The best corduroy suits and how to wear them


Unless you’ve lived under a rock, you’ll have noticed that the sewing is undergoing one of the biggest renovations in tailor’s history. Because fewer and fewer people need a suit for work, choosing to wear one becomes more a matter of style than dress codes. And that means options: more fits, more fabrics, more styles than ever. The corduroy suit is at the head of this new wave of redesigned couture.

Once the weary uniform of weary academics, this once stuffed fabric has found a new lease of life. While there’s not a single moment we can attribute its rejuvenation to, we can strangely thank director Wes Anderson for showcasing it extensively in his films and personal wardrobe; as well as the rise of workwear and the growing desire of stylish men for tough, durable fabrics that can be worn hard and often.

“I see the cord as the everyday alternative to velvet – it’s luxurious without being pretentious,” says Holly Macnaghten, stylist and fashion editor who has worked with Bill Nighy and Ralph Fiennes. “It’s stylish, but it also has a bit of old-fashioned charm that I love.”

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At the same time, corduroy is part of a larger movement within menswear as the way we dress today becomes more casual, flowing and relaxed. This’ 70s classic molds better than any wool-blend two-piece. It remains to be convinced of its power of attraction? Read on to find out how – and why – you should try a corduroy suit.

How to wear a corduroy suit

The beauty of the corduroy suit is its versatility, whether you wear it for work or a more casual occasion. Our best advice? Keep the rest of your outfit simple. The costume will be a pretty big statement on its own, and you don’t want to overwhelm it with a mass of varying tones, textures, and silhouettes.

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For a simple look that works just as well for a casual day at the office as it does for a weekend dinner, try on a white cotton tee and pair it with your favorite sneakers. For something slightly smarter, a turtleneck that’s fitted – but not tight to the body – is a good option. Either way, Wes Anderson would approve, but so would your mother.

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Pick any color, just make sure it’s not the exact same tone as the suit, and pair it with desert or Chelsea boots. And for men who are already comfortable with the drawstring and ready to really pop it out, grab a denim shirt, worn naked and undone with a T-shirt underneath, and add some high top sneakers.

What to look for when buying a corduroy suit

“I see the cord as the perfect alternative to lightweight cotton, especially in winter: it’s warm, strong and durable, and it doesn’t wrinkle as much as cotton,” says Henry Hales, founder of the men’s clothing brand. Sirplus.

Start by thinking about the silhouette you want. For more casual occasions, choose something more boxy and utilitarian-inspired, which will likely have two or four pockets and looser pants. For something a little more elegant for more chic occasions, choose a double-breasted suit with tailored pants and pair it with a slim turtleneck and leather derby shoes.

How to wear a corduroy suit

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Next comes the color. It helps to determine which shades normally suit your skin tone before making an investment. Navy blue, gray, and beige are all good everyday basics, but if you want to go for something a little more daring, go for deep reds, rusty orange, or forest green.

Finally, think about how thick you want it to be. Corduroy comes in many weights (or galls), and the width of each individual stripe has an effect on this. The thinner the cord, the thinner the silhouette and the thicker the cord, the more voluminous the silhouette. Consider this if you want to layer your corduroy suit.

The best brands of corduroy suits

From high end to high end, you’ll be hard pressed to find a brand that doesn’t offer corduroy suits this season. Depending on your budget, the style you are looking for and where you plan to wear the corduroy jumpsuit, there are brands to suit every taste.

The man at the top

If you’ve experienced the trend before and are ready to take it up a notch, Topman is a good place to start. Bold colors are an integral part of the Main Street pillar, so opt for burnt orange and brown tones for your winter sewing solution.

For a more contemporary take on modern couture, wear your new corduroy suit with a black crew-neck tee and minimal white sneakers.

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Autumnal Brown Corduroy Tailored Fit Double Breasted Suit Blazer with Notch Lapels

Nordic projects

Nordic projects brings a new casual to the corduroy suit with a chore coat style jacket. Bold colors are also popular with the brand, but if you want to break up the colors a bit, wear the corduroy jacket and pants as separate pieces for the perfect interpretation of a deconstructed suit.

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Corduroy suit

John Lewis & Associates

For a middle ground option that easily mixes the stylish and the casual, try John Lewis & Partners. The corduroy jacket and pants of her mid-rise chunky corduroy suits are custom cut and fully lined, so they promise to fend off the winter chill in the most stylish way possible.

Pair it with a sheer navy or black turtleneck and add a cow blood leather moccasin for a crisp everyday look that’s hard to beat.

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John Lewis & Partners cotton-corduroy suit jacket

Brunello Cucinelli

For the ultimate in fabric, construction and price, Brunello Cucinelli is the only option. The Italian house has made corduroy a signature in recent years.

It’s the perfect fabric choice for the brand’s unstructured tailoring, which pairs well with denim, cotton and cashmere – three other fabrics Cucinelli has mastered. Look out for its one-and-a-half crossed jackets, the refined silhouette par excellence.

Buy nowBRUNELLO CUCINELLI Royal Blue Cotton Corduroy Blazer

Kingsman at Mr Porter

If you’re looking for something smarter and higher, you’ll want to trust a true tailoring pioneer like Kingsman. Her beautifully fitted suits are perfect for more chic occasions, especially when worn with a white shirt, tie and clutch. Look for the finer corduroy that the brand tends to prefer, giving their suits a velvet-like sheen.

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KINGSMAN Slim fit brown cotton-blend corduroy suit jacket

Am i

Sewing today is more diverse than ever, and this is especially true when it comes to adapting. Look for something slightly oversized and look to the French brand AMI. Its house cut features a slightly boxy silhouette and is perfect for layering when the weather gets colder. Even his matching straight-leg pants have been designed with maximum comfort in mind.

Add a dark hoodie and a pair of black Chelsea boots for a modern take on everyday work wear.

Buy nowAMI green cotton corduroy suit jacket

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