All Lined Up

Two outfits featuring corduroy pieces. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

When my friend Karen was in Paris last month, she mentioned that she noticed a LOT of corduroy. Here too, I’ve been seeing some iteration of it in just about every collection.

Above, left: even “cool girl” Isabel Marant is on board, with this camel corduroy shirt. On the right, a pair of 5-pocket straight leg pants in a different camel shade.

Striking A “Cord”

On the plus side, corduroy can be an alternative to denim that looks more refined but is still often washable. There’s often a high percentage of cotton in the fabric, which makes it more breathable.

I loved and wore corduroy in the 70’s, but not much since. Now I’m taking another look and have seen some good pieces that are pushing aside my “nerdy professor” associations. Here are a few styles of women’s corduroy pants and jackets that won’t give you bad flashbacks. ✌️

Corduroy Jackets

Madewell corduroy swing chore coat in Mahogany. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’ve seen women of all sizes wearing this “swing” chore coat in Mahogany, and it looked great on everyone. I went back and forth on this one a few weeks ago. The style is really cute, but the color had just a little too much blue in it for me. Offered in sizes XX-Small to 3X.

Eileen Fisher organic cotton collared coat. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Though it’s not described as “corduroy,” the flat, wide wale texture on this organic cotton coat is “corduroy-adjacent.” This would be a perfect piece for mild winters or transitional season wear. Yes, it’s spendy, but it’s fully lined, and the fabric is soft and drapes beautifully.

Everlane corduroy chore jacket in Bone. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This (unlined) chore jacket is a more budget-friendly option, and is machine washable. The corduroy fabric on this one is substantial, but not stiff. Other colors available too.

J.Crew Parke blazer and stovepipe pants in caramel corduroy. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This blazer is really good-looking in person. The cut isn’t for me, but I do have those pants on order to try.

Corduroy Pants (and a Skirt)

Everlane straight leg crop corduroy pants in navy. More women's corduroy pants at une femme d'un certain age.

This straight-leg style is very well-reviewed. Shown above in Navy, other colors available too.

Talbot's straight leg cords in Teal. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

These have just enough stretch for comfort, and are a flattering cut. They’re offered in several colors in Misses, Petites, Plus and Plus Petites. (The color I wanted wasn’t available in Petites or would have purchased.)

J.Crew corduroy skirt navy. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

It’s not easy finding a corduroy skirt that’s knee length or longer, but I did turn up this one.

LL Bean perfect fit knit cords in Sable. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I tried these on recently in the Black Coffee color and really liked them! They’re as comfortable as loungewear, but look polished. They could be a good option for travel days. Offered in Misses, Petite and Plus sizes.

How do you feel about corduroy? Is it a fabric you regularly wear?

Stay in touch.

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24 Comments

  1. lagatta à Montréal
    October 15, 2019 / 4:58 am

    I loved the mahogany chore jacket (mmm, large pockets!) and the skirt, but would have preferred it in green rather than navy, that looks too much like denim. But I don’t mind looking like a nerdy academic. 😉

  2. Rita Prangle
    October 15, 2019 / 5:23 am

    I love corduroy, it’s so comfortable to wear. When I lived in the Chicago area, corduroy was kind of nerdy, but it didn’t seem that way in Colorado.

  3. Elizabeth
    October 15, 2019 / 6:04 am

    I ordered those JCrew cords and was very happy with the fit. I do wish there were more full-length cord pants right now. Cropped is fine but not flattering for everyone and also – winter!?

    • Elizabeth
      October 15, 2019 / 7:14 am

      Hi Elizabeth, from Elizabeth!
      I live outside of Toronto, Canada, and have been thinking about how to wear cropped pants in our colder climate. After all, we wore mini skirts in the dead of winter and survived! I wear sheer nude pantyhose/knee hi stockings, or, knee high boots over thick tights. Good luck!

  4. Gilad
    October 15, 2019 / 6:35 am

    Love corduroy. I think the idea of fabrics being “out of style” is ridiculous (knowing of course that some people may look at me and think the same thing). To me, a particular cut, length or maybe color/use of color, like color blocking) that’s saturated the market in a past season can look dated, but fabric itself seems timeless.

  5. Rondi
    October 15, 2019 / 7:21 am

    I have always liked corduory. I found that corduory pants shrank in length even when I lined dried. So I had kind of given up on them. I had a couple corduory jackets that were culled from my closet over the years and I wish I had kept them. Corduory does remind me of the 70’s especially the corduroy suit featured. But I like retro fashion. My question is how do you feel about the fabric in mild climates? Does it look too wintry?

  6. October 15, 2019 / 7:35 am

    I still have some corduroy pants and have taken them on trips to colder climates. My favorite outfit was a pair of blue cord pants with a red turtleneck and multicolored bommer jacket. Most of the pieces were Liz Claiborne. Wish I still had the jacket!

  7. Leanne Gillespie
    October 15, 2019 / 8:15 am

    Loathe corduroy! Hate the bulk it adds and the grab of the fabric. I think it’s grumpy rather than comfy- give me velvet any day!

