November 13, 2012

Style Feature: The Cord Pant

Corduroy pants have developed a bad rap, but with nearly everyone making an updated version now, they are not just for your grandpa anymore. Cords have become a quintessential fall item that can be appropriate for any style or occasion. Things got crazy and I just missed getting this up in time for Corduroy Appreciation Day (November 11), but cords are one of my favorite seasonal fabrics.

1. Sporty

Corduroy is widely known as being a rugged fabric, which is why it is great for all kinds of gentlemanly pursuits and outdoor activities, like fly fishing (though it was a little too cold the day this look was shot).

Extra Tip : Dressing seasonally not only makes sense, but it’s also a great way to infuse some seasonal color into your wardrobe.

Extra Tip II : There is rarely a wrong time to wear a bowtie.

Cords by Gant Rugger; Sweater by Gant; Shirt by Uniqlo;
Boots by LL Bean; Hat by Prada; Bowtie by Liberty of London

2. Casual

A dark, five-pocket cord can easily take the place of denim in any look. You can't go wrong with a medium wale straight leg for a walk down a country road or a city street. Keeping your cords simple also allow you to add more layers up top without the outfit feeling bulky.

Extra Tip : Just like with other textured fabrics, the fibers of your cords can wear down (i.e. get unfuzzy or extra fuzzy depending on the type), so do be aware that excessive rubbing or wear in one place (like the obligatory smart phone in your pocket) will affect them. Distressing can add character to a garment, just make sure it's what you want before it happens.

Cords by Nautica; Vest by Uniqlo; Shirt by J Crew;
Henley by Odin for Target; Sneakers by AllSaints Spitalfields;
Scarf by Rag & Bone

3. Urban

A fine wale cord is a great way to sneak some texture into your clothes without making a major commitment to corduroy. It also lets you stretch their wearability into the spring.

Extra Tip : The actual piping in corduroy is called the wale. The wider the wale, the lower the number used to measure it (just like electrical wire and body jewelry).

Cords by Converse John Varvatos; Jacket by Nautica;
Knit by Yoko Devereaux; Henley by Odin for Target;
Boots by John Varvatos; Scarf by Psycho Bunny;
Gloves by The Men's Store at Bloomingdales;
Sunglasses by Alexander McQueen

4. Dressy

Corduroy isn’t just for more relaxed settings. The right pair of cords can be dressed up as well (or better) than any slack.

Extra Tip : Stick to a slim straight leg and a medium wale for a modern silhouette. Extra wide wales are your grandfather’s pants.

Extra Tip II : Sneak in a subtle color, like these purple, to break out of the traditional mold.

Extra Tip III : Mixing patterns can be tricky. Pick one piece to be the focus, and let the rest of the outfit complement it.

Cords and socks by J Crew; Jacket by Alexander McQueen;
Vest by Umit Benan; Shirt by Charles Tyrwhitt; Shoes by Ted Baker;
Tie by Brooks Brothers Black Fleece; Pocket Square by Dior

Cords really are one of the most versatile pants, so if you haven’t given them a chance yet try picking up a pair. They come in all different price ranges, so find the one that best suits your needs. And, for a different twist, try corduroy in other places- jackets, vests, I even have a corduroy shirt that I love, especially for fall.

Stay stylish,
- JJ

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