With its touchable texture and retro appeal, corduroy is irresistible. It can also be hard to style if you're new to wearing this wonderfully warm fabric that's known as an autumn staple. A few tips and tricks make creating an outfit around your favorite cords easy though, and you'll look forward to the first cool days just so you have an excuse to put them on.
Much like women's jeans, the cut of your cords largely determines what kind of shoes and boots look best with them. Skinny corduroy pants are nice with ballet flats, flares look smart over boots and a straight leg goes with just about anything. Make sure your shoes don't clash with your pants, though. Anything that features eye-catching colors, crazy textures or flashy touches (like big buckles or metallic accents) might be too much.
Be careful when it comes to busy patterns and corduroy. A bold plaid or a smattering of polka dots can be too much when worn with a material that's so richly textured and often comes in bright hues. When in doubt, stick to plain, single-color tops, like a black tee or a white button-down. If you really want to wear a patterned shirt though, try it with darker cords, as they're a bit more understated.
And speaking of shirts, a denim shirt or chambray top is a natural match for corduroy. The contrasting textures play off one another perfectly for effortless cool. Just tuck your shirt in, add a leather belt and roll up the sleeves for the ultimate laidback look. If you like, you can also wear a denim shirt or a plain tee and your favorite pair of sneakers.
There's something about corduroy that recalls the 60s and 70s, so don't shy away from vintage-inspired looks and old school shades, like rust and goldenrod. Wide leg cords, big leather boots and a turtleneck are the perfect bohemian-chic combination. If you dare, wear matching corduroy blazer with your pants or slip on a beat-up jean jacket with a fuzzy shearling collar.
You can find corduroy pants in almost any color, including pale pastels, bright jewel tones and dark hues, so don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Wear those hot pink cords for a night out instead of your black tuxedo pants or designer jeans and wait for the compliments to roll in. Try a pine green pair with a gray sweater and reach for some in purple when spring arrives. And there's no pressure to coordinate the rest of your outfit down to the last button – just pick a simple shirt and shoes and let your pants do the talking.
Color is also important to consider when it comes to the season. Though corduroy pants are more of a cold weather staple, you can get away with the right pair when the days are warm. Something in robin's egg blue, lilac purple or baby pink will make your spring wardrobe pop and these same shades can be summer-friendly, too. A cropped cut is also good for nice days and looks cute with mules, flats and sandals.
Choosing corduroy pants that flatter your figure is probably the most important thing when it comes to making them look good. A boot leg or flare cut balances out the curves of an hourglass figure and a straight leg fit has the same effect on a pear-shaped body by making you seem taller and slimmer. Tapered skinny jeans made from corduroy are stunning on a boyish build and can even make you appear more voluptuous.
The rich smoothness of silk makes it the perfect partner for corduroy. Wear your pants with a flowing silk blouse or tee and the different fabrics will play off one another perfectly. Black cords are particularly stunning with a bright red collared silk blouse. Just add some high-heeled boots and you'll have a sophisticated outfit that's perfect for dinner at that new restaurant downtown.