The best cargo shorts to buy in 2021

This is due in part to the ’90s revival, in part to the utilitarian trend, and in part to the relaxed styles of slim pants and shorts that have dominated menswear for nearly two decades. Cargo shorts are back, in other words. The obvious summer alternative, they’ve seen a surge in popularity but, without being too philosophical about it, what makes cargo shorts to be cargo shorts?

They have always been practical. Now they are also in fashion.

How to wear cargo shorts

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Why should you buy cargo shorts this season

While it might seem easy to count cargo shorts in the fashion world, you might be surprised to learn that they have made an epic comeback. No, you won’t be laughing at the piece if you show up in cargo shorts, but you might have all eyes on you, green with envy for the courage and tenacity to wear this work basic.

Here are some of the top reasons why you should buy (and wear) cargo shorts this season:


First of all, you’re unlikely to find shorts as comfortable as cargo. Loose fit, decent length and lighter material make cargo shorts a go-to bottom to hit during the warmer months.


Next comes functionality. Cargo shorts are best known for their plethora of pockets, which only adds to the practicality of these shorts. Whether you wear them to the bar or to the beach, you’ll always have enough space to store your belongings… and more.

Plus, the durable material makes cargo shorts a practical option for a huge range of scenarios, including finally mowing the lawn or for long-awaited home renovations. They’re the quintessential workwear staple, for good reason.


Match your wardrobe

Finally, cargo shorts are likely to already coordinate with several pieces in your wardrobe, which makes them easy to integrate into a summer wardrobe. Not only do cargo shorts look stellar with a solid color polo shirt, they also work with skate clothing, bold logo tees, hoodies, or even an Oxford.

4 dos and don’ts of wearing cargo shorts for men

1. Don’t be tempted by the length

Cargo shorts are cut a bit longer than chino shorts and much longer than swim shorts, but still use the area around the knee as an ideal spot. Longer and your legs will be drowned in a fabric that lacks the appeal of shorts a bit and makes you look shorter.

2. Don’t overuse the pockets

Putting a fortune in pennies in these side pockets will weigh them down and stretch fabric and shape, making your brand new cargo shorts look old before their time. You will also have the silhouette of a teenage shoplifter.

3. Don’t wear them with a blazer

Cargo shorts are sleek and casual at best, so pairing them with stylish basics like a blazer or tie is a step too far out of her comfort zone. You are not Pharrell.

4. Pair with workwear staples

Although it is a descendant of the military uniform, the multiple pockets make the cargo shorts a natural bedmate with utilitarian work clothes. The deep navy blue and khaki tones of work clothes pair well with cargo shorts, as do basics like chunky overshirts. Relaxed and loose skate clothing is a great fit too, so pair it with some interesting graphic tees and oversized hoodies.

How to wear cargo shorts

The styling of cargo shorts can be a bit confusing… What goes with all those pockets? but you will be pleasantly surprised to know that you can style cargo shorts in a wide variety of ways, for a bold or sophisticated look.

For an urban-inspired outfit, pair cargo shorts with a bold logo tee, an oversized hoodie and a new pair of retro sneakers.

For a more polished look if you’re heading to a backyard barbecue, for example, try a light blue button down shirt with khaki colored cargo ships. Pair it with loafers for an effortless summer look, or a pair of converse for something a little more dressy.

Whatever you do, make sure you stick with cargo shorts that strike up to the knee and are made from a lighter, high-quality material.

The best cargo shorts for men

If you are looking for the best cargo shorts for men, here are some top brands to find them.

Beams More

The house brand of one of the trendiest department stores in the world, Beams Plus is haute couture inspired by the store’s vast arsenal of brands with a neat Japanese twist.

Its cargo shorts are inspired by the sensibility of Japanese workwear with a wider fit around the hem, utility ripstop fabric and six oversized pockets. Six pockets? It’s crazy, Jeremy. Buy Now: £ 165.00


Rick owens

Los Angeles-based designer Rick Owens has always had a knack for turning expectations around and his take on cargo shorts is no different.

There is an alien touch to the spooky beasts created by the dark lord of fashion, from monstrous ridged pockets to long puffy cuts like something a high-tech ninja could make their way into town, that is an avant-garde fashion that you must be careful not to cut yourself. Buy Now: £ 207.00



No one defines fashion for everyone like Gap, the bulwark of the main street. Its men’s cargo shorts are classic fit and easy to wear, sitting around the lower waist for a relaxed and looser style, typically in a durable cotton twill and a dazzling array of shades. Buy Now: £ 20.97



Dressing stylishly on a budget has never been easier, and it’s Japanese chain-turned-global monolith Uniqlo that is truly leading the way. It’s all in the details when it comes to her cargo shorts, with deliberate pleats around the seams to add an old-fashioned worn look and a cute boxed trim around the front pockets. Buy Now: £ 14.90


Very dry

A unique fusion of American and Japanese-style workwear, all mixed in a saucepan with British seasoning is the staple recipe for 21st century Main Street mainstay Superdry.

Its cargo shorts are as tough as the rest of its reliable and durable line with a more military touch than the other street options on this list. Buy Now: £ 49.99

Parachute cargo shorts


Without British brand and cult ’90s label Maharishi, there wouldn’t have been cargo pants out of the obscurity of army surplus stores.

The brand’s mastery of the combat pants translates well in the cropped version, with easy-entry pockets and long, flowing shoulder straps to the side for welcome drama and pizzazz. Buy Now: £ 175.00



Part of the American denim triumvirate with Levi’s and Lee, Wrangler takes the same approach to quality and durability on their cargo shorts as they do on their premium jeans.

Made from 100% organic cotton, their cargo shorts have a nice weathered look that is cut into a slightly thinner leg with extra deep pockets on the side to keep all your cash in. Buy Now: £ 50.00


CP Company

Italian brand CP Company has always been at the forefront of fashion, so if you’re a men’s garment receiving the CP treatment, you’re doing something right.

On the surface, his cargo shorts are quite secure, cut with a straight leg in navy and dark khaki easy to wear. The point of interest is the brand’s signature eyewear lens taped to the lower pocket, a design accent for other fashion nerds to spot. Buy Now: £ 195.00



A leader in stylish outerwear, Timberland is a good shout out for hard-wearing wardrobe staples beyond its iconic big yellow boot.

These cargo shorts are cut shorter and slimmer, making them look more elegant, and in all shades of neutral you should be able to pair them nicely with a cotton button for a casual evening outfit. Buy Now: £ 45.00


Tommy Hilfiger

A masterful helping hand in preppy style, Tommy Hilfiger would always move cargo from its military origins.

There are summery beach vibes in its navy blue option which is cut from a lighter cotton than traditional cargo shorts and comes with a matching belt featuring the signature Tommy Hilfiger tricolor. Buy Now: £ 75.00


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