Are Cargo Pants Business Casual – All About Cargo Pants

Cargo pants were introduced first in the 1930sespecially for the British Army. Cargo pants such as trousers, khaki, and utility pants faded out quickly like other fashionable pants. Luckily, popular brands are putting these stylish pants back into the fashion world.

Modern cargo pants are comfortable and, of course, carry a fashion statement. They come with 6+ pockets making them suitable to wear almost everywhere. However, it doesn’t mean you can wear them everywhere.

Sounds confusing, huh? Fashion-concerned people frequently ask, “are cargo pants business casual.” Well, they are not totally. And let me describe to you why.

Why Aren’t Cargo Pants Business Casual

are cargo pants business casual

Since cargo pants are convenient to wear, fashionable to look at, and useful with those 6+ pockets to hold things, everyone simply loves them. You can go for outdoor adventure, grocery stores, cafes while putting on this trendy but practical apparel.

Nevertheless, it won’t be a good idea if you put them in a Monday morning meeting or client meet-ups. The outlook and the texture make this pant a super informal attire that doesn’t fit any formal ambient.

Guess what, your boss may be a big fan of cargo and tell you to wear it on informal-Fridays. In that case, you should try out these good-looking pants. We have rounded up five great cargo pants that will fit with any formal shirt or t-shirts. 

The cargo pants, especially the black ones, look so formal that you can even wear them for interviews too.

Cargo Pants We Recommend;

Identifying Cargo Pants

Identifying Cargo Pants

Cargo pants have similar looks to khakis. The only difference is, these come with an additional 2, 4, or more pockets. Sometimes, you will find them with a drawstring belt or canvas and sometimes without them.

They are comfy to wear and durable enough for regular use. They look so stylish; you will never feel like you are out of fashion wearing them.

Unlike hip pockets, cargo pockets jut out in an unappealing manner with oversized zippers and buttons. If we put these words simply, cargo pockets get referred to as the pockets located below the hip pocket.

Men’s Business Casuals

For men, the difference between business and professional clothing depends on wearing or not wearing a tie. However, particular workplaces have different casual dress codes. Therefore, we have mentioned a broad guideline for various professional and casual business demands.

1. Shirts

Men should cling to different button-downs and polo shirts. Mostly, collared shirts with long sleeves are considered suitable. If your organization lets you keep things simple, you can avoid wearing a tie.

But if it is recommended, you better get yourself some formal-looking ties. In summer, take button-downs with short sleeves as another option.

2. Blazers and Jackets

Blazers and jackets are generally not required but putting them on can bring a little professional touch to your outfit. Especially when you wear button-down shirts, it will help you look more appealing for work.

Remember not to put on funky designed coats but pick all of one color coats like black, grey, blue, etc. Having your blazer over your hand in an interview or office can make you look more formal and fantastic.

3. Sweaters

Most offices allow sweaters. In the winter, it’s ideal to have a chunky-knit sweater vest on. But in the summer you better wear fine-knit sweaters.

Wear sweaters for summer wear over your button-downs or shirts and show the collars. This way, your style will be more iconic and business casual.

4. Slacks or Pleasant Pants

Although several offices let their employees come and work wearing jeans and slacks, still, to match with your work environment, you should go with chino pants instead. Chinos are extraordinarily versatile clothes that go perfect with a casual business appearance.

The best part of chinos is that you can wear them with informal and formal shirts to keep yourself looking standard and formal. Select plain-colored pants, like black, dark-toned, grey, tan, etc. Of course, never wear bright-colored bottoms at a professional place. Add a belt of a similar tone with your pants.

5. Shoes

Formal shoes such as loafers, derby, and bluchers are generally appropriate. It would be best if you avoided sandals. Always keep your shoes looking polished and professional, and of course, don’t wear bright color shoes.

Women’s Business Casual

Women's Business Casual

Business casual outfits for women differ depending on where they work, the season, their profession, and their work. But the following formal dress code is usually considered standard for women.

1. Skirts and Dresses Touching Knees

Based on the office environment, the length and tightness of the skirt vary. The safe choice for your job will be attires and skirts that go below your knees or match the knee length.

You should avoid excessively tight, short, or fancy attire and skirts. Fortunately, when it comes to women’s business casuals, the color limit is very few.

2. Pants

For ladies, the acceptable options are chinos, suit pants, and pants well-tailored. You can wear jeans too but make sure your office permits you to wear them.

3. Blazers

Blazers are a suitable dress code for professionals (men and women). So, putting a blazer on won’t make your appearance look informal. We again require you to wear one color blazers since they appear classy and official.

4. Shoes

For ladies, the casual business style includes flat shoes, closed-toe heels, and loafers. But if you are lucky and your office permits you to put on open-toed shoes, stiletto, or other styles, you can wear the ones that look the most accurate with your costume.

Can You Wear Cargo Pants to Office? 

The specialty of cargo pants is that they have extra pockets, unlike their formal counterparts. However, they work great to keep things organized and handy.

If you need to keep small accessories like scotch tape, measurement tape, or screwdrivers, wear cargo pants with extra pockets. Now, being on top of your job won’t be an issue. But if your job is more white-collared, you better look professional and avoid wearing cargo pants.

Is Cargo Pants Smart Casual?

Dress specialists and etiquette professionals do not consider cargo pants as smart casuals. These pants are great for outdoor work since the extra pockets will come in handy for storing small items. But for a more formal environment, you should get a more classy look that is only possible by wearing trousers.


  • Can I wear black cargo pants to work?

While in most offices, wearing cargo pants is not allowed for one reason, the pants have many pockets with eye-catchy zippers and buttons. However, some cargos look pretty professional for not having too attention-craving designs, and you can wear them. If you get black cargo pants with simple pockets and your office allows you to put them on, wearing them will not be a problem.

  • Are cargo pants in style 2022?

Cargo pants were first invented in the 1930s, but they couldn’t stand long in the 20th century. But they are now back in full form.

Famous brands have come up with more stylish and high-quality cargo pants. For having more than two pockets, it’s never out of fashion. In 2022 cargo pants are still in style.

  • What is the definition of business casual attire?

The University of Toronto defined business casual outfits as “a classic, clean-cut, and put-together look where a full suit is not.” It means skirts, slacks, khakis, polo shirts, and similar dresses got established as business casual.

  • What kind of pants are business casual?

Jeans that are dark and have no holes, khakis, and others comfortable to wear but plain and one color plants with a not funky button or zippers are considered business casual pants.

  • Are cargo pants OK for an interview?

Yes, some cargo pants come with not more than two additional pockets. Those pants do not have fancy-looking oversized zippers or buttons and are dark-colored. You can wear such cargo for an interview. But be careful with the instructions; if the office asks you to maintain a fixed dress code, you better wear what they demand.

Closing Remarks

People often ask, “are cargo pants business casual?” So we have compiled all the relevant information and suitable attires to wear instead of cargo. I am sure now you have a wide range of alternatives to wear on both formal and informal occasions.

Of course, it goes perfectly with everyday outdoor wearing, but when it comes to going to the office, you should carefully choose your attire, and it should not look too fashionable such as cargo pants with many pockets.

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