Corduroy is a bit like the marmite of fashion fabrics – you either love it or hate it. If you fall into the latter category, you might want to look away because cords are back this season – and I personally am here for it as it’ll be a breeze slotting them into autumn looks.
So, what’s got me excited about this rather 70s material making a reappearance in my wardrobe? Firstly, there’s the weightiness of the fabric – not only is it perfect for cooler months, but it looks expensive, even when it’s a high street bargain you’re wearing. Then there’s the unmistakeable texture; swap out your blue jeans for a pair of similar black cords and suddenly – your outfit just has *that* much more interest to it. And lastly there is the cool girl factor that comes with styling your corduroy just right; think of channelling your inner Alexa Chung or Jeanne Damas – and you’re already on the right track to wearing your cords fashionably.
Because even as someone who works in fashion, it can be challenging to style cords without looking like an extra from That 70s Show. So what’s the key?
Firstly, opt for more contemporary styles – say wide leg trousers over flares or a bright pink hue instead of classic burnt orange corduroy. Then, be adventurous in pairing your cord pieces with not only your denim and jumpers, but with contrasting fabrics like leather and silk and finish with modern accessories, like a banana bag. You’ll very quickly find that adding just one or two items will add a whole new dimension to your winter wardrobe – and here are the best corduroy pieces to buy now.
Try an injection of colour
Because of its association with winter months, corduroy is most often seen in neutral shades of black, navy blue and neutrals. But this season, the high street’s cord offering is awash with colour. With Barbiecore continuing to trend, there are plenty of bright pink cord options out there, like these peg leg Topshop trousers – perfect for dopamine dressing your way through winter.
But if pinks not your colour, don’t worry – there seems to be cord pieces in every colour of the rainbow this season and choosing a colourful cord piece will add both texture and brightness to your looks – something I know I am always looking for on the greyest of days. If it all seems a bit much for your style, try dipping your sartorial toe into the colourful cord world with a bucket hat; sure to give a playful edge to even the most simple of outfits.
Add a corduroy mini to your wardrobe
Just like corduroy, miniskirts have made a big comeback this season, so try combining these two trends for the ultimate update to your winter looks. Whilst A-line, button up corduroy skirts are still fairly popular on the high street, if not styled *exactly* right, they can look rather dated. Rather, look to add a simpler, more streamlined style to your wardrobe – think a super short black cord mini, or a bias cut A-line number like this from Arket.
When it comes to styling, add in a pair of riding boots and 20 denier tights for a contemporary look, then throw on a striped jumper. Opting for a slightly longer length skirt like this blue Rouje number means it’ll even be office appropriate.
Swap out flares for wide leg cords
If you’re wondering what the most versatile way to incorporate corduroy into your wardrobe is, look no further than an effortlessly cool pair of wide leg cord trousers. A modern spin on the classic flared cords of the 70s, a wide leg style will fit seamlessly into your wardrobe and can be easily dressed up or down.
Pair with trainers and a slouchy jumper for a cosy but cool weekend look, or dress them up for the office by adding in loafers and a silk shirt for an interesting fabric contrast. And whilst a neutral colour like this Uniqlo pair will probably get you the most cost per wear, I have my eye on a colourful style – this cerulean blue pair are in my basket as we speak.
Layer with a cord overshirt
When I think of corduroy, one of the last pieces to come to mind is a cord shirt – it’s a fabric more often associated with trousers or a blazer. But have a look around the high street, and you’ll quickly find a plethora of cord overshirts – and be left wondering how you’ve made it through cool weather days without one. It’s an ideal addition to your wardrobe as a layering piece for off-duty days and informal meetings. Throw it over a rollneck and jeans for a simple but stylish look (opt for a French half-tuck of your shirt for extra style points) or play around with proportions and pair it with a mini skirt and tee – an effortless but impactful first date look.
Just add a coat for warmth and you’ve mastered layering for the season. Plus, if you go for a lighter colour overshirt, like this lilac Levi’s style you’ll easily be able to transition it into Spring in place of a light jacket, and wear over everything from dresses to t-shirts.
Opt for a corduroy jumpsuit
I’m all about minimal effort, maximum effect dressing – which is why I’m such a jumpsuit fan. And a corduroy iteration is exactly the update to this wardrobe staple that my closet needs. The rich, ribbed fabric elevates even a utilitarian style jumpsuit to a smarter style that could effortlessly transition from the office to after-work drinks; this moss green Karen Millen style is a perfect example – just add a blazer and heels and you’re good to go.
But if you’re looking to really up your jumpsuit game with something a little more dressy, look for interesting detailing like the scalloping on this Hush piece – the rich black corduroy combined with this finish are just *chefs kiss.*