Cargo Pants Are Cool Again (and They’re Much Better This Time Around)

utility details trend
Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage ; Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images ; Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

Sure, we may have rocked a pair of army pants with pride back in 2004 (with flip-flops, of course, just like Cady Heron), but our fashion sense has come a long way since then. Yet it seems like utility chic is officially back in vogue, seeing as cargo pockets, D-ring belts and baggy silhouettes made multiple appearances on the spring 2019 runways. Who would have guessed?

These aren’t the same cargo shorts that your dad rocks all summer long, we promise. The new, celeb-approved version of the trend is much sleeker and more tailored than its compartment-laden predecessor. In 2019, the difference can be found in the details: Look for delicate ties at the ankles, tapered legs and a minimal number of slim side pockets, all offered in classic neutrals like forest green, sun-washed black or stone gray. We recommend staying away from camouflage, for now, to ensure you look fresh and modern.

As for how to style these boyish trousers? A super-femme balloon-sleeve blouse will help strike a chic balance, as will a clean-cut, slim-fit tank in a solid color. If you’re more of a casual T-shirt kind of gal, try dressing up your utility trousers with elegant accessories like a sleek pointy-toe pump, a classic ladylike handbag or a pair of delicate, shoulder-grazing earrings.

Bonus alert! All those extra pockets just make it even easier to jump on the wonderfully impractical mini-handbag trend, without actually paring down all your daily necessities.



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...