18 Cargo Pants Outfit Ideas to Wear for 2023

This middle school staple got a glow-up.

A woman wears a cargo pants outfit idea for 2023: cargopants with a sweater and mens' briefs

Getty Images

Lately, the aughts are inescapable, but no Y2K trend has us quite as giddy as the return of the many-pocketed cargo pant. Much like the folks who wore these utilitarian bottoms back in the day, cargo pants have gotten something of a glow-up. Sure, they still skew baggy and feature plenty of pockets, but they've branched out from khaki and camo. (Don't get us wrong, these shades are still going strong.) to include denim, metallics, and neons. When it comes to cargo pants outfits, the game has also undergone a major change, and they aren't limited to band T-shirts, hoodies, and sneakers anymore.

The cargo pants outfits we've spotted during global Fashion Weeks and on celebs have been remixed and elevated. Instead of schoolyard separates, you'll find corset tops, heels, and fully grownup main character outerwear. Ahead, you'll find over a dozen cargo pants outfit ideas to try for 2023.

With a Bodysuit

A woman wearing a cargo pants outfit from 2023 featuring a bodysuit

Getty Images

The resurgence of Y2K fashion has mainly focused on showing skin and in this arena, so a cargo pants outfit is right at home. Go bold and unexpected by snapping on a high-cut jumpsuit under a pair of baggy cargo pants. The resulting peekaboo moment feels risque without going full visible underwear under a sheer dress. It's a win-win.

Shop Similar: God Save Queens Chiara Jumpsuit, $129 (Originally $159)

With a Statement Belt

A woman wearing a cargo pants outfit for 2023 featuring a statement belt

Getty Images

Accessorizing cargo pants can seem complicated because so many details are involved — from pockets and tassels to zippers, it's a lot to handle. Cut through the noise without cluttering the lines of your 'fit by adding a statement belt to your fave high-waisted pair. Not only will it complete your look, but accentuating your natural waist in contrast to the volume at the bottom of cargo pants will leave you looking extra snatched.

Shop Similar: Express Thick Chain Belt, $58

With a Sleek Trench

A woman wears a cargo pants outfit with a sleek trench coat.

Getty Images

Whether you favor trench coats or prefer to wear dusters, there's no denying that a long jacket paired with a casual outfit is fashion gold. Slipping on a sleek, floor-skimming coat over a pair of cargos in a similar shade delivers a major main character moment.

Shop Similar: H&M Double-Breasted Trench Coat, $65

With a Peek of Briefs

A woman wearing a cargo pants outfit featuring mens' briefs

Getty Images

Another major cargo pants throwback is the timeless "glimpse of briefs" look worn by boy band members and Calvin Klein supermodels alike. If you're not a fan of flashing name-brand logos, you can still get in on this trendy cargo pants outfit idea by layering a pair of leggings or bike shorts under your favorite baggy cargo pants. Elevate the 'fit even further by matching the fabrics or print of your top to your bottoms.

Shop Similar: Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Short, $20

With a Racer Tank

A cargo pants outfit featuring a racer back tank top

Getty Images

Embrace your inner athlete or Y2K erstwhile pop star by pairing cargo pants in vibrant color with a crisp white racerback tank top. This cargo pants outfit idea is also the perfect canvas for major accessories. Try amping up this 'fit with a metallic purse and bangles.

Shop Similar: Banana Republic Ribbed Fitted Tank, $30

With an Oversized Puffer

A cargo pants outfit idea featuring an oversized puffer jacket

Getty Images

Draw the oversized vibes upwards from your cargo pants to your outerwear by pairing the pants with an oversized jacket. To keep yourself from drowning in this look, it helps to pop on a pair of platform shoes and keep your top sleek and form-fitting. Sticking to a singular color palette will also help this cargo pants outfit idea feel well-thought-out instead of thrown together.

Shop Similar: FP Movement Pippa Packable Puffer Jacket, $198

With a Pop of Color

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring a pop of color

Getty Images

Cargo pants can read very casual, but don't get it twisted. They can be glam, too. A fun, easy, and cohesive way to elevate these pants is to pair them with accessories that pop. Bright reds, neons, and metallics contrast gorgeously against these utilitarian pants.

Shop Similar: SKIMS Fits Everybody High Neck Bralette, $38

With a Cropped Jacket

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring a cropped leather jacket and high heels

Getty Images

If you hesitate to wear clothing that exaggerates your shape, you can still get in on the cargo pants trend. A cropped jacket in leather or denim balances out the visual heaviness of cargo pants. Look for a jacket just above your natural waist to create a long, lean silhouette.

