On My Radar- Corduroy

Fall heralds the return of corduroy, and I’m seeing a lot of it in the newest collections. It’s got such a great fall vibe and feels just right for so many occasions. The funny thing is, I have no corduroy in my wardrobe. I’m pretty sure I rocked corduroy gaucho pants with my Frye boots back in the day, but I haven’t embraced it since.


I love the look on other people, but something about it feels too sporty or preppy for my style, which is weird because I love denim everything.

The wider the wale (or rib), the sportier the look. Pinwale has the narrowest ribs and can be as soft and pliable as velvet, so I am looking at it more closely for fall. I’m also on the hunt for some in non-traditional shapes.


These Maeve pants certainly have a modern vibe and the front welt pockets are a nice touch.


There’s no end to the corduroy blazer options each fall. Dusters feel current to me and are a nice alternative to a classic blazer.


Printed corduroy items seem few and far between. The wale gives so much texture, I’m not sure how many people like to add pattern to its mix.

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Skirts and dresses seem less common in corduroy but are certainly available.

When I google “modern corduroy”  the results aren’t plentiful which makes me realize it’s a very traditional fabric that’s usually  made in classic shapes. The “traditional” factory may have a lot to do with why I don’t own any. It’s simply not part of my 3-word style recipe.

Is corduroy in your style wheelhouse?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.





  1. Someone above mentioned Talbots’ corduroy leggings: I may give those a try, perhaps pairing with something long (an oversized blazer, perhaps?). Otherwise, corduroy pants have never fit me right – they always seemed to be too tight in the wrong places, and stiff enough to stand up on their own!

  2. Corduroy has come a long way from the stiff small wale we had in the 50’s- 80’s. It’s never been a favorite for several reasons , including it’s tendency to collect lint, and in pants it seems to add 10 lbs to my bottom half.
    These days it’s much more versatile due to wonderful velvety softness, gorgeous colors, and various wale sizes. I still think it adds weight so I probably wouldn’t choose to own a corduroy garment. But I do love the new qualities of it.

  3. I LOVE the Talbots pinwhale cords and own them in black, dark brown and gray. I wear all fall/winter/early spring in place of denim. FYI: I have them dry-cleaned.

    Hope you are enjoying your trip. We’re all awaiting details!

  4. In the past I would buy corduroy and not wear it. I guess it, and flannel, skew too “outdoorsy” for my current style.

  5. I like corduroy pants for when Texas gets those freezing days in winter, or visiting my one daughter in CO, or the other daughter in London.
    I usually wear jeans or leggings most of fall and winter. I will be looking for petite straight or slim. I am not wanting the wide leg since I am 5’2″. I don’t think I look good in them. I find the wide leg pants need a particular kind of top, and shoes should have a heel or platform to pull the look off. I am more casual these days .

  6. Corduroy used to be in my wheelhouse. I actually kept an outfit that I had from decades earlier – a burgundy corduroy miniskirt with matching long vest, made by ATA Israel. I could imagine getting a corduroy jacket now, if I found one that I liked.

  7. I love corduroy and always wear it in cold weather . I like velvet too but corduroy wears so much better and desn’t have that tendency to mark…. I wear cord trousers all winter and for colder days in spring and autumn . I wish I had more cord jackets – not that I want suits exactly but different colours of corduroy together are very ‘me’ . There used to be many patterned needlecord fabrics but I haven’t seen many for some years – nor velvets .

  8. I haven’t worn corduroy for years, though I do love the way it looks. Seems I recall 100% cotton corduroy was a disaster for losing its shape, flattening to leave shiny spots, and needing to be ironed on the back side when washed. Maybe the newer versions have enough synthetic fiber to avoid this. And doesn’t the fluff make you look a bit fluffier?

  9. Yes on corduroy! I have several vintage J.Jill corduroy jackets (when they would produce a new style each year!). You can’t wear them out! They always looked great with denim. I actually haven’t worn them for several years, but I plan to dig them out and restyle for this Fall. I second everyone’s comments on corduroy pants from Talbots. The best!

  10. Why is it that so many flare, bootcut, and wide-leg trousers are so long? The gorgeous Maeve pants you show are 29 or 30 inches long. I’m 5′ 2.5″ — so not a really short petitie — and I can’t wear longer than a 28″ inseam. Any longer and I’m walking on hems. I love cordoroy for fall in New England and have several pairs of cords as well a pretty Talbot’s jacket I bought a yearr or two back. Never been a fan of the Bean shirts though.

    1. I for one am very happy with the longer inseam of 30 inches….31 or 32 would be nice. I am VERY tired of pants that are waaaaay too short….crop pants look like capris on me. You can always hem and shorten pants but those of us who need the length we simply cannot add on the bottom of the legs. And if you shorten it rarely alters the look of the pants when the leg is wide

      1. I sympathize as my daughter is tall, but to clarify … I was talking about Petite trousers with a 30″ inseam. The Rergular is 32 inches. There is no Tall, so my daughter would not be able to wear them.

