The Top 10 Designer Cargo Pants

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Maybe we've been listening to the Spice Girls too much or watching too many "Sex and the City" reruns: Either way, Y2K-style cargo pants are officially back. As The Guardian puts it, cargo pants' "return is aided by the ruling comfortable, practical aesthetic of pandemic lockdowns," and now their breezy functionality is here to stay. 

According to Vogue, Marc Jacobs brought back cargos to the fashion set with his workwear-inspired Heaven collection and a few Instagram posts, followed by other luxury brands like Isabel Marant and Givenchy. With a stamp of approval from models like Emily Ratajkowski in her go-to olive green pair (via InStyle) and Bella Hadid in her instantly iconic navy blues on Instagram, it's clear cargo pants have taken on a life of their own.

The cargo pants trend lets us live all those "Kim Possible" spy girl fantasies we've had since day one, blending classic practicality with fun, laidback charm. Some cargos are low-slung at the hips in true Avril Lavigne glory, while others go the flattering, high-waisted route: Either way, they usually have tons of pockets. As per Vogue, these pants "are often associated with dads or construction workers," but they've gotten "a more fashion-forward twist" as of late. Echoed by Glamour, "cargo pants are part of the new frontier of WFH fashion," where we just want to be comfortable — but cute, too. 

We've rounded up the top 10 designer cargo pants to shop right now, giving you Destiny's Child '00s vibes for the modern day.

Keepin' it sporty

If Sporty Spice is your inspiration, why not go the athleisure route with cargo pants that could double as activewear? First up are these ah-mazing Off-White Nylon Cargo Pants, which are everything we didn't know we needed. These high-waisted cargos are relaxed yet chic, featuring stark-white logos at the knees plus extra pockets. The nylon fabric is breathable for summer, yet they can double as perfect fall pants, too. We love the idea of pairing these with a white brami, classic jewelry, and your favorite luxe sneakers when you're on the go. A stretchy drawstring waistband makes these as easy as pie, and the made-in-Italy craftsmanship assures you'll wear these Virgil Abloh signatures for years to come.

If you love the idea of luxe athletic cargos but prefer something more wallet-friendly, try the Alo Yoga It Girl Pant. They're made of a similar performance fabric that can double (or triple!) for grocery runs, workouts, or even a casual dinner date. Seasonless and timeless, the stretch waist makes sure you can wear these cargos low on the hips or at the waist, and the elastic cuffs hit right at the ankle. The epitome of street style, these cargos come in neon blue or black and have tons of pockets for all your essentials. The grommets lend some "Sk8er Boi" edge without looking too much.

Cargo pants were made for neutrals

If there's a pant made for neutral shades and camo hues, cargos are it. After all, Kim Possible notoriously never took off her pocketed olive-green pair, and who can argue with that kind of inspo? We're obsessed with these super-luxurious Givenchy High-Waisted Military Trousers, which are classics that bring serious elegance to the otherwise-relaxed style. In an on-trend olive green hue, these pants feature a thick high-waist band, making them the perfect cargos to pair with teeny-tiny crop tops. The paperbag-waist style creates the illusion of an hourglass figure, while belt loops, pockets, pleats, and buttons give these an army edge. We love the elevated balloon leg and the high-quality, breathable cotton fabric. These Italian-made pants were made to be worn forever.

If tans and beiges are more your style, may we direct you to these gorgeous SER.O.YA Adrienne Cargo Pants? These cotton-blend cargos bring on the military trend in a khaki hue, with chic belted hems and a thick grommeted belt right at the waist. Tons of pockets, snap buttons, and belt loops make these pants functional and chic, while the fitted style ensures they're super-flattering, too. Wear these with a sporty athleisure crop and trendy sneakers for a day out, or dress them up with a black bodysuit and heels for a nighttime event. Plus, the New York brand donates a portion of the proceeds of each new drop to charity and is committed to keeping its clothing sustainable (via SER.O.YA).

Super-luxe, unexpected materials

Let's say you love the idea of cargo pants but aren't so keen on the military-inspired feel or just never go for neutral shades. Or you might already own a bunch of cargo pants in go-to olive and khaki. Not to fret: Unique cargos in sumptuous fabrics make our hearts beat faster for a reason, and you'll love these. Just like melon and prosciutto or peanut butter and jelly, sometimes opposites attract in the best way: And that's definitely the case with these Cinq A Sept Tous Les Jours Giles Satin Jogger Pants in an opulent cranberry hue. They're made of 100% silky cupro and can be paired with a leather jacket or glittery top for evening glam or dressed down with a tee and sneakers during the day. They have a high ribbed waistband, tons of functional pockets, and a great relaxed fit.

When in doubt, go for metallics. Although seriously daring, they never go out of style. We love this Isabel Marant Galoni Pant in a foil-inspired silver hue that's made entirely of 100% fine lamé. These pants are super-luxe and comfortable, toeing the line between athleisure and total glamour like the brand does best. A smocked elastic waistband makes these easy to slip on, while front and back pockets make them functional, too. Elastic hems give them a sporty feel, and we think these are the perfect conversation starter for any night out.

The best basic cargo pants

When it comes to cargos, neutrals don't just mean khaki hues and jungle-explorer-inspired fare: There are some new basics on the block that you can wear with absolutely anything. Probably some of the chicest cargo pants we've ever seen, these Tom Ford Stretch Cargo Jogger Pants are a wear-forever staple in a black silk blend. The high price tag may be off-putting for cargos, but the unbeatably flattering silhouette makes them perfect. These cargo pants have a mid-rise, perfect for pulling up to the waist or down to the hips, and feature a drawstring waistband, lots of pockets, belt loops, and elastic cuffs. We love these pants with a cropped black sweater for fall and winter or right now as your wear-everyday pair.

Are they great jeans or cargo pants? The world will never know, and that's just fine: These MSGM Blue Cargo Jeans bring the best of both styles. These pants have a comfortable relaxed shape in light blue 100% denim, and we love the tied cuffs at the hem. Faded and slightly distressed, the patchwork paneling throughout gives them an elevated edge. We're thinking of wearing this pair with embellished stilettos for a Carrie Bradshaw high-low look or with a T-shirt for day-to-day relaxed luxury. Either way, this low-slung style is comfy and basic in the best way.

Unexpected cool-girl twists

Who could forget about the cool-girl brands, so often worn by fashion mavens like Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid? First up, The Frankie Shop is all about taking basics like T-shirts and spicing them up with unexpected twists. For one, their Eva Padded Shoulder Muscle T-Shirt became an Instagram sensation last year, donned by influencers like Camila Coelho and celebs like Hilary Duff on the daily. Soon enough, their shoulder-padded Vanessa Sweatshirt followed suit during peak quarantine, leading many to realize just how cute a structured shoulder could be. Now, their Satin Tailored Cargo Trousers in Pearl are everything we love in a cargo pant: unique fabrication in creamy rayon-satin, pockets everywhere, and the perfect relaxed fit. With adjustable button tabs at the waist and pocket flaps, these are slightly military and very refined.

And of course, who could forget about I.AM.GIA, an Australian brand worn by everyone from Kylie Jenner to Kaia Gerber to Selena Gomez (via Marie Claire)? The label's pants are truly legendary for a reason; they're usually low-slung and the best rendition of Y2K fashion. We love the I.AM.GIA Nadia Pant, a unique black cargo that features gorgeous cutouts at the hips and chunky silver buckles on each side. The silhouette balloons at the leg but is close-fitting at the waist and the elasticized hem. We love these pants with a minimal crop or even with a hoodie and sneakers for comfortable daytime streetwear.