal how they identify the drivers and divers that make or break a season.

The paperbag trouser has become a womenswear fashion staple due its versatility. An important design detail, paperbag trousers contribute to elevated looks on the runways, while also adding an edge to relaxed streetwear aesthetics.  

Discover how the paperbag trouser became a key item, and how it will evolve for future seasons.


Why paperbag trousers?

Paperbag waist style trousers have become an important design detail from the runway to the high street. The waistline started to gained momentum in S/S 16 Catwalks, offering a fresh yet commercial update for bottom weights. In 2016 we predicted the paperbag waist would continue through to A/W 17/18, featured in pants, skirts and shorts.

“The consumer’s appeal for the paperbag waist style was part of a move away from streetwear to a more minimal and pared back style, strongly influenced by Phoebe Philo’s Celine and the rise of tailoring and a focus on femininity,” explains Francesca Muston, Head of Retail & Product Analysis.


When did the paperbag trouser peak?

In S/S 18 paperbag trousers showed their full potential, becoming inescapable on the high street to become the best-performing trouser shape of S/S 18 and sustaining a +6% growth on pre-fall 18 as shown by WGSN Catwalk Analytics data, this shape will remain relevant.

“On A/W 18, new-in paperbag trousers were up +87% in the UK and more than doubled in the US with +130%, according to WGSN Instock online retail data. The item’s highest growth was driven by trend-led and mid-mass retailers” – Sara Gaspar, Senior Data Analyst WGSN.



But what’s next?

Want to know how to update paperbag trousers for the coming seasons? Download our new, exclusive Buyers report to see how the trend will evolve over time.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.