Cargo Pants Are A Short-Lived Micro-Trend - Our Favorite Alternatives For 2024

When it comes to pants, it's often hard to find a pair that's equally flattering and comfortable for everyday wear. Some sacrifice always comes into play — like your favorite pair of jeans that make your butt look great but are too constricting when you eat or your comfiest pair of sweats that are great for lounging but that you wouldn't be caught dead wearing outside of your house. For a long time, cargo pants were people's go-to for their combined comfort and style. But was it true style or just another fad?

Cargo pants have had a good run, but ultimately, they've proved to be just one more short-lived micro-trend that 2024 aims to leave behind. What's replacing them? For some people, timeless basics like straight-leg jeans and structured pants will swoop right in. For others, especially the trendiest dressers, new (potentially fleeting) trends like animal print will steal their hearts. Celebrities like Camila Morrone and Blake Lively, for instance, have already moved on to the barrel-leg jean trend. Perhaps you can find your own perfect alternative, too. 

So, if you're tired of cargo pants and want to remain your most stylish self this year, here are our six favorite bottom alternatives.

Straight-leg jeans

Your safest bet when replacing one trend with another is to go back to basics. For example, while straight-leg jeans are popular right now, they've been around for years (decades even), and their simple shape will likely remain a closet staple indefinitely. Plus, you probably already reach for them weekly. Straight-leg jeans have the same laidback energy as cargo pants but are much more elevated. Pair them with a baby tee and your cutest sneakers for an effortlessly chic look, and to tie things up, a faux leather jacket is the way to go.

Office pants

The office siren aesthetic has been putting office attire back on the street style scene (office casual, but better), which is great news for those looking for trendy alternatives to cargo pants. Next time you find yourself searching for a loose-fitting pair of pants to complete your look, go for a wide or structured office pant. What's more, officewear is easy to style for off-the-clock situations. Simply dress down your office-friendly attire by combining your business-ready pieces with more relaxed and unexpected clothing and accessories, including sneakers, T-shirts, and strictly decorative handbags.

Cheetah print

Trendier alternatives to cargo pants can be just as effective as basics. Trends replace trends, as is the cycle of life. Plus, this approach gives you options: animal print, barrel jeans, maxi jean skirts, and capri pants, to name a few. If you're opting to wear animal print pants instead of the usual cargo khaki or green, we suggest a safe print, like zebra, cheetah, or leopard. When wearing a loud print, keep your outfit simple with a matching color palette (black and white for zebra, black and brown for cheetah). Then, accessorize as colorfully as you desire.

Wide-leg jeans

Another classic basic to replace your, dare we say cheugy, cargo pants are wide-leg pants — more specifically, wide-leg jeans. This alternative is not only found in the wardrobe of every well-dressed influencer but you can also bet you'll find at least one pair in your own closet. To style wide-leg jeans right, wear tighter, more structured pieces above the waist — tight shirts and well-fitted jackets. This will create that hourglass look that wide-leg and flared pants are known for. And yes, all without giving up cargo pants' casual look and comfort.

Cream-colored pants

If what you used to like about your cargo pants is their color — that is, any color that isn't the usual jean-blue, black, or gray — then opt for a pair of loose-fitting pants in a lighter (or unexpected) color. Cream pants, for instance, should be a staple in everyone's closet. Wear your cream-colored pants, whatever they may be (jeans, linen, wool, or other), with lighter and breezier colors like off-white. And if you crave a pop of color, stick to one good bright shade, like pops of red or orange.

Tracksuit pants

If all else fails, you always have athleisure. It's truly the most reliable form of style, and it doubles as the perfect alternative to other leisurely styles of clothing, like cargo pants. If you love your athletic wear, whether you prefer to dress it up or down, consider swapping your cargo pants for tracksuit ones. Then, break up the co-ord: Style your tracksuit pants with anything other than their matching counterparts. Whether worn with other athletic pieces or classic outerwear pieces, your loose and comfortable sporty bottoms will combine comfort and chicness like no other.