Corduroy pants (or cords, if you’re fluent in preppy fashion abbreviations) are back, babes. After exploding onto the fashion scene in the 1970s, receiving a mega-boost from a certain world-famous princess in the '90s, cords began popping up in the 'fits of fashion-forward celebs. Sure, they haven't reached the same dizzying heights of popularity as other throwback trends, but we like to think that's simply because they're too toasty to wear in warmer weather, making them a truly seasonal staple. Nine times of out 10, if you'd wear something with jeans or trousers, you can wear it with cords—as the outfits below prove.
Try a Casual Silhouette
Corduroy pants are most commonly found in flare or wide-leg silhouettes, but this cold-weather staple also looks great in other styles. If you like to stand out from the crowd, try something unexpected like a pair of corduroy cargo pants with a matching jacket or corduroy track pants.
When styling a pair of corduroy sweats or track pants, we recommend wearing them with platform sneakers and a crop top for a Y2K vibe or a pair of pumps and a bralette. Another fun way to make the most of casual cords is to cuff them at the ankle. Not only does it allow you to show off a great pair of shoes, but it also highlights the delicious duality of this pants' texture.
Match a Matching Moment
Is getting dressed ever easier than when you're putting on a matching set? We certainly don't think so. If you're planning on rocking head-to-toe corduroy separates, we recommend playing with silhouette and choosing one piece that fits closely while the other is roomier. If you'd rather go for a more formal look, don't sleep on suiting.
Corduroy suits strike the tricky balance between polished and casual, making them an ideal outfit for days when you want an effortlessly elevated look. We recommend choosing a loose-fitting or oversized corduroy suit jacket or blazer that offers enough room to layer long-sleeve tops and sweaters. For bottoms, a sleek corduroy tapered pant delivers a striking aesthetic, especially with a pair of sharp pumps, while wide-leg corduroy pants have a more relaxed vibe.
While rich jewel-toned corduroys look great, there's something delightful about an unexpected pair of vibrant corduroy pants. For a truly standout look, try pairing these brightly colored pants with a top and accessories in an equally vibrant contrasting shade like purple, pink, or electric green. Alternatively, you can tone down the vibrancy of your look by working in classic pieces in neutral tones like a chic black turtleneck or cream-colored blouse.
Embrace High-Waisted Cords
Corduroys were hugely popular in the '70s so, when in doubt about what to wear with corduroy pants, try '70s-inspired styling. A button-down shirt with an exaggerated collar and a vintage doctor bag or satchel creates a deliciously post-mod(ern) anachronistic vibe. Nothing says, "I'm living my best '70s trend revival life," like pairing high-waisted corduroy pants with a well-worn graphic t-shirt. (Bonus fashion points are rewarded for a tee that's distressed enough to look truly vintage.)
To keep things casual and cozy, pull on an oversized cardigan or dress up the look with a blazer.
Wearing a flannel top with corduroy pants is a fall fashion no-brainer. If you prefer a high-waisted silhouette, opt for a lightweight flannel you can tuck into your pants. If your closet is full of oversized flannel shirts, grab a beanie and colorful sneakers for a casual corduroy pants outfit with a bit of street-style edge.
Play With Pleats
If you're stuck on styling corduroy pants, we recommend reaching for a silhouette that you love in more traditional denim or work pants. A wide-leg, pleated corduroy pant with a puddle hem is an elevated option that can be swapped out for jeans or trousers to add a pop of color to a semi-casual look.
Reach for a Relaxed Fit
Sometimes, the name of the game is simply being cozy. For days when you just need your outfit to give you a 24-hour hug, grab a loose-fitting pair of cords and a slouchy sweater for a corduroy pants outfit that is stealthily sophisticated. Swapping out your go-to jeans or leggings for a pair of cords in chillier weather is a great way to add some variety to your ultra-casual 'fit rotation. The most basic crewneck sweatshirts and snuggliest flannel shirts get a bit of elevation when worn with corduroy pants.
Relaxed and loose-fit corduroy pants also work well in matching sets. Since cords are so visually distinctive, you don't run the same risk of being swallowed up by oversized corduroy separates that you would with other fabrics. Case in point: an oversized corduroy shacket and matching baggy pants are easily broken up when paired with a cropped button-down top.
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