Style and Styling

Craving Corduroy?

Soft and Fuzzy Trend

Happy day, Reader Dearest,

Are you a corduroy lover?

If the answer is yes, this IS YOUR Year!

I find there are a lot of people with a Love/Hate relationship with corduroy. Mr CP? Hate. (Scarred by a corduroy Christmas gift around the age of eight.) Me, I’m neither love nor hate, but I have quite a few clients who LOOOOOVE the fabric of kings.

Yep, that’s where corduroy gets its name. Cord du Roi. Fabric of the king. Or at least that’s one of the stories…

It’s interesting how from there it has become more of a workhorse fabric associated with the masses rather than royalty.

Or at least with college students and professors! (Corduroy was BIG in the 70’s.)

I have fond corduroy memories. My first work uniform, as a Teen Board Member at Boston Store back in the 1970’s, was a forest green corduroy suit–blazer, skirt and trousers, along with a coordinated shirt. I felt quite grown-up, or at the very least collegiate, in my corduroy trouser suit!

And so corduroy (and other fuzzy textures) is having a fashion moment. Corduroy lovers, unite. Actually, they did! Once upon a time, there existed the Corduroy Appreciation Club. Settle in for a listen, it’s a great story!

All images from Lands’ End, except shoes-Talbots.

Corduroy Style

Who likes corduroy? Surprisingly, quite a few Style Archetypes! The most obvious is the Relaxed (or Natural) Style. It suits her casual and easy life and style. Anyone who is all about fabric feel can also be a corduroy fan; its soft ribbing and fuzzy texture is appealing, especially the fine wale. Wide wale corduroy has a more limited appeal and can feel stiff when new. (Wale is the measure of the number of ribs per inch. More ribs, the softer the fabric. Fewer ribs, less soft.) Classic Style archetypes will often gravitate to corduroy for casual wear, especially shirts, blazers and trousers. The Feminine Style, for whom softness is key, can also be a corduroy fan, as long it has a fine wale and that super soft feel and drape.

Find Yours!

Want to get some corduroy in your world? We’re seing it everywhere. You’ can get’ll find corduroy tops, bottoms, jackets and bags at Lands’ End. I saw one really sharp navy corduroy blazer and those cute ballet flats, as well as trousers and a skirt at Talbot’s. They’re stocking plenty of corduroy jeans at Target. You’ll find more corduroy jeans, ball caps and totes at Old Navy. I’m tempted by the pink corduroy ball cap… (I don’t even wear ball caps, but sometimes there’s no logic to our wants.)

How About You?

What’s your relationship with corduroy? Do you have corduroy memories? Fond or otherwise, I’d love to hear them…

Stylishly yours,


  • Janis M

    Hi Liz, I too was on the Milwaukee Boston Store’s Teen Board. My term was 1970-72. I recall black corduroy culottes with a sweater vest over a white blouse. I really thought I was very cool to be on the teen board. I went on to work for the Southridge store and met my husband there. So in the end, Boston Store was very good to me. (West Allis Central HS)

    • Liz K

      Oh, Janis! What a treat to “meet” you! I have such fond memories. I bet your culottes and sweater vest were the coolest! And you found a husband there, too? They say department stores have everything… LOL!

    • Liz K

      A corduroy skirt sounds darling, Leslie! I had a great wrap skirt that buttoned in corduroy in my teens… I wish I could find the pattern and make it again!

  • Kristi

    I love corduroy! I have a pair of plum boot cut pants and brown ankle pants in corduroy and a really old (bought at a resale shop 10+ years ago) burgundy corduroy jacket that I love! I also have a fine wale red button up shirt in corduroy that I made last year. My thighs swish when I wear the pants but I don’t care. They are so soft and comfy!

  • Mary Jean Cunningham

    Corduroy just feels like fall! Had a green corduroy jacket with silver buttons growing up and wore it to roller skate in the fall when it started to wear out, so very happy memories with that. I have tan stretch corduroy jeans I’ve worn for years and very fine wale black corduroy jeans that actually “read” like velvet that I wear all winter to church on Sunday with nice sweater, blouse, cardigan, etc. Corduroy works for me but only in a finer wale. I bought greatly-reduced fine wale corduroy jeans this summer in pale blue and plum colors so I have some more color in my winter wardrobe as I realized I was thoroughly depressed by all the black, navy and gray in my closet by the time February rolled around!! Also got an off-white pullover somewhat oversized tunic kind of top in fine wale corduroy that can handle a turtleneck under it – also will lighten some outfits up in the winter – it’s already gray and brown enough outside here at that time of year!

    • Liz K

      I’m with you, Mary Jean! Fall and winter need to be colorful seasons in my wardrobe to compensate for the grey days outside. Hibernating in dark clothes all fall/winter just makes me depressed!


    Liz, I am very fond of corduroy!! I wear two black corduroy skirts only because I’ve been unable to find other colors. yet!! I think this will be my year!!! Excited!! Natalie K

    • Liz K

      I remember that sound, Gail! I’ll take a jacket or skirt though; that avoids the swish-swish… Cords give me that elementary school feeling, too. We were allowed to wear navy cords rather than our plaid skirts in the depths of winter!

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