Like the flavour of olives or the taste of red wine, some things have to grow on you—that's the case for me with this particular trend. Between the influx of outfits on Instagram and the taking over of various new-in sections, cargo trousers are impossible to ignore at the moment. Often labelled as "ugly" or, if you were to ask me four months ago, "too '90s for its own good," it's a look I never thought would win me over. Then I saw the Celine spring/summer 2022 runway show, where a pair of cargo trousers—camouflage ones at that!—changed my entire outlook on them.
Photo:COURTESY OF CELINE
Celine's glossy interpretation—which consisted of cropped leather jacket and heeled sandals—helped transform them into something I'd actually wear again, as opposed to something I'd only previously have considered wearing if I was dressing up as a Spice Girl. And it would appear I'm not the only one who has had a change of heart recently; Celine's influence has started a cargo trouser ripple effect in the industry, with demand for them spiking as we enter 2022. Recently, Lyst revealed its trend precautions for the new season, and cargo trousers were an integral part of the forecast. "Another sub-trend from the outdoor aesthetic, the cargo trouser, has gained popularity in the market, predominantly favouring traditional colours like olives and greens."
High-low styling is key to achieving the 2022 style aesthetic, with shoppers predicted to buy into pieces that can be dressed up or down. Did someone say cargo trousers? With the simple switch of a trainer for a high heel or stacked boot, the entire mood becomes something undeniably chic. Easy to re-create, it's little wonder that influencers have already been wearing the cargo trouser-and-heel outfit combination this season, so if you're on the fence, you can rest assured that it's worthy of a test run. Scroll on to see six chic examples of how to wear cargo trousers that feel fresh and new, and then shop the pieces you need to tap into the cargo trouser trend.
Style Notes: Marianne Smyth has inspired many of the items in my wardrobe, with her cargo trouser look proving just as influential. She styles hers in the precise way I’d like to—with an oversized jumper and sleek black ankle boots.
Style Notes: On paper, low-slung cargo trousers and a crop top sound like something you’d only wear to a ‘90s-themed party, but in sleek denim and satin, and paired with scrappy heeled sandals, this is a look I’d gladly wear on my next night out.
Style Notes: One of the easiest ways to wear your cargo trousers is with ankle boots and a roll-neck top. Throw in a tailored coat for the winter months and make no mistake, this look is 100% chic.
Style Notes: Sweetheart neckline tops have been one of the biggest trends of the past few seasons, so it seems like a fitting accompaniment to cargo trousers going into 2022.
Style Notes: Longline cardigans never fail to look polished—particularly when belted and worn with trousers underneath. Follow Renia Jaz’s lead by working a cargo trouser into this outfit combination.
Style Notes: Hannah Lewis was one of the first to champion the cargo trouser trend and has plenty of looks to re-create over on her feed. My favourite? The one where she wears them with an oversized blazer and Prada slingbacks.