For most millennials, our earliest memories of cargo pants are likely tied to Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne, and the members of Destiny’s Child. While the baggy, utilitarian trend has made appearances more recently—and on the likes of Rihanna and Bella Hadid, no less—it’s widely considered a bold, dare we say unapproachable, look. It’s a silhouette that may not be for everyone, but we’re encouraging even the naysayers to reconsider.
As skinny jeans continue to be challenged by their wider-leg counterparts (hi, mom jeans!) and comfort-driven athleisure has become less of a trend and more of the new normal, it’s time to rethink how cargo pants—and their extra-large pockets—can fit into a modern wardrobe. Not only is it a look approved by brands likes Off-White and Balenciaga, but it’s one that has endless styling potential. Below, find just a few examples of cargo-pant outfits inspiring us to give them another go.
Pretty & Polished
When styled with a tailored jacket, cargo pants’ relaxed fit feels straight-up refined. And those large pockets? An excuse to not stress over carrying a handbag.
Keep it Sporty
The practicality of cargo pants lends itself seamlessly to a full-on athleisure look. Coordinated jacket, sports bra, and sneakers are all highly encouraged.
If cargo pants instantly spark a Destiny’s Child “Survivor”-inspired ensemble, well, we won’t discourage you. This Off-White orange camo colorway is a bold and unexpected take on the trend in 2019, and it balances out especially well with toned-down neutrals.
The Modern Colorblock
Embracing the cargo trend can be a simple as looking for jeans and trousers with an oversized, top-flap pocket and a pleated exterior. The detail blends in seamlessly on this pink pair, but the look remains bold with an obviously clashing layer on top.