By Nii B. Andrews.
The classic and timeless wardrobe for fall-winter must almost always contain corduroy for pants or a skirt, jackets and suits. As each successive Fall gets warmer, smart but yet informal corduroy may well become more useful than tweed.
Corduroy has no place in a tropical wardrobe; the wearer is almost certain to become overheated.
Over the years, the material has had a bad rap; often seen as a poor relative of velvet and the preserve of eccentric academics and stodgy types.
On account of its outdoor or rustic origins, it is best utilized and most versatile when the cords are thin/ narrow and not far apart. In the technical language of cloth this is referred to as narrow wales.
The best colors are tan or light brown; dark green and dark orange/ burgundy. Navy and black are a lot more restrictive.
By far the easiest article of clothing to have in corduroy is trousers/pants in a standard or slim cut that is tapered to end just above the ankles and worn with non-chunky shoes – dress loafers in calf or suede, a pebbled leather derby or chukkas or a Chelsea boot.
A baggy wide legged cut combined with boots or sneakers will not look good.
The appropriate trouser fit combined with a crew or v – neck sweater or turtleneck, perhaps under a bomber jacket or sports coat – especially tweed, ticks all the right boxes.
For the ladies, a long flowing corduroy skirt cut against the bias with leather boots creates an enchanting silhouette and a classic look.
A corduroy blazer provides a modern clean look if once again the cloth has narrow or small wales. It becomes the center piece of the ensemble as the fabric often looks rich, and provides the latitude to experiment with colors.
When styled as a doublebreast with sweeping peaked lapels and patched lower pockets, it hits all the right notes. Making the length of the jacket a tad shorter also renders it less formal.
Thus the blazer is best paired with a muted shirt and trousers; options for the former include denim or brushed cotton and for the later chinos or dark denim in black or indigo.
The right shirt should have enough weight and texture to visually hold up against the corduroy fabric.
Lest we forget, a corduroy flat cap is a useful accessory with casual clothing. Here we should be wary of the apple jack as that will be in fashion territory.
The shape as shown in brown below always remains stylishly appropriate (for both genders!) and keeps the head warm when the temperature drops quite low.
As casual dressing has come to the fore over the last decade, it is important for us to recognise that corduroy is an excellent candidate for the casual suit (aka knock about suit) especially since the jacket and trousers can be effectively used separately….and corduroy is cotton.
And of course it is best to dry clean the jacket and trousers together in order that their colors remain identical as is keeping the nap of the jacket and pants identical if the suit garments are made by different tailors.
More often than not, a casual suit in today’s world is worn without a tie.
Therefore, a useful strategy to prevent the ensemble from looking incomplete and unbalanced, is to add a pocket square and or lapel pin.
It is almost certainly most appropriate to refrain from bright colors for a corduroy suit….what do you think?
Finally, have you noticed that today is 11/11, the date most akin to corduroy? But of course you have.
Happy Corduroy Day.
Have a great week, folks.