Why Do People Hate Cargo Shorts?

Cargo shorts, you either love them, or you love to hate them. If you've ever wondered why they are so hated, I'm here with the answers. Reasons include the death of the 90s, the ten pounds of bulk it adds to your figure, and those not so attractive chicken legs.

This is a close look at a man wearing a pair of khaki cargo shorts at the beach.

Why do people hate cargo shorts? Are they really one of the worst possible fashion choices? In short, yes. Cargo shorts are one of the worst mistakes you can make as a man. Do you really think a woman wants to look at you and see nothing but pockets?

It’s not cute. It’s not like the tousled I spent an hour on my hair, so it’ll look like I don’t care what it looks like hair. It just looks like you don’t care what you look like. It looks like you’re still a few years short of being a grown man.

Ladies some of you are guilty as well. Of course, no one wants to carry around a purse all the time. But how much stuff are you really gonna put in that hip pocket that is sure to add a few extra inches?

Without further ado, let’s look at a few of the reasons people hate cargo shorts.

Table of Contents

Long Shorts are a Fashion Faux pas

This is a close look at a man wearing a pair of long striped cargo shorts.

Why would you wear shorts that fall below your knee? If you are self-conscious about your legs, you should know that the bulk of cargo shorts makes your legs look like a couple of sticks awkwardly stuck in a maligned piece of clothing.

Long shorts are a type of fence riding that simply needs to die. It’s like you want to wear shorts, but aren’t quite sure you can pull them off.

You could argue that men shouldn’t wear shorts outside the beach or the gym. I won’t go that far. Wear shorts. Rock those sculpted calves or even your dad legs. However, if you don’t have the confidence to wear manly shorts, then wear pants!

Men’s shorts should not fall below the knee. Yes, Bermuda shorts often fall below the knee as well. Don’t get me started on that one.

Long shorts create an awkward silhouette and suggest that you simply aren’t bold enough to wear shorts in the first place.

Cargo Shorts Add Weight and Bulk

This is a close look at a man wearing a pair of khaki cargo pants.

Cargo shorts allow you to carry things in the cargo pockets? The moment you put some cargo in a cargo pocket, the shorts get even worse. The extra weight makes it impossible to keep the shorts up on your waist.

The pockets also add bulk. Unless you are one of those guys who are super skinny, this isn’t doing you any favors. If you want to add bulk, hit the gym. These shorts are not your friend.

The bulk and improper fit of cargo shorts make you look sloppy and ruins your silhouette. The eye is drawn to the shorts themselves. Do you really want someone to look at you and notice that you shop at Old Navy instead of noticing your frame, height, or even that winning smile?

It’s an even bigger issue for women, who are generally more concerned about their weight and appearance. Why would you wear something that literally and visually adds extra pounds?

The 90s are Over

This is a close look at three friends wearing 90s-inspired outfits.

It was a great time. Limp Bizkit, Korn, CDs, and WWE attitude era. What’s not to love? However, we are not partying like it’s 1999. The 90s have come and gone.

If you want nostalgia, catch reruns of the Fresh Prince of Belair. Cargo shorts make you look dated. Doesn’t Abercrombie have an age limit? Did you get stuck in a time loop? No? Then leave cargo shorts where they belong. In the past.

Hammer Loop.. Really?

Are you a carpenter? Do you walk around with a hammer when you go to the mall? No? Then why do your shorts have a hammer loop?

Other Things You Shouldn’t Be Wearing

This is a close look at a man wearing a pair of denim shorts.

Of course, cargo pants aren’t the only fashion offender. There are other things no one wants to see you in as well.

These include:

  • Jean shorts
  • Flip flops
  • Socks with sandals
  • Fanny pack
  • Short shorts
  • Yoga pants

Jean Shorts

This is a close look at a man wearing a pair of jean shorts at the beach.

Jean shorts are for women. It just doesn’t work for a guy. If you want to look like a grown man, pick up a nice cool pair of chino shorts. Leave the jorts at home.

Flip Flops

This is a close look at a man leaving his flip-flops by the beach.

