It’s time someone stood up for functional clothing. It’s time someone spoke out against intolerance towards pocket aficionados. It’s time someone showed support for those who love to carry freight against their thighs. It’s time for someone to champion the cargo short.
Every hour a pair of cargo shorts are tossed into a garbage bag and sent to a thrift store. They sit in a pile, neglected, waiting for a middle-aged father in need of a man purse. Yet, so many cargo shorts don’t find homes because of fashionistas who stigmatize them with arbitrary rules, deeming them the tacky clothing of the underclass, reserving them for pro wrestling fans and zookeepers. They are viewed as pants for the clueless, for those who traded their dignity for comfort. Guys like me.
2016 has been a brutal year for cargo short enthusiasts. Haters have beat us down with negative posts, memes, and pie charts. We’ve suffered. We’ve been pushed to the margins, ostracized by mainstream fashion. But we will not be dismissed any longer as mere remnants of 1990’s fashion. Who do you think we are? Fanny packs?
You can make fun of my man purse if you like but I ask you: how much crap can you fit in your pockets? Cargo short pockets can hold: car keys, smartphones, wallets, headphones, sunglasses, sunscreen, snot rags, pacifiers, baby bottles, trash, hot sauce, wipes, diapers, matchbox cars, ammo, grenades, and dog poop bags. Really, you can put anything in cargo shorts. In college, I used them to transport chicken fingers.
I believe its my right to wear comfortable and functional clothing without harassment. As an act of resistance, I offer five ways to raise awareness and fight back for our beloved shorts:
1. Take a picture of your favorite cargo shorts and post them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Share a memory to raise awareness, a time when they were there for you. Camouflage cargos earn bonus points. #CargoShortsForever
2. Go to your local cargo short dealer and invest your money in a new pair. You deserve a new shade of gray. Use your money to send a message that the demand for cargo shorts is alive and well. The people want functionality! #CashforCargos
3. Pay it forward. Gift a pair to a friend or neighbor or coworker. It’s time to share the wonderful functionality with someone else. It might be the thing they need most. #Pockets4everyone
4. Hold a cargo short rally outside of your local congressmen’s office. Our representatives need to know there is a growing movement to support casual dress. They need to know we stand as one for pocket rights. Make signs, banners, and t-shirts. #Cargorights
5. Talk to your children and grandchildren. We need to speak to our youth about the importance of functional clothing. It’s up to future generations to keep the multi-pocketed dream alive for decades to come. Your kids might act like they don’t want to hear it, but deep inside they admire your passion. #Cargo4thenextgeneration
Sure, many people left them behind in the 90’s, but we are the faithful remnant, called to pass the torch. We will still be around when your skinny jeans are no longer hip and resting at the bottom of resale store bins. The cargo short is for every man and woman. It knows no class or race or creed. It’s functionality breaks down barriers. Our pockets can unite us around the world.
I stand with and in my cargo shorts because they have stood with me since my sophomore year of high school. My cargo shorts are one with me. And if you want to take them you will have to pry them from my cold, dead hands.