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.


    • Oatmeal hand-knit scarf by Yokoo Scarves
    • Grey corduroy suit
    • White cotton pocket square
    • Grey/Burgundy windowpane shirt
    • Burgundy wool knit tie Vintage
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Black woven leather gloves by Hilts and Willard
    • Black leather/suede spectator wingtip shoes by Barker Black

    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

    11 2

    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
    • 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,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • David

      I live in a relatively fashion-conservative city, where I’m surrounded by charcoal and navy, no matter the season. Last week, I wore a tan corduroy suit, just like #3, and received a number of compliments.

      Great stuff guys.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Making the world a more complimentary place, one corduroy suit at a time :)

        Thanks for reading David

    • Tony Rich

      Look 2 is incredible. Quick question – How would you describe the toe on the shoes in look 3? I have a pair of Ferragamo monk straps with the same toe and someone accused me of wearing a square toed shoe. I’ve been moderately self conscious of them since, but that guy’s probably a Herb, no?

      • Joseph

        I’m far from an expert, but I believe that sort of toe is called a chisel toe.

    • Joe

      I like the touch of your grandfather’s tie. Did you alter the width? I have some older ties I like, but the widths are way over the top (~4 inches), and I’m not sure if that’s an fix for an alterations shop. (Maybe a garment doctor post…)

    • Ace F

      I like the 3rd sample. But still think I will not be able to look good in a corduroy like the man Dan. Never tried it and probably never will. I guess I need more confidence. lol.

    • Andrew Salunga

      Nice touch with the tie. My wife’s family is from the Midwest, and her maternal grandfather used to run an old five and dime. Like me, he wasn’t very tall, they didn’t have much, but he was always impeccably tailored. I’ve got one of his hand painted silk ties, and I’m figuring out how to wear a ‘hybrid’ tie–too long to be a bow tie, to short to be a full-length. I’m thinking of a rancher style set-up–an homage to all those Filipino/Chinese cattlemen in my history (um, no, but who cares, right?)

    • Jules

      Good choice going for some fuller cut suits – I think they look much more masculine

    • Bobbybooth

      The navy look is banging. Insanely cool. How many suits must you own at this point? Thats actually a post I would like to see, the TSB wardrobe collection!

    • ELKIN

      love your blog dude, thanks for the link on those gloves!

    • Layton

      I have a huge collection of ties and most of the are old cheap ties like in look #2. I love the old school skinny ties.

    • Fletch

      Hey guys – love the matching with the waistcoat! What if the waistcoat and jacket don’t have the same wales? I have a black waistcoat with diagonal wide wales, and a sport coat with thin vertical wales. Possible or absurd?

      As always – love the inspiration!!

      • Brooks

        That look could only work with these:

        Horizontal corduroy pants (to go with the aforementioned vertical sport coat and diagonal waistcoat). That might look subtly cool if you dyed them all the same color.

        Besides that, however, don’t do it. It’ll throw people off–they’ll look for why the sheens are different on the two pieces rather than paying attention to YOU. It’s like wearing a suit where the color of the pants and jacket occupy the space between match and contrast. Just doesn’t work.

    • dani

      I love the green/khaki colour combination on #3. And the pattern play between shirt, accessories, and tie, and then also the shoes! Suede goes really nicely with corduroy, and the leather/suede combo is always cool.

    • Jordan

      Great looks all across the board, A+,

      Btw Dan, how many suits do you own?!

      straight killin it bro

    • Anon

      My god, hell of a post. You killed it in all 3 looks! I love all the subtle patterns, stripes, and scarf matching and pairing with shoes that just make you own it. There is always something to learn from you.

    • Miguel

      Dan, I’m loving the blue CORDUROY suit, where you got it if available?

    • Brady

      Wide wale cord can look so nice.. never seen it on a DB three piece though. Leave it to Dan. Well done yet again

    • Mark

      That navy DB three-piece is one of the mist singularly fascinating suits I have ever seen. Taking fashion to a whole new level. And perfect for today’s storm.

    • TO

      Really one of my favorite posts you’ve done. The three looks are great- love all the style comparisons of a grey flannel suit, wide wale and velvet, and a khaki cotton suit on each, respectively. Great pattern mix in the third look (shirt+tie)!

      Lots of inspiration for me personally, and new-found openness to a great fabric! Wow, can’t wait for part two.

      PS- the single breasted vest on the DB suit is such a unexpeted gem.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Thanks TO. Always appreciate the love. What’s up with those before/after pics?

    • LouCaves

      I’ve adopted the bandana as a pocket square thanks to TSB! It’s made me look at the potential of other fabrics and patterns that are not necessarily “pocket squares.”

      Thanks for your work on this site, TSB.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Thinking outside the box…gotta love it

      • Mr E

        If you know anyone who can do a finishing seam on a serger, you have access to very unique and custom pocket squares.

        I’ve had a few made from Liberty of London fabrics and they are always favourably commented upon.

    • Ali

      I think we need a post on your guys’ closets. Give us a little insight on how you store/organize everything.

      • Dan Trepanier

        We have a “tour” of sorts in our new video series…

      • Joe

        Great idea for a post/how-to.

    • Jerome

      What a beautiful post, can’t wait for Part 2!

      • Dan Trepanier

        Thx Jerome

    • Sergio

      Dan, the 3-piece Navy DB suit is beautiful! You got me thinking of this as a possible addition, especially with the “tailored peacoat” comment. Simply awesome.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Thanks player. One of my favorite jackets for sure.

    • Brian

      Thanks for showing that looks generally deemed unseasonal–white pants in winter, and here, the khaki suit–can work; and work really, really well.

    • Luigi Cuneo

      Well, no pleats this time ? :P
      However, handsome suits, Dan :)

    • cam

      so no plans moving fwd with ur own line?

      • Dan Trepanier

        I never said that :)

        Plenty of plans…

        • cam

          good news. i got a little nervous there for a second

          • TimL

            Wow, I was just looking at the old vids yesterday…love those.
            But I thought the same thing, “what happened to Dan’s line?” Good to know you still got plans.
            ps. how about another video?

            • Brian

              Pretty sure he had problems with the distributor, that’s why it never came to light.

              • Dan Trepanier

                We never had a distributor for that collection. It’s complicated.

                We’ll be rolling out some awesome new products this year. Been working on store tech development for weeks… Stay tuned.

    • Brian

      Unstoppable. Such an inspiring read. Kudos.

      • Dan Trepanier


        Kudos to you sir.

    • Mustafa K

      Crushing it as usually Dan – I have the same cardigan from Uniqlo in maroon. The Barker Black wingtips in look #1 might be my all time favorite shoes on this site.

    • DJ

      3-pc DB cord suit… That is an awesome piece!!

    • http://ramblingsofawould-berenaissanceman.blogspot Joseph

      Need. Three Piece. Corduroy suit.

    • John

      The grey suit is awesome! Can’t wait for part two!