Corduroy pants are gaining momentum across a range of silhouettes, colours and wales. Matching corduroy pant suits with a ‘70s flavour have made a comeback too. Some corduroy pants are dressier than others, but for the most part I think of corduroy as a casual fabric. The larger the wale, the more casual the vibe. Many of my clients wear corduroy pants as an alternative to jeans. They generally find them warmer, colour-rich, and more comfortable and cosy than denim.
I have a complicated relationship with corduroy pants. I loved them as a child in the ‘70s. My green, red and navy corduroy bottoms were favourites. I especially loved my moss green corduroy culottes. Other than a brief encounter with a pair of low-rise toffee bootcuts from Guess in the ‘90s, I gave corduroy bottoms a miss. They weren’t my cup of tea, maybe because I overdid things as a child and associated them with kids’ clothes.
Out of the blue this year, I was drawn to a pair of turquoise straight leg pants from sustainable and ethical Boden. The yummy-to-me colour, great quality, and fabulous fit ticked off the boxes. The fabric was coincidentally corduroy. Hubs Greg loves them, and that was the final convincing I needed.
The corduroy pants allow me to create a column of colour with a matching coat and pullover, which are items I’ve had on my shopping list for years. I’d have preferred the fabric of the pants to be wool, but what the heck. It’s my wildcard purchase for the year and I’m back on Team Cosy Corduroy Pants
Here are four fun and cosy corduroy pants looks, none of which are hard-edged. Some vibes are more maximal and dressy than others. The corduroy pant silhouettes are wide, but feel free to substitute them for skinnies or straight legs.
1. Rainbow Fabness
Create a rainbow of colour with a pair of non-neutral corduroy pants. Combine the cords with a multi-striped colour-rich pullover and a tweed jacket or wool coat that picks up one of the colours of the stripes. Finish off the look with a footwear and bag complement in the same colour. Here the red of the complement is repeated in the stripes. I like this look best, although I’d wear red boots or white hi-tops instead of ballet flats.
2. Earthy Salmon
Combine a bunch of light-coloured earth tones together and see what happens. Here, I like the ‘70s integrity of the look, and the interesting shade of salmon of the cords that don’t match but work with the rest of the outfit. The caramel, chocolate and pearl grey pullover works well with the beret and boots. I see a tan, caramel or grey topper over the lot and bag to match. Olive and tan corduroy pants could work too.
3. Pattern-Mixed Neutrals
Although neutral, this is a maximal look that combines high contrast and three patterns. The smaller scale of the patterns and their matching colour palette makes them work together in a beautifully quiet yet loud way. The cream top picks up the cream in the soles of the shoes and patterns, thereby brightening the palette. Subbing the cream top for a black one tones things down, as would black footwear. You could create a more minimal look with a black column of colour and black footwear.
4. Bubblegum Cinnamon
This unique mix of brights and earth tones is clever, and my second favourite. The clash creates harmony, thanks to details that pull the look together. Combine a pair of earthy cord pants with a bright pink patterned pullover. Add white footwear if the pullover has white components. The earthy tortoiseshell bag repeats the earthiness of the pants. Alternatively, combine a solid bright pink pullover with cinnamon corduroy bottoms, and finish off the look with cream footwear and bag. I like the idea of a bright pink wool coat to top things off. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired.