How To Style Cargo Pants | Outfits For Men
Product & Style

How To Style Cargo Pants | Outfits For Men

clock-circular-outlinePosted 25 Jun 2024

Pockets-a-plenty and a laid-back option for days that call for a little more than sweatpants, there’s no surprise that cargo pants have made a comeback. From baggy Y2K styles to functional gorpcore cargos and of course, the viral parachute pants, it’s fair to say utilitarian trousers have never strayed too far from popularity.

Now slotting into our rotation as the perfect choice for casual everyday outfits, cargo pants are as much of a closet staple as your sweat-wicking gym shorts. Comfortable, stylish, and with the tactical benefits of multiple pockets, cargo pant outfits are the perfect blend of functional and fashionable, and can be worn for anything from hiking trips to sports games. Khaki pants and black cargo pants especially are an easy-to-build base for an outfit, the foundation for effortlessly simple looks and trendy fits for when you want to impress.

So if you’re looking for some inspiration on how to style cargo pants, you’ve come to the right place. Find out how to dress your cargo pants up with our tips on what to wear with cargo pants, and our everyday cargo outfit ideas. We also answer whether cargo pants are business casual and what shoes to wear with your cargos.


What Are Cargo Pants?

Cargo pants, or cargo trousers are a utilitarian style of pants known for being hard-wearing and having multiple pockets. They were originally designed for military workwear clothing, designed with a loose silhouette and numerous large pockets for carrying tools. Traditional utility trousers are made from a mid-weight cotton twill fabric that can withstand tough work environments and outdoor activities.

Now worn as more of a fashionable choice, the best cargo pants don’t need to be as heavy-duty, and you’ll often find them made from soft cottons, sweatpants fabrics, and even denim. We might not need the scale of storage as actual soldiers did, but the pockets haven’t gone anywhere. Styles of cargo pants tend to range from super baggy utility pants to streamlined, straighter-cut cargo pants that take a more sophisticated approach to tactical wear. For color options, earthy tones and neutrals are the way to go with khaki, black, and beige being the usual choices, especially to get that true utility feel.

How To Style Cargo Pants

Men’s cargo pants offer a fresh spin on casual wear in a space often occupied only by jeans. Comfier, baggier, and less complicated to shop for, they’re perfect for the modern man who cares about fashion and always has an eye on trends. Cargo trousers They can be worn to dress down smarter outfits, paired with oversized silhouettes for a streetwear style, worn for purpose during outdoor activities, and teamed with comfy sweats for days reserved for relaxing.

1. Utility

We’re not expecting you to fully kit yourself out in khakis, camos, but since you’re choosing utility trousers, it makes sense to style the rest of the outfit this way. This might look like pairing your cargo trousers with a t-shirt and cargo vest for seemingly endless pocket space, or try teaming them with an army surplus jacket or MA-1 flight jacket for tactical layering. To avoid looking like you’re playing dress-up, we’d suggest mixing colors and wearing your cargo pants with sneakers to make them look more modern.

2. Minimalist

For those of you who enjoy the aesthetic of men’s cargo pants, but tend to sway toward a minimalist code of dressing (not boring, just intentional). Capsule wardrobes and quality basics often characterize minimalism as they provide easy-to-wear interchangeable outfits with little fuss. For a minimalist approach to cargo pant outfits, it’s all about paying attention to the details. Yes, you can wear a crisp white tee with your cargo’s, but how does that t-shirt sit above your waistband, how does the hem of your pants brush your sneakers?

3. Athleisure

Why not enjoy the best of both worlds for your comfy rest days? The relaxed feel of a pair of sweatpants with the edgy aesthetic of cargo trousers… meet our cargo joggers. Teeter into athleisure wear territory with cargo pants outfits that will see you through a movie marathon or a day running errands. Pair your cargo joggers with cozy oversized hoodies, baggy graphic tees, and heavyweight numbers to cement the ‘fit in a street-style aesthetic.

What To Wear With Cargo Pants

Cargo pants for men pair best with classical menswear pieces such as; plain t-shirts, chunky knits, sweatshirts, hoodies, button up-shirts and bodywarmers. It’s easiest to style your cargos casually with these items for everyday looks and wear them with boots, sneakers, or sliders depending on the season. Or why not get into character and lean into the utility of it all with pocket vests, workwear shirts, and khaki layers?

Cargo Pants Outfits For Men

Cargo pants can be worn in numerous ways; whether that’s going full utility style, opting for sleek and minimalist silhouettes, or casual and comfy with cargo joggers. Choose from baggy cargo pants, cargo joggers, slim-fit cargo pants, and tailored cargo pants to name just a few.

Baggy Cargo Pants Outfit

As you know, trends circle back around, and right now we’re in a baggy clothing resurgence. Oversized T-shirts are everywhere, pants are getting wider by the day, and the baggy cargo pants that have soared in popularity are a great look for guys. The slouchy vibe is stylish, super comfy, and slightly roomier in the leg than the traditional straight-cut silhouette. For baggy cargo pants outfits, we’d suggest teaming up with an equally baggy t-shirt of the heavyweight kind for a NYC street-style take on utility fashion. Simple yet versatile, this easy-going ‘fit can take you anywhere in style, from a weekend date to a trip abroad.

Black Cargo Pants Outfit

Black cargo pants are a tad edgier than their earthy-toned counterparts and are perfect to wear to concerts or festivals. Prone to spillages or work a mucky job? Then you might prefer wearing darker colors, and in that case, black cargo pants fit the bill. As you know, black famously goes with everything, and we particularly love the look of black cargo pants, and an oversized plain white tee, layered under a short-sleeve button-up for a casual summer ‘fit. You could even try out our cargo shorts as the temperature ramps up. We also love an all-black cargo pants outfit for a sleek monochrome ‘fit that transitions perfectly from day-to-night activities.

Khaki Pants Outfit

Khaki pants have made a comeback again, be that a dark shade of beige, warm olive, or true khaki, the earthy tones are back, and they’re way cooler this time round. Less dad-going-fishing and more functional and fashionable, khaki cargo pants are great to step out in for laid-back summertime ‘fits. Keep your khaki pants outfits bright with light tones like whites, creams, and pastels. Choose oversized t-shirts and ribbed tanks for a modern take on utility styling. They look great sitting on top of a pair of fresh white sneakers or even loafers for that preppy khakis outfit aesthetic!


Taking your cargos on your travels? Lightweight and stylish, they’re the perfect item for sunset evening dinners on vacay. Travel your destination in style with our comfy airport outfit ideas.

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Lannay Dale-ToozeBy Lannay Dale-Tooze

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