Dad pants no more! The utility look is back in fresh new ways for 2023.
Hold onto your ripstop – cargo pants are back in style! Gone, however, is the baggy, low-rise silhouette that was everywhere in the early 2000’s. Today’s cargos have undergone a transformation, with many fashion-forward designs from chic, tailored cuts to daringly exaggerated pockets that make an eye-catching statement. They also come in a much wider variety of fabrics, colors and patterns, making them extremely versatile and adaptable to practically any occasion: all ages, all genders, all seasons.
Whether you want to go glam, street, or casual, corporate or chic — a well-chosen pair of cargo pants can anchor your outfit with comfort and style. Keep in mind the following guidelines for winning ways to work this trend into your wardrobe again.
FAST FIVE FOR FASHION: CARGOS
#1: Go streamlined
Fitted cargos are one of the newest spins on the trend. Designers have updated cargo pants with more tailored and refined cuts that accentuate rather than hide the body. You can find cargo pants that are fitted at the waist, tapered at the ankles, or cropped above the shoes for a modern and polished look. Whatever cut you like, there’s one that’ll fit your body like a glove.
#2: Explore new materials
Another way to make cargo pants look fresh and fashionable is to play with different colors and fabrics. While khaki and camo are still classic options, you can also try cargo pants in denim, silk, seersucker, fleece, metallics… Dressed up or dressed down, in bright shades and various patterns. The bolder your look, the more neutral the rest of your outfit should be to really showcase this trend.
Another option is to mix and match your cargos with denim or leather pieces, which are timeless fabrics that instantly add texture and edge to your outfit. Cargo pants with a denim button-down or classic jean jacket feels relaxed. Leather accessories like jackets, belts, and boots bring goth, rocker, military, and even high-fashion vibes.
#3: Pair with contrasting pieces
Cargo pants are versatile enough to match almost any top, shoe, or accessories in your closet. However, if you want to create some contrast and interest in your outfit, pair them with pieces that are opposite in style or mood. For example, you can wear cargo pants with ultra feminine accessories, or techno-futuristic pieces; you can mix them with elements of preppy, western, or business attire. See what works from your closet, you might be surprised to discover a whole bunch of new outfits that were just waiting for the right pair of pants.
#4: Make ‘em sporty with sneakers
One of the easiest and coolest ways to wear cargo pants is to pair them with sneakers. Sneakers are not only comfortable and practical, but they come in a limitless variety of styles and colors to suit your personal taste and mood of the moment. Try OG Ones (the classic Air Jordans) for a retro and hip-hop inspired look. Adidas sneakers give a classic and minimalist vibe. Chuck Taylors are iconic, and always on point.
#5: Elevate your outfit, feet first
Upgrade your footwear and take your cargo outfit to the next level. Think outside the box: heels, Chelsea boots, boat shoes, sandals, Doc Martens, even leather dress shoes for a hi-low combo. Use accessories – belt, watch, glasses, headwear, etc — to bring contrasting elements together with pleasing balance and proportion.
Cargo pants are not just a Y2K throwback, they’re your new secret weapon for looking great in 2023. Click on the links here for more inspiration, including stylish options for different tastes and budgets.
How About YOU? Share your cargo tips below, or reach out to Charles directly at email@example.com or.
Charles Gregory is an image consultant with 20+ years in the fashion industry and a roster of local and national clients. A certified member of the Association of Image Consultants International, Charles takes a thoughtful, intentional approach to style, with an emphasis on balance, harmony, and consistency.
Charles is also one of the well-dressed hosts of “We Talk Weekly,” a popular urban talk show on Philly public access (Mondays 9:30pm). As a Local contributor, he shares his keen eye for trends with his best professional tips to give readers a leg up on looking good every month.