Shop Similar: AllSaints Elora Cropped Leather Biker Jacket, $499

With a Corset Top

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring a corset top

Getty Images

Long live the corset top. The curve-hugging nature of this style of stop creates a beautiful contrast with cargo pants which, let's be honest, can be a little shapeless on their own. By pairing the hardness of a fitted corset or bustier with the softness of cargo pants, you've got a match made in fashion heaven.

Shop Similar: superdown Mika Denim Corset, $58

With Combat Boots

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring combat boots

Getty Images

One way to change up the look of cargo pants is by tucking them into combat boots. This style of cargo pants outfit breaks up the weight of the pant for an entirely different, military-inspired vibe. To keep it sleek, try working high-shine fabrics like leather or latex into your outfit and embrace an all-black aesthetic. Boom. You're a superhero (or a supervillain).

Shop Similar: Palladium Revolt Sport Ranger Boots, $160

With a Blazer

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring a blazer

Getty Images

Want to take your fave cargo pants out for a nice dinner? The fastest way to level up your cargo pants is to toss on a blazer. Unlike the cropped jacket, you'll want an oversized blazer that hits below your natural waist. By drawing the eye down past your hips, a blazer will create an elongated silhouette, pulling your whole look together.

Shop Similar: Everlane The Oversized Blazer, $228

With Ankle Boots

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring ankle boots

Getty Images

For a slightly more glam version of the combat boots and cargo pants outfit idea, try swapping out steel toes for pointed-toe ankle booties. You'll get the same broken-up silhouette that you would with combat boots but with an entirely different soft glam vibe.

Shop Similar: Jeffery Campbell Bringiton Lace-Up Stiletto Bootie, $310

With Heels

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring high heel shoes

Getty Images

We keep seeing guests at Fashion Weeks around the world pairing larger-than-life cargo pants with sleek stiletto heels that just peek out from below the hem of their pants, and we are here for it. When styling heels with cargo pants, it helps to think of how you would style a pair of heels with wide-leg jeans. The heels won't be the focal point, but they will be noticed.

Shop Similar: FEMME LA Rum Pump Heels, $180 (Originally $199)

With a Comfy Sweater

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 with sneakers and a comfy sweater

Getty Images

This cargo pants outfit idea is perhaps the closest to how we all used to wear cargo pants — but with a preppy update. Pair cargo pants in an old-school khaki color with spotless leather sneakers and a slouchy sweater for an academic vibe that still reads fashion-forward.

Shop Similar: & Other Stories Oversized Mock Neck Striped Sweater, $129

With a Statement Top

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring a statement top

Getty Images

If you've got a statement top in your closet that you've been dying to wear but can't figure out what to pair it with, welcome to the age of the cargo pant. Not only do cargo pants slightly tone down an over-the-top statement top, but they're also comfortable. So, you can focus on how amazing you look and not on the mechanics of your outfit.

Shop Similar: Alice + Olivia Delfina Wool Cropped Sweater, $264 (Originally $440)

With Cowboy Boots

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring over the knee western boots

Getty Images

A more exaggerated game-changer than tucking them into combat boots, pairing cowboy boots and cargo pants is a major fashion flex. To keep this look from veering into costume territory, try to keep your color palette as monochromatic as possible *except* for the boots themselves, which can (and should!) stand out.

Shop Similar: Freebird Jackson Boots, $350

With a Varsity Jacket

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring a varsity jacket and casual crop top

Getty Images

Varsity jackets are a throwback staple, and they pair well with the yesteryear vibes of cargo pants. To keep your look cohesive, try to match the shade of your cargo pants as closely as possible to the main color of your varsity jacket. Then, given that the look already gels, you can let loose when picking out your top and accessories.

Shop Similar: Sandro Wool and Leather Varsity Jacket, $358 (Originally $715)

With an Off-The-Shoulder Top

A cargo pants outfit idea for 2023 featuring an off-the-shoulder top

Getty Images

Another way to introduce delicious contrast between romance and utilitarianism in a cargo pants outfit is to pair the pant with a dreamy off-the-shoulder top. Showing off your shoulders creates visual balance and adds a touch of va-va-voom while still keeping things streamlined.

Shop Similar: Reformation Leonora Knit Top, $88

Related Articles