Microtrend With Staying Power: Cargo Pants


Have you guys heard the term “microtrend” before? It’s a term that’s usually used to describe a passing fad — something that comes on the scene hot and heavy…and then leaves almost as quickly. The tie-dyed sweatsuit of 2020 comes to mind, as do the TikTok pillow slides.

I’ve noticed, however, that microtrends are also sometimes used to describe a really niche trend or very specific piece. Birkenstock’s Boston clogs are having a moment, for example, but calling the Boston clogs a “trend” all by their lonesome seems lofty. So the overarching trend, in this case, is “the ugly-shoe trend,” but one pair that’s risen to the top — Birkenstock’s Boston clogs — is now so huge that it’s a microtrend in itself.

Microtrends can be fun to play around with. They tend to be delightfully uncomplicated — but fleeting. And the last thing fast fashion needs is an even faster trend cycle.

But when an up-and-coming microtrend is really an almost-classic in disguise? And (yay) something I’ve legit been wearing for years?

Well. Let’s flirt.

Oh, Hey, Baggy Cargo Pants. You’re Trending Again.

Cargo pants have been one of my favorite pieces…for forever. Not only do they give a tomboyish, nonchalant vibe to any outfit, but I’ve managed to wear them in all four seasons, making these truly a year-round piece.

Not only do cargo pants give a tomboyish, nonchalant vibe to any outfit, but I've managed to wear them in all four seasons, making these truly a year-round piece.

top (6) | pants (26) | similar Birks

The cargo pants I’m wearing in the video below are Free People’s Moxie cargo pants (in wash Truest Blue). They’re slouchy denim, slightly low-rise (but not overly so), and look vaguely like something I would’ve worn in any past decade. Are they straight-leg, bootcut, boyfriend…or all of the above?

While I’m styling up denim cargo pants, any sort of cargo pants (khaki? army?) would work here. They all have that tomboyish vibe and that timeless, could-come-from-any-decade look.

What To Wear With Cargo Pants: Tops

As I mentioned before, I’ve worn cargo pants year-round, so the tops range from little tank tops to cozy, cable-knit sweaters. Additionally, I’ve worn cargo pants casually with just a T-shirt for day…or with silk camis and faux fur at night.

What To Wear With Cargo Pants: Jackets & Coats

Once again, there are everyday choices from cardigan sweater-jackets to fancy faux-fur coats. And PUFFERS. I love my cargo pants with a cute puffer.

What To Wear With Cargo Pants: Shoes & Boots

My favorite shoe styles with cargo pants are…well…the shoe styles I wear the most often: Birkenstocks, ballet flats, white sneakers (adidas Superstars, especially), taupe/tan booties, and those lug-sole Chelsea boots that are so darn practical. Oh, and they also look amazing with heels too.

Cargo Pants: A Few More Options

While my top pick is still those Free People Moxie pants…cargo pants are suddenly everywhere. Here are a few additional pairs that caught my eye, if you’d like to peruse a little.

That’s it! I’m curious, though… Has anyone else been wearing cargo pants as long as I have? I think I started wearing these right after my overalls phase in the ’90s….

Long live big pockets.


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  1. Hey Shana! I cam of age in the early 90’s and never stopped wearing my baggy cargos! ♥ I still prefer olive or even khaki but these are cute! BTW, it’s been awhile since you did a cute kicks round-up…*praying hands emoji*

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