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The Art of Wearing Cargo Trousers

Designed in the 1930s as combat trousers for the armed forces in the UK, the trouser saw a resurge with the help of boy and girl bands during the 90s, but they soon fizzled out again. However, now the cargo trouser is making a resurgence, as high-end brands are bringing them back into the public eye via the fashion industry. That been said, most of us men don’t think we can pull off wearing a pair of trousers with what appears to be too many pockets that are narrow around the ankles and wider at the hips. But worry not, as these below tips will help you rock the combat trouser look every day of the week.

Pick your Fit 

Having the right fit is the most important aspect when it comes to cargo trousers. You can opt for a slim style made with fine fabric, however, it is the baggier, straighter style that claims the Original status. Cargo jeans and joggers are to be avoided, as they stem away from the traditional idea of a trouser designed to carry various items in many pockets. A skinny style trouser or fleece material doesn’t keep in tune with that tradition. There are, of course, alternatives you should know about. A tapered and smarter pair can work just as well. You can also aim for middle ground; A straight leg, that you have pin rolled yourself. It is about getting the roll right, showing just enough ankle and trainer while not diving into capri trouser territory.

AMI Paris
AMI Paris

Choose Your Pockets 

The right number of pockets and where they sit on the trouser can change your look from a gentle nod at the army heritage, to standard issue fatigues. Because of the pockets, cargo trousers make you look bulkier, so it is important to find a pair that suit your build. Heavy and large hip pockets are traditional but will sag at their own weight and end up around your knees by lunchtime (Which is great if you are built like a soldier who keeps in shape). For those who don’t pack their pockets with more than lose change and a packet of chewing gum, a tailored pair and neater placed pockets should be the right choice.


Wearing Cargo Trousers 

The first rule of wearing cargo trousers: they are no more than smart-casual, meaning they're not to be worn to formal outings. This is because a button-down shirt and tie is difficult to combine with this particular style of trouser. Traditional solid colours such as navy, black or olive are the best choices to opt for. Don’t try to be too outlandish on your colour choices too; what you combine with cargo trousers will depend on what style of trouser you wear e.g. for the slim, tailored fit you should choose a chunky shoe and a slim fitting shirt or t-shirt. If you are more of the baggier traditionalist, then you can keep the relaxed theme going by combining them with an oversized sweatshirt or jumper. With enough browsing you can easily find a pair of cargo trousers that will help you define your style, so go out and be you and adopt this trend your way.

East Dane
East Dane


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