Corduroy is a type of fabric that has been making an on and off appearance for as long as one can remember. This fabric is worn most commonly in winter; be it corduroy pants, jackets, button-downs, backpacks or shoes. In fact, in today’s era, you can easily find bucket hats and tote bags beautifully made out of this soft, comfortable material upcycled from old clothes. Many might think of it as a chunky wardrobe item and hard to fit into an outfit, but if we have to be honest it is one of the most stylish pieces.
What is Corduroy?
Many garments such as trousers, jackets, shirts, suits and more are made out of corduroy. This fabric is most notable for its unique ridged pattern and can be worn in autumn, winter and spring. The word corduroy comes from cord and duroy, a coarse woolen cloth made in England in the 18th century. The fabric is also known as Corded velveteen, Manchester cloth, elephant cord and pin cord.
History of Corduroy in a Nutshell
It is believed that corduroy originated from fustian. Similar to corduroy, even fustian fabric has the trademark raised ridges. Fustian is much rougher and less closely woven than modern soft, velvet-like corduroy. In the 18th century, England’s textile manufacturers had developed modern corduroy. The origin of this fabric’s name remains unknown. According to some sources, the word ‘corduroy’ comes from the French language corde du roi translating to ‘Cord of the King’ as courtiers and nobility in France were allegedly seen donning this particular fabric. By the 19th century, velvet had swept in and replaced corduroy as the most luxurious fabric available to the elite, and corduroy received the derogatory nickname ‘poor man’s velvet’.
Why is Corduroy so Popular?
Comfort, durability and warmth are the three top words that best describe corduroy. Clothing items made out of this feel-good fabric tend to keep you warm and comfortable during chilly weather. This is an exceptional clothing item everyone needs to own in their life at least once. Let’s not forget how fashionable and stylish they make you look and feel.
Is Corduroy Warmer Than Denim?
Many of you might be wondering which fabric would keep you warm during winter—denim or corduroy? Well, the answer is the latter even though both of them are made of 95%-100% cotton.
Best Colors for Cordroy
When it comes to colors, it solely depends on you, your mood and your personality. Be it bright tones, earthy tones, dark tones or neon, one should not shy away from how they choose to express themselves via colors. Luckily, corduroy fabrics come in many colorways. There is no hard-and-fast rule on what color corduroy you need to buy. The trendiest and subtle colors include brown, tan, camel, olive green, khaki, black and navy blue. You can also find more vibrant and loud colors like red, burgundy, maroon mustard, sea green and bright green.
How to Wear a Corduroy Blazer?
A corduroy blazer is for sure a statement piece. You can dress it up or down, wear it to a meeting over lunch or to a semi-formal dinner. Here are three ways you can wear the same corduroy blazer differently:
If you have a meeting with your team or a client outside the office, pair your black corduroy blazer with a white button-down, dressy charcoal grey pants and black lace-ups or slip-on shoes. An earthy dark brown corduroy blazer is another option that you can try, by teaming up with a pale shirt in lime, yellow, off-white or blue that would go perfectly with deep olive or grey pants and tan shoes. You can also add a tie if absolutely necessary and you’re all set to start the meeting off in style.
These events are the best as you do not have to be over the top but need to be presentable. A brown corduroy blazer will look great with a grey turtleneck, nude chinos and loafers. Take it up a notch by accessorizing your look with a belt and watch.
Going out to grab dinner with friends? Throw on a crew neck t-shirt paired with blue denim and white or black sneakers. To really give off that casual, laid-back weekend attire do not button up your corduroy blazer.
Always try not to match your blazer with your top. Avoid wearing the same colors. Your top will just merge with your jacket. Unless of-course you’re wearing a mono-chromatic ensemble.
What to Wear with Corduroy Trousers?
One can live in corduroy trousers by how warm they keep you during winter. The great thing about this must-have winter essential is how it is so versatile.
Keep your outfit neutral. Try avoiding too many patterns or colours. The rule-of-thumb is to avoid wearing an outfit that has more than three different colours. Go for a double-breasted blazer to add some oomph to your look.
Pair a plaid shirt with your trousers and ditch the blazer. If you want to add some more depth to your outfit, finish off your look with ankle-high boots. Or possibly even add a leather vest.
A hoodie is everyone’s go-to and no better way than a corduroy trouser to elevate the whole look. Throw on a cap and sneakers, you’re good to go.
What to Wear with a Corduroy Overshirt?
Many might be skeptical of wearing a corduroy overshirt to both a formal and semi-formal event. However a few tricks and tips will help you seal the deal.
When opting to wear a corduroy overshirt, it’s best to keep your shirt as pale as possible, white being ideal with a black or navy corduroy overshirt. In creative or smart casual work environments, a turtleneck will do as well. Add a pair of grey or medium to dark toned pants and you’ve aced your business formal look.
You can go for an all-black look. This time you won’t need a blazer. Pair your black corduroy shirt with black pants and shoes. If you’d like, add a watch and a subtle ring band and you’re ready to go.
We love street-style! Who doesn’t? Throw on a basic tee under your overshirt, leave the buttons undone. You can roll your sleeves up for an edgier appearance. Complete the look with baggy pants and slip-ons.
What to Wear with a Corduroy Suit?
Not many people own a corduroy suit, even though it is definitely a head-turner when donned correctly. The colors one can pick are endless and so are the styling options. Here are three ways:
Go all out with your business formal look. The best color option would be a navy-blue suit with a matching waistcoat and a subtle printed tie; a white dress shirt paired with black or brown lace-ups or slip-on shoes.
An all-camel-toned suit with a dusty grey button-down; deep brown tie and a pocket square would look great, though they are optional. What you can also consider is a tiny lapel pin that is a subtle way to accessorize your ensemble. Complete this look with tan shoes.
A maroon suit matched with a white round t-shirt or jumper and of course sneakers. A look that is as effortless to put together as it is stylish in appearance. In light of most recent fashion developments, casual looks involving a corduroy suit is also trending high without a shirt at all. Accessorized with simple silver chain and ring combo, along with a watch and shades, if the moment allows.
A Corduroy Conclusion
Corduroy has been in and out of style numerous times. All ‘70s-’90s kids and adults definitely owned a garment made out of this fabric in their childhood, youth or adulthood. We are not lying when we say it was a versatile and durable fabric that made the best outfits. Luckily, trends from the past are making a comeback and we are glad corduroy is one of them. With this blog, we hope you learned a thing or two about how you can now easily style your next outfit while incorporating corduroy effortlessly into the mix.