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How to Style Cargo Pants the Cool Way


Last Updated on March 12, 2021

Aahh, cargo pants. How we have missed you!

Baggy, fitted, cropped at the ankle…the once-cool and cool-again cargo pants come in many forms. You may have fond memories of super-loose, chunky cargo pants with many pockets, paired with a crop top and butterfly clips.

Or, your cargo life may have consisted of a slimmer fit with a loose tee and bum bag (if so, we take our hat off to you, a 90s style hat that is!).

Some of the world’s chicest women have been snapped wearing the heck out of cargo pants lately. From Bella Hadid in a camouflage style to Olivia Culpo in beige-toned cargo pants and nude heels. It’s a sign! The 90s really was the best decade for streetwear and cool-girl fashion.

If you’re at a loss as to how to style your cargo pants, we’ve got you!

Read: 90s Pants – The Garish the Better, Right?

French-tucked linen shirt and heeled boots

If your cargo pants are on the more fitted side, try pairing them with a roomy linen shirt. Keep the first few buttons undone, roll up the sleeves, and tuck one side of the front into the band of your cargo pants (the French tuck).

This look can translate across the seasons, just switch up your styling. For Summer you could try a light-as-air sleeveless or short-sleeved linen shirt, while Fall and Winter call for longer sleeves and a blazer or coat.

A pair of high-heeled boots tie the look together perfectly, especially for work or heading out at night. You could go for super-sleek stiletto heels for a feminine hit, or worn-in utility-style boots for a grungey fashion flashback.


Bandeau top and heels

Going “out-out?”, take a Sporty Spice approach and pair your cargo pants with a sleek bandeau top and heels. If you’re game you could go for a cropped bandeau, but for a little extra “security” a bandeau bodysuit would be excellent.

There’s something cool about the juxtaposition of a sleek, shoulder-baring top paired with the casual rebellion of cargo pants.

Tee, blazer, and heels

At a loss for how to style any bottom, especially cargo pants?

The classic tee and blazer always do the trick. Depending on your shape and preferred style, the cut of the tee is up to you. You may be a cap-sleeved fitted tee kind of person or a deep-V, loose-fit go-getter.

Make sure your blazer is tailored to sit neatly on the shoulder, and pick the length to flatter your figure and style sensibilities (cropped and cinched, or long and menswear-style?). Your grown-up cargo moment has arrived, get ready for the runway (or at least some serious streetwear-chic strutting).


Ribbed tank and flats

Picture a pair of camouflage, jogger-style cargo pants with a classic black or white ribbed tank. Or, you could go for jean-style cargo trousers just skimming the ankle.

Pair with flats in the form of brogues or loafers and you’re ready for the day, whether it’s hitting the shops, doing the school pickup, or people-watching in the park with a coffee (if only!).

Get creative, and good luck!