A Tale of the Death of Cargo Shorts

The weather is finally getting warmer out (well warmish, I’m not really sure what’s going on with the weather because one day I’ll be drenched in sweat opening a jar of pickles and the next I’m putting on my snuggie and refusing to go outside) but spring and summer are coming! This means shorts weather and I want to share a very personal and heart breaking time in my life: the day I learned cargo shorts were not “in” anymore.

I know, I know, a moment of silence for the moderately heavy, extremely useful, excessively pocketed shorts many young men once donned while growing up. I too was like you just last year, what happened to change my mind? A combination of things, a big influencer were my roommates who are in a frat here on campus and kept telling me nobody wears them outside of high school.

Not me, but R.I.P. shorts

The second time came when I was sitting in our Residence Life Office while I was an RA last year and a student was talking with an advisor about fashion. I was just minding my business doing my work when I hear them both agree cargo shorts are uncool now. At this point I look down at my sad little fifth and sixth pockets drooping by my thighs and decided I needed new shorts. Of course I finished my work before they were done talking and I had to take my walk of shame past them.

Pause for a moment, I want to emphasize I’m not anti-cargo shorts, I actually have a deep love for them, and if you still choose to wear them I support you! You go Glen Coco!

Now back to the cargo shorts. Why are people so against them? Some people just don’t care for them aesthetically; too many pockets, they feel weird, and some don’t like shorts going all the way to the knee. Hey, that’s fine, I get it, go find the shorts meant for you. Others just view them as a thing of your past and I guess I get that too.

College is a transition phase between high school and adult life and you will pick up a lot of different things and that could be style. This involves leaving those old cargo shorts at home and buying a new pair of chinos or whatever else shorts are called without cargo pockets. To me, when I stopped wearing cargo shorts it meant I was transitioning to the adult world, which doesn’t mean adults don’t wear them still today, have you ever taken a ride through a rural Wisconsin town? But in my college town, and future place of employment, it symbolized letting go of some old habits and adopting newer, more professional ones.

What my roommates wanted

Now that doesn’t mean I don’t still get to go home and put on those bad boys from time to time and act like a teenager again, but I did realize it was time to let go of some things from the past.

But even with all that being said I still don’t get the appeal. Cargo shorts, even with more material than regular shorts, are less expensive! (Don’t even get me started on Chubbies that’s just too much thigh) Additionally, they provide maximum air flow and optimize your storage capabilities. I sweat through my shorts now more than I ever did with cargos!

Alright, my rant is over. The big takeaways are wear what you are comfortable with, if you like rockin’ cargos, go for it, do you, but also realize college is a transition in your life. You will pick up new habits and lose old ones. This could start with cargos but always remember, home is always where you can wear your cargo shorts.



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