How to Style Corduroy Pants
Hello, BK Fam! This season we are introducing our iconic corduroy pants. Corduroy is such a fall staple, and it brings all the cozy vibes.
Corduroy is one of those fabrics that never goes out of style. Because of their distinct cord pattern, corduroy pants offer the perfect combination of style and comfort. Recently, they’ve been gaining a lot of popularity and are a steadily trending item in the last few years.
You may be wondering how they are different from other styles of pants and what makes them so special? Check out our blog on how to style corduroy pants!
What is Corduroy?
Corduroy is an easily recognizable fabric to identify because it is so unique. It is a rigid, velvet-like fabric and the surface is covered in vertical lines of a soft and fuzzy texture. These ridges are called “wales.” Wales are easily visible from up close or even far away, giving corduroy its distinct look.
Corduroy is a sturdy and soft fabric, and it has a visible pattern that puts it on the more casual end of fabrics, but it is slightly more formal than denim. Some of its appeal is that it can be dressed down more casually or dressed up depending on what you’re feeling.
The softness of the fabric makes the pants super comfortable and over time, the wales can start to wear down, which creates a subtle pattern throughout the pants. This also gives it that worn-in vintage look that is trending right now.
What Are Corduroy Pants?
The word "corduroy" actually refers to the weaving pattern used where there are multiple parallel lines of raised fabric. Most pants that use this corduroy weaving pattern are made of cotton, although others can be made out of wool and polyester.
Why Should You Choose Corduroy Pants?
Corduroy pants are incredibly comfortable because of their soft texture and high-end construction. No matter how long you wear these pants, you will be comfortable the entire time. This is a big reason why they have become so popular and why they are chosen over other styles such as jeans or slacks.
In addition to their superior comfort, corduroy pants are very stylish. They can be found in more traditional colors such as khaki, tan, and black but you can also find them in more modern colors like orange, blue, gray, green, and even red. The variety of these pants guarantees that there is a pair to fit everyone’s personal style.
They are also super strong and durable because of their cord-based weaving pattern. It naturally protects them from damage. Their durability and strength get you more use out of them, too, because they can last you longer.
Where Did Corduroy Pants Come From?
Corduroy pants specifically have become a staple in people's wardrobes today. Modern corduroy that we know and love today originated from England during the 18th or 19th century amongst factory workers. The word corduroy actually comes from the French phrase “corde du roi,” meaning “king’s cord.”
It has traditionally been popular for work wear because it is a super durable material. Additionally, its appeal was that it’s dressed up but casual. It was known early on as the “poor man’s velvet.” It has an almost elegant look to it, but the quality is super casual and comfortable so it’s the best of both worlds.
Corduroy’s earliest origins in the United States were in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the late 1700s. After the first world war, the material became associated with intellectuals and professors.
The garment became super popular again in the 1950s and the 1960s with the hippie generation as an anti-establishment symbol because of the association with corduroy and the working class. After the 1970s it seemed to fall out of style but later rose to popularity again in the 1990s and the 2010s. As of late, it has become a must-have in our closets.
What Makes Corduroy Pants Unique?
Because of its thickness, corduroy is a great material, providing warmth for the colder seasons. Corduroy is also very comfortable, and its appearance allows it to be dressed up or dressed down pretty easily. It is also a strong and durable fabric.
Corduroy pants are comfortable and can appear dressy, making them ideal for smart-casual outfits as well as casual. These pants can give off a retro look. They were once associated with preppy menswear, but now they can be part of fashion-forward looks for anyone.
Corduroy Pants for Different Occasions
Having wider wales in your pants gives a more distinctive and less formal look. Corduroys in brown, black, gray, or khaki can be worn as business casual, while wide wale corduroys in bright colors are more for a trendy, informal look.
If you don't already have a pair of corduroy pants in your closet, it's worth investing in a couple pairs as a more unique alternative to denim or slacks. They are so different and stand out as something interesting from other styles without being too daring or out there.
Corduroys can be dressed up with a pair of dress shoes and a collared shirt and tie, or they can go with canvas sneakers and a tee shirt for a casual weekend look. The only occasion you can’t really attend with corduroy is a formal business situation.
Moving on to weather, corduroy is a perfect fall and winter fabric because it is soft and thick and sure to keep you warm in freezing temps. Its thickness adds a lot of volume and will keep you protected on the chillier days. It is very soft and has a velvety-like surface making it super cozy to bundle up in. It’s also very easy to style. Because of its velvet like appearance, it really adds visually to an outfit and has become a classic fabric.
Corduroy vs Denim
If you’re not familiar with corduroy, we can compare it to denim to see how it holds up.
Corduroy is softer and less durable than denim but it’s much warmer. The way it is woven creates the wales that give it that unique and fuzzy, velvety appearance. Although there are more lightweight corduroy creations, most styles are thicker. They can be styled in business casual environments whereas denim is rarely considered in business casual scenarios.
Overall, compared to denim, corduroy is typically warmer and more comfortable and can be dressed up or down more easily.
How to Choose a Pair of Corduroy Pants
There are so many different types of corduroy pants but with the right approach you can find the perfect pair for you! Take these things into consideration when shopping for corduroy pants:
- Wale count
Corduroy Color: Firstly, you want to choose a color that pairs well with your everyday outfits. If you go for a super vibrant or bold color, you might struggle to find outfits that go with them.
