How to style cargo pants

cargo pants

Happy Saturday, ladies!  Welcome to our new Saturday feature where you become the fashion stylists.  For me today, it is How to Style Cargo Pants.

Jennifer and I are now looking for fashion displays where we want to tap into your styling talents.

Each of us will ask you… How to Style… a different fashion piece.

Now, don’t worry that you don’t own the garment or plan on buying the garment…just answer how you would style it.

For me today, we are looking at an old style...reworked into a new trend…cargo pants.

This particular mannequin from LOFT got me to thinking about the current trend.

As is the case here, cargo pants are sometimes called utility pants with similar designs.

Cargo Pants are distinguished by the number of pockets (usually you find them down on the legs) and the size of the pockets.

It is mostly a casual pant…however, many fashionistas of all ages like to dress up their cargo pants and wear them out.

They are very popular right now and I selected some for you to think about as you ponder how you would style the pant.

I also desired for you to see that cargo pants come in a variety of styles…colors…fabrics.

So, put on your most creative thinking caps and consider how you would style cargo pants…or perhaps how you do style them.


cargo pants

I used this picture last week to demonstrate how I style spring florals…but underneath the amazing Bryn Walker Anja Silk Floral Print Sheer Short Sleeve Cardigan are my cargo pants.

I love a slim fitting cargo pant and have worn them for a long time…so glad to see them back on trend. Mine are older JJILL cargo pants.

So, perhaps this is enough to get your mind going…….



how to style

The JJILL WEAREVER EASY CARE TRENCH JACKET has by far been a top seller on over 50 feeling 40 for the past two weeks.  And buyers like the Saffron color!

Also top selling items from JJILL were the OTTOMAN KNIT TOP and the TWEED DOMAN SLEEVE SWEATER.

This week, the top selling items included these two items…

how to style

Finally, the top post this week…with many comments and diversity of thought…was the discussion, CAN EVERYDAY MATURE WOMEN BECOME ELEGANT?

You might want to add your thoughts as well after you complete our two styling assignments!

So, tell us about cargo pants…then go over to A WELL STYLED LIFE and see what Jennifer has….enjoy your spring Saturday…and make sure that you


Pamela Lutrell

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how to style


  1. In looking overvthese cargo pants I can say I most like the ankle- tie olive pair from Anthropologie. I’m a bit old for these but they do appeal to me.
    I’d wear mine with a white body skimming tee shirt. ( in my younger body). I might add a very small silk scarf picking up the green/add pink. Sandals work for summer! Off I’d go.

  2. I would wear the cargo pants with a white or navy 3/4 sleeve t-shirt and black sandals or athletic shoes. I like these cargoes because they don’t have the annoying side leg pockets that stick out.

  3. I like cargo pants but only if they’re in a softer fabric (slim or wider leg) without bulky pockets & tapered at key points (like the waist & ankles). So I’d wear these with waist definition (either a floaty tunic, duster or a tucked in long sleeved top), & in a darker colour (I only wear lighter shades up top).

  4. I love slim cargo pants and do wear them, as they hit all my adjectives: casual, confident, interesting, active, aware. I like these as styled with the sweater, but the outfit needs a necklace or a wide bracelet. For a necklace, I’d wear maybe wooden beads or a rough stone, to play off the utility vibe of the pants and put something more textured against that sleek sweater. I love those controlled, thoughtful contrasts. Or I might wear a beaded cuff or leather wrap bracelet. I would wear wedge espadrilles in tan leather, or a metallic sneaker with a contrasting, slightly platform sole. While I don’t wear belts (tummy!), I do like the texture of this one with the outfit. Tan is a good choice.

  5. I really like how the mannequin is styled. Although I’ve never really worn cargo pants I would give those a try. Love the green tee but I don’t wear belts anymore.

