How To Cut Cargo Pants Into Shorts

How To Cut Cargo Pants Into Shorts

When it comes to revamping your wardrobe, one easy and cost-effective option is transforming your old cargo pants into stylish shorts. Not only does this give your pants a new lease on life, but it also allows you to stay on-trend without breaking the bank. And the best part? You can do it yourself, right at home!

To start the process of cutting cargo pants into shorts, gather your supplies: a pair of cargo pants, a ruler, fabric scissors, and pins. Begin by trying on the pants and determining your desired length. Use the ruler to measure the distance from the bottom of the pant leg to your desired length, and mark it with a pin. Once you have all your measurements, carefully cut along the marked lines to remove the excess fabric, making sure to leave a little extra if you want to roll the shorts up for a trendy cuffed look. Finally, use the fabric scissors to neaten any uneven edges, and voila! You have a brand new pair of cargo shorts.

How To Cut Cargo Pants Into Shorts

Choosing the Right Pair of Cargo Pants

Cutting cargo pants into shorts is a popular way to repurpose and update your wardrobe. However, before you delve into the cutting process, it's essential to choose the right pair of cargo pants. Here are a few factors to consider:


When selecting cargo pants to transform into shorts, pay attention to the fabric composition. Look for pants made of durable fabrics like cotton or twill, as they are easier to work with. Make sure the fabric is not too thick or heavy, especially if you plan to wear the shorts during warm weather.

Additionally, consider the color and pattern of the fabric. Solid colors and neutral tones are versatile and can easily be incorporated into various outfits. If you're feeling more adventurous, you can opt for camouflage or patterned cargo pants, adding a unique touch to your shorts.

Remember that cargo pants with extra features like multiple pockets or zippers can be challenging to modify. It's best to choose a simpler style that will be easier to transform into shorts.

Fit and Length

Before cutting your cargo pants, ensure they fit you properly. Pants that are too tight or loose may not provide the desired result when turned into shorts. Look for a pair with a comfortable and flattering fit, ensuring proper measurements around the waist, hips, and thighs.

Consider the desired length of your shorts. Some people prefer shorter shorts, while others opt for a longer length. Keep in mind your personal style and comfort level. It's easier to make the shorts shorter later on if needed, but lengthening them can be more challenging.

If you're unsure about the ideal length, try on the pants and experiment with different folding or rolling techniques to get an idea of how they would look as shorts.

Tools and Equipment

To transform your cargo pants into shorts, you'll need a few basic tools:

  • Sharp fabric scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk or fabric marker
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread (optional)
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pins or clips

Make sure you have these tools on hand before starting the cutting process to ensure a smooth and efficient transformation.

Preparing the Cargo Pants

Before you begin cutting, it's important to properly prepare your cargo pants:

  • Wash and dry the pants following the care instructions provided.
  • Iron out any wrinkles to create a smooth surface for precise cutting.
  • Try on the pants one last time to confirm the desired length and fit.
  • Mark the cutting line using chalk or a fabric marker.

Once you've completed these steps, you're ready to proceed with cutting your cargo pants into shorts.

The Cutting Process

Now that you've selected the perfect pair of cargo pants and prepared them for cutting, it's time to learn how to transform them into shorts:

Step 1: Measure and Mark

Start by measuring the desired length for your shorts. Use a measuring tape and mark the line with chalk or a fabric marker. Keep in mind that it's always better to cut a little longer at first and then adjust the length later, if necessary.

Ensure that the marking is straight and even across both legs of the pants. Use a ruler or straightedge to assist you in achieving a precise line.

Remember to consider factors like the hem allowance and the desired finished length when marking the cutting line.

Step 2: Cut the Pants

Once you've marked the cutting line, it's time to get your fabric scissors and carefully cut along the line. Take your time and ensure a smooth and even cut across both pant legs.

If you want to achieve a distressed or frayed look, you can use sandpaper or a cheese grater to gently rub against the cut edges. Be cautious not to overdo it, as the fabric can weaken or tear if you apply too much pressure.

If you're not confident in your cutting skills, you can always cut slightly above the marked line and then try on the shorts before making any further adjustments.

Step 3: Finish the Edges

To prevent the fabric from fraying and to achieve a polished finish, it's recommended to finish the edges of your newly cut shorts. There are a few methods you can use:

  • Using a sewing machine, sew a zigzag stitch along the raw edges of the fabric.
  • If you don't have a sewing machine, you can hand sew using a whipstitch or a blanket stitch.
  • Alternatively, you can use fabric glue or fray check to seal the edges and prevent fraying.

Choose the method that works best for you based on your sewing skills and the resources available.

Styling Your Cargo Shorts

Once you've successfully transformed your cargo pants into shorts, it's time to style them to create stylish and versatile outfits:

Casual Day Out

For a casual day out, pair your cargo shorts with a basic t-shirt and sneakers. Add a baseball cap and sunglasses for a sporty vibe. You can also layer with a lightweight jacket or denim shirt.

Experiment with different colors and patterns to create a unique look that suits your personal style.

