All the Reasons to Love Cargo Pants!
A staple in any closet, the popularity of cargo pants is rock-solid. Like other fashion classics -- think trench coats and combat boots --, cargo pants have their roots in the military. The earliest iteration of these iconic pants comes from the Second World War, where U.S. paratroopers needed extra storage for jumping out of planes, so oversized pockets were placed on each thigh, and, simply, the added carrying capacity of the pants gave rise to the nickname ‘cargo.’
In time, army cargo pants – along with many other military items – ended up in surplus stores scattered across North America, where consumers discovered the awesome pockets and rugged fabrics that can be so practical for everyday use. Next, designers reinterpreted the silhouette in a more streamlined fit, and since the late 90s the style comes back every few seasons. The reason? Probably because cargos hit the sweet spot of three major fashion culture influences: preppy, punk and skater.
The Current Version
In 2021, since everything that peaked in the 90s is new again (think chunky-soled runners, silky slip dresses, and claw hair clips), cargo pants are everywhere. But they’ve gotten a few tweaks along the way to make them, definitely, on-trend. No, these aren’t your dad’s frumpy cargos.
A great alternative to jeans, chinos, and the five-pocket twill pants for guys, today’s cargos are much slimmer through the leg, tapering at the ankle (some even have elastic cuffs), while the pockets lay flatter. Yes, for sure that makes them cargo joggers, one of the many cool interpretations of the classic streetwear look, with a current vibe.
Overall, the silhouette of cargos has gotten slimmer and definitely more fashionable since the early 2000s, while stretch now plays an important role in most of the fabric blends.
Style Up Your Cargos!
-Add a splash of colour with tie-dye
The coloured pattern of the year, tie-dye is not going away any time soon, particularly for kids and weekend looks. OK, and even for work from home when no Zoom meetings are planned! A tie-dye T-shirt, fleece, face mask or a waist-bag will do the trick.
-Combat boots instead of sneakers
If your denim cargo pants are slim and tapered, for sure you can wear them with a nice pair of combat boots – gorg if they’re millennial pink! Just top the look with a classic jacket and out to dinner you go.
-A dressier look with a blazer
Of course, you can create a dressier office look with your cargo pants. Particularly in this era when most guys have declared it’s the end of the suit. Just make sure you choose a nice pair of twill cargos, add a crisp oxford cotton button-down shirt and a sharp blazer. Now here’s a look that totally reflects your casual vibe, and it’s still HR-approved ;-)