Fashionista ideas for what shoes to wear with cargo pants

What Shoes to Wear With Cargo Pants-Fashionista’s Perspective

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Since the silhouette of pants has become bigger and baggier on the bottom half, I’ve been seeing cargo pants everywhere. That means that there are questions about what shoes to wear with cargo pants.
And I wanted to give a variety of examples from a fashionista’s perspective for both summer and winter time.

Quote of the day: “Most of the time you don’t need more information, you need more courage.” James Clear

I always say that shoes may only be about 1/10 of the outfit when you take in the proportions of each clothing piece, yet they can add so much to any look.
In all reality, I like to think that any shoe can be worn with any pair of pants, but there are some details that make a pair better than others.

So the crew and I are going to show you some options. The thing to remember is not all cargo pants or styles of shoes we show are created equal.
This means you have to try it on to see how it all looks on yourself.

Since we all realize how shoes can be such an integral part of any outfit, we have talked about which ones look good with a variety of items. See my previous articles for inspiration.

What Are Cargo Pants?

Cargo pants typically have a loose fit and a bunch of pockets. Since most women my age tend to want to look slimmer, it’s not something many older women gravitate towards.
But in the interest of keeping modern and trying new styles, I twisted everyone’s arm for this idea of what shoes to wear with cargo pants.

One of the reasons we are seeing cargo pants trending is the swing to a more voluminous bottom half instead of skinny jeans/leggings.
Styles change. It’s part of the way of the world. Otherwise, we’d still be wearing Victorian-age dresses and corsets (When I put it that way, aren’t you glad style changes?).

It’s hard to change. I get it. You get used to what tops go with your skinny jeans, which shoes to pair with them, and everything else.
But now we introduce a whole different animal with wide-leg pants, and cargo pants, and pretty soon we will be seeing pleated pants again (you mark my words).

Because of this, we also have to reevaluate our top selection. Does that mean you have to buy all new tops? Of course not. You know me. I’m a fix-it girl. Just like I showcased how you can wear your tunics in a modern way.
You just need to be open to change.

Yet as I say that, I also want to point out that many of the cargo pants in my widgets are not all baggy and loose. There are some that are slimmer and may be a great way to dip your toe in the newer trend. Heck, there are some of every material too, so do what your mother always said and “just try it.”

Lesley: Sandals and Cargo Pants

Sandals are great with this looser type of pants (or shorts) because you get to see more of the foot.
One of the reasons Lesley’s sandals work so well is that they have a wider strap and don’t seem delicate. A delicate shoe might be out of balance with such a loose-fitting pair of pants.
I also think the wedge is a nice touch for this same reason. It adds real estate to the shoe instead of being too open.

FYI: I know this is showing cargo shorts, but the same points hold true for cargo pants.

Sandals with cargo shorts in summer
Original post

This summer, Lesley found a pair of cargo shorts that she wore with sandals. Although she was very resistant to this cargo trend, her outfit was a 10 out of 10.

Insider detail: Most of our “issues” with our bodies are only noticed by us. Looking slimmer or taller is not the best goal for any of us. We’d be better off trying to be nicer and kinder.

Even though Lesley’s example is with shorts, you could easily wear long cargo pants with sandals in the summer.

Charlotte & Jodie: Sneakers

Sneakers are an easy option for what shoes to wear with cargo pants because both the pants and shoes tend to be on the casual side.
Sneakers also tend to have more girth instead of being delicate and go well with the extra volume.

Charlotte chose sneakers that basically matched her cargo pants. They are slip-on sneakers and show off her ankles wonderfully.

I wore a pair of Cariuma white canvas sneakers with my cargo shorts because as we know, white sneakers go with everything!

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Flats are always a great shoe option to wear with pants. You might think a small, ballet flat would be silly with the casual cargo pants, but you’d be wrong. When it comes to fashion and style in this day and age, everything goes.
Besides, it’s fabulous to include dichotomy in a look. More about that is below.

Ways to make cargo pants more upscale
Pants: Intro-Goodwill~~ Top: April Cornell-thrifted~~ Shoes: Sam & Libby -thrifted~~ Earrings: ~from China~ Purse: Temu

My mom really didn’t want these pants, but I made her get them when we were thrifting. She considers them sloppy. But look at how she put together a great outfit with this Asian-style jacket worn as a top.

The longer top works great with these shorter cargo pants to make the proportion 2/3 to 1/3. And the lower vamp flats are nice because you can see some of her body instead of being all covered up.

You might notice that many cargo pants are neutral color cotton material. If you feel better in neutral-colored pants, then I found many options to fulfill that request.

Jodie-Loafers With Cargo Pants

Loafers are trending again and I chose this pair of thicker-soled loafers with my cargo pants. There is no reason you couldn’t wear any type of loafers with them, but if you want to look a bit more modern, the trend is the platform soles.

I know some women (yes, that’s you mom) think they are clunky, but I hope you remember my words of wisdom about change.
Besides, there are functional advantages to the platform soles. They insulate your feet against the cold pavement and make you a tad taller without wearing heels. (not because being taller is better, but then you can wear longer pants without having to shorten them, haha).

Lighter color outfit with velour jacket and pink pants
Pants: A.N.A ~~ Jacket: Pol-Just Be Youtiful ~~ Top: Brooks Brothers-preloved ~~ Shoes: NewBella-won in giveaway~~ Purse: XOXO-Goodwill

One thing I love about the styles now is how you can find all colors and materials in the trends. That’s why I chose these hot pink cargo pants to wear for the idea of what shoes to wear with cargo pants.
You’ve seen these pants as part of my color recipe worn with a wide variety of tops.

I kept the entire outfit lighter in color by adding in a lilac velvet jacket. The jacket is from Just Be Youtiful and the reason I tucked it in the front is because it was crotch length.
Crotch-length tops and long pants tend to produce a half-and-half proportion which can look frumpy.

If you love color like I do, there are some great cargo pants options for you that aren’t expensive.

Cathie-Cargo Pants and Ankle Boots

If your cargo pants have a wide hem at the bottom, then wearing them with ankle boots is perfect for the colder temperatures.
Cathie kept the bottom half all monochromatic with black ankle boots and her faux-leather black cargo pants.

White open sweater for fall
Pants: Walmart~~ Sweater: Chicos-thrifted~~ Boots: Macys ~~ Necklace: Walmart~~ Earrings: Rad & Rae~~ Purse: Michael Kors

As we just discussed in our article about leather pants, the material is extremely modern for women of any age and any shape. Cathie is combining both the faux leather trend along with the cargo pants trend which is such a great way to keep you warm in the winter months.

Insider tip: The best aspect about your faux leather pants is the fact that both pet hair and any spills don’t stay on them.

Just like in the comparison videos I’ve been sharing in my emails, Cathie’s sweater is shorter than crotch length which makes the look ideal. The opening down the side of the sleeves is a fabulous detail too.
Even though she’s in all neutrals, it’s not a boring look at all because of the texture of the pants and the cutouts in the sleeves.

There are a ton of faux leather cargo pants that you might need in your closet.

Different length cargo pants with a variety of shoes

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What shoes to wear with cargo pants

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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Thank you for visiting my space on the internet. I like to showcase how it’s never too late to look great for women of any age, size, or working with any kind of budget.
I feel I’m here to help move beyond the fashion rules of yesterday and evolve. Style and clothes are made to give you joy. Not cause us stress because we are worried about what others think.

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