If you’re seeing cargo pants everywhere, it’s because the beloved bottoms of the ’90s are back in action. What’s the best way to lean into the look? For sartorial guidance, we looked to none other than Oprah Daily’s creative director, Adam Glassman.
According to Glassman, the best cargo pants for women are suitable for a number of occasions, depending on the material, as well as how you style them. “The fabric of the pants helps determine if they are more weekend-friendly, work-appropriate, or nighttime-wearable,” he says.
For the weekends, Glassman says materials like cotton, linen, and canvas tend to lean toward the casual side. To complete a daytime look, light tops work nicely when tucked in and paired with a flat sandal or sneaker.
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For an office or evening-ready look, opt for a more sophisticated cargo style that feels appropriate for your destination. Glassman says that fabrics like gabardine, wool, cashmere, and silk tend to be more tailored and dressed up. Plus, they’re perfect transitional pieces as you build your fall wardrobe—which is arriving sooner than you think.
How should you style cargo pants? Glassman notes that complementary clothing and accessories play a significant role in communicating where you’re headed. While sneakers and clogs keep things casual, heels can lend a touch of glam. A pair of cargo pants with a pointed-toe pump? Perfection. Glassman recommends a strong utilitarian boot that carries a modern Mad Max look into the fall.
Glassman also suggests balancing cargo pants by playing with shape or color on top. His suggestion? “Try an oversize bomber jacket, blazer, or trench coat, either in a monochromatic palette or with a pop of color. A cropped jacket helps balance the fullness of cargo pants while visually creating a more flattering silhouette.”
You can also try a statement oversize knit sweater for a fashion-forward-meets-preppy look. Alternatively, a statement top—think sequins, feathers, lame, silk, or off-the-shoulder— gives a casual glam night out vibe. “Try adding a statement belt to jazz it up,” suggests Glassman.