5 Days 5 Ways

Guys, It's time to Embrace Cargo Pants in 2021

Not your older brother's cargo pants

By Gabi Meyers | Last Updated: Jan 19 2021

I’m making a style prediction now:

2021 will be the year of the cargo pant.

Hear me out! So many of us have been working from home for almost a year now. And while we may still be getting dressed from the torso up, it’s been easy to let the lower half slide.

Even if you’re starting to get sick of sweats, though, I can’t imagine you’re exactly rushing to get jump into a pair of dress pants anytime soon. Especially if your WFH status remains fixed in the new year.

Meaning? Guys are going to start looking for an “in-between pant” to make you look and feel comfortable and put-together.

And that pant is a modern cargo pant, I’m tellin’ ya!

I promise, these are not the cargo pants of your youth. Today’s cargo pants fit slim through the leg, even tapering at the ankle for an easy cuff.

Cargo pants are a great casual alternative to jeans, chinos, and 5-pocket twill pants. Of course, you could wear the outfits below with any of those pants styles, too.

Personally, I really like the nod cargo pants give to the military trend that has been in style for what feels like forever. It makes them just interesting enough without looking “out there.”

Oh, and also, they are the perfect weight for spring weather!

The modern cargo pants are slimmer in cut, with pockets that add visual interest, without the bulk.

Below, five ways to wear cargo pants in a totally modern way:


shirt: J.Crew | boots (similar): To Boot New York | watch: Shinola

Wear it well: Dress up your cargo pants for a creative work place with a blazer – roll up the cargo pants AND push your sleeves up to give it a lived in look.


tee: Everlane |key tag: Various Projects

Wear it well: A few pops of color make your running errands outfit, complete with denim jacket and bright sneakers, feel more fun.


boots: Oak Street Bootmakers | fragrance: D.S. Durga

Wear it well: You can wear your cargo pants all the way back to cool weather, by dressing them up with a textured sweater and topcoat. You’re sure to nail that ‘rugged gentleman’ vibe.


shirt (similar): Faherty| shoes: Gypsy | watch: Nixon

Wear it well: A zippy, fun short-sleeve shirt, with a half zip sweater and derbies take your cargos from work to drinks.


Breton stripe shirt: Saint James | Sneakers: Converse

Wear it well: A breton shirt and a suede collared jacket elevate cargos while still keeping things casual.

Shop #SGapproved cargo pants picks:

Polo Ralph Lauren classic tapered fit cargo pants, $138 — I promise you won’t look like you’re doing Lieutenant Dan cosplay in these surprisingly sophisticated camo cargo pants from Polo Ralph Lauren.

Lee tapered fit cargo pants, $98 — Remember Lee? Yeah, me either almost.

But they’re back? I guess?! Because this pair of cargos that tapers nicely through the leg for a trouser-like fit is C O O L!

Gap herringbone cargo pants, $80 — A slight herringbone pattern sets these cargo pants apart.

You’ll feel dressed up while still totally comfy for WFH in this Gap style.

American Eagle workwear cargo pant, $25 — Another trend mix we love! Workwear pants make for a natural fit for a cargo pocket.

This pair from AE Outfitters is an inexpensive way to try out both trends.


Want to see more ways to wear your favorite pieces? See five ways to wear lace up boots, a breton shirt and brown derby shoes.