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Corduroy: The Coolest Cold Weather Fabric


“As a kid, I had a sailor shirt and the same old corduroy pants, and that’s what I wanted to wear everyday.” — Patti Smith

It’s been called “the poor man’s velvet,” and occasionally gets a bad rap in movies and television, but these days, corduroy is making a comeback. Hoorah! I may occasionally complain about cold winter weather, but you’ll never hear me grouse about corduroy. In fact, I have had a long love affair with corduroy and always have at least one pair of corduroy pants in my winter wardrobe. (I have currently have four pair — brown, green, burgundy, and plaid, along with an off-white corduroy jacket.)

Who doesn’t love a fabric that has ridges? And is incredibly soft? And warm? And makes a little swishy sound when you walk? Corduroy comes in cool colors and is such a distinctive texture, you can spot this extraordinary fabric just by seeing it in a photograph.

Corduroy sometimes conjures up negative connotations. Remember Miranda’s horrified reaction to Steve’s gold corduroy suit on Sex & the City? In my opinion, the problem with Steve’s corduroy suit wasn’t so much that it was corduroy, rather it was a badly tailored corduroy suit purchased in the 70s. And then there’s the quote from The Umbrella Academy’s Diego Hargreeves who said, “A little hard to trust anyone who wears corduroy.”  (Again, I suspect the cause for judgement here is not that someone is wearing corduroy, but sporting corduroy that’s been collecting dust in the closet a few too many decades.)

There’s something about corduroy, though, that has withstood the test of time. Corduroy’s history spans over 2,000 years, reaching as far back as Egypt 200 B.C. ( It’s fallen in and out of favor over the centuries and decades, but then enjoyed a resurgence in the 70s — thanks to bands like The Grateful Dead. ( Lots of celebrities have been photographed wearing corduroy and every time it seems it has gone out of fashion, it emerges again with a well-deserved update. (hobnob Corduroy, my friends,  is making a comeback and is more appealing in fit and appearance. “Make Corduroy Cool Again” .

Not a fan of corduroy pants? Don’t fret, corduroy comes in many forms: shirts, jackets, hoodies, accessories, and even sneakers. It looks great with denim and any other neutral color, and is not only fashionable, but also functional — keeping you warmer than other fabrics.

Yes, I’m a corduroy lover trying to convert others. If you don’t have some, get some!

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