The Orvis Company proclaims the cargo short alive and well


In response to the media debate over cargo shorts as a fashion item, The Orvis Company proclaims the cargo short alive and well.

Contrary to the recent gloomy prognostications about the future of cargo shorts in The Wall Street Journal, on NPR and in other popular press, Vermont-based outdoor gear and apparel retailer The Orvis Company would like the world to know that the cargo short is very much alive and well.

“We have been selling cargo shorts for decades,” said Orvis PR Coordinator Daryl Kenny. “Currently, we sell nine different styles of cargo shorts, some of which are best sellers.”

A quick perusal of the Orvis website confirms customer satisfaction: “Light but durable and a great fit, these shorts are very comfortable,” wrote one customer. Said another, “This is my third pair of these shorts. The zipper pockets are the best selling point.”

Cargo shorts are a warm-weather version of the pants, with a long and colorful history. They were developed during World War II as an efficient way to carry gear. Through the decades, cargo pants became a ubiquitous feature of the America’s apparel landscape. Fast forward to today, where pundits and haters are chortling about the imminent demise of this iconic warm-weather wardrobe item.

“We don’t think it’s going to happen,” says Orvis Men’s Divisional Merchandise Manager Paul Choi. “Beyond the pockets, cargo shorts are a trusty, go-to form of wearable security and comfort. They are anti-fashion. And despite what others may say, cargo shorts are here to stay.”

As for The Wall Street Journal’s assertion that “relationships around the country are being tested by cargo shorts,” consider what another Orvis customer/cargo short reviewer wrote: “Wife loved the look of the shorts. I loved all of the pockets.”

Even if it’s true that the current decline in sales of Cargo Shorts is not a short-term blip related to some external factor like the U.S. Presidential election, everyone knows that fashion trends are cyclical and what’s “old” today will soon become new again. Style experts predict that cargo shorts will be back in fashion before too long. Dr. Joseph Hancock, Ph.D., who wrote his dissertation on cargo shorts, asserted, “Everything will return. I don’t think cargo is ever going to go away.”

About The Orvis Company:

Founded in 1856, Orvis pioneered the mail order industry in the United States, operates more than 80 retail stores in the U.S and the U.K., including its Flagship store in Manchester, VT, and maintains a network of over 400 dealers worldwide. The oldest continuously operating catalog company in the country, Orvis is the premier outfitter of outdoor adventures. A leading corporate steward for the environment, Orvis commits 5% of its pre-tax profits to protecting nature.


jack-beckett is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival