How To Wear Corduroy Pants

Kastle Waserman
by Kastle Waserman

This season, I’ve seen a lot of corduroy pants, and I couldn’t be happier. Corduroy is a classic with a little bit of a retro edge. The material has always been popular for workwear because of its durability. It became especially popular in the 1960s and ‘70s as an “anti-establishment” fabric because workers had used it for many years. The material also came into popular fashion for a conservative style known as “preppy” in the late 1970s and ‘80s.

If you aren’t familiar with corduroy, it’s a fabric made of cotton, twill or velvet. The threads are woven in diagonal lines with thick vertical ribs known as wales. Corduroy pants tend to be heavy, durable, ridged and cozy.

Because they are relatively thick in construction, corduroy pants are perfect for colder seasons. It can provide a good degree of insulation against cold and wind and keep you looking stylish.

The great thing about corduroy is it adds texture and interest to an outfit and you can pair it with other textures and proportions to create dynamic looks.

Don’t have any corduroy pants in your wardrobe? Get shopping!

Classic Straight Leg Corduroy Pants

Wide Leg Corduroy Pants

Retro Flared Corduroy Pants

Here are a few ideas for how to wear corduroy pants.

Bulky Top with Straight Leg Corduroy Pants

Corduroy pants already have a degree of thickness to them. The long vertical lines are also slimming, so they don’t look bulky despite the heft. Take a pair of ultra-straight corduroy pants with thin wale ribbing and try pairing them with a chunky sweater for an interesting look that is big and slim. This will also keep you super warm in the winter while staying stylish!

Delicate Top with Thick Corduroy Pants

Try pairing a thicker wale corduroy pant with a delicate, flowy top for an alternative to the chunky top and tapered bottom. The difference in material texture will give feminine vibes while grounding the look in the masculine feel of the pants.

Business Casual with Corduroy Pants

If you’re old enough to remember "The Preppy Handbook," the staple style guide of 1980's preppies, you know corduroy was a must-have. Corduroy blazers and pants were everywhere in those days. Thankfully, they’ve broken out of that restricted look, but there is still a degree of that business-like formality. Corduroy pants are perfect for business casual environments paired with a button-down shirt and blazer. And they’re warmer than slacks!

Embrace Nostalgia with Corduroy Pants

In the heyday of the rock 'n' roll 1970s, counterculture hippies and glam rockers embraced corduroy pants. Huge, thick-ribbed bellbottoms in all colors replaced regular ol' jeans. Why not embrace the retro spirit and pair your classic cords with some classic ‘70s vintage, such as this fun dagger-collar, chevron-print, zip-up vest. Or go bold with some flared cords yourself! Just be sure you limit how retro you go so it doesn’t look like a costume. You’re sure to make a statement!

Now that you know how to wear corduroy pants, will you try them?

See more of my looks in the  Stiletto City blog and my  Instagram page.


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