  6. As a hiker I have a few pairs of cargo pants but I tend to keep my hiking pants separate from my everyday wardrobe. The tops worn with them will depend on the season and temperature, usually a second layer over a t-shirt as one gets hot even on cool days. During mosquito season you have to wear ones that can be tied in at the bottoms and in a very light weight fabric because of the heat. I don’t have any with the side pockets as at 5 ft they are never in the right place and because of my height also never wear rolled up cuffs.

  7. I have several pair of cargo pants that I enjoy wearing, similar to the olive green styles you’ve shown. Although I rarely wear black anymore due to my autumn coloring, I usually wear them with a black v-neck tee and sandals for summer. In the fall I’d go with a longer sleeve black tee, ankle boots and perhaps add a quilted vest or denim jacket. I would wear them for running errands and volunteer work, but not to church or eating out in a nicer restaurant. Thanks for this post, which reminded me I need to find mine and get them ready for spring outfits!

  8. For myself, I like the rolled-hem cargo pants the best (Loft and Chicos). I think of cargo pants as very casual so I would style them with a simple tee. In the summer I would choose a V-neck tee in a bright color or pretty pattern. If something was needed to cover up on a chilly day or in AC, I would choose a lightweight hip length cardigan. I would keep the look simple and casual.
    Have a great Saturday!

  9. I have a few pair of slim fit cargo crops. I’ve always liked the style when they are not baggy I wear them very casually with a plain short sleeve or 3/4 sleeve tee shirt and sandals and sneakers.

  10. I just spent all morning switching out my clothes and have several warmer weather clothes in the laundry as I type…it was time to refresh and put winter away!

  11. Cargo pants add visual weight to my bottom half. I style them by leaving them on the rack in the stores, for others who want to balance an inverted triangle body shape. It’s for the best.

  12. Like their design (rise/length/taper) as well as their neutral colour. Re styling them for very casual wear would opt for a t-shirt in a style of my choice (options = v-neck/scoop/crew/boat) in my color wheel, add casual or athletic sneakers/trainers or even loafers with a CB-bag/tote or fanny satchel and perhaps a long sleeved cotton blend woven sweater in the same color family as the crops draped over my shoulders (or a silky cropped bomber jacket) if chilly weather and a ball cap (if having a bad hair day). Jewelry would be kept to a minimum. (i.e.: A sports watch/rings/stud earrings.) To bump them up; a classic cut long sleeved blouse either plain or striped would replace the t-shirt (with the option of sleeves being rushed up and/or a french tuck) and three stacked delicate chained necklaces would be added with a slightly more dressier watch that would have a metal expansion bracelet. Hemline would be rolled down and footwear would consist of either leather flats or low heeled strappy sandals with a structured handbag or tote.

  13. I’ve never owned cargo pants. If I had these I’d likely wear them with a sneaker to keep the casual vibe going. Happy Saturday!

  14. I’m not a fan of cargo pants! The last thing that I want is pockets on the pant legs creating bulk on my thighs! I like the way the mannequin is styled with the tucked in bright green top, caramel leather belt, and khaki color pants. I would probably wear either my oatmeal sneakers or caramel leather flat sandals with this outfit.

  15. Most cargo pants I’ve had in the past have been sturdy for work in the garden. I like the way these are styled, but I think they’d also look good with the shirt to the left (with the shorts) to make a column of color. I would style with sneakers and add wooden and/or a stone or bronze pendant to keep the look casual. I have navy Keds and could see wearing them with a navy cardigan tied over shoulder or at waist — and a hat. This is a good outfit for visiting lighthouses — there are a lot of them in Maine.

  16. Agree with Jennifer as I have never owned a pair. The slimmer neutral ones with less pockets might get a try on from me. I like the new tops I just purchased from JCP in Liz Claiborne. Most are flowered in blues or blush tones. These casual light weight tops would go nicely with cargo pants. I am a sneaker fan and love my Sketchers on my painful arthritic feet. They are a first choice now for my feet. I have to wear wide toe boots so a very casual look in my book. I have never been into jewelry so simple gold or white gold studs and a watch would complete my suggestions. I am 78, short and curvy so that perhaps is part of my style choices. I like comfort first and fashionable second.

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