I never thought that I was a cargo pants kind of guy, mainly because the cargos out the- re were so bad, so atrocious, and fit so poorly. A couple of seasons ago, we did a pair of cargo pants that changed that. We researched a million different cargos and really cherry-picked the best details from all over the world.
We paired them with a slimmer, skinner fit, and all of a sudden it felt like a cool dress pant with a lot of interesting details. Now it’s a signature item in the GANT by Michael Bastian collection.
On the new staple pant
This year, we are re-introducing all of the classic colors, like the perfect olive and grey, but also introducing new colors like deep burgundy. The magic of this pant is really the fabric, which is a beefy cotton twill, but not too heavy. Then it’s garment dyed so it takes the color and fades out beautifully. The more you wash it, the better it gets. The great thing is that it fits like a dress pant or a skinny jean, but has these great details. It just works. I wear it all the time; I think I wear them every third day. And you can virtually style it in a million ways – with tailored clothing, sportswear, sweaters, shirts or jackets. It’s an incredibly versatile piece.
This cargo has taken on a life of its own, and I say that with complete surprise. Since we introduced it in our first season, guys all over the world have really responded to the cargo pant. It really adds a cool element to a war- drobe. And it has become a staple of real American sportswear that’s so important to both GANT and me.
On the elements of the American look
The American look for guys really crystalized after World War II when these guys came back from the war and they went back to school. For the first time, guys were mixing up mili- tary-inspired pieces, chinos, cargo pants and army boots. They put together what we now consider the preppy elements, like button-down shirts, navy blazers, and the grey flannel pants. GANT started making the shirts these guys were wearing in 1949. And they started wearing athletic elements, like sweatshirts and windbreakers.
And what makes it particularly American is mixing all of these elements and wearing them with the right attitude that says you didn’t think too much about it. That to me is the re- cipe for American menswear, and the military elements, like a cargo pant, are important. These were clothes that had to be functional and manly, which makes it look that much cooler.