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How to Wear Skinny Cargo Pants – 2 Easy Outfit Ideas


A few weeks ago, I was strolling down the unkempt aisles of my local Marshalls when, to my surprise, I stumbled upon a single pair of black skinny cargos that happened to be in my size. I’ve had my reservations about the comeback of the cargo trend, but once I tried them on, I couldn’t leave without them. Black, perfectly cropped (I’m short, so it’s hard to find pants that don’t drown me) and donning adorable little ankle zippers… I needed them.

Since buying these magical pants, I’ve basically worn them to death – I combine them with just about everything in my closet; they’ve truly become a staple in my wardrobe. And I think if more college girls gave skinny cargos a try, they’d feel the same way.

Therefore, here are two ideas for how to style your own pair of skinny cargos, based on how I personally style mine! I hope this gives you some inspiration and convinces you to try the look yourself.

1. Girly Casual

Cargos, Top, Scarf, Cardigan, Flats, Ring, Earrings

I’m a big fan of mixing prints and textures, and that’s why I love this outfit. Since the cargos give off a tough vibe with their utility pockets and ankle zippers, I decided to pair them with cute, girly accessories for contrast.

To begin, I chose this striped sweater top – it’s loose fitting, which helps balance out the fitted pants. Next, I decided to do some print-mixing by throwing a floral infinity scarf over the bold stripes. (This combo works because the scarf has the same pretty beige color as the top. Get it? It’s all so strategical…) For shoes, I found these cute ballet flats – I love flats with cargos for a casual look. Finally, I kept the jewelry simple with some pearl studs and a pretty gold ring, and topped it all off with a bright red cardigan to complement the scarf.

2. Tough Girl Cute

A cute way to wear skinny cargo pants
Cargos, Shirt, Trench, Shoes, Belt, Beanie, Ring

This outfit is definitely less girly, and gives much more of a “tomboy” feel than the last – but it still stays feminine through the use of a few interesting details.

I began by choosing a colorful plaid shirt to serve as the center of the look. To let the shirt stand out, I kept the other pieces simple and minimal. The TOMS shoes are cute and casual, and their deep plum color plays off of the undertones in the shirt without detracting. The belt and ring complement each other, and the men’s black beanie adds a little bit of boyish edge. Top it all off with a cream colored trench to add a touch of femininity, and call it a day!

Your thoughts?

So there you have it – two different ways to style a pair of very versatile, very trendy skinny cargos! Go scan your local Marshalls, and maybe you’ll luck out and find a pair like I did, or do some browsing online to find your own perfect pair.

Now I want to hear your thoughts. What did you think of the way I styled the pants? Would you wear either of these outfits? How would you style a pair of skinny cargos?  Let me know what you guys think!

Posted on on January 3, 2011 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , ,

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21 Responses to “How to Wear Skinny Cargo Pants – 2 Easy Outfit Ideas”

  1. 1
    January 3rd, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    ehh.. I don’t think I can bring myself to wear cargo pants lol

    but I like the way you styled the first outfit!

  2. 2
    January 3rd, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Ehh… Cargo pants are the worst trend ever!! They dont look good in anyone!! Only GDI’s would wear this… :/

  3. 3
    January 3rd, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I’m in cargo-love too. Muchos gracias for the outfit inspiration!

  4. 4
    January 3rd, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of cargos, but I really love both the outfits you put together, so I’d make the swap for regular skinny jeans or jeggings!

  5. 5
    January 3rd, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Loving how laid back that second outfit is!

  6. 6
    January 3rd, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    I love skinny cargos, and I totally love that second look!! My fave pair, unfortunately, is now 1.5 sizes too big for me. :( I might have to give it up.

  7. 7
    January 3rd, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I definitely do not like the skinny cargo trend. It just adds bulk right to the upper thigh/lower hip so they do not look flattering on anybody.

    Outfit #1: The top she picked out is big and slouchy, but the cardigan she picked to go over it is fitted. That would not look attractive.

  8. 8
    January 3rd, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I think you guys at College Fashion read my mind :) I bought a pair of olive/jade green skinny cargos at Charlotte Russe, and they’re pretty much perfect. I’m short too, and they’re the first skinny pants I’ve found that fits me perfectly length-wise. I was thinking maybe pairing them with brown boots and a light pink shirt with lace to make it more girly? And maybe a cardi since it’s so cold.

  9. 9
    January 4th, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Whoa, cargo pants… Living in France, it’s been ages since I last saw a girl rocking them. Still I love the styles you put together. For those who are not-so-confident about their hips area (I am too), why not try a large/oversize top to cover it up ? I think it will definitely look good on anyone. Sorry for the English.

  10. 10
    January 4th, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I have the striped sweater from Forever 21, I absolutely love it and it is so soft and comfortable. However, my dad recently washed and shrunk it and now it is too tiny to wear. I have been looking in the store for it but can’t find it, so thanks for the link! I definitely recommend it, it’s great!

  11. 11
    January 4th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    i reckon cargos make ppl’s thigh’s just appear fatter…?

  12. 12
    January 4th, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    love cargo pants. its a nice alternative to everyday jeans and the material’s a lil more comfy. gr8 outfits 2 :)

  13. 13
    January 5th, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I love hearing what you guys have to say. A lot of you mentioned that these type of pants can be unflattering- honestly, I’m very self conscious of my thighs (isn’t everyone?) and I have basically told myself that I’m not going to let that stop me from wearing things I like or trying out new trends. It’s true that certain things can be unflattering, but at the same time- why not try it out! Everyone is beautiful and looks fabulous in all types of styles- the key is confidence!

  14. 14
    January 5th, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Aw, so true Katie

  15. 15
    January 5th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    The looks are a bit iffy to me. I don’t like how you topped the the red cardign with the striped top. It seems a little messy to me. I think you would just have to pick one or the other. As for the second look, it’s great. But I wouldn’t wear the jacket with it. But that’s my opinion. I love skinny pants and stuff because I’m thin with a ittle bit of unwanted weight and I like my clothes to be not to tight, but not too lose.

  16. 16
    January 8th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    i noticed that a lot of people who commented seem to be wary of the cargo pants because they accentuate the hips etc.. well the things is.. i know that for me, that is a good thing, haha. I have skinny hips and I like wearing high waisted skirts, light coloured jeans etc – bottoms that make my hips appear fuller than they really are. I really like these two looks, especially the first (although i’m not too sure about the bright cardi). thanks for the great post!

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