Cargo pants are back: How to wear the Nineties fashion favourite now

Never, ever have we ever been more pleased about the return of a trouser trend. By Olive Enokido-Lineham and Katie Wright.

As the Nineties style renaissance continues to evolve, there’s a sense we’re moving through the decade and inching ever closer the dreaded Noughties.

Case in point? Cast your mind back to 1997, when a girl group called All Saints released their debut single, I Know Where It’s At.

With their street-wise tomboyish styling, the R’n’B four-piece catapulted cargo pants into the mainstream, and soon everyone was wearing the many-pocketed baggy trousers.

Alas, a few years later, the band had broken up – and the trouser trend didn’t last long either.

But they’re back. Both the band and the cargo pants!

All Saints have had several reformations over the years, releasing their latest album last year, and now utility trousers are all over Instagram.

They’re not quite the same as their pre-millennium counterparts, though.

This time around, we’re seeing more high-waisted styles and a much slimmer fit.

Back in the day, All Saints’ cargo pants we seriously baggy and low-slung.

All Saints were famed for their baggy pants  (James Arnold/PA)

What to wear them with? If you want a true homage to Shaznay, Mel and the Appleton sisters, then a crop top and chunky trainers are all you need to complete the look.

Of course, the military-influenced style lends itself to casual looks, but on the other hand, you can dress up your utility trews by teaming them with a body top and heels.


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Before the red carpet 🥰 Wearing matching sneakers 😭 #TheFerragnez

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Keen to give cargo a go? Here’s our pick of the best high-street buys…

Miss Selfridge White Broderie Shirt; Khaki Camouflage Utility Trousers
(Miss Selfridge/PA)

Miss Selfridge White Broderie Shirt, £32; Khaki Camouflage Utility Trousers, £39

Pretty Little Thing Plus Mid Wash High Waisted Wide Leg Jeans
(Pretty Little Thing/PA)

Pretty Little Thing Plus Mid Wash High Waisted Wide Leg Jeans, £30

H&M Lyocell-blend Cargo Trousers

H&M Lyocell-blend Cargo Trousers, £29.99

New Look Khaki Ripped Utility Cargo Jeans
(New Look/PA)

New Look Khaki Ripped Utility Jeans, £27.99

Superdry Girlfriend Cargo Pants

Superdry Girlfriend Cargo Pants, £54.99

Topshop Stone Cuffed Utility Cargo Trousers

Topshop Stone Cuffed Utility Cargo Trousers, £39