Women can get away with flip-flops on many occasions. However, a guy should be wearing flip-flops in a limited number of places. The beach, pool, and the gym shower are the only places it’s appropriate for a man to wear flip-flops.

And no, crocs are not an alternative unless you are very old or very young.

Socks with Sandals

A close look at a man wearing socks and sandals.

Why? Seriously, why? I wonder if this began as an accident. Man puts on socks, but can’t find his shoes. Sees his sandals and slips them on. And somehow managed to avoid looking at the horrendous monstrosity he had created. Worst of all, it’s always white socks with a dark or neutral sandal. Sandals are acceptable, unlike a dude in flip-flops. Just not with socks.

Fanny Pack

This is a close look at a man wearing a white shirt and a black fanny pack.

If you really feel the need for extra pockets but want to avoid cargo shorts, a fanny pack makes a willing substitute. Still, there’s nothing flattering about it. It looks like a benign mass that has attached itself to your body.

Sure you can put your mask, hand sanitizer, and wallet in the contraption, but some things that die should stay dead. The fanny pack is one of those, no matter what Gucci thinks.

Short Shorts

A man wearing a pair of short shorts at the beach.

Another fashion statement that women can get away with. Sorry guys. Short shorts will never look good on a dude, no matter how many leg days you have. It’s just unnatural. Opt for shorts that come close to the knee.

Ladies, there are some places you shouldn’t wear short shorts. The more formal the event or venue, the longer the shorts should be. Of course, formal outings require pants or a dress.

Yoga Pants

A man on a hike wearing a pair of unicorn print yoga pants.

This one is for the ladies, mostly. Stop wearing yoga pants. They are meant for exercise and let’s be honest, many of them are too tight for that. They are not meant to be worn at the grocery store or lounging around the house. Maybe it’s time for sweatpants to make a comeback.

Why Do People Hate Cargo Shorts FAQs

This question has confounded people for at least a decade. There is no easy answer. Perhaps we are swayed by the lie of convenience they offer. Perhaps men want to seem like they need 10 extra pants pockets because it makes them feel more masculine.

It could also be the comfort they provide. Unfortunately, this comfort comes at the cost of riding well below your belt line. 

What is the reason why cargo shorts have drawstrings?

Cargo shorts have drawstrings on the bottom so you can attempt, and fail, to slim down the legs of the baggy shorts. When you actually use the lower cargo pocket, the loose-fitting shorts can allow the objects inside to hit your leg with each step you take. Pulling the drawstring eliminates most of the movement and keeps it from hitting your leg.

Of course, this only matters if you are actually using those prized pockets. 

Why are cargo shorts called cargo shorts?

Cargo shorts and their brother cargo pants, were named for those gloriously horrific cargo pockets. 

Why are cargo shorts so universally hated on the internet, while in real life no one cares?

Given the heaviness and heated nature of many debates today, hating on cargo shorts is a welcome relief. Families are splitting up over politics. Former friends are becoming awkward acquaintances at best over differing vaccine views.

We can all come together in our hatred of cargo shorts. Even if you are one of those people who support the shorts, you aren’t likely to get anything more than good-natured ribbing. 

Ladies, do you prefer cargo shorts or regular khaki shorts on men?

Khaki shorts are much more flattering for a man’s body and have a classic mature appearance. Khaki shorts are much preferred in my household. Even board shorts are a better alternative than cargo shorts.

What if the purpose of wearing shorts with large pockets isn’t to flatter your body?

So you can smuggle your teacup Chihuahua into the mall without having to carry a purse. They are also good for sneaking snacks into the theater. 

If I have enough pockets when I’m wearing pants, why do you need more pockets when I have fewer pants?

This is what I’ve been asking for years! Less is more people. 

Should I remove the drawstring on the leg of old navy cargo shorts?

No. You should remove old navy cargo shorts from your life, drawstring and all. It’s the only way. 

What should I wear instead of cargo shorts?

Anything! You can’t go wrong with khakis. If you want to look nice, a button-up shirt and trousers is always appropriate. Wear dress shoes to dress up the outfit or a sneaker to tone it down.

Of course, you don’t have to wear long pants to look great. Normal shorts and a polo shirt is also acceptable nearly anywhere during the summer season.

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