I am forever thankful for my mother’s open mind. From donning Pocahontas wigs in public at 5 years old to that period of time when I exclusively wore toe socks, she really just let me do my sartorial thing. Even when that thing was putting on hot pink cargo pants from Limited Too every other day while deep in the midst of a 2003 Avril Lavigne phase.
Now that we’ve fast-forwarded 18 years, like all things Y2K fashion, it looks as though cargo pants are having a moment — a very publicly celebrity-approved moment at that. And I am here to shout from the virtual mountaintops for whoever wants to listen that I, too, am here for it.
From sensible style icons like Jessica Alba to Gen Z north star Devon Carlson, oversized pants with pockets seem to be everywhere right now. And while you may be scratching your head over the revival of Kim Possible’s signature pants, I think it’s pretty clear as to why this was in the cards all along.
Over the last year, leggings became full-time pants. Then Uggs took over (again). Long-held fashion rules were tossed out the window. And on top of that, low-rise jeans are back, baby! It only makes sense that a trend as controversial as it is comfortable and practical (re: actual pockets) has claimed its rightful place in the spotlight.
The baggy pants renaissance is not one size fits all, so to speak. While Bella Hadid opted for a pair of cargo pants and sneakers reminiscent of the ones *NSYNC’s stylist must have bought in bulk, they can easily be elevated: Halle Berry‘s take on the trend included a pair of burnt orange tie-detailed cut-out pants by LaQuan Smith and heels.
Even if you feel like some things are better left in the past, you should still try the cargo-pant look, just without the ’90s-esque low-rise fit. There are plenty of styles now that have a more current high-waisted fit, which we’ve become more accustomed to since the years of AOL Messenger.
Below, shop the best cargo pants available at Nordstrom and Amazon right now.
Anine Bing Kennedy Cargo Pants
Shop now: $160; amazon.com
BP. Print Cargo Pants
Shop now: $49; nordstrom.com
Lulus The Bottom Line Cargo Joggers
Shop now: $48; nordstrom.com
Rag & Bone Field Cargo Joggers
Shop now: $275; nordstrom.com
Levi’s Loose Cargo Pants
Shop now: $108; nordstrom.com
BP. High Waist Cargo Pants
Shop now: $30 (Originally $49); nordstrom.com
Dickies Women’s Low Rise Drawstring Cargo Pant
Shop now: $36; amazon.com
Madewell Huston Tapered Cargo Pull-On Crop Pants
Shop now: $85; nordstrom.com
R13 Camo Print Drop Crotch Cargo Pants
Shop now: $495; nordstrom.com