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A comfortable piece of fabric with a heavy-duty heritage, the Corduroy is the perfect crossroads where sophistication meets toughness and in a surprisingly soft package. Learn more about the durable fabric you’ll want to make sure you wear plenty of during the colder months ahead.

What is shorts?

While Corduroy also shares its name with an athletically challenged bear searching for its missing button, the fabric’s name certainly predates Don Freeman’s 1968 picture book.

The legend claimed by menswear giants such as Sir Hardy Ames and Alan Flusser that the name originated as English for the French kurdish de rui, or “king’s rope”, referring to its use as royal hunting clothing. However, recent explorations have determined that this was an erroneous origin and that the term evolved from an eighteenth-century description of Doroy, a coarse fabric used in English country clothing. Since it was precisely the Manchester area that saw the emergence of this fabric, some areas continued to refer to the corduroy as the “Manchester cloth”.

Men's clothing with olive shorts
Two sets of winter clothes that will make you complete 90% of the rest of the season

Whether by English natives, French fishermen, or another group of pioneers in this durable and attractive fabric, the corduroy was created across Europe and the United States by the 20th century. Over the ensuing decades, corduroy followed the trends that made sportswear natural, bringing this banded fabric out of the cold as it became a shortcut to various archetypes of masculinity, whether it was worn by hunters warming their hands with fire or ivy masters painted with chalk. Elbow hurt drama after recitation.

Corduroy’s unique fabric consists of raised rows of cotton velvet, each in equal width created by a process known as “tufting” that weaves the cotton into these Wales.


Wait, tuft? Wales? Let’s step back a little.

Tufting is a process in which threads are woven through a base of fabric to form a pile that can be adapted to anything from clothing to rugs. Although they are centuries old, the hacking process has been modernized by the development of tuft pistols, which have also been adopted by DIYers.

The weft type of corduroy pulls the stacked fabric into lengths of corrugated cord, known as slicks and said to derive from the Anglo-Saxon term for a hem made in a plowed field.

Then corduroy is defined by Will countreferring to the number of such burrs that can expand within an inch, which ranges from as little as two to more than 20. To borrow an example inspired by the origins of Shorts among hunters, this echoes how a 12-gauge shotgun shell is wider than a 20-gauge.

  • Skinny corduroy, also known as “pincord”, “pinwale” or “Needlecord”, often measuring 16 wales
  • Medium or standard shorts are usually 11 wel
  • Wide corduroy, also known as “elephant wire”, is often 4 or 5 ply, although more extreme variations such as 1.5-wale are produced
Photo textures brown corduroy

Banana Republic wide leg pants / Wale LL Bean Standard Pants / Flint and Tender shorts

How to wear shorts

True to the origins of sportswear, corduroy was traditionally made in earthy tones such as brown, tan, and olive tones, although the fabric’s long-established popularity outside of hunting grounds has led to outfitters designing rope clothing in vibrant colours. Burgundy, orange and violet, as well as more conservative shades such as dark blue and gray.

short pants

Buck Mason stretch cord for Ford Gen Alternative budget: Godthreads

Corduroy pants typically range from trousers to casual jeans, although both styles—like jeans—tend to become more comfortable for those who wear them the more they break. Depending on how the fabric falls, wide-cut shorts are often assigned to the wearer with a needle that fits the jeans best.

Picture of a corduroy jacket and a plaid layered shirt

Looking at the screen for cinematic examples, corduroy provided the lower half of the action-ready look worn by Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2 and Daniel Craig during the last chapter of sky fall; John McClane’s pleated cords echoed the dress’s pants like J. Crew Ludlow Corduroy Suit Pants While Craig’s 007 chose more cropped jeans like Matching flexible wirealso from J. Crew, or Buck Mason stretch cord for Ford Gen.

shorts jackets

Picture of a man wearing a brown corduroy jacket

Wallace and Barnes corduroy jacket

Corduroy’s chameleon-like appearance is also associated with jackets, as sporty coats and casual jackets can be appropriate applications for short jackets.

