20 Cargo Pants Outfits for Any and All Occasions (2024)

Lately, the aughts are inescapable, but no Y2K trend has us quite as giddy as the return of the many-pocketed cargo pants. Much like the folks who wore these utilitarian bottoms back in the day, cargo pants have gotten something of a glow-up. Sure, they still skew baggy and feature plenty of pockets, but they've branched out from khaki and camo (Don't get us wrong, these shades are still going strong.) to include denim, metallics, and neons. When it comes to cargo pants outfits, the game has also undergone a major change, and they aren't limited to band T-shirts, hoodies, and sneakers anymore.

The cargo pants outfits we've spotted during global Fashion Weeks and on celebs have been remixed and elevated. Instead of schoolyard separates, you'll find corset tops, heels, and fully grownup main character outerwear. Of course, if you want to keep it casual, cargo pants will allow you to achieve a naturally understated look sans effort. All that to say, the trending wardrobe item is as versatile as can be. The best part? Anyone can wear them. However, the trick is to find the right companion pieces to create a balanced look that flatters you.

To help you narrow down your choices, here are our favorite cargo pants outfit ideas, no matter the occasion.

With a Bodysuit

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The resurgence of Y2K fashion has mainly focused on showing skin — but there's a balance. Go bold and unexpected by snapping on a high-cut bodysuit under a pair of baggy cargo pants. The resulting peek-a-boo moment feels risque without going full visible underwear under a sheer dress. It's a win-win.

How to Style Every Kind of Bodysuit

With a Statement Belt

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Accessorizing cargo pants can seem complicated because so many details are involved — from pockets and tassels to zippers, it's a lot to handle. Cut through the noise without cluttering the lines of your 'fit by adding a statement belt to your fave high-waisted pair. Not only will it complete your look, but accentuating your natural waist in contrast to the volume at the bottom of cargo pants will leave you looking extra snatched.

With a Sleek Overcoat

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Whether you favor trench coats or prefer to wear dusters, there's no denying that a long jacket paired with a casual outfit is fashion gold. Slipping on a sleek, floor-skimming coat over a pair of cargos in a similar shade delivers a major main character moment.

With a Peek of Briefs

Another major cargo pants throwback is the timeless "glimpse of briefs" look worn by boy band members and Calvin Klein supermodels alike. If you're not a fan of flashing brand-name logos, you can still get in on this trendy cargo pants outfit idea by layering a pair of leggings or bike shorts under your favorite baggy cargo pants. Elevate the 'fit even further by matching the fabrics or print of your top to your bottoms.

With a Racer Tank

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Embrace your inner athlete or Y2K erstwhile pop star by pairing cargo pants in vibrant color with a crisp white racerback tank top. This cargo pants outfit idea is also the perfect canvas for major accessories. Try amping up this 'fit with a metallic purse and bangles.

With an Oversized Puffer

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Draw the oversized vibes upwards from your cargo pants to your outerwear by pairing the pants with an oversized jacket. To keep yourself from drowning in this look, it helps to pop on a pair of platform shoes and keep your top sleek and form-fitting. Sticking to a singular color palette will also help this cargo pants outfit idea feel well-thought-out instead of thrown together.

14 No-Fuss Puffer Jacket Outfit Ideas

With a Pop of Color

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Cargo pants can read very casual, but don't get it twisted: They can be glam, too. A fun, easy, and cohesive way to elevate these pants is to pair them with accessories that pop. Bright reds, neons, and metallics contrast gorgeously against these utilitarian pants.

With a Cropped Jacket

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If you hesitate to wear clothing that exaggerates your shape, you can still get in on the cargo pants trend. A cropped jacket in leather or denim balances out the visual heaviness of cargo pants. Look for a jacket just above your natural waist to create a long, lean silhouette.

With a Corset Top

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Long live thecorset top. The curve-hugging nature of this style of top creates a beautiful contrast with cargo pants, which, honestly, can be a little shapeless on their own. By pairing the hardness of a fitted corset or bustier with the softness of cargo pants, you've got a match made in fashion heaven.

With Combat Boots

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One way to change up the look of cargo pants is by tucking them intocombat boots. This style of cargo pants outfit breaks up the weight of the pant for an entirely different, military-inspired vibe. To keep it sleek, try working high-shine fabrics like leather or latex into your outfit and embrace an all-black aesthetic. Boom! You're a superhero (or a supervillain).

With a Blazer

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Want to take your favorite cargo pants out for a nice dinner? The fastest way to level up your cargo pants is to toss on a blazer. Unlike the cropped jacket, you'll want an oversized blazer that hits below your natural waist. By drawing the eye down past your hips, a blazer will create an elongated silhouette, pulling your whole look together.

With Ankle Boots

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For a slightly more glam version of the combat boots and cargo pants outfit idea, try swapping out steel toes for pointed-toe ankle booties. You'll get the same broken-up silhouette that you would with combat boots but with an entirely different soft glam vibe.

12 Effortless Ankle Boots Outfits That Go With Everything

With Heels

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We keep seeing guests at Fashion Weeks around the world pairing larger-than-life cargo pants with sleek stiletto heels that just peek out from below the hem of their pants, and we are here for it. When styling heels with cargo pants, it helps to think of how you would style a pair of heels with wide-leg jeans. The heels won't be the focal point, but they will be noticed.

With a Comfy Sweater

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This cargo pants outfit idea is perhaps the closest to how we all used to wear cargo pants — but with a preppy update. Pair cargo pants in an old-school khaki color with spotless leather sneakers and a slouchy sweater for an academic vibe that still reads fashion-forward.

With a Statement Top

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If you've got a statement top in your closet that you've been dying to wear but can't figure out what to pair it with, welcome to the age of the cargo pant. Not only do cargo pants slightly tone down an over-the-top statement top, but they're also comfortable. So, you can focus on how amazing you look and not on the mechanics of your outfit.

With Cowboy Boots

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A more exaggerated game-changer than tucking cargo pants into combat boots, is to pair them withcowboy bootsfor a fashion flex. To prevent this look from veering into costume territory, try to keep your color palette as monochromatic as possible except for the boots themselves, which can (andshould) stand out.

With a Varsity Jacket

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Varsity jackets are a throwback staple, and they pair well with the yesteryear vibes of cargo pants. To keep your look cohesive, try to match the shade of your cargo pants as closely as possible to the main color of your varsity jacket. Then, given that the look already gels, you can let loose when picking out your top and accessories.

With an Off-the-Shoulder Top

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Another way to introduce a delicious contrast between romance and utilitarianism in a cargo pants outfit is to pair the pant with a dreamyoff-the-shoulder top. Showing off your shoulders creates visual balance and adds a touch of va-va-voom while keeping things streamlined.

With a White Tank Top

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Not sure what to pair with your cargo pants? Stick with the basics, specifically, awhite tank top. Then, finish your look with strappy sandals to up the glam factor.

With a Scarf Top

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Ascarf topprovides the perfect contrast to baggy cargo pants and makes for the ultimate summertime outfit. If you have a scarf, you can DIY the top, but if you're not feeling crafty, a ready-made cami version works just as well.

20 Cargo Pants Outfits for Any and All Occasions (2024)
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