If you have traveled around the sun enough times you are old enough to have seen a trend come, go and come back again.   Eventually everything old becomes new again, like it or not.  This fall, corduroy is making a comeback.  Truly, I can’t remember the last time I wore corduroy.  Maybe in the early 90’s when I was in high school?  It’s so far back in my life that when I saw corduroy making a comeback I realized I had all but forgotten that this fabric ever existed.

I’m not sure where I stand on corduroy.  Often upon a trend’s return it takes a bit for it to sink in.  There have been plenty of trends I gave into after some time.  I polled my closed Facebook Group members about it and the general consensus was mixed with a slight leaning towards “not being thrilled about its return.”  Perhaps corduroy is another one of those “cilantro things” I always talk about?  Either you love it or hate it, there is no in-between.

So if you love corduroy or you’re just on the fence because you’re not sure yet, I put together a few looks using this now-trendy fabric to help you figure it out where you stand.

How to Wear Corduroy this Fall

Outfit #1


I walked past a boutique in my neighborhood and saw a pair of corduroy culottes, like this pair from Elizabeth and James.  I could’t help but wonder who would wear these pants.  If it is cold enough to wear corduroy why would you want to wear wide leg cropped pants?  There is as much logic to this as owning a convertible in the Tundra.  However, the trend is everywhere, and my guess it will also be all over the sales rack in spring too.  Just a guess.  Can you imagine what the gush of wind would feel like rushing up the legs of these pants?

Admittedly, I struggled to put an outfit together using these pants.  I wondered about styling them with booties but then wondered about that weird strip of skin between the booties and the pants.  Tall boots?  Not unless you want to look like a traditional Russian dancer.  After much struggle, I just decided to go with these sweater knit pumps from Charles by Charles David, not because the sweater fabric of the shoes will provide extra warmth, they’re just cool.  You’ll just have to deal with cold ankles.  I added this ivory ruffle detail top from BOSS Hugo Boss, a taupe tote from Sole Society and statement earrings from J. Crew.

Outfit #2

Another trend for fall, the oversized jacket which will be popular in corduroy and makes me want to find a corner and roll up like a little ball and patiently wait for the resurgence of 90’s fashion to just go away.  They belted the style I am showing from Zara with a leather belt on the website because don’t you just want to belt chunky corduroy?  Seriously, guys, am I getting too old for this profession?

I will admit, the of the corduroy jacket is absolutely lovely and I used it to create this tonal look.  I added a relaxed blush sweater from Free People (bonus of the oversized jacket: it’s easy to put a chunky sweater underneath it), a pair of olive jeans from Wit & Wisdom, brown boots from UGG, burgundy backpack from Urban Originals and soft pink earrings from Kendra Scott.

Outfit #3

Call me a corduroy purist, but I like simplicity in my corduroy, like in this basic mini in camel.  It’s less heavy on trend and much easier to wear than the previous two looks.  I styled it with an ivory sweater from Vince, brown weatherproof boots in brown from Aquatalia and navy opaque tights from Boden.  I finished the outfit with a printed scarf from Bp., chocolate brown tote from Madwell and mini disc hoop earrings.

Outfit #4


These corduroy pants from Theory are likely more palatable than the wide leg cropped pants featured in the first look.  They have a narrower wale, the more wales or ridges per inch of the fabric the finer the wale.  Typically, narrower wales are easier to wear and drape more easily.

I styled these pants with a drapey blouse in ivory, a pair of comfortable olive booties from Rockport and bag from See by Chloe and long necklace from Banana Republic.

Outfit #5


When it comes to trends you don’t necessarily have to go all in.  Certainly you can just add a little dash to your existing wardrobe like I did here with this corduroy beret from Brixton that works beautifully with this plaid coat.  I styled the look with an olive dress from J. Crew, camel heeled boots from Marc Fisher, a gold collar necklace from Ann Taylor and grey scarf from Halogen.

Shop for corduroy

Looking for more corduroy?  Check out these additional styles.