Fit and Cut of Corduroy Pants: Next, you want to find the right fit and cut. Traditionally, corduroy pants have been cut like trousers but nowadays, they are offered in a five-pocket style that makes them look more like jeans. Corduroy pants that are cut in this style have a noticeably more modern look and are easily worn with everything from Polos to tees to button downs.
Corduroy Wale Count: Lastly, what many don’t think about is the wale count. The lower the wale count, the more noticeable the wales will appear on the pants. So, corduroy pants with a lower wale count give off more of a rustic and traditional vibe, while corduroys with a higher wale count look more modern.
How to Style Your Perfect Pair
A huge reason why corduroy pants can never really go out of style is that they are so versatile and can be worn in a bunch of different ways. Corduroy pants have many color options such as khaki, green, tan, gray, blue, etc. The most recent style of corduroy pants is more of a retro look. While you can dress it up or down, it gives off an outdoorsy, woodsy, cabin vibe that you might be looking for. It goes well with sweaters, button up shirts or hoodies depending on the occasion.
More subtle earthy tones like autumnal colors, oatmeal, tan, brown, and mossy green are super common in the fabric since it has its history in workwear and country clothing. These tones can also help to balance the colors of whatever you may pair it with.
Overall, corduroy pants go best with more smooth and solid pieces that bring out its natural fuzzy texture. Fabrics that go well with it are cotton and linen. Denim also goes well with the material.
Wearing these pants in the chillier months is also beneficial because they pair well with other cold weather essentials like sweatshirts and sweaters. The color and fit of your corduroy pants can go with many different fit options and occasions. Some different styles include:
- Business Casual
- Smart Casual
If you’re into the traditional corduroy look, pair a khaki, tan, or black pair with a heavy flannel or shacket for a simple yet stylish look. In this case, since the fabric has more of a raised texture it looks good with an equally rich textured shirt such as a flannel. You can wear a loose white shirt underneath or an untucked tee shirt.
If you’re a streetwear kind of person, go with a looser fitting high waisted pair. Also, going with a wide leg makes a trendy look. Pair your looser, wide leg pants with sneakers and throw on a hoodie. You can also experiment with colors like green, red, or blue. These will stand out and work as your fashion piece in the outfit.
If you’re going for a more formal, business casual look, opt for straight leg corduroy. This can be compared to wearing chinos. Pair these with a tucked in white button-down shirt and a pair of brown dress shoes for a relaxed but still professional option. If you want to go even more formal, wear it with a sweater or try a matching corduroy blazer to make a full suit.
For the smart casual look, you can grab a pair in any color and match it with a polo shirt and some leather sneakers. If you want to be on the bolder side go for a more vibrant color. You can also wear a leather jacket or matching jacket if you wanna go for a monochrome look.
Going for a preppy look, style slimmer corduroys with a pair of loafers. Shorter, slimmer pants that cinch at the ankles allow you to show off your shoes. Complete this look with a solid turtleneck. If you’re doing preppy, you can also go for a brighter colored pant such as green or blue. This goes well with a button-down shirt and some sort of blazer to match.
These are our top 5 looks with our corduroy pants at Brooklyn Cloth and how we would style them!
The Corduroy Elastic Waist Pants come in different colors, including:
- Light gray
Tobacco Corduroy Elastic Waist Pants
The first pair that are featured are the Tobacco Corduroy E-Waist Pants. These are styled in the more simple way. They are paired with a navy striped polo shirt. This look goes perfectly with plain dad sneakers but could also be elevated with work or combat boots to give it that rugged and outdoorsy feel.
Rust Corduroy E-Waist Pants
The next style is featuring the Rust Corduroy E-Waist pants. For this comfy vibe, wear a poly-fleece hoodie and elevated sneakers with the corduroy pants to dress them down. If you wanted to dress this look up, you could add a vest or a sports jacket and swap the sneakers out for boots.
Olive Corduroy E-Waist Pants
Denim goes well with corduroy, so style the Olive Corduroys in a super casual look with a black rinse denim Sherpa jacket and a graphic hoodie underneath. This look could go either way with shoes. Pair it with sneakers or boots depending on the weather. For colder days, you could add a scarf and a beanie to match.
Navy Corduroy E-Waist Pants
This simple look is for when you’re really just feeling a comfortable outfit to run out in. The Navy Corduroys are styled with a flannel jacket for extra warmth. You could totally wear this outfit with slides if you want to just run out of the house or your favorite sneakers.
Charcoal Corduroy E-Waist Pants
The last fit shows the true versatility of these pants. This thick shacket can be worn with our Charcoal Corduroys on the bottom. Throw on loafers with this outfit for a smart casual look that is still super comfy.
Corduroy pants aren’t out of style, and they won’t be leaving anytime soon. Corduroys have such a long history especially in the workwear community but over the years, they have been updated to be styled any way you want. Whether you want to wear them in an upgraded way for work, to the store, hanging out with friends, or for a night out, their look and versatility makes them have limitless possibilities.
Check out all our New Arrivals available now. Mix and Match your outfits to complement your lifestyle. As always, show us how you style your Brooklyn Cloth Corduroy pants and tag us on IG @brooklyncloth for a chance to be featured!