#1938 Tailored cargo pants are not a good time (so stop drinking the Kool-Aid)

Photo: Tommy Ton

Things have gone too far. This must be said: Tailored cargo pants, the likes of which every menswear blogger, American editor and post-heritage fashion junkie has been wearing for the past few months, is the most ridiculous looking trend* since Crocs. Cargo pants with a shirt, tie and blazer? Come on! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Most great menswear has military origins, but this might be the greatest army —> fashion fail of all time.

Menswear is supposed to be a synergetic blend of form and function. The moment you have faux-functional detailing (such as cargo pockets on tailored pants), all is lost. And don’t try and tell me you use those pockets for storage. I see how flat they’re sitting. You don’t.

On 90s skaters it worked. On Anglo-Italian** aficionados it does not.

* Anytime you have to use the word trend in association with menswear, it’s an automatic fail.

** Quoting L.A.S. in his recent GQ interview.


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  1. fashion westie says

    Didn’t like those Houlihans for women either…If you’re doing cargo pants, DO CARGO PANTS! Not those, those, abominations as shown above.

  2. bob harris says

    you’re hardly in a position to talk; you wear the tightest, rolled up khaki chinos around, if that’s not following a trend then I don’t know what is. P.S. don’t quote L.A.S. in that respect as if you knew anything, you’d know that he sold McNairy New Amsterdam cargo pants on ROTM a year ago….

  3. isaaclikes says

    I know he sold McNairy New Amsterdam cargo pants on ROTM a year ago, doesn’t mean I liked them then or now. I love what L.A.S. does, I think he’s a great writer, blogger, Tumblrer and all round good guy. But I’ve gotta disagree with him and everyone else on the cargo pants front. To me they just look ridiculous.

  4. Jimmy says

    am i the only guy that think cargo pants are ok? no i wouldn’t want to see someone wear it with a tie and crisp shirt but something like the picture, linen shirt and cotton blazer- i like it.

  5. bob harris says

    Well, isn’t it then contradictory of you to judge “anglo-italian” style (of which cargo pants have been a large part of recently) in this way, when you are forever going on about McNairy most things, and saying how much you love Lawrence Schlossman in general. Newsflash, those two are about as “anglo-italian” as you can get….P.S. I think guys like L.A.S., Josh Pesko etc would think the tightness of your trou, and ridiculous rolled up cuff (get a real cuff, not cropped halfway up your leg) are far more whack. Just sayin’.

  6. Johnny Kill says

    So what you are saying is that you have better taste then the majority of major fashion  advisors in Europe? better taste then the guys who attend Pitti? better taste then the Sartorialist and Tommy Ton? You have no idea of what good style is, all those guys would laugh at you and your pathetic “uniform”. You and your crappy chinos with chuck tailors are the biggest fashion fail of all time,
    Cargo pants can work perfectly well with a nicely tailored soft shouldered jacket, or cotton sports jacket, and if you wear a tailored jacket most days, as i do, it would actually be convenient to store your phone, keys, and wallet in your trousers, rather then the inside of your jacket which can ruin the shape and also be a hassle to unbutton all the time. You have such a bad sense of style you can only wear one outfit, and it looks stupid and thats to put it nicely. So who are you to judge? you think the phrase “shawty wana thug?” was cool? really??

  7. isaaclikes says

    I’m not judging Anglo-Italian style, I think it’s great. I’m just staying that in my opinion, cargo pants don’t look good. And the aforementioned are more than entitled to think that my pants are wack – that’s the beauty of a free world with free opinions.

    Now… take my hand and join me in a verse of Kumbaya.

  8. isaaclikes says

    I’m not saying I have better taste than anybody, my friend. Like I’ve said to our other good friend bobharris above (and just between you and me, I think he’s using a pseudonym!!!!), it’s simply my opinion that cargo pants don’t look good – especially when worn with a nicely tailored soft shouldered jacket or cotton sportcoat. If you do, in fact, use the cargo pockets for storage, then good for you – that’s a perfect blend of form and function.

    Now, on another topic entirely, how are you on harmonies? bobharris and I could definitely use another voice.

    Kumbaya my friend, kumbaya.

  9. brian.f says

    good people sometimes make bad choices. that includes the sartorialist and tommy ton. this also applies to groups of people…like the guys at pitti or germany during the war.  i’m all about forgiveness. peace man. 

  10. lepip01 says

    Isaac! Look how much hate a tailored cargo pant can bring! It’s all just justifying your argument:)

  11. Almazemily says

    Some people need to chill out. Sheesh. Tailored cargo pants are rank – why can’t people just accept this? I hated the women’s versions that were popping up around this time last year as well. 

    By the way, good on you for having the guts to disagree with the big guns Isaac. There are so many fashion bloggers that look at those that are high up in fashion and automatically think that they have never and will never make a fashion faux pas. Soooo untrue. We all wear things that we go to to regret –  no matter how high up we are. Maybe in six months those now wearing tailored cargo pants will look back and laugh at how much they hate them. 

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