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.
Are Cargo Pants in Style?
Cargo pants are a staple of the casual-wear industry. They're not going anywhere anytime soon.
Cargo pants were originally used by people who worked on ships, but now they're worn by everyone! Cargo pants are so popular because they're comfortable and functional: they have lots of pockets, which is great for storing things like phones and wallets. Cargo pants are also stylish, so you don't have to wear them just when you're working out or doing yard work—they can be dressed up or down depending on your mood!
Of course, there will always be trends in fashion. Cargo pants aren't trendy in the same way that skinny jeans or crop tops are trendy. But if you love wearing cargo pants, then keep wearing them! If you want to try something new, though, don't worry about whether cargo pants are in style—just find something else that makes you feel good about yourself!
The Current Version
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 ;-)
Find other ways to style your cargo pants.
Can Cargo Pants be Business Casual?
Let's face it: cargo pants have been around forever. They've been popular for years because of their comfort and versatility, but lately they seem to be finding their way into the workplace more than ever before. So can cargo pants really be business casual?
In short, yes! Cargo pants are comfortable, practical, and—when paired with the right pieces—they can definitely work as part of your business casual wardrobe. But there are some things to keep in mind if you want your cargo pants to look as polished as possible.
First things first: make sure you're wearing them with shoes that match the color of your pants. You don't want to take away from your pants by wearing something that clashes with them or makes them look too casual (this goes double if they're black).
Next up: think about what kind of shirt or top you'll wear with those pants. Cargo pockets tend to make everything look more casual, so if you want something a little less laid-back than standard khakis or chinos then stick with something with a more formal cut.
Cargo Pants for Kids
Cargo pants are also made for kids, and they're great because they give kids the opportunity to be just as stylish as their parents.
Cargo pants for kids are available in a variety of colors and patterns that can be worn with any type of top or shirt. Kids can wear them to school, to play, or even to sleep! They're perfect for every occasion and season.