When fall rolls around, corduroy pieces find their way into plenty of closets. There's something about the striking textured fabric that just seems a little warmer and cozier than denim in cool weather. Wearing corduroy pants, though, can be a challenge if you're not sure how to style them. Cords often get a bad rap for looking masculine or dated. The key is to pair them with pieces that give you a flirtier or more modern look, so your outfit isn't just warm and comfortable, but stylish, too.
Make Like Denim
Ditch the denim for a day and style your cords just as you would your favorite jeans. Pair them with a basic T-shirt and tennis shoes for a low-key, casual look. When you want to look a little more dressed up, throw a cardigan over the T-shirt and swap the sneakers for ballet flats. Your favorite sweater or button-down shirt pair well with cords, and in the fall and winter, skinny corduroy pants look great tucked into knee-high boots, just like skinny jeans.
Keep It Modern
Create an outfit with plenty of modern flair. Start with the cords themselves – stay away from boot-cut styles that are reminiscent of the bell bottoms popular in the ‘70s. Instead, choose slim-fitting cords that look like jeans; a pair of straight-leg or skinny corduroy pants are versatile and stylish. Choose cords in a dark neutral color, such as black, gray or chocolate brown, to ensure a more contemporary look. On top, opt for a tunic with an asymmetrical hem or a graphic T-shirt with a fitted cotton blazer over it. A bold statement necklace is the ideal accessory for a contemporary look centered on cords.
Play with Texture
Corduroy pants have a distinct texture that can sometimes appear a little masculine. To look sexy in your cords, combine the pants with pieces that have a contrasting texture. In particular, delicate fabrics like lace or a sheer material are good options because they have a more feminine feel. Wear corduroy pants with a lacy camisole or top to keep your look flirty. Silk and satin blouses are striking with cords because the fabrics have a smooth texture that contrasts with the rougher look of the corduroy.
Corduroy pants may seem more studious than edgy, but it’s pretty easy to give them some rock 'n' roll flavor. For a night out or any time you want to look a little dangerous, slip on pants in a bold color, such as red, magenta or cobalt. Pair them with a fitted leather jacket and a tank or tee that features embellishments like studs or sequins. When it comes to shoes, go tough with motorcycle style boots or sexy with stiletto heels.
Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.