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What to Buy When You Think You Want Corduroy
The worlds least flattering fabric! How to avoid it...and what to look for if you must defy your better judgment and commit.
Yes, it’s cold outside. And yes, you don’t like the feeling of denim on your legs in 28 degrees. But I’ll warn you, corduroy does not love you back, as much as you want it to be your winter go-to. I often yearn to put on corduroy in winter. I’ve tried countless pair. Its just so unflattering, especially when you are pairing it with boots and chunky knitwear. Its a lot of material piled onto a feminine figure. For men, who are already straight lines, the linear fabric is lengthening and boyish in a charming way. But on ladies, it hardly ever translates on the street.
With the exception of Brunello Cucinelli, who seems to cut his silky, impossibly high end corduroy with enough volume to not pull on a woman’s hip, the pickings are SLIM. I did find ONE pair that is OK (scroll to very bottom if that’s all you’re interested in!)
But now, some relatively straight forward, alternative winter-fied outfit ideas that will ensure you do not miss your corduroy. I was feeling like this week we just needed some outfit inspo as the winter monotony is starting to hit hard.
Seems obvious, but here you go. Wool pants (wool flannel if you can!) will not remind you of the cold with every step the way denim does. Relief! It can sometimes seem a bit dressier than corduroy but in truth its really just about how you style them. Just swap into a sneaker if you’re feeling too dressed. Nothing better than dress pants and a sneaker. Just ask Phoebe P. I also like with suede boots for a little extra texture (below.)
Velvet. On the top or the bottom, your choice!!
Rarely a day goes by in the winter that I am not sporting knee highs. They make everything better, without needing to don full tights! If you don’t already do this, it will change everything for you. Before you know it, you might even be googling Hygge!
An actual flannel. If you were going that 90s grunge route.
And your knee highs of course. Corduroy is far from the only inspirational fabric of my formative years. So go dig out your dad’s flannel (this one literally is my dads and is definitely older than me) or find some Airwalks on eBay.
If you must….
Now, I do love a 5-pocket, jean style corduroy (worn a size too big!!) in the summer with a t-shirt and sandals. Naked skin on the arms and feet being key to not letting the fabric overwhelm your frame. But when you have to cover up, how to still feel feminine and cool and not just buried in fabric?
Here is the pair I have found to be the best of this terrifying category at a price I felt ok buying corduroy at, considering my hesitation in general. :) I do plan to wear them a lot this summer but for now, I tend to only wear them when I have to be somewhere I’m not going to take my coat off. The look of boot+cord+sweater on its own being too much and not enough. I settled on them because they remind me of the Row Montero corduroys that I coveted but didn’t bite the bullet on, the fabric here being visibly and tactilely less luxe. These are a 27 (I usually wear a 26) so the fit is right. Their use case just more specific than I’d like. But sometimes, you just really do want a cord. So this one is for all those out there that think I’m being nuts.
Signing off with a note to say I’m still on the quest to make this not true. No one wants corduroy to work more than me. So don’t be surprised if you see me back here in 2024 fawning over the perfect pair of cords and A+ outfit equation (fingers crossed.) And if you love them and have figured out how to wear them better than I seem to be able to, tell me about it! I seriously want to know.
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