The Ultimate Guide to Men’s Cargo Shorts

The Ultimate Guide to Men’s Cargo Shorts

Cargo shorts, distinguished by their helpful side pockets, are an adaptable piece of apparel. Luxury fashion brands craft them from breathable materials that adapt to casual and semi-formal occasions.

Discover styles that suit your needs in our quick guide to men’s cargo pants, from camouflage to long cargo shorts. Pair them with sneakers and a polo shirt for a carefree summer look.


There’s a reason why men’s cargo shorts have experienced a recent resurgence in popularity. The comfortable, middle-of-the-road fit and copious pockets make them an excellent choice for exploring the outdoors, playing sports with friends, or hanging out around the house. While they’re typically casual, men can still dress them up for a refined look. The key is finding the right fit. If your shorts feel too baggy or hang off the waist, try sizing down a size. Classic twill cargo shorts have just the fitting room and feature off-seam pockets for a tailored look.

Cargo shorts are traditionally a bit longer than conventional shorts, sitting around the knee. The extended length gives them a polished appearance that can be worn in more formal settings. This is particularly important if you wear shorts for work or school.

Cargo shorts tap into workwear culture with a wider fit around the hem and utilitarian ripstop fabric. One of the best brands for these budget staples, it offers various colors and styles. If you want to lean into the vintage vibes, opt for a pair with deliberate puckering around the stitching for an old-school-worn effect. They’ll pair perfectly with a flannel and dad sneakers for the perfect workwear look.


In the world of men’s cargo shorts, there are many options. Some are camouflage, some are long, and others are elastic-waisted. However, they all come down to one thing: they’re functional. These thick-woven trousers are made to last and are more practical than their chino counterparts. While chinos have narrow cuts that sit on the hips and are pocketless, cargo shorts feature a more relaxed fit with bulging pockets and an accordion-like structure that allows you to carry more without the bulk.

While they may have a military ancestor, cargo pants and shorts are now famous for everyday wear. The perfect balance of comfort and utility, pair these trousers with a casual shirt for work or a t-shirt for casual outings. A cotton or linen shirt with boat shoes should complete the look.

Initially designed for all sorts of outdoor activities, the plethora of pockets on these shorts makes them perfect for everything from mowing the lawn to finally getting around to those DIY home renovation projects you’ve been putting off. Opt for a durable fabric like ripstop nylon with a drawstring waist for the ultimate mix of workwear and street style. The boxy cut of these cargo shorts also works well with a singlet or plain t-shirt for a laid-back alternative look.


As fashion continues to shift toward gender-neutral style, fewer options are specifically designed for men. But that’s far from the truth, and one of the most classic options available to guys is a pair of cargo shorts.

Although they may be an acquired taste for some, they’re ideal for anyone who values convenience and functionality over all else. They may be dressed up with a dapper button-down shirt for a more put-together ensemble or down with casual t-shirts and tank tops for a carefree summertime vibe. The breathable fabric and spacious pockets make them an excellent option for traveling or outdoor activities.

Although cargo shorts are advantageous, they can also be a fashion faux pas if they are not worn appropriately. Avoiding wearing them with a baggy shirt or tee is essential. A loose fit is fine, but it should never be so oversized that your cargo shorts sloop off your body.

Secondly, avoiding cargo shorts in dark colors like khaki or military green is essential. These shades are generally considered a ’90s classic, so they’re harder to pull off in 2018. In addition to being less flattering, these colors can give you that ’80s dadcore look that isn’t so attractive for most people.


While pop culture might think cargo shorts are out of style, they’re an enduring wardrobe staple for those who embrace the outdoor experience. Whether hiking through rugged terrain or camping on the beach, long cargo shorts help you carry essential tools and gear without worrying about overpacking.

The copious pockets and practical design of long cargo shorts allow you to keep all your necessities within arm’s reach. From keys and wallets to sunscreen, smartphones, and even a flashlight, they will enable you to explore your surroundings without having to lug around a heavy backpack.

Unlike regular pants, which can feel restrictive and suffocate your legs, long cargo shorts have a loose fit to promote movement and comfort. The added breathing room also helps you stay relaxed and comfortable, even during warmer weather. Plus, they’re an excellent choice for men who enjoy casual wear and like to pair them with t-shirts or sweaters.  These workwear powerhouses offer various functional and stylish options to suit any budget. They also ensure their clothing is made with quality materials built to last. In addition to a durable construction, the best cargo shorts feature a comfortable elastic waistband or drawstring for easy on and off. Some options also have an internal tonal tie for a more tailored look.

Will Smith

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