How to Wear Cargo Pants in a Totally Modern Way – Style Girlfriend

How to Wear Cargo Pants in a Totally Modern Way – Style Girlfriend

By Gabi Meyers | Last Updated: Oct 13 2022 | 4 min read

You might be wondering:

Are cargo pants in style in 2022?

Well, I’ve got great news for you.

In one word? Yes.

In a few more? Cargo pants—in a modern, slimmer cut—are not just in style. They’re 100%, totally #SGapproved for guys to wear from college through their golden years.

They’ve just got to be the right cargo pants.

men's cargo pants outfits

Hear me out!

Even if you’ve been living in WFH sweats, I bet you’re ready to get back to “real” pants on occasion.

Especially if your WFH status has changed from temporary to permanent, you’re probably ready to add some new in-between clothes to your wardrobe.

Meaning? Clothes that 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.

The rules of how to wear cargo pants have changed along with their fit, and the options for what to wear with cargo pants have expanded drastically.

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 interesting without looking “out there.”

how to wear cargo pants
The modern cargo pant pockets add visual interest but not bulk.

Here’s what you’ll find in this guide:

  • Are cargo pants business casual? Can you wear cargo pants to work? Our answer may surprise you.
  • What shoe options to wear with cargo pants. Spoiler alert: not just sneakers!
  • Best cargo pant styles for men

Below, 5 ways to style cargo pants:

cargo pants, modern cargo pants, blazer, work, creative work place

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

Are cargo pants business casual? They can be! It all depends on how you style them.

Dress up your cargo pants for a creative work place with a blazer like in the look above. Roll up the cargo pants and sleeves to give the outfit a lived-in look.

how to wear modern cargo-style pants

tee: Everlane 

A few pops of color make your “running errands” outfit feel more fun.

Think: a deeply-saturated denim jacket and bright sneakers.

This pair of cargos tapers nicely through the leg for a trouser-like fit so even when you’re dressed casually, you’ll still look pulled together.

cargo pants, top coat, rugged gentleman

boots: Oak Street Bootmakers

You can wear your cargo pants in cooler months by dressing them up with a textured sweater and topcoat.

This outfit helps you nail that ‘rugged gentleman’ vibe everyone’s going after these days.

cargo twill pants outfit idea

shirt (similar): Faherty | shoes: Brooks Brothers

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

outfit idea with cargo pants

Breton stripe shirt: Saint James | sneakers: Converse

A striped Breton shirt and a suede collared jacket elevate cargos while still keeping things casual.

When you’re wondering what shoes to wear with cargo pants, obviously a tie shoe or boot elevates their look but don’t be afraid to throw on a sneaker for a casual day out.

Shop #SGapproved cargo pants picks:


Want to see more ways to wear your favorite pieces? See five ways to wear lace up boots, a Breton shirt and a hoodie sweatshirt.

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