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Cargo Pants: why we love them...

Shoppers obsess over the way cargo pants hang on a shapely pair of legs. They hug the contours of calves and thighs just so, providing an elegant yet practical fit with their classic outline and stylish design.

Fashionable Pants Inspired by Military Values:

Focusing on that classic, definitive appeal for a moment, this military garb was originally designed in army green and khaki. They had a loose fit that created deep folds in the tough material, with the folds and wrinkles stirring evocative images of baggy pants from the 1940's and 1950's. The main difference, most outstanding feature of the pants, is the large and spacious cargo pockets, the sewn on patches of material designed for military grade containment of the bits and pieces found in transports carrying irregularly sized cargo. Army personnel went further, using the strengthened pockets of the pants to hold ammunition and other armaments.

Endowed with large belt loops and plenty of pocket real estate space, this garment is a definitive example of crossover from military usage to fashion trend.

The Birth of the Cargo Pant Trend:

The trendy pants claimed their place in fashion culture when shoppers became aware of their functional appeal, an indefinable allure that mixed casual style with toughness and practicality to create the perfect pair of pants for a laid back weekend full of activity. Snatched from the windows of army surplus stores and working men's uniform depot's, cargo outfits of the early 90's quickly appeared on display at nightclub venues as the latest fashion sensation. The color remained in muted tones of green, brown, and olive at first, but it's impossible to restrain the dynamic force that is style. The pants found their way on to the work tables of designers and seamstresses, artistes of fabric who promptly set about replacing the tough military grade material with softer fabrics. Early war design was meeting fashion of the 1990's, and the resulting explosion of fashion created cargo pants fit for the runways of Milan and Paris.

Pockets Built for Maximum Storage:

Let\'s return to the pockets of these trend defining pants and fill in some more detail of what makes them so special. First of all, the pockets came in all shapes, often with pleating to increase their storage capacity. The entry to the pocket was from the top or side, the gap outfitted with a snap mechanism to quickly shut the opening, but this seal was often replaced by a strip of Velcro. They came fitted with sturdy zips or with no closing mechanism at all, and were often spacious enough to comfortably hold the fist of the most muscular man. Contrary to popular opinion, these characteristic pockets don't only appear at the thigh; they're also found just above the knee, even as far down as the calf. Those are cargo pants made for carrying just about anything imaginable, but they may occupy serious amounts of time and effort if a person forgets which pocket holds their wallet. Imagine all those snaps and sharp sounds of Velcro ripping.

Contemporary cargo pant styles integrate many of today's styles. They're hybrids and masters of disguise, integrating the best trends, discarding style mistakes. Cargo pants now defy traditional concepts by mixing with more feminine styles to give birth to explosions of color, to pockets that still clearly define the concept as cargo pants, but ones never envisioned by any military force.

Designed Initially for Men:

Men always jump at the chance to shrug into this military inspired garment, perhaps preferring some of the toughness and durability that exemplifies classic cargo pants. After a long week confined by suits and ties, it's a joy to be able to shift perspective and wear something designed with utilitarian purpose in mind. Ideal for fishing or outdoor play, the typical outfit based on cargo pants is a mixture of casual and functional, a pleasing balance of fashion, functionality, and style that is likely to endure in some form or other for generations to come.

Also for Ladies:

Ladies swap out the rustic coloring and wide fit for a design far more centered in style, eschewing utility in favor of a skinny fit that accentuates the curve of the leg. Chic and eye-catching, they're still readily identifiable as cargo pants, fitted with large loops for belts and patches for pockets, but the baggy shape is gone, considered unflattering.

Tying The Fabric of Our Final Thoughts:

Although originally born of necessity, created by British military personnel in the late 1930's, cargo pants have gone on to become a surprise hit among the urban cliques and the hip, knowledgeable fashion conscious leaders of style, setting a market vogue for all age groups and all designers. Functional and utilitarian design is still present but muted, with real pockets replaced by decorative accents, and variations appearing as shorts and capris. Let's just end by saying that cropped or fully realized in their original form, cargo pants are destined to become fashion icons, illustrious articles of clothing recognized across the globe.

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