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7 Australian creatives show us how they style cargo pants

WORDS BY EMILY HOLGATE

Comfortable and cool.

Alongside a plethora of 2000s trends creeping back into today’s fashion scene (think Juicy Couture tracksuits, thin eyebrows, baby tees and baguette bags) are noughties-era cargo pants.

Inherently low-rise in style, it took me some time to come around to this one – I exclusively wear high-waisted slacks (you know, to keep everything tucked in). 


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But it looks like low-rise pants are here to stay – and with them, cargos. I like cargos as there’s more of a comfy, relaxed feel to them, allowing plenty of room for my stomach to breathe.

With celebrities like Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber and Dua Lipa jumping on board the re-emerging trend, I thought it was time I did too. Like ’00s stars Avril Lavigne, Justin Timberlake and Ciara before me, I’m finally embracing an oversized, bulky pocketed pair of pants.

For more inspiration on how to channel my inner Kim Possible, I asked seven Australian creatives to show me how they style their cargos. 

Jillian Arcenas, content creator

Cargos have definitely become a wardrobe staple of mine. They are versatile, transeasonal and always exude an effortless vibe to any fit. I’m wearing these cargos from the brand Seventh Store and I love the drawstring feature as you can play around with how it fits (low waist, high waist, tapered or flared – whatever your heart desires!).

For extra warmth and comfort, especially on the colder days, I often style these with an oversized silhouette. I tie it all off with these sporty vibe sandals which further create that relaxed look.

@jillarcenz

Laura Mae Will, co-founder of Lucky Tooth Gems, fashion student and DJ

My go-to cargo pants are baggy white parachute pants from Motel Rocks. These are the most comfortable and easily styled piece! I pair them with TNs and my black Oats The Label Five Tie Top to make a cute and casual outfit.

@lauramaewill

Imani Saker, model

I have been a curvy woman all my life and finding pants that fit the shape of my body as well as being the aesthetic that I wanted was extremely difficult – especially growing up in a time where skinny jeans and low rise were only accommodating to the thinner percentage of people.

Fashion has finally progressed in so many ways as well as the growth of body positivity and love across so many brands. With that, I found my love for styling cargo pants into my wardrobe almost every day.

Not only are they every curvy girl’s dream, but they can make any basic outfit into an iconic moment, with the right styling of course. My aesthetic changes but I will always go back to a pair of cargos, a tiny top and a long slick back ponytail to put me in the most boss bitch mood for the day! 

@imanisaker

Cait Emma Burke, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

I found my go-to cargo pants a few years back at Recycle Boutique, a consignment store in Wellington, New Zealand. I recall trying them on and being a bit blase about them, but getting them anyway. I thank the fashion gods on a weekly basis that I didn’t put these back on the rack.

This unsuspecting pair of khaki loose fit cargos, with its mother of pearl button and drawstring waist, has become the hardest working item in my wardrobe. Through the warmer months, I pair them with a fitted singlet, like this orange one from Suku, and a pair of Asics, and in winter I opt for an oversized sweatshirt and chunky pair of Docs.

I’m quite simply obsessed with them, and I wish this photo (or any photo) displayed them properly. My working theory is that I’m always having too much fun in these cargos – at festivals, parties, on holidays – to bother getting cute photos.

@caitemmaburke

Angel Bowyer, model and content creator

If you know me, you know cargos are my go-to! They’re one of my favourite wardrobe pieces as I feel they are so versatile. You can wear them casually or dress them up by adding some heels or boots. I’m currently obsessed with cuffed cargos paired with some Jordans or Nike dunks and a crop top.

Cargos are perfect for a casual look, nights out, dinner with friends or a day shopping trip. When I wanna style them up for a more formal look, I add some heels, lots of jewellery and slick hairstyles to make the look super clean and fancy.

@angelmaybowyer

Aaron Mitchell, model and stylist

Ah, the infamous cargo pant. The trend we loved to hate and now hate to admit we love. No one brand is thrusting the cargo pant back into our wardrobe like Dion Lee, featured in this look.

I’ve styled this look layered tonally with a Diesel spray jacket contrasted by an Acne Studios quarter zip and Diemme panelled boot.

@aaronmitchellstyling

Shannen Mertyn, content creator

Cargo pants have made a comeback and as much as I try to not be such a trend follower, I believe cargos are a staple piece for the wardrobe. My first pair of cargos are still my favourite pair of cargos. I remember I had been in search of them for ages – every thrift store I went to I was determined to find a pair. 

But one day, as I was working a shift at a Glebe stall, I found a seller who was selling the perfect pair and it was only for $20?! It was the right size and the right bagginess. I had to get her. 

Now my cargos are my go-to pair of pants. It’s my ‘everyday pair of jeans’ as I like to think of it. You can literally pair them with anything! And don’t get me started on cargo skirts. They’re my new fave addition to my wardrobe.

One of my fave small Australian businesses recently launched their cargo skirts and let me tell you, you will fall in love. Whether it’s the pants or the skirt, they go with any outfit. Any top. Any shoes. From a corset to a baggy tee. You can’t go wrong with cargos.

@lilbabyshaz

For a deep dive on the history of the cargo pant, try this.

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