Now that it’s September, fall fashion is officially in the air as new trends pop up from everywhere demanding our attention. And while some of us love our tried-and-true plaid flannels and leather booties in autumn, this year, cargo pants are the latest fashion item everyone seems to be coveting.
Scrolling through TikTok and Instagram, it’s easy to see how everyone (from Lori Harvey to Emma Chamberlain) is loving the comfort of the baggy, pocket-y pants. And it’s not just young stars who are working the trend — designers such as Simone Rocha had models hit the runway in the pants for their Fall Winter 2022 collections.
The history of cargo pants
Cargo pants were first worn by British military personnel, from the 1930s onwards, who sported the pants when jumping out of planes (who knew?). And after the Second World War, the pants pretty much became the standard in US military dress.
Cargos had their moment again in the ’90s, thanks to the musicians of the era. Many hip-hop and R&B stars wore the pants and paired them with oversized tees or crop tops — everyone from TLC to rapper Q-Tip was rocking a pair. And who could forget the queen of baggy cargos, Aaliyah?
Celebs who love cargo pants
Fashion It girls such as Hailey Bieber and Gigi Hadid have made cargos cool again in 2022 and are rocking cargos in different sizes and materials, showing how the pants can be a versatile staple in any wardrobe. To get some inspiration, check out their outfits below.
Hailey and Justin Bieber twinned in cargo pants earlier this summer, with Justin rocking an oversized, baggy pair with ample leg room. Hailey went for a more laidback look with these olive cargo pants, channelling a fashionable Kim Possible.
To re-create her look, pair your cargos with a chunky sneaker and a plain tank top. And if you’re worried about cool fall weather, simply throw on a windbreaker over top to go for a full gorpcore vibe.
Proving that low-rise pants are back in, Gigi Hadid paired her cream cargo pants with a simple black tee and grey sneakers. The proportions of the small top and baggy bottoms make the look go from boring to cool, so you could definitely recreate it for a night out with friends or running errands, depending on what accessories you wear.
Where to buy cargo pants
There are a ton of different cargo styles, ranging from baggier-fitting pants to more structured ones. No matter what your personal style is, there’s a pair for every taste.
The form-fitting cargos
These tan cargos pair well with some white sneakers and a cute top, but you could also wear them on a hike since they’re polyester.
Related: 10 drastic celeb style changes.
The high-waisted cargos
These pastel cargo pants from Aritzia are high-waisted and come in breathable cotton twill. They have adjustable tabs at the hem for the perfect fit.
Modern cargo pant, Aritzia, $128.
The parachute cargo pants
If it seems like balloon pants are everywhere again, that’s because they are. These baggy cargos come with a tie-waist so you can adjust them how you see fit. Some people who have bought the pants have even said they’re a great dupe for the Motel Rocks parachute pants.
WOBONIU Women Low Waist Baggy Cargo Pants, Amazon, $93.
The ’90s-inspired cargos
These Y2K-inspired cargos have so many pockets, you can leave your house without bringing a bag. This simple grey colour will match any of the other clothing items you have in your closet.
Gothic Cargo Jeans for Women, Amazon, $68.