Beauty and Fashion Sustainable Living

5 Ways To Style a Pair of Hemp Cargo Trousers for Summer

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I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it hard to put together summer outfits. Shorts and a T-shirt are good for keeping cool, but they’re not suitable to wear in all situations, especially when I need to be a bit smarter. Dresses, on the other hand, either make me feel too formal or ‘dressed-up’, or the more casual ones tend to be too short on me. My ideal summer clothes would keep me cool without being too revealing and be suitable for smart as well as casual occasions.

I have a new addition to my wardrobe that fits these criteria: a pair of olive-green hemp cargo trousers by Thought Clothing. These trousers have opened up a whole new world of summer outfits for me. Read on to learn more about these trousers and see how I have styled them for summer.

How To Style Hemp Cargo Trousers For Summer

Why Hemp?

You’re probably aware of hemp being a sustainable material, but let’s dig even deeper into the benefits of hemp clothing. Sustainable fashion brand Thought Clothing has recently conducted some research from various sources including the National Library of Medicine and the Hemp Foundation on the best summer clothing fabrics, and hemp came out on top. In fact, they even describe it as nature’s ‘wonder fabric’. Here’s why:

It has strong UPF protection

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and it indicates how much UV radiation can penetrate the fabric and reach your skin. A UPF of 30+ is considered good, and 40+ is considered excellent. Wearing fabrics with a low UPF can cause you to get sunburn, even through your clothes. Linen and flax are sustainable materials but unfortunately, they have a low UPF, of 5+ and 15+ respectively. Polyester and wool come in at 30+ which is good protection, but these materials are problematic in their own ways. Hemp comes out on top with an excellent UPF of 50+, making it the best fabric to protect you against the sun.

A diagram showing which fabrics best protect against the sun - hemp is number 1, followed by polyester, flax and linen.

It’s strong and durable

Hemp is one of the strongest, most durable natural materials, so your hemp clothes will last a long time. Hemp clothing can be expensive but its durability could make it more cost-effective in the long run.

It softens with wear

Hemp is sometimes thought of as rough and scratchy, but this is a myth. In fact, hemp softens with washing and wear, so your hemp clothes will get more and more comfortable over time.

You can read more about the benefits of hemp on the Thought Clothing website.

About Thought Clothing

Thought Clothing produce a wide range of hemp clothing including dresses, jumpsuits, tops, trousers and skirts. Their range includes the Hadley Hemp Belted Cargo Trousers which will be the centrepiece in this style guide. Skip further down to find out how I styled these for summer, or read on to find out a little more about Thought Clothing.

Thought Clothing is a responsible and sustainable company which began as a family-run business in 1995. They use organic, recycled, natural materials including bamboo, hemp and organic cotton. They design their pieces to be timelessly stylish rather than following fashion trends, so they can be worn again and again.

Thought Clothing source their materials as responsibly, ethically and sustainably as possible, and they also prioritise high social standards for their workers. 96% of their range is vegan and they never test on animals.

Their packaging is sustainable as proven by the delivery of my hemp trousers. They arrived in a recyclable and compostable brown paper envelope and there was no other packaging within that, other than a small piece of tissue paper inside the trousers. The clothing tag was made of FSC certified card.

A pair of olive-green hemp trousers, folded up with the tag still attached.

5 Ways To Style A Pair of Hemp Cargo Trousers For Summer

I’ve been wanting a pair of summer trousers that I can wear as part of a smart or casual outfit, and these olive-green hemp cargo trousers from Thought Clothing really fit the bill. They are comfortable, they fit well and they’re so versatile for styling in different ways. Here are 5 ways I’ve styled them so far.

1. With white sandals and a white top

Being olive green, I think these trousers form the statement piece of an outfit and they are best paired with plain colours including black and white. I’m really into wearing neutral colours at the moment and I think the olive green is a compromise between neutrality and visual interest. I have greenish hazel eyes so I feel the colour suits me as it matches my eyes.

Here, I’ve paired the trousers with a simple white top and white sandals to make a smart-casual, summery outfit. I’ve accessorised the outfit with some simple jewellery.

A woman wearing a white top and olive-green cargo trousers, leaning against a fence with trees in the background.

