7 Stylish Ways to Wear Men’s Cargo Trousers

Cargo trousers cover image
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You are about to exit your house. Keys, mobile, wallet, headphones, a book or a notebook and a pen… maybe a charger too. You haven’t forgotten anything, but where do you keep all this? There is no better option than the super-practical and quintessential all-rounders: the cargo! Moreover, cargo trousers are not only practical, they are thriving on the fashion front as well.

The past, the present and the future of Cargos

These loosely cut trousers with big characteristic pockets, appeared for the first time during the 1930s as a part of the British Air Force clothing. Originally, they had one pocket on the side thigh and another one on the hip, so that the soldiers could keep field dressings, maps, notes and other necessary objects.

During the 40s and the Second World War (due to their practicality) they were adopted by the US Army too. From then on they abandoned the rough environments and the unfriendly terrains and marched into the urban spaces, the cinema sets and the hip-hop meccas of the 90’s.

Since then, their presence has only grown, and for a while now they have been considered one of the essentials of men’s fashion. Most of the clothing brands are including various versions of this iconic garment in their collections and men (and everybody else) all around the world are enjoying them.

The different types of Cargo trousers

Each one leads a different kind of life, and the necessities of every person vary. Each one looks for a specific set of characteristics when buying a pair of trousers; but the types of cargos are so many that we could say: to each their own… cargos!

Today, cargo trousers come in all fits (from the slimmest to the baggiest), tone colours, fabrics and sizes; and as the options are so interesting and the 2023 cargo trends so many, let’s find out:

7 stylish ways to wear your Cargos!

1. Wear them with denim

cargo trousers with a denim jacket

Denim is almost as versatile and practical as cargo. Denim clothes can be used all year round and can be styled in the most imaginative ways. Cargo and denim make a perfect pair and it is extremely easy to combine them. So easy to pick a denim jacket, a pair of low-top cherry red Red Wings, a tee and your cargo. Denim it, be creative and relax in your comfy trousers!

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2. Wear them with sneakers

What shoes to wear when you want to ease in a cargo streetwear style? Sneakers! No pair of sneakers can be worn with a pair of cargos. What kind of sneakers are you wearing right now? Cons? Reeboks? Campers? Sanjos? Vejas? Supergas? Pumas? Or maybe Gucci, Dior or Balenciaga? Refined or chunky, old or the latest drop… any sneaker will accompany a pair of cool cargo!

3. Wear them with shirts

cargo trousers with denim shirt

Are cargo pants smart casual? As well! Tuck a button-up, wear your black derbies or moccasins, add a slim-fit blazer and dress them up! Untuck a breezy camp collar shirt, wear your Vans, a lightweight chore (only if needed) and dress them down! Up or down, right or left, forward or sideways there is no direction that cargos cannot go. What style are cargo trousers? Cargos are what you want them to be!

4. Wear cargo trousers with vests

A vest

Spring is as beautiful as it is unpredictable. And what better way to be always prepared than with a pair of cargo (cameo prints are one of the main tendencies right now!) and an elegant vest? It can be a Dockers lightweight quilted vest like the one you see above, it can be a white Carharrt vest, a functional Patagonia or a second-hand 80s one. Whatever your choice might be, your cargo won’t complain.

5. Wear them with polos

Polos are very versatile and will give a smarter touch to all your outfits. Monochromatic, polychromatic or striped; opt for polos and you will not miss.

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6. Wear cargo trousers with pink

cargo trousers with a pink Dockers shirt

Pink is the colour of the season and just because juxtapositions are the salt of life, no better way to create an interesting antithesis than combining a garment with a military past with a colour that shouts joy, sensitivity, happiness and inclusivity. Pink up your cargo, pink up your spirit, pink up your mood! It is elegant, it is stylish, it is the absolute mix & match.

7. Wear them with a leather belt (or with other elegant accessories!)


Leather belts, dad or bucket hats, jewellery, watches, scarfs (pink scarfs!) and shades… There are no do’s and don’ts when it comes to cargo trousers, just open your drawers and take out all your favourite accessories. They are useful, they will effortlessly complement all your cargo outfits!

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Sustainable Fashion

The military past of cargo trousers is undeniable, but today, if we have to be militant about something, this should be our turn toward a sustainable and peaceful way of thinking and acting.

Some stats are reassuring:

● The global apparel market share of sustainable clothing items is expected to increase from 3.9% in 2021 to 6.1% in 2026

● Many fashion brands, designers, entrepreneurs, and organisations are promoting second-hand clothing as a solution to the fashion industry’s disastrous impact.

● Stella McCartney launched her most sustainable collection to date, made out of 91% conscious materials. The collection includes the world’s first-ever t-shirt made from 100% regenerative cotton sourced from SOKTAS (a family-owned cotton producer based in Turkey)

But nothing has been done yet as:

● The apparel industry emitted 1.01 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2019, estimated to increase to 1.6 gigatons by 2030 without drastic action


● The worldwide textile fibre market share in 2021 is dominated by synthetic fibres, with a share of more than 60%

It is clear, that if we have to be militant about something, this should be our turn to ethics and eco-responsibility!

Dockers®, Unrecorded or Alternative Apparel are brands that have made that turn, but until all brands commit and change, the battle won’t be over! For this simple reason, the best cargos you can get are the sustainable ones and the most complete cargo trousers style guide is the most inclusive and eco-conscious!

This year, cargo trousers have been among the protagonists in the Pitti Uomo, in the fashion mags’ pages and even Post Malone has been rocking cargo shorts in his last tour. This year no man has any excuses for not being extremely stylish, comfortable and practical. Just wear them and make peace not war!

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