Winter Essentials for Men: Corduroy


I will preface this by saying that Corduroy is an absolute must-have in your wardrobe. That said, here’s an anecdote.

Believe it or not, I still remember my first pair of Corduroy (“Cords”) trousers. It was a Christmas gift actually; I was in grade four at the time. The brand was Gap, and the color was dark purple. That’s right, dark purple! Long story short, I was not fond of them. To make matters worse, my parents insisted that I wear them, bearing in mind the frigid Montreal winter.

Looking back, I realize it was foolish of me. However, the adult, style-loving me has learned from his earlier mistake in life and have fully embraced Cords as an important piece in my wardrobe. Corduroy trousers are a must-have; I have listed four reasons why below. 

Style lover’s guide to Corduroy

Ribbed finish of Corduroy.
Cotton Corduroy

Corduroy originated in Ancient Egypt and over time made its way to Western Europe. While it is usually made with cotton, Corduroy can also be woven with blends of polyester and cotton or even full polyester. The ribbed Corduroy as we know it today emerged in England in the late 18th century. This ribbed finish is what gives the Cords it’s particularity, which many have come to love. (More on how it’s made here).

Four reasons to wear Corduroy

Texture. Cords have a soft texture that feels warm to the touch and appealing to the eye. The vertical texture on the Cords are known are Wales. Wider wales are studier thus great for trousers.

Vertical texture on Corduroy is known as Wales.
Vertical texture is known as Wales.

Colors. Cords come in a variety of colors thus making it truly a versatile garment. That said, there are really three must-have colors in my opinion. Anything above these three colors is optional. The three colors are: Navy, Burgundy and Light/Medium Brown. My other favorites are Off White and Green.

Must-have colors: Navy, Burgundy and Brown.
Three must-have colors: Navy, Burgundy, Brown (Light/Medium)

Alternative to Jeans. I own more Cords trousers than Jeans. As an alternative to Jeans, I find that Cords are more elegant. With Cords, you can maintain a casual and relax look yet be different. I must stress that if you decide to wear Cords on a regular basis, ensure that they fit well and accentuate your silhouette. Take the time to know your neighborhood tailor if you haven’t already.

Versatility. Corduroy is an absolute must-have in your wardrobe. Let your style imagination go for gold. You can wear Cords however you want to. Dress up with in a Cords suit:

Olive Corduroy Suit.
Olive Cords suit

Throw on a sneakers for a flair of street style:

Corduroy is an absolute must-have in your wardrobe.
Pop of color, with a white sneakers.

Simply go casual with a pair of ankle boots and a turtleneck sweater:

Corduroy is an absolute must-have in your wardrobe.
Casual chic with a pair of ankle boots and turtleneck sweater.

The options are endless. Here’s a picture of myself wearing Brown Cords at Pittio Uomo 97 in Florence, Italy, in January 2020.

Corduroy is an absolute must-have in your wardrobe.
Light Brown Cords

FOTY Lookbook Style Tip: Cords are a great alternative to Jeans, invest in at least two pairs of Cords (Navy and Brown), combine texture freely, taper your Cords to accentuate your silhouette.