How to Wear Corduroy, the Cold-Weather Staple That’s Never Looked More Stylish
From pinwale shirts to thickly ribbed suits, this season’s corduroy ditches the bookish connotations for rakish cool.
The earliest iterations of corduroy can be traced back to ancient Egypt, making it one of the oldest fabrics in the history of garb. As such, the distinctly ribbed textile has lived many lives—a luxurious insulator for medieval nobles, a hardy uniform for 19th-century factory workers, a fixture in the wardrobes of ‘60s preppies and ‘70s rockers. This fall, corduroy is once again at the fore of men’s fashion but, this time around, it’s ditching those connotations and proving its range.
This season sees corduroy applied to much more than the expected 5-pocket pants and sack suits, offering countless ways to enjoy the fabric’s outfit-enriching texture. A less precious cousin of velvet, elegantly disheveled corduroy strikes an ideal balance between rugged and refined—whether that’s in a soft-collared shirt, a roomy pair of chino alternatives or even as a winter coat. After all its years of existence, corduroy is finally being seen for what it is: a cold-weather staple that’s simply, effortlessly cool.
Go Wes, Young Man
A certain cinema auteur can be thanked for lending corduroy suits some offbeat street cred. Follow his lead with tactile cords in a louche, unstructured silhouette that’s more style-savvy than professorial.
One of the beauties of corduroy is how well it plays with other winter-appropriate textiles, from nubby tweeds to refined flannels. Particularly when subbing in for the standard nylon of a puffer jacket, the material makes a natty topper for a wide range of cold-weather looks.
More than just a tool for keeping warm, a knit cap offers an opportunity to inject a shot of color into the season’s muted palette of neutrals. Keep things interesting with a variety of downy cashmere and wool beanies in every shade of the rainbow.
Stuck alternating between jeans and chinos? Add a pair of cords to your off-duty trouser rotation for some extra texture. This wide-legged, wide-wale pair wears like sweats while looking considerably smarter.
Loro Piana cashmere- and-microfiber reversible bomber, $4,295; Amiri cashmere turtleneck, $1,090, and cotton-corduroy trousers, $990; Etnia Barcelona Rodeo Drive sunglasses, $285; Hermès lambskin gloves, $710; Anderson’s calfskin belt, $195; Goral suede chukka boots, $362.
The Plush Life
Corduroy’s distinctive velvety texture instantly ups the luxe factor of any outfit. Here, the double-soft combination of a pinwale shirt with jumbo-wale trousers makes a hardy waxed jacket look urbane enough for the office.