  • Basic t-shirt
  • Sneakers
  • Baseball cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Lightweight jacket or denim shirt

Dressier Occasions

If you're aiming for a slightly dressier outfit, pair your cargo shorts with a button-down shirt, loafers, and a belt. Roll up the sleeves of the shirt and tuck it in for a more polished look.

Accessorize with a watch or a leather bracelet to add a finishing touch to your ensemble.

  • Button-down shirt
  • Loafers
  • Belt
  • Watch or leather bracelet

Beach or Resort Outfit

Your cargo shorts can also be the perfect option for a beach or resort outfit. Pair them with a lightweight linen shirt or a swimwear top. Add sandals, a beach hat, and a beach bag to complete the look.

Opt for breathable fabrics and light colors to stay comfortable in the sun.

  • Lightweight linen shirt or swimwear top
  • Sandals
  • Beach hat
  • Beach bag

With these styling options, your cargo shorts can become a versatile and fashionable piece in your wardrobe.

Cutting cargo pants into shorts not only allows you to revamp your wardrobe but also gives you the freedom to personalize and style your shorts according to your preferences. Choose the right pair of cargo pants, follow the cutting process carefully, and experiment with different outfits to make the most out of your newly transformed cargo shorts.

How To Cut Cargo Pants Into Shorts

How to Transform Cargo Pants into Shorts

Cargo pants are versatile and practical, but sometimes you may want to turn them into shorts for a more casual or warmer weather look. This guide will explain how to properly cut your cargo pants into shorts, giving you a fresh wardrobe option. 1. Gather your materials: a pair of cargo pants, measuring tape, fabric chalk or a pencil, scissors, and a sewing machine (optional). 2. Try on the pants and determine how short you want your shorts to be. Use the measuring tape to mark the desired length with fabric chalk or a pencil. 3. Lay the pants on a flat surface and carefully cut along the marked line. For a clean and professional finish, it's best to cut slightly below the marked line to leave room for hemming. 4. If you want a more finished look, you can hem the raw edges using a sewing machine. Fold the fabric inward and sew a straight stitch along the edge. 5. Try on your newly cut shorts to ensure they fit correctly and make any necessary adjustments. By following these steps, you can transform your cargo pants into stylish shorts that are perfect for any casual occasion. Enjoy your new wardrobe addition!

Key Takeaways for "How to Cut Cargo Pants into Shorts":

  • Make sure you have the right tools: scissors, measuring tape, and chalk.
  • Measure the desired length for your shorts and mark it with chalk.
  • Carefully cut along the chalk line, ensuring you have a straight edge.
  • Consider trying on the pants and making any adjustments before finalizing the length.
  • For a frayed or distressed look, use a razor or sandpaper to rough up the edges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about cutting cargo pants into shorts:

1. What tools do I need to cut cargo pants into shorts?

To cut cargo pants into shorts, you will need a few basic tools:

- Fabric scissors: A sharp pair of fabric scissors will make the job much easier and ensure clean cuts.

- Measuring tape: Use a measuring tape to determine the desired length of the shorts and ensure both legs are cut evenly.

- Chalk or disappearing ink pen: These tools can be used to mark the cutting line on the pants, making it easier to follow.

2. How do I measure and mark the length for the shorts?

Here's how to measure and mark the length for your shorts:

1. Put on the pants and decide how long you want the shorts to be.

2. Use the measuring tape to measure from the waistband down to the desired length.

3. Mark the measurement with chalk or a disappearing ink pen on both legs of the pants.

4. Make sure the marking is straight and even before proceeding to cut.

3. What's the best way to cut the pants into shorts?

To cut cargo pants into shorts, follow these steps:

1. Lay the pants on a flat surface and smooth out any wrinkles.

2. Use the fabric scissors to cut along the marked line, following it as accurately as possible.

3. Take your time and cut slowly to ensure clean and precise cuts.

4. Double-check the length after each cut to ensure both legs are even.

4. How can I finish the raw edges of the shorts?

To finish the raw edges of your newly cut shorts, you have a few options:

- Sew the edges: If you have sewing skills, you can use a sewing machine or hand stitch the edges to prevent fraying.

- Use fabric adhesive: Apply fabric adhesive to the raw edges to secure them and prevent fraying.

- Use fray check: Fray check is a liquid solution that you can apply to the raw edges to prevent fraying.

5. How do I ensure a professional-looking result?

To achieve a professional-looking result when cutting cargo pants into shorts, follow these tips:

- Take your time: Rushing can lead to uneven cuts or mistakes. Make sure you have enough time to complete the task without feeling rushed.

- Practice on a scrap piece of fabric: If you're unsure about cutting the actual pants, practice first on a scrap piece of fabric to gain confidence and perfect your technique.

- Pay attention to details: Make sure your measurements are accurate, markings are straight, and cuts are clean. Attention to detail is key to a professional-looking result.


In conclusion, cutting cargo pants into shorts is a simple DIY project that can give new life to your old pants. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can transform your cargo pants into stylish shorts that are perfect for the summer season.

Remember to measure and mark the desired length before cutting, and use sharp scissors to ensure clean edges. It's also important to take your time and be patient while cutting to avoid any mishaps.