Corduroy Suits Part I: Dressed-Up
February 8th, 2013
A corduroy suit is a beautiful thing.
It’s formal enough for most offices, but has a laidback charm to it.
Best part is, when you invest in a corduroy suit you get three wardrobe essentials: a versatile seasonal suit, a timeless pair of go-to trousers, and a sports jacket you can wear casually.
As the first of a two-part series, here’s three corduroy suits: dressed up.
1. Go-to Grey
There’s no question a grey flannel suit is a menswear staple. Men have been wearing them for decades and they look good on everybody.
A grey cord suit, in my opinion, can pull all the same moves as the uber-popular flannel, but performs a little better on the weekend.
Winter is all about texture.
Try mixing beefy, three-dimensional fabrics to stay warm and give your outfit some depth.
A grey suit works with black or brown shoes.
It’s not necessary to match your buttons to your shoes, but I chose black leather buttons for this suit because I plan to wear it with black more often than brown.
2. Navy Wide-Wale DB
Corduroy comes in a variety of wale widths (the size/density of the vertical “ribbings”). This one has a noticeably wider wale, making the fabric heavier and more velvety (velvet is essentially corduroy without the “ribbing”).
This cloth is a beast. It’s so dense that it holds a stiff drape, hardly showing movement wrinkles.
A waistcoat hidden under a double-breasted suit is a nice touch. This one has peak lapels, making it a great piece to wear on its own as well.
With all three pieces in such a heavy cloth, this suit needs no overcoat. The jacket also serves as a versatile outerwear piece during the Spring and Fall. I often wear it as a “tailored peacoat”.
This cheap polyester tie is from my late grandfather. He was a farmer who lived a modest life working with his hands.
It’s probably worth about $2, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look like a million bucks.
And of course, if it has sentimental value, all the better.
3. Tan Pincord
Everybody wears khaki suits in the summer, but nobody wears them in the winter.
A tan corduroy suit is the cold-weather equivalent of the popular khaki cotton suit. It’s also an easy way to stand out from the crowd of grey, navy, and black that dominates the winter.
I’ve had this suit for a couple years…since the F/W sample run of MAB by Dan Trepanier (which unfortunately never came to life).
Just like any other cotton garment, the more you wear it the softer and more confortbale it gets. Corduroy breaks in beautifully and molds to the wearer’s body over time. That’s why men treat their old cords like old friends.
The suit has a hint of casual, so feel free to amp it up with a pair of shoes that shows you mean business.
- Fair isle knit scarf by Ralph Lauren Polo
- Khaki corduroy suit
- Brown bandana as pocket square
- Pale brown plaid shirt
- Brown striped tie by Ralph Lauren Black Label
- Forest green wool cardigan by Uniqlo
- Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
- Leather/suede double monkstrap shoes by Scarpe di Bianco
Thanks, as always, for reading. Part II: dressed-down coming soon.
Yours in style,
Photography by Alex Crawford.