The wheel of fashion, like the wheel of life, never rests.
At times though, it’s hard not to wish it would get a bit of a move on.
Like, for example, where corduroy is concerned.
For two or three years now, brands have been urging men to get their corduroy on.
That’s normally plenty of time for a fabric not known for turning heads to be filed away as just another of fashion’s poorly repressed memories.
But then Prada filled their AW17 show with “this old school texture” last winter, and if Prada says you’re wearing corduroy, you’re wearing corduroy.
Or at least, going to have to put up with everyone telling you why corduroy is it for a bit longer.
In theory, it should be a pleasure to welcome corduroy back for another stab at a moment of coolness.
Even the hardest of fashion hearts ought to be able to find something known as “poor man’s velvet” at least momentarily charming.
But corduroy suffers from no end of problems, including these three:
- It’s an “outdoor textile”. It’s warm, hard-wearing, it dries quickly, and so it’s inescapably agricultural. It may have been taken up by squire and poacher alike, but the hint of the countryside in its furrows is tricky to shake off.
- It’s the sort of thing people who looked like Frank Minucci (Sean Penn’s character in Carlito’s Way) wore as a suit (lapel size: max) to do the Hustle at Studio 54 on the rare occasion they could get in. Not corduroy’s fault at all, but still – guilt by association.
- Wherever fashion isn’t, corduroy is: the farmer’s market, the geography classroom, the public library, the Lord’s members’ stand…
So if you’re going to take the plunge, you must do the following:
- Make it slim, not shapeless
- Go for the thinner “wale” (the proper name for the signature bumps) for a sharper look, never jumbo
- Don’t do cord shirt and trousers together
- Go for something expensive
- Don’t force it – some people just can’t wear it. Not being a corduroy person is not the end of the world.
If you’re still serious about obeying fashion’s instructions to cord up, you could do worse than The Cords & Co.
Founded in Stockholm recently, their stated goal is to be “the first premium corduroy brand for men and women.”
What’s more, they describe themselves as “a passionate group of people united by a shared love for corduroy.”
To experience their ribbed-for-your-pleasure intensity first hand, they have a store on Silver Place in London’s once fashionable Soho.