Why I’m Pro Cargo Pants—Yes, Really!

We all have fashion moments that, in retrospect, were a huge mistake. Whether you succumbed to a short-lived trend—remember harem pants?—or wore a risky accessory that just didn’t quite pay off, fashion regrets are par for the course when experimenting with your look. And that’s fine: We all make errors in judgment! I still cringe when I remember how I would mismatch my shoe laces and wear leg warmers as bracelets (yes, really) in middle school. Another favorite look of mine during the 2000s were cargo pants. At the time, I was convinced I was a goth, and I would wear extra-baggy Tripp cargo pants that had gigantic pockets on them. I even remember wearing them to an Evanescence concert. These were simpler times, but my pants were not: You practically needed a degree to navigate the 10,000 pockets and chains that adorned them. 

I was recently reminded of my cargo pant obsession while going through an old photo album at my parents’ house this month. I must burn these, I thought to myself of the photographic evidence. But, then again, cargo pants are also having a bit of a comeback right now. On the runways, labels Max Mara, Stella McCartney, and Burberry have reinvented the pocketed pant look to be more streamlined. Yes, they’re associated with It guys, frat bros, or just bad 2000s style in general, but I’m enchanted by the new runway versions. They’re still very utilitarian, of course—who doesn’t love handy pockets?—but cut high-waisted or with a slimmer fit along the leg, the rugged cargo trousers add a dash of cool to just about any outfit. 

Bella Hadid in her cargo pantsPhoto: Getty Images

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