It's True—These Are the 6 Best Shoes to Wear With Cargo Trousers

Like the flavour of olives or the taste of red wine, some things have to grow on you—that's the case for me with this particular trend. Between the influx of outfits on Instagram and the taking over of various new-in sections, cargo trousers are impossible to ignore this year. Often labelled as "ugly" or, if you were to ask me four months ago, "too '90s for its own good," it's a look I never thought would win me over. Then I saw the Celine spring/summer runway show, where a pair of cargo trousers—camouflage ones at that!—changed my entire outlook on them. 


(Image credit: COURTESY OF CELINE)

Celine's glossy interpretation—which consisted of cropped leather jacket and heeled sandals—helped transform them into something I'd actually wear again, as opposed to something I'd only previously have considered wearing if I was dressing up as a Spice Girl. And it would appear I'm not the only one who has had a change of heart recently; Celine's influence has started a cargo trouser ripple effect in the industry, with demand for them spiking. Recently, Lyst revealed its trend precautions for the new season, and cargo trousers were an integral part of the forecast. "Another sub-trend from the outdoor aesthetic, the cargo trouser, has gained popularity in the market, predominantly favouring traditional colours like olives and greens." 

High-low styling is key to achieving the 2023 style aesthetic, with shoppers predicted to buy into pieces that can be dressed up or down. Did someone say cargo trousers? With the simple switch of a trainer for a high heel or stacked boot, the entire mood becomes something undeniably chic. Easy to re-create, it's little wonder that influencers have already been wearing the cargo trousers this season, so if you're on the fence, you can rest assured that it's worthy of a test run. Scroll on to see six chic examples of how to wear cargo trousers that feel fresh and new for autumn, and then shop the pieces you need to tap into the cargo trouser trend. 



(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

Style Notes: After the Celine inspiration, I had to take note of this classic army print pair. Marilyn styles her pair with a cropped jacket and strappy heels to elevate for spring. 

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(Image credit: @claire_most)

Style Notes: One of the easiest ways to wear your cargo trousers is with ankle boots and a simple tee. Throw in a varsity jacket and make no mistake, this look is 100% chic. 

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(Image credit: @izzydilg)

Style Notes: Often, simple is best, and the fail-safe combination of jeans (cargo, of course) with a leather jacket and trainers will never let you down. This is the ideal look for those running errands or chilled brunch days. And I for one will be adding this to my 'outfits to copy' saved folder. 

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(Image credit: @taniceelizabeth)

Style Notes: There's something so fun about elevating (quite literally) a casual look with a pair of heels. Kitten heels and cargo pants may sound strange on paper, but Tanice illustrates how to execute the high/low pairing to perfection. 

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(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: Marianne Smyth has inspired many of the items in my wardrobe, with her cargo trouser look proving just as influential. She styles hers in the precise way I’d like to—with an oversized jumper and sleek black ankle boots. 

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(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: Monikh was one of the first to champion the cargo trouser trend and has plenty of looks to re-create over on her feed. My favourite? The one where she wears them with a 'nice top' and chunky sandals. You'll definitely be able to recreate this look on warmer days throughout autumn. 

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This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Next Up: These Autumn/Winter Trends Really Count

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.