  11. I wear corduroy every year, it’s warmer than denim. Fine wale is nicer than thick. I just received a pair from Talbots. I don’t seem to buy tops in the fabric, not sure why.

  12. Perhaps corduroy fabric has changed a lot, but as I remember it, it shows wear so quickly and so noticeably. Faded shiny bottom. Same with thighs and elbows. I always felt that I shouldn’t sit down. And it needs ironing whether out of the dryer or hung to dry. I grant that it is very attractive though when new.

  13. I have not worn corduroy for some time. Did have a few pair of jeans but let them go a few years back.
    I like the off/white duster but wonder if it would wrinkle or look sloppy after a sit on it in the car or in just regular wear.
    Not saying I would not wear it again, have to check what is out there.

  14. Yes, I wear corduroy, in the winter as an alternative to jeans. I have several pairs from Talbots and find them warmer than denim. I’m thinking about a corduroy blazer, but wouldn’t wear it with corduroy bottoms. The fine corduroy is more flattering than the wide, to me.

  15. I’ve worn corduroy all my life also. My brothers wore salt and pepper cords everyday as our school uniform. I loved corduroy jeans in high school. I might see what’s out there!

  16. I have not worn corduroy since my teens, when Levi ‘Cords’ were a thing. Even then I realized they did nothing for me, but wore them because they were in fashion. Will not be trying them again. Look great on others, just not my thing.
    Luckily I have at last learnt that I don’t have to wear everything that’s a trend!

  17. I have worn corduroy all my life and always keep a few pairs of fine wale corduroy pants in the closet for fall and winter as an alternative to jeans.

  18. I personally love corduroy, especially the pinwale. Thought the duster was unusual but great idea for fall. Love the floral shirt as well but all a bit pricey for my retired budget.

  19. I love corduroy and spent most of February in corduroy pants! I love the wide leg pants shown from anthro. Can’t quite do the Bean jacket, even though I live in New England, but I think I have that Jill jacket in the back of my closet, too.

  20. I actually purchased corduroy leggings from Talbots last year in cream and navy and wore them non stop. They are warm, modern and for me a little more dressy than jeans. I added corduroy shorts from Carve Designs this year for summer….love these too. I just turned 70.

  21. Jennifer, I read your lead and said, out loud, nope, nope, nope……..no. Seriously almost didn’t open the link, then the clouds parted and the angels sang at the sight of those beautiful wide leg pants from Anthropology. 💓 I “need” to at least try them on. Thank goodness the coat does not come in a color I want for a coat. Loved corduroy when I was young and thinner.

  22. I haven’t worn corduroy since I was a kid and I don’t think I will start. Having said that, I reserve the right to change my mind. 😉

  23. I do like corduroy, especially the very thin wale. However, living in GA I only own a few pieces because we only have a few months when we can wear it! No matter what the calendar says today, it’s not really fall here yet.

  24. No, corduroy isn’t really in my wheelhouse either. I bought an adorable chestnut-colored corduroy barn jacket two years ago, thinking it would be the perfect fall coat, and two years later, I have not worn it once! I think this has to do with fall weather in Chicago, where it’s lovely only briefly before the rains set in. A leather (real or faux) jacket is far more useful around here.

  25. I love corduroy – it’s warmer, for one thing – and had forgotten about it!
    Yvonne, I’m enjoying the image of your purple trench coat and matching flares! Very cool 70s style.

  26. I agree about corduroy. I have not worn it since I was out of college. The newer corduroy seems softer and easier to wear. Think I will look for a new jacket & slacks, if I can find the right color.
    Thanks for the tips, Jennifer.

  27. Talbots usually has corduroy pants in their late fall or winter collection. In the past I think they have been in their high waisted straight cut. I have several pairs in various colors and love them when it’s cold outside.

    1. Yes, I love Talbots pinwale corduroy pants! They are so comfortable and stretchy, so much so that after the first pair, I bought several more colors. They fill the gap between casual and dressy as they can be either depending on what is worn with them.

  28. I have an oversized black soft corduroy jacket from J Jill that I have had for years. I wear it in the fall, and I love it. Something about corduroy for me means familiar comfort. I’ll continue to wear corduroy when I can find great fitting pants in good colors.

  29. The only time I ever wore corduroy was back in the 70’s. I remember in grade 9 having a purple corduroy trench coat with matching flare pants. My mum would always find the most stylish outfits for me when we shopped. She had great style and loved fashion and would always nudge me to try something unique. That’s where my love of fashion began.
    I’m not seeing corduroy in the stores I shop in, but I am seeing a lot of leather and faux leather.

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