Close-up of a brown corduroy jacket collar and tie

Matthew McConaughey in True Detective Season 1

The track jacket and corduroy can be one of the most versatile pieces you own, with the potential to be:

  • Wear it with a La Dustin Hoffman shirt and tie graduationMatt Damon in The talented Mr. Ripleyand Matthew McConaughey via the first season of real detective
  • Layer over a slouchy or flannel work shirt like Ben Affleck’s please Robert Downey Jr Horoscope
  • Make a luxurious addition to a simple black T-shirt and jeans like David Duchovny’s self-destructive writer in Californication

As proven by jeans, the credo you can apply to corduroy is this: if it can be made out of denim, it can also be made into corduroy. (And vice versa does not apply, as Justin Timberlake illustrated in the 2001 AMAs.)

Photo of a man wearing a padded jacket of shorts

Schott Corduroy Rancher Jacket

With that in mind, the casual world of down jackets is opening up for jackets, truckers, huts, and more. Like their denim cousins, they can be insulated by stacked Sherpa lining and collars like these berries And the fibrous jackets;

Portrait of a man wearing a dark blue sherpa-lined jacket

Levi’s Sherpa Trucker Jacket

Casual corduroy jackets suggest rugged comfort in the outdoors, whether it’s the dark olive coat worn by Chief Hopper on Weird things Or the blood-stained burgundy blouse that Jack Nicholson wore for “Here’s Johnny!” rampage in the shining.

Photo of a man wearing a brown corduroy jacket and a blue plaid shirt

I love wearing casual corduroy jackets with jeans, which allows me to mix my matching philosophy with a trucker jacket and jeans without going into the tough territory of double jeans.

Corduroy suits

Picture of a man wearing a tan shorts suit

Our 15 favorite James Bond outfits from Daniel Craig

Once you’ve made your way through your jackets and shorts, you might be ready to graduate to a full-on corduroy suit. While it’s never been a must in a men’s wardrobe (ie, you probably shouldn’t buy one unless you already have a gray or dark blue suit!), a neck-to-ankle dressing can be in matching, corduroy Dedicated to a comfortable alternative – where there are comfortable alternatives would be appropriate – to the traditional woolen.

With the right shirt, it can bring some elegance to your date night; Paired with an Ivy-inspired shirt and tie, it could suggest a kind of profession like Robert Redford’s portrayal of gritty investigative reporter Bob Woodward in All the president’s men.

After Massimo Alba’s adorable Daniel Craig “Slope” suit from the action series appeared in his James Bond song Swan, No time to dieI expect we may see a renaissance in corduroy suits. If nothing else, owning a corduroy suit also automatically arms your closet with a jacket and pants that can be posted as separate.

Portrait of a man in a brown corduroy suit and a baseball cap

Alex Mill seems to have prepared for this potential popularity, introducing solid rope blazer (also shown in brown above) and Standard Pleated Pants Can be worn separately or together.

shorts shirts

Corduroy makes a great shirt jacket or even a heavier alternative to an oxford shirt in the colder months. They can have polished and rugged aesthetics.

Willen Cord shirt

This button-up openwork shirt looks great like a repeat shirt daily work or elegant casual for an alternative.

Flint and Tender corduroy snap shirt

Paired with a classic western denim shirt, the corduroy makes pairing with jeans easier and makes a great choice for layering.

More shorts!

baseball cap blue shorts picture

Amazon corduroy baseball cap

Besides jackets and pants, designers have extended corduroy to T-shirts, hats, and even shoes! A corduroy shirt is one of the most comfortable pieces you can have, whether it’s a needlepoint shirt layered with pants or jeans or an oversized tank top layered over your favorite T-layers.

Even if there are no shorts in the rest of your outfit, they can be a great accent either on the collar Storm Rider jacket Or literally top your look with a casual baseball cap like these options from AmazonAnd the y crewAnd the berries.

How do you like to wear shorts?


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