When fall is in full swing, a collection of corduroy pants, or simply “cords,” is a must-have for any man. They’re as useful and basic as jeans or khakis, but they have the added weight and texture to stand up to other heavier seasonal wardrobe items. Here are three simple and classic ways to style them.
1. Dress Them Up with a Jacket and Tie
Whether you see cords as a way to tone down the dressiness of a jacket and tie, or the jacket and tie as a way to dress up cords, there’s no denying that wide-wale (“wale” referring to the width of the ribs) cords and a hefty tweed jacket are a perfect match. The richness and texture of cords work perfectly with the weight and roughness of a good tweed. Opt for thicker, less dressy shirts such as button-down oxfords and choose ties in soft wool or cashmere to complete the look. Skip the tie and add a sweater for a professorial look that is anything but frumpy.
2. Keep It Casual
Cords can pretty much replace jeans in any casual outfit come fall. They’re a cinch to style with your favorite sweater and outerwear jacket. With a waxed cotton jacket or brown leather bomber, they can’t be beat. A narrower wale gives the cords above a more laid-back feel than the wide-wale pair in the photo in the first section. For a look that’s more casual still, you can find thin-wale cords of every color cut like jeans rather than dress trousers.
3. Add a Dash of Color
Cords are a great way to add a dash of color to a seasonal wardrobe palette of browns, greens and other earth tones. Besides olive green, brown and tan, cords come in bold colors like rust orange, kelly green, canary yellow and bright red, all of which pair perfectly with the rest of your fall gear. For a bit of whimsy, opt for a pair embroidered with dogs, ducks or a holiday motif like candy canes. The only limit is how daring you feel.
A Note on Footwear
Because of the heavier texture, corduroys tend to look best with heavier shoes. For dressier looks try wingtip brogues, tassel or penny loafers, or anything in chocolate brown suede. Casual looks work well with rugged camp mocs or ankle boots, and on a rainy day, few things work better than wearing the classic New England “duck boot” with a comfy pair of cords.
Turns out those old-time Irish farmers and British game-bird hunters knew what they were talking about. A good collection of cords should see you through until springtime in comfort, warmth and, most of all, style.
Photo credits: An Affordable Wardrobe
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