Corduroy and velvet are similar, yet different. Corduroy is a ribbed, velvety fabric that’s usually made of cotton or a cotton blend. The width of the ribs (or wales) vary. Velvet or velveteen has a similar texture to corduroy, minus the ribbed effect. Velvet is extremely soft and smooth, and can be made of cotton, silk or nylon. These days you can find any wardrobe item in corduroy or velvet.
I have a complicated relationship with corduroy, and have never loved it for my own style. I wore it a lot as a child in the ‘70s, so a small part of me perceives it as juvenile. Another part of me finds it too industrial, rugged, grungy, and stiff (although I know it can feel soft, warm, stretchy and cosy too). I find it overly casual, because it can look more casual than some pairs of jeans. I’ve worn a few corduroy shirts, jackets, skirts and pants as an adult, but they were passed on fairly fast. I have zero corduroy wardrobe items in my wardrobe at the moment, and don’t mind that one bit. That said, I love hubs Greg in corduroy. He has three polished yet relaxed corduroy shirts that look amazing, and I bought them for him!
Velvet, on the other hand, is a fabric I like to wear because it has a dressier integrity. It’s also soft, pretty, and luxurious to my eye. I have three velvet items in my wardrobe, and I love them all. I wear them casually and during the day, so they are versatile. The velvet pants are worn with hi-top sneakers like a pair of corduroy pants, or dressed up with dressy knitwear and boots. The velvet jacket is paired with jeans, and the skirt can be anything I want it to be. I bat for Team Velvet.
The preferences of my clientele are probably evenly split between corduroy and velvet. A few of them wear velvet casually, but the perception that velvet is a dressy evening fabric remains strong no matter how much I try to change it. Corduroy pants are an easy sell because they are casual, comfy and a substitute for jeans. Corduroy is also a lot more forgiving of pet hair and lint, whereas velvet is a magnet for it.
Over to you. Do you bat for Team Corduroy or Team Velvet? Tell us why and no batting for both teams. If you can’t choose a side, sit this one out on the bench where I’m serving baked garlic ginger honey and butter chicken with wild rice and greens, and hot fudge sundaes for dessert.