There are very few fashion terms that evoke as much disgust as “cargo pants.” Ask someone—anyone—how they feel about them, and they’ll probably make a face at you, having been reminded of suburban dads on vacation or regrettable outfits from the late ’90s. It’s easy to understand why people are turned off by them in present day: They’re baggy, always look crumpled, and normally come in that divisive low rise. But much like bulky white sneakers and fanny packs, cargo pants’ association with a “dad wardrobe” means they’re due for a resurgence among fashion types. And it’s already started to manifest.
I.AM.GIA, which has a track record for creating “It” items that quickly rise to Instagram fame (like its Pixie Teddy Coat), has released its own interpretation of the cargo pant. Called the Cobain Relaxed Fit Pant, it has already been worn by trend-setters like Emily Ratajkowski, Kourtney Kardashian, and Bella Hadid. (All three have played a role in elevating controversial trends like micro sunglasses and mini bags, so this is very on-brand.)
Though Ratajkowski, Kardashian, and Hadid all wore their cargo pants with crop tops, the Spring 2019 runways during Fashion Week presented some alternative ways to style them. At Prabal Gurung, models wore them with plaid blazers; and at Jonathan Simkhai, they were paired with frilly corsets. The pairings were not just unexpected: They proved that the slouchy bottoms were the perfect antidote for more structured, sophisticated pieces. Plus, given how small handbags are nowadays, we could use all the additional storage space we can get.
While designers like Nanushka and Isabel Marant offer high-end cargo pants, there are also plenty of affordable options at the likes of Free People and & Other Stories. So if the thought of revisiting cargo pants has even crossed your mind recently, now’s the time to indulge. Check out 18 of our favorites, ahead.