You’ll Be Wearing Cargo Pants Before Your Legs Even Know What Happened

After I finished writing about the potential return of the worst of early aughts denim, it occurred to me that if low-rise skinny jeans are being given the courtesy of a possible comeback, we might as well admit we’re in the midst of a full-on pants apocalypse.

Having burned through pant after pant with the maniacal efficiency of inseam-starved vigilantes (skinny jeans, bootcut jeans, khakis, drop crotch pants, Kamm pants, leggings, track pants, vintage Levi’s, flares, capris, overalls, trousers), we’ve left a trail of discarded trends in our wake.

But what pant is equipped to swoop in and restore the kingdom to its former good name? What pant is humble enough that it has never been crowned The Pant of the season? Cool enough that it could win over the hearts and groins of a nation? Functional enough that it would be elected for more than looks alone, equipped to rule wisely for more than a single season?

Photo by Vanni Bassetti via Getty Images

I agonized over the answer for days until it dropped right into my lap like a crumb from a cupcake. I was casually Google image-searching Stella Tennant on a Tuesday eve (as one does) and came across the image pictured to the left (here’s another photo of the same pants where you can see the pockets a bit better).

Cargo pants. Cargo pants! They’ve flirted with the upper echelons of cool on and off for years, especially among artists in the music scene. Worn with midriff-baring tops, they were one of the iconic Aaliyah’s style signatures. Jennifer Lopez wore them in her music video for “Jenny from the Block.” The members of Destiny’s Child coordinated theirs. Later, Avril Lavigne made cargo pants part of her skater persona. (And remember when Cady Heron wore army pants and flip flops?) It all brought back so many wonderful memories. Cargo pants have enough history that this wouldn’t be their first time at the popular pant rodeo, but they’ve remained niche enough that they wouldn’t feel stale.

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Not only were people wearing them all over Couture Week in June (including Bella Hadid), but Rosie Assoulin has also been quietly producing them for years. Monse sent multiple iterations down the runway in its Spring/Summer 2017 collection, too — a triple-edged barometer for cool if I ever saw one.

I’m calling it. Cargo pants are about to be The Pant of fall 2017. I personally could not be more thrilled. What’s not to love about a roomy twill with capacious pockets to boot? I’ve already started stalking a few pairs on the internets. Feel free to creep alongside me.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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