Christina Aguilera called… she wants her cargo pants back. Well, her, and every other celebrity that was around in the Noughties because they’re a Y2K craze that’s making a comeback.
Whilst reviving yet another trend from the once-questionable early aughts may seem mildly repellent to those of us who lived it the first time around, cargos have become an it-girl and fashion crowd favourite, spotted on everyone from Hailey Bieber to Bella Hadid, Rihanna to Zendaya, as well as street-stylers galore on the fashion month circuit.
And, this time around, they’ve had a rebrand. Shown on the Autumn/Winter 2022 runways of countless designers, including Valentino, Versace, and Isabel Marant, they’ve gone from mundane workwear to utilitarian chic.
Designed in luxury fabrics, with interesting details, contemporary silhouettes, and in colours ranging from taupe to hot pink, there’s options to suit every taste and budget. Whether you choose a satin style à la Supriya Lele to dress up with heels, or want to double down on the casual with a camo print paired with trainers, the cargo-pant-possibilities are endless.
If Y2K nostalgia is your vibe, then wearing a low-rise design with a crop top or corset will satisfy your yearning for the good old days – just make sure a flash of navel is on show for full effect. Or maybe you’re tentatively dipping your toe in the 2000s pool, in which case a high rise pair worn with a tucked in long-sleeved T-shirt may be more your speed.
So it’s time to keep scrolling to find a pair that we’re sure will be a slippery slope to a world of Girls Aloud, Tamagotchi, and Juicy Couture goodness.
The Frankie Shop Maesa tailored fresco cargo trousers
For a tailored take on the trend, look no further than The Frankie Shop’s pleated style in a neutral beige. Creating high quality, minimal, and wallet-conscious pieces is the brand’s MO, so these tailored trousers are a luxe design for a fraction of the price.
Paired with a white ribbed vest and classic Birkenstocks, these will create a stylish yet comfortable look perfect to see out the end of summer.
Buy now £190.00, MatchesFashion
Ganni Slub tapered cargo pants
Featuring a paperbag waist, ankle-ties, and a tapered silhouette, Ganni’s take on the trend are far from the traditional baggy noughties styles. Channelling the Ganni-girl aesthetic, the topstitch detailing gives them a cool edge. Tie them at the ankle and wear them with a heel to dress them up, or leave them loose to pair with trainers. Keep the look monochrome for maximum fashion points.
Buy now £233.00, Farfetch
Acne Studios Casual Trousers
As with most of Acne Studios’ designs, these wouldn’t look out of place in the wardrobes of Bella Hadid or Kendall Jenner. Cut to a relaxed fit, the slanted pockets give them a contemporary feel, whilst the belt straps on the lower leg mean you can change-up the silhouette at the pull of a tie. In a neutral beige, they’ll go with nearly anything in your wardrobe, but for maximum impact wear them with neutrals for a tonal look.
Buy now £410.00, Acne Studios
Monki Off-white cotton cargo trousers
If you’re in the market for a wallet-friendly design, Monki’s wish is your command. Coming in three neutral colours, their classic cargo style features a regular waist, a relaxed fit, and, of course, the all-important patch pockets.
Buy now £35.00, Monki
Danielle Guizio Baggy Cargo Pant
Whether you’re in the market for corsets, mini skirts, or, of course, cargo pants, New York-based designer Danielle Guizio is a one-stop-Y2K-shop.
Since founding her label in 2014, she’s been worn by the likes of the Kardashians, Lady Gaga, and Rosalia, and finds her inspiration in empowering the female form. Crafted in a bright pink stretchy cotton blend, this baggy style is perfect if you love a pop of colour.
Buy now £305.00, End Clothing
Good American Desert Storm Cargo Pant
One of the few good places for a camo print is on cargo pants, and Khloe Kardashian’s brand, Good American, ticks all the utilitarian boxes.
Taking cues from the 2000s, they’re cut to a baggy fit with a mid rise, allowing you to show off the all-important belly button, and are a comfy style for those off-duty days. If you’re struggling with the styling, all you have to do is take a look at Kimmy K or Emily Ratajkowski for inspiration.
Buy now £135.00, End Clothing
Since being taken over by Y/Project creative director Glenn Martens, Diesel has gone from strength to strength, being worn by celebrities and influencers alike. The brand’s cargo pants are crafted in a delicately grey flowing Italian viscose and linen-blend satin, which offers the perfect amount of sheen. With a belt at the waist, toggled drawstrings to cinch in the cuffs, and adjustable belts on the legs, you can tailor these to your favourite fit every time.
Buy now £325.00, Diesel
Calvin Klein Jeans wide leg cargo trousers in beige
For those of you looking to test out the trend, Calvin Klein Jeans’ design are a great starter point. In a high rise, neutral fabric, and not a dissimilar fit to the wide leg trousers you most likely already have in your wardrobe, they just have the added pockets to give them a noughties flair.
Buy now £100.00, Asos
Weekday Julian Workwear Trousers
From a brand influenced by youth culture and street style, Weekday have hit the Gen-Z nail on the head with these cargo pants. Made using cotton twill with reinforced top stitching along the seams, they’re a sturdy workwear style that will last you a lifetime. A bold statement that would look best worn with black, and you’ll be making everyone green with envy (sorry…).
Buy now £46.00, Weekday
Rotate Birger Christensen Silla ruched organic cotton wide-leg cargo pants
Founded by Danish influencers Thora Valdimars and Jeanette Madsen, Rotate Birger Christensen know what the people want, and the brand delivers. The cargo pants have ruched cuffs, a drawstring waist, and are crafted out of a breezy cotton to allow you to enjoy the full glory of noughties nostalgia. Whilst the Copenhagen-based brand usually focuses on eveningwear, we’re here for the casualwear, too.
Buy now £190.00, Net-A-Porter
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