    • Tiffany
      October 15, 2019 / 11:09 pm

      I love corduroy. I found a below length burgundy cord straight skirt that I wore to death last (Southern Hem) winter. Eyeing chore jackets and pants but loathe high waists so struggling …

  8. Joan
    October 15, 2019 / 8:17 am

    “Corduroy adjacent” — too funny! Happy to note cords are back in style.

  9. Sandra
    October 15, 2019 / 8:53 am

    I like the look of corduroy, but I find that it adds unwanted bulk to my frame.

    Just returned from a month in France. I didn’t notice anyone wearing corduroy, but I did see puffy vests/jackets and sneakers on everyone!

  10. Anon
    October 15, 2019 / 9:40 am

    Corduroy in my late teens: yes. Now: no.

    I do like that wide wale jacket in ivory. I do like that very fine wale that hasn’t appeared yet in this incarnation of corduroy. Just not on me.

    (Woosh, woosh, woosh as pant legs rub away at the inner thigh. Not a good thing.)

  11. Angela in NZ
    October 15, 2019 / 11:53 am

    I recently bought a pair of cords in a gorgeous burgundy colour which were 70% off in the end of season sale (southern hemisphere) and coincidentally found a silky blouse in the same shop also 70% off. Have managed one wear so far given our fickle spring weather. Will probably keep them for winter only. So how do I feel about them? Jury is still out so glad they were good price. I wonder if upbringing has impacted since my mother wouldn’t allow me to wear denim jeans but agreed to cords! Hmm…..

  12. lucretia roletta
    October 15, 2019 / 12:28 pm

    I have always liked corduroy and wondered why it went out of style. Today’s fabric is not bulky. I think one of the style problem is the same as denim, wearing two pieces of the same fabric is more difficult to style. An example is the pants suit you showed, I think, individually they look fine but not together. It’s too much.

  13. Lorraine
    October 15, 2019 / 12:41 pm

    wow. I loved cord in the ’80s and ’90s. I even have 2 jackets in my closet now. But I have since been transitioning into other, more modern fabrics and now it is “back”?? Not sure how I feel about that. Probably won’t be dipping a toe into this trend soon.

  14. Donna
    October 15, 2019 / 1:20 pm

    I just ordered winter white wide leg cords from J Crew and am looking forward to wearing them. I was also recently in Paris and in additional to a plethora of sneakers, did see quite a bit of cords in the stores.

  15. Lisa B
    October 15, 2019 / 2:04 pm

    Ordered the J Crew cords. Hoping they’re not too long. I tried on the petite size in Talbots cords and they were at least 4 inches too long.
    On another note, I have that same Chloe bag you featured in your pin and have to say, although well made, it’s the heaviest bag I’ve ever owned. Took it to Italy and ended up in Tory Burch buying a lightweight polyester bag to take its place. Think twice before purchasing. Even empty it’s heavy.

  16. October 15, 2019 / 2:23 pm

    Yes I wear corduroy every Autumn/Winter . I had no idea that the fashion police anywhere had said you could not wear it after the 1970s but suddenly you can now . It is certainly available in the UK every time the temperature drops . As to being nerdy professorish – I should be so lucky ! I love plush -type fabrics and would swap all my cords for velvet if I could but that is more rarely in the shops at a heavy enough weight for warmth .

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      October 15, 2019 / 2:25 pm

      Hi Rukshana, it’s not so much that anyone said you “couldn’t” wear it, it just wasn’t as widely available.

  17. Beth C Richardson
    October 15, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    Worth mentioning that those Talbots corduroys come in long as well and are absolutely wonderful! I swear by the couple of pair I got last year and am looking at the Rose and washed teal for a pop of color this winter!

  18. Lisa
    October 15, 2019 / 11:01 pm

    I’m currently in Paris & have noticed corduroy in the shops. On the streets I’ve seen it in the form of straight cropped pants (with boots) and in blazers. I’m a fan of corduroy myself – just have to find the right color.

  19. Kathleen
    October 16, 2019 / 11:11 am

    I have two pairs of corduroy pants that I bring out in winter. One is a dark forest green, the other cream. I like them okay with a pullover in cold weather.

  20. lagatta à Montréal
    October 16, 2019 / 3:15 pm

    I so want a pair of corduroy trousers/jeans in a deep forest green … or a skirt. No cream or white for me, and very rarely anything pastel except a scarf. Certainly not jeans or trousers as they’d have nasty grey slush spots from walking in dirty snow.

  21. Laura C
    October 17, 2019 / 2:00 pm

    The JCrew cords are on sale today (Thursday, 40% off online) so I ordered them.
    I love the caramel color, which makes me wish I could wear all of your newly discovered colors, Susan. They look great on you and seem warm and sophisticated but still more relaxed than black.
    I am clearly much better off in the winter palette but I think caramel pants and shoes can still work with the blues and other wintery colors I need near my face. At least, I hope so! I get so tired of black!

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