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The 10 Commandments of Corduroy

  • Kempt Staff


It’s finally that time of year again...

The morning air is crisper. The leaves are beginning to turn. And the ominous specter of pumpkin spice looms large...

Ah, yes, it’s corduroy season. But before you go forth, draped in corrugated cotton, filling the world with that singularly indescribable sound of corduroy rubbing against itself, you need to heed these rules:

Behold, the 10 Commandments of Corduroy...

1. Beginneth with the Basics. A trusty pair of corduroy pants is always a good start—and end, really—when it comes to dipping your toe in the world of corduroy.

2. Watch Thy Wale. The fineness of a corduroy’s ribbing is counted by the wales—the wider ones pair well with chunky, outdoorsy fabrics, while the thinner ones can look dressier. (But beware of the extremes: too thin and you’ll look stiff, too thick and you’re veering into crushed-velvet territory.)

3. Speaketh of Velvet... Don’t mix the two. Consider them the oil and water of fall/winter fabrics. (Velvet is oil, obviously.)

4. Consider the Shirt. Corduroy has, for too long, been banished to your lower half—but recently more and more good-looking corduroy shirts have been popping up. In fact, they’re an October Must-Have.

5. The Rule of Two. Keep it to no more than two pieces of corduroy on your person at all times. But never tucked into one another—which means no Cordnadian Tuxes of matching shirt and pants, or wearing a corduroy pocket square in a cord blazer.

6. Venture Beyond the Browns. Your typical corduroy pants or blazer usually comes in a shade from wheat to russet brown, but there’s a whole spectrum of other colors out there: a deep-emerald corduroy pant, for instance, can do wonders for an autumnal getup. The more adventurous can opt for any shade that evokes the color of a turning leaf.

7. When Thou Least Expect. Wearing corduroy in an unexpected way—like a bow tie—is a good way to inject an autumnal shot into your daily uniform. (Just remember to heed Commandment 5.)

8. Thy Corduroy Blazer. Always.

9. Thy Corduroy Suit. Sometimes. (Especially when you’re feeling particularly Wes Andersonian.)

10. Thy Corduroy Tuxedo. Never. (We hope those don’t actually exist.)