Cargo & Carpenter pants for men - an alternative to jeans for the weekends

There's a few things I get asked quite often when I take my clients on personal shopping trips - and one of them is "what can I wear instead of jeans at the weekends?" 

And my answer? Cargo or carpenter pants.They were absent in the world of fashion throughout the naughties and any self respecting follower of fashion, wouldn't have been caught dead in them, but now cargo or carpenter pants - those brilliantly practical 90s style trousers - are right back in style.

Super functional and hardwearing they're a great alternative to jeans, so why wouldn't you want to own a pair?

Uniform Bridge fatigue pants - personal styling tips for men

I thought I'd start by pushing the boat out a bit. I know these are not everyone's cup of tea, but as a menswear stylist, it's my job to suggest things you might not normally wear, and edge you out of your comfort zone.

And given 71% of people voted "yes" on an Instagram post I put up about whether or not they were embracing wide leg trousers, I thought this was worthy of top slot on the blog post. 

I'm liking this trend for wearing the same coloured socks & trainers (particularly white ones) and it works really well with the cropped length of these fatigue pants. The shorter boxy sweatshirt also balances the volume of the trousers too, for a perfect casual weekend look.

Sage green 'fatigue BDU' trousers - Uniform Bridge at Liberty - £175

Incotex grey cargo pants - personal shopping for men

Okay, as you were - back in the comfort zone of a slimmer fit. These manage to look quite elegant for cargo pants too, so if your weekends consist of hanging around in cafés people watching, or going to art galleries rather than messing around in a muddy park with your kids, then these might be the ones for you.

Also being a linen mix, if you're not based in the rain splattered UK, these will serve you well for the warmer months (or for the mini heatwave we've been promised next week....pleeeease make it happen!)

I really like this understated styling, plus they'd look great with a simple navy merino crew neck and a bomber jacket too.

Straight leg linen blend cargo trousers - Incotex at Mr Porter - £335

Stan Ray olive ripstop painter pants - personal shopper for men

Let's get really practical now, with these tough ripstop painter pants. These will be a super easy replacement for jeans without thinking about it too much. The olive colour makes a change from blue and black, and I'm loving the mix with the burgundy t-shirt. 

You could also go for white, cream, grey, or navy tops. And if you need an extra layer, the beauty of not wearing jeans is you can go for denim on top without figuring out the whole double denim conundrum! A denim shirt, trucker jacket or chore jacket would look great.

When it gets a bit cooler, opt for a chunky cardigan over a Breton striped tee for another winning weekend look.

OG painter pant in olive ripstop - Stan Ray at Peggs & Son - £120

Toast navy carpenter pants - personal stylist for men

And back to the wide leg look - I love how the Toast stylist has put this outfit together - it could be something out of a 1950s film, but looks totally modern at the same time.

If a chunky knit like this is too hot for you then put it with a t-shirt and check overshirt and boots for a comfortable, practical outfit. Or, if you can dress quite casually for work you could wear them with a knitted blazer and some chunky soled lace up shoes.

For more tips on how to style wide leg trousers, have a look at this other blog post. 

'Rory' slate canvas carpenter trousers - Toast - £185

Pepe olive cargo pants - what to wear instead of jeans

I found these Pepe ones when I took someone on a personal shopping trip recently. They're a much slimmer cut, and as he's a slim guy with quite a classic style, these were better suited to him than the baggy cuts.

I made up at least 8 outfits with them for him afterwards with various combinations of t-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets, so I'm hoping he's getting lots of wear from them! I'm sure he is as he's a dad and needs practical hard wearing stuff for weekend jaunts with the kids, and they make a nice change from jeans. 

'Sean' regular fit cargo trousers - Pepe jeans - £85

A couple of other pairs I also got with clients in the past couple of months are these from Replay and these smarter, more summery ones from Suit Supply


Not sure which style would suit you and need help choosing? Or would you love to have a super simplified and stress free wardrobe this Autumn Winter, like the guy below did after our shopping trip? Then click the button below to book in for your personal shopping trip today.

Nearly everyone who comes shopping with me, says they wish they'd done it sooner, so what are you waiting for?!

"Thank you so much for all of the follow up work, and for the outfit combinations - they have already made their way into my daily outfits, and yes, the compliments are rolling in!

I also took your advice and did a spring clean of my closet and couldn’t be happier. My wardrobe and drawers only contain the seasonal clothing I’ll actually wear in the next several months, the rest is stored away out of sight and out of mind and the result is a super simplified and stress free wardrobe!"

Click the button above to book in.

Why not check out these posts too?

How to style wide leg trousers - personal styling tips for men

5 x Ways to Style Wide Leg Trousers

How much does it cost to hire a personal shopper

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Personal Stylist / Shopper