With all the debate raging with cargo shorts being in style or not, there are some who still prefer these shorts during the warmer months. Whether for sport, recreational activities or just to while away the warm months, cargo shorts are here to stay (for a while though!)

However, sometimes we get it wrong when pairing cargo shorts with other clothing, such that the result is a drastic wardrobe malfunction that the perpetrators are usually unaware of. Nonetheless, there are several ways you can wear your cargo pants and still look cool.


Surprisingly there is a debate about this – can you wear cargo pants with socks? Sure! To an extent, socks are allowed.

Cargo shorts are inspired by the military cargo pants that are designed to be lightweight and efficient while carrying equipment. Thus, cargo shorts are popular with outdoor enthusiasts. Outdoors will generally require comfortable shoes, and these are to be worn with socks. There are those who wear cargo shorts to the gym, and thus will wear ankle socks with their training shoes, making the socks a bit hidden from sight.

However, if you are not planning to be outdoors any time soon, you best keep the socks tucked under comfortable loafers. If you prefer to wear sandals (like at the lakeside or the beach) then obviously there is no need for socks at that point.

Neutral Tops

For both women and men, cargo shorts are best worn with a neutral touch – a simple tee shirt or polo shirt will do, with minimal accessorizing. The idea of cargo shorts is the comfort, and thus it’s not something you need to think too hard to pull off. T-shirts with classy art, bold images or phrases also go well with cargo shorts. Just because it’s of a military origin doesn’t mean rules can’t be broken.

For ladies, you can also add a boldly colored cardigan to give a dash of color to an otherwise neutral look. For a more bold look, you can add a dark cardigan or hoodie as the weather gets chilly and your fashion sense starts transforming. You can still wear open, strappy sandals to show off your legs.

Stiletto heels are an overkill here – the idea is to look chic, not to stand out.

What not to do

There are however some clothing you should never be seen in while wearing cargo shorts. The first is to never pair sandals with socks then wear with cargo pants! Unless you are planning to stick indoors all day, never do this – with any outfit.

Another thing to never wear with cargo shorts are tall socks that are past your ankles. Even young schoolboys don’t do this today, so why should you? If you must wear socks, please allow them to complement your shoes, not to stand out independently.

Cargo Pants are Trendy

With a couple of styling blogs screaming at the public to do away with cargo shorts, their ease of style makes them pretty much timeless. Actually what changes are the length and accessories. For example, in the 90’s ladies couldn’t wear cargo pants with strappy sandals, but today they can. They were a preserve for safari; today they are perfect for a stroll in town!

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