The corduroy fabric is one of the most unique in fashion. With its distinctive rib pattern, cords offer the wearer the perfect combination of style and comfort. However, if you’ve never bought a pair of corduroy trousers or shorts, then you may be a little apprehensive when it comes to the options available. So, how do you know which will work best for you? Queue our buying guide!
This guide will give you the top tips to consider, and, we'll also give you a peek at the 10 best men's cords available in the UK. We've got skinny cords, slim fit cords, and 5 pocket cords, including a wide range of styles suitable for both work or play. So get ready to discover this strong, durable and supremely comfortable new addition to your wardrobe.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the main considerations when buying cords. Due to companies not often explaining their choice of pattern, the decisions to be made are similar to when buying jeans, chinos etc. So, we’ll be looking at the different fits, colourways, pants vs shorts and how many pockets you can expect.
The first consideration is to find a fit to suit your style. There are generally four options to choose from - skinny, slim, straight and wide fit. This section will take a look at each one individually.
Traditionally, cords did not come in slimmer profiles. However, due to the tastes of the past decade or so, companies have begun to develop their style. Now, some of the most popular choices of cords come in skinny and slim fit.
While these two styles are slightly different, the idea behind them is essentially the same. Both skinny and slim cords offer a narrower fit than the others (skinny being slimmer than slim) as the legs taper from the hip to the ankle. This fit tends to suit those who have a naturally slimmer build. However, if you feel good in skinny or slim trousers, don’t be put off taking the plunge! This is only advice, after all.
Straight fit is the classic corduroy style. As the name implies, straight fit trousers have a consistent leg width that runs from the hip to the ankle. Therefore, these offer greater movement and flexibility but will feel a little more snug in the thigh than the lower leg.
This cut works for several different styling scenarios. From relaxed, everyday aesthetics to smart-casual, given that you pair them with the right outfit. Straight fit trousers are also some of the most popular because they are excellent at suiting all types of figures, making them a great choice if you're a little unsure which style to go for.
Finally, we have wide leg cords. While slim and skinny jeans have dominated fashion over the past 15 years or so, the tide must be turning as the industry is starting to make more and more wide leg and boot cut trousers.
Now, these aren’t to be confused with bell bottoms or flares (we’ve not travelled back to the 70s!), these styles have a leg that is as wide at the hem as it is throughout the thigh, knees and calves.
This is also a versatile cut that can be styled baggy or straight, depending on the length of the leg. They tend to have a button-up front, similar to jeans, and the wide leg corduroy is considered a much more casual style that's not particularly suited to formal events.
If you’ve ever looked into buying corduroy before, then you’ll likely have seen that, for the most part, corduroy is considered a trouser material. This is likely because of its durability and the warmth provided by the thickness of the cotton pattern. However, lately, brands have begun to explore it with shorts.
The material makes corduroy shorts a solid choice for evening or formal wear and provides a nice change in texture if you’re usually wearing chinos or jeans. While they might not have fully caught on yet, we think cord shorts are definitely worth exploring.
One thing to mention with corduroy shorts is that they usually only come in one fit – regular. Therefore, if you prefer slimmer or baggier shorts, this material might not be the best choice.
Next up, you’ll want to consider the colour. Like many garments in men’s fashion, companies tend to favour neutral colours which pair easily with the rest of one’s wardrobe, such as blacks, blues and beiges. That said, from time to time, they’ll spread their wings and include some olive green or rusted oranges. These are a little more experimental, but not so out-there and still easily styled.
However, as with chinos, coloured corduroys aren’t completely uncommon either as you can find bright reds and greens, should you be inclined to explore some bold options. You could also go for the pastel trend of lilacs and off whites to give your look a summery vibe.
As always, when it comes to exploring bold colours, you’ll want to be careful with the rest of your attire to ensure that the colours complement one another and don’t clash or become too garish.
Finally, something that should always be considered, whenever you're talking trousers or shorts, is the pocket situation. Many blokes don’t like carrying bags, which means we need to have a good set of pockets to ensure that we can ferry all of our accessories such as phones, keys, wallets and lighters.
As with many other styles of trousers, the corduroy commonly comes with five pockets – three on the front, including the little key pocket, and two on the back. Sometimes, companies will forgo the front pocket and have two side-slanted pockets similar to a smart pair of trousers. The third and final option is the classic cargo, which has two sides, two back and two leg pockets.
With shorts, you’ll be a little more limited as there’s only really one option, the classic two side-slanted pockets and two at the back. However, this should be more than enough for your bits and bobs.
Now that we’ve departed all of our corduroy wisdom upon you, it’s time to take a look at some of the best ones you can buy online. We've included a range of options from the skater-esq wide leg to slim straight cargo cords, and quite literally, everything in between.
|Colour||Various colours available|
Straight Fit 5 Pocket Corduroys
Easy Cord Tapered Trousers
Wide Leg Cord Trousers
Skinny Fit Corduroy Trousers
Chilli Ray Cord Shorts
Cargo Cord Trousers
Tapered Cord Trousers
Loose Cord Trousers
The Pair of Cords That Work for Every Man
A Top-Quality Product From a Top Brand
When Art Meets Clothes With Drawstring Cords
A Relaxed Pair to Complete Your Baggy Outfit
Bright Red Cords For the Flamboyant Few
Balancing Traditional and Modern
An Amalgamation of Different Designs
Ease Your Way Into the World of Cords
Short Shorts That Are Bold but Versatile
The Perfect Cords for a Summer Wardrobe
|Fit||Straight||Regular||Slim||Wide leg||Skinny||Regular||Slim||Slim||Regular||Straight/wide leg|
|Colour||Various colours available||Green||Black||Grey||Red||Brown||Green||Beige||Light green||Off-white|
If this article on cords has inspired you to update your wardrobe, take a look at some of our other men's fashion articles where we've reviewed everything from the best bow ties to the best ripped jeans. Here are a few links below to get you started, but check out our 'Clothing' category for more!
Whether you're looking for some cords to mix up your wardrobe or fine-tune that relaxed vibe, if you follow the advice in our buying guide, we're confident you'll find the perfect pair, or two. Here's to taking advantage of the many different fabrics available, and certainly, one that every man should have in his wardrobe!
Author: Lewis Clark
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