The beauty of fashion is its ability to take something mundane and turn it into something we have to have. Cargo pants and pockets, for example, are associated with the practical clothing worn by those in construction or the outdoorsy hiking set. And then, of course, we think of their meteoric rise in the early aughts courtesy of teenage mall rats and quarterbacks.
But the low-fashion utilitarian pocket has evolved into a street style star’s hero element. During recent Copenhagen and Paris shows, we’ve seen fashion showgoers tame tie-dye and stripe prints with neutral cargo staples. And the ugly-chic moment is also a major star on runways.
Burberry’s resort 2022 collection highlighted the boyish charm of cargos in several ways, from leather trousers to utility jumpsuits. Even Balmain proved that comfort is the ultimate indication of luxury with roomy cargos. Vogue contributor Luke Leitch explained the phenomena best when describing the designs in Fendi’s spring 2022 menswear collection: “cargo pockets functioned both as storage and expandable frill.”
The oversized pockets are now ready to infiltrate just about every area of our wardrobes, from elegant day dresses to work-appropriate blazers. The Attico’s pocket-covered skirts are the perfect example of the sexy yet beautifully strange trend. The pencil silhouette offers a sleek finish that’s disrupted (in the best way) by bulky cargo pockets.
Usually, the functional fixture is placed on muted neutrals-like khaki and olive tones-but now the cargo trend expands beyond muted-hues, thanks to items similar to Victoria Beckham’s periwinkle frocks and Gucci’s sophisticated pink vests.
You might find yourself surprised to be coveting cargo pants, skirts, dresses, and tops but rest assured, you’re not alone. Nineteen of the best options to shop, below.