2. With a black bodysuit and black sandals

For a sophisticated look, I’ve paired these trousers with a black bodysuit and black flats to match. Bodysuits are such a versatile and wearable item of clothing and they are a warmer option for a cooler summer’s day. I’m not a big wearer of heels but you could swap out the flat shoes for a pair of black heels or heeled sandals which I think would look really smart. Gold-coloured jewellery finishes off this look.

I think this look would be suitable for occasions where you need to look a bit smart and formal but still stay cool. The trousers are really lightweight and the material feels soft and airy – I don’t feel like I’m overheating when I wear them on hot days.

A woman wearing a black, long-sleeved bodysuit with olive-green cargo trousers, and holding a black handbag.

3. With trainers and a cropped jumper

For a more casual or ‘street’ look, you can pair these trousers as I have here, with trainers and a cropped jumper. This is also a good layering look for cooler days as you can wear a cropped t-shirt under the jumper. I’ve gone for white trainers and a cream jumper but any neutral colours would work.

The trousers are really comfortable, soft and practical which makes them perfect for casual wear. They have generous-sized pockets at the front and back for storing your essentials.

A woman wearing a cream jumper and baseball cap, olive-green cargo trousers and white trainers.

4. With an oversized T-shirt

Here, I’ve paired the hemp cargo trousers with an oversized T-shirt to create another casual look. I think it looks best to tuck the T-shirt, to show off the flattering high-waisted style of these trousers. Again, I’ve worn my white trainers to set off this look.

A woman wearing an oversized graphic white t-shirt and olive-green cargo trousers.

5. A monotone look

I don’t often go for monotone outfits, apart from occasionally all black, but I think a monotone look really works with these trousers. I happened to have a top in almost the exact same shade of olive green, so I’ve worn that here. If you have green shoes or sandals you could take the monotone look a step further, but I don’t so I’ve gone for light-brown platform sandals, which actually match my sunglasses. I wore a black, cross-body bag to add extra interest and break up the single-colour look.

A woman wearing an olive-green top and cargo trousers, and a black cross-body bag. She is sitting down on some decking.

These trousers come with a fabric belt that you can tie in a stylish bow. They are an essential part of the trousers as they would fall down otherwise, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t swap the belt for another one to put a different spin on any of these looks.

How would you style these hemp cargo trousers?

I’d love to know which was your favourite way I styled these trousers, and how you would style them yourself. Do you own a similar pair? What are your go-to clothing items for summer? Let’s chat in the comments below!

If you want to get hold of the hemp cargo trousers yourself, you can buy them from the Thought Clothing website. They are true to size (I ordered my usual size and they fit perfectly) and they are a good length (for reference I am 5’7″ and I am wearing a size 10).

I’m so pleased with these trousers and it’s good to know that they will be protecting me from UV radiation as well as looking stylish for summer.

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5 Ways To Style A Pair of Hemp Cargo Trousers For Summer


  1. Ooh I love this! I didn’t know different fabrics had different UBF protection and will definitely be looking into hemp clothing now. I love the way you styled the trousers with the white top! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts x

    1. Sophie says:

      I didn’t know different fabrics had different UPF either until reading the research and writing this post. It really is a big advantage of hemp! Thank you for reading and commenting.

  2. Oh wow!!!!!!! I love the way you style yourself with this cargo pants. Gorgeous!!!

    1. Sophie says:

      Thank you so much! I really like them too. Thanks for reading!

  3. I suppose I would go for the oversized T-shirt because I love that look best. Wasn’t aware it protected so well against the sun.

    1. Sophie says:

      Good choice on the oversized t-shirt look. I also wasn’t aware until recently that hemp protected so well against the sun. I’ll definitely be looking out for more clothes made of hemp!

  4. I had no idea hemp could be used to make clothing – nor that it has such great UPF ability either. A really interesting read, thank you, Sophie – and your new cargos look fab!

    1. Sophie says:

      I had no idea about hemp’s UPF ability either until recently! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. This is interesting and it’s good to find new style for this summer. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Sophie says:

      Thank you for reading, I’m glad to have given you some style inspiration!

  6. Great post! I would probably go with the white top and sandals look.

    1. Sophie says:

      I think it’s one of the easiest looks to create with the trousers! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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