There are two kinds of men who wear cords. There’s your dad, or your granddad, with too-big trousers puddling on their shoes. Then there’s the likes of Ryan Gosling or Wes Anderson – men who embrace depth in their wardrobes, as in their art. Corduroy is one of the most underutilized materials in men’s style and, if worn correctly, can make for an indispensable piece of clothing.
Cord is a textile composed of woven, twisted cotton or wool, resulting in parallel lines (called ‘wales’). Wool corduroy is the most durable type and wears particularly well. So cord trousers will withstand a fair bit of rough and tumble. The Indiana Jones of legwear, if you will. They can get a bit warm, though, so it’s best to save them for when the cold starts to bite.
Contrary to its sometimes stuffy connotations, corduroy is brilliant when dressed down and worn casually. Try teaming a pair of dark corduroy trousers with a sweatshirt and practical leather sneakers. The beauty of cords is that you can go as jazzy or discreet as you like, but they’re never boring.
Cord Shirt: A corduroy shirt can be just the piece to add some texture to your wardrobe. Styling your new shirt is a walk in the park too, thankfully. Team a cord shirt with dark denim and boots for Western-inspired styling or (use it to) update your 9-5 wardrobe; they pair nicely with tailored trousers and smart brogues.
Cord Waistcoat/Vest: A corduroy waistcoat should channel the suaveness of James Bond rather than the geekiness of a geography teacher. Adopt a vintage aesthetic but make it slightly modern. For colour think browns or blues and then finish your look with knitwear layered beneath your waistcoat in a tonal variation of your waistcoat's shade.
Cord Pants: When it comes to styling, treat corduroy trousers as if they were patterned: best worn with quieter wardrobe staples to keep things calm. And don’t think that corduroy trousers must be brown. There are a plethora of colour options out there which are all easy to wear.
Cord Jacket: Thanks to a wealth of modern cuts and colourways, a corduroy jacket has zero geek vibes when you get it right. It’s not all about looks though, a cord jacket is actually good at keeping you warm (who’d have thought?) so your mom will love it too. Versatility is another of the corduroy jacket’s strong suits. A knit’s always a winner. Pair with a crew or turtleneck underneath, then go for a less textured pair of trousers or jeans to complement the jacket. Finish with a pair of leather boots or runners for a more casual look.