Menswear Look of the Week: Excess Cargo

 In Style

When was the last time you wore cargo pants? Mine was when I was probably 9 years old. The sturdy khaki cargos my mom bought me not only had pockets to hold all of my stuff—probably bugs, toys, snacks—but they zipped off into shorts. (What was I thinking?) Cargo pants often get a bad rep from the aforementioned version or from their baggy brethren: The cargo shorts. Thankfully, though, this utilitarian style has been modernized and molded into something more fashion-friendly.

ALIVE Menswear Excess Baggage Cargo

The first thing you should know when wearing cargo pants is that it automatically gives you a rugged look, especially with these gray ones by Scotch & Soda. Make sure the pants are slim, just like you’d fit your jeans. It’s your call on the pockets; you could find a pair with medium-sized pockets on each side, or hang solo with just one on the left or right leg. Don’t go overboard, though. More visible pockets can only weigh you down, both literally and figuratively.

Embracing the rugged look of cargo pants means playing it up with other things you wear with them. The rougher pieces in this outfit, like the duffel coat and the ankle boots, mesh with the cargo pants while giving good balance to the sleek bag, poppy shirt and that beautiful belt. It’s all about symmetry—maybe not in the classification of these individual pieces, but how they come together for a sick look that can literally be worn anywhere.

The fashion trend cycle is almost hilarious to watch. New styles hit the shelves, then everybody raves about it for a few minutes, and then it’s on the 70 percent off rack. The cargo pants of long ago have experienced this. But cargo pants like these? They’re here to stay.

Cargo Pants by Scotch & Soda ($150 in similar styles at 10Denza); Shirt by Shades of Grey ($99 at Collective); Duffel Jacket ($520 at Adriano Goldschmied); Belt by Robert Talbott ($190 at Mister Guy); Leather Boots ($99 at H&M); Billykirk Schoolboy Satchel ($225 at East + West)

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