Cargo trousers were first invented for the British Armed Forces in the 1930’s and while they became a wardrobe staple during our childhood, they might have since fallen by the wayside. The military rendition is once again making an appearance back on the menswear radars of designers including the likes of Brunello Cucinelli. While they are not for everyone, we have the run-down on style, fit and where to shop the best cargo trousers. Stay tuned.
Fit is everything
When it comes to finding your fit, the options for cargo trousers are endless. You can opt for a slim-fit, tapered or jogger style and if you want to stay traditional, the straight-leg can be pin-rolled for a modern take. “Being careful with the length of the roll is key. Too far and you’re edging towards a capri pant. Keep to just above the ankle showing off a little bit of sock and trainer but no more”, says Dan Lewis, assistant buyer on menswear brands at Urban Outfitters.
The star of the show, the pockets, also need to be considered when looking at cargo trousers – it is all about size and proportion, where they sit and fall can make the difference between street style and OTT military vibes. “Cargo trousers tend to make your legs look more bulky due to the pocket detail, so the fit needs to complement your body shape,” Smith says. While large pockets that sit at your knees are the traditional style, they are also less wearable. Look to more tailored pockets placed closer to your hips for a neater appearance.
How to wear cargo trousers
Depending on the style of cargo trousers you prefer, they can be worn strictly casual or lend a smart/casual addition to your gig. “If the trousers have more of a tailored silhouette, opt for a slim-fit smart shirt and a chunky Derby shoe,” says Smith. “[But] for cargo trousers with more volume, you can exaggerate the relaxed feel with an oversized sweatshirt or jumper, or even layer up with a neoprene hoodie.” If you do want to dress the style up, be wary of trying to pair button down shirts, and try to stick to traditional colours including, black, beige, navy and khaki.
Shop our cargo edit for winter warmers below.
Stone Island Pants Military Green / $395 AUD SHOP NOW
Carhartt WIP Aviation Pant / $190 AUD SHOP NOW
Diesel Cargo Pocket Chinos / $248 AUD SHOP NOW
Dickies 595 Cargo Pants / $37 USD SHOP NOW
Dsquared2 Cargo Pants / $1,010 SHOP NOW
The North Face Slasher Cargo Pants / $300 AUD SHOP NOW
032c WWB Hunting Pants / $265 AUD SHOP NOW
Polo Ralph Lauren Flight Cargo Pants / $245 AUD SHOP NOW