top of page

Cargo Pants

Updated: Jan 9, 2020

Cargo pants are everywhere this season but designers and retailers have made a conscious effort to call them anything but cargo pants. Too nineties perhaps and redolent of All Saints shuffling their way through Never Ever in their scarily low hung utility trousers. But All Saints are back! They released their 5th studio album this summer and although their sartorial tastes have definitely moved on from utility pants, designers and influencers everywhere seem to have been inspired by memories of their early style and included versions in their A/W collections and wardrobes.

This time round utility trousers are wider, often slightly cropped and mostly high not low waisted. They are called variously:

Carpenter trousers

Puddle trousers – not good when there are ACTUALLY puddles methinks

Skater trousers

One brand (House of Sunny at Urban Outfitters) has used the Cargo word but teamed it with combat to create a true blast of nostalgia - combat trousers! Remember those?!

What makes a pair of trousers a carpenter/puddle/skater/combat trouser? Oversized back pockets, panelling, side-leg pockets, a weird loop thing on the side that might be for hanging your carpenter’s tools on but actually just gets caught on things as you walk past. Fabric tends to be tough and very unstretchy – canvas, chunky corduroy and denim.

My personal favourite take on this trouser genre for A/W 2018 is the high waisted slightly cropped variety. They look amazing with long boots, ankle boots, tights and trainers, in fact, most winter footwear. They also look equally good with a big chunky roll neck sweater or a skinny ribbed one. To finish off wear a fluffy bomber jacket in a bright colour or a smart wool coat.

Here’s my edit of what’s available online. If you want to hit the high street and want a one-stop shop then just go straight to Urban Outfitters, the ancestral home of all cargo-pant-type-trousers.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters Markey by LF Markey Tobacco Carpenter Trousers £75

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters BDG Green Cropped Corduroy Carpenter Trousers £55

Fila at ASOS

ASOS Fila Cargo Trousers in Bright Camo £48

Kenzo at Italist

Kenzo Cargo Trousers €310

Marni at Matches Fashion

Marni High-Rise Mustard Cargo Wool Trousers £800

Max Studio at Harvey Nichols

Indigo Denim Cargo £125


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page