The Revival of Corduroy: Making Retro Corduroy Pants Work for Today

By: Sarah Hodges.

Published on

- 4 min read

Corduroy is making a huge comeback and it’s not just your dad’s go-to fabric anymore. From catwalks to street style, those unmistakable vertical ribs are everywhere, proving that corduroy pants can indeed be the ultimate retro revival for today’s fashion-forward crowd. But how exactly do we take these vintage staples and make them work for the modern wardrobe? Let’s dive in.


The Comeback Kid

Once relegated to the back of the closet, corduroy is now front and center. With its rich texture and warmth, it’s perfect for those transitional seasons. The key to making corduroy pants work today is to focus on the fit and color. High-waisted styles with a slight flare at the bottom are particularly on-trend, offering a nod to the ’70s while still feeling fresh. When it comes to color, think beyond the basic browns: vibrant greens, deep blues, and even pastel shades are all in play.

Corduroy’s versatility is also part of its charm. You can dress it up with a silk blouse and heels or keep it casual with a simple tee and sneakers. And let’s not forget about layering – a chunky knit sweater thrown over the top is quintessential autumnal style.

The Texture Play

The beauty of corduroy lies in its texture. This ribbed fabric adds depth to any outfit, making it an interesting alternative to denim or wool trousers. To really let the texture sing, pair your corduroy pants with contrasting materials. Think a smooth leather jacket, a delicate lace top, or a sleek satin camisole. This interplay of textures will give your outfit a curated, intentional feel.

When styling corduroy, remember that the fabric itself is a statement. Keep the rest of your outfit relatively simple to avoid overwhelming your look. Stick with solid colors and let the pants do the talking.


Fit and Flare

The revival of corduroy brings with it a renaissance of silhouettes. The ‘70s-inspired flared legs are perfect for elongating the figure, especially when paired with a platform or a block heel. However, for those who prefer a more contemporary look, slim-fit corduroy pants are equally stylish. They’re great for creating a streamlined silhouette and can be easily tucked into boots for a sleek winter ensemble.

Remember to pay attention to the waistband as well. A well-fitted waist is crucial, especially if you’re tucking in tops or going for a cropped jacket. A belt can also be a great addition to cinch in the waist and add an extra element to your outfit.

Seasonal Shades

One of the great things about corduroy is the way it takes on color. The texture of the fabric adds depth to rich autumnal hues, making them pop even more. For fall, look to warm tones like mustard yellows, rusty oranges, and deep reds. These colors not only complement the fabric but also match the season’s palette.

In the cooler months, don’t shy away from lighter shades. A pair of pale pink corduroy pants can brighten up a dreary day and look stunning when paired with winter whites or metallics. It’s all about balancing the heaviness of the fabric with light and airy colors.


Care and Keeping

Corduroy’s durability is one of its strong suits, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a little TLC. When caring for corduroy, always check the care label first. Most corduroy pants can be machine washed, but it’s generally best to turn them inside out to protect the ribs. Avoid the dryer if you can; air drying will help maintain the shape and texture of the fabric.

If you do find the ribs have flattened out after washing, a gentle brush with a soft-bristled brush can help bring the texture back to life. Just remember to brush in the direction of the fabric to avoid any damage.

Corduroy pants are not just a fleeting trend; they’re a timeless piece that’s made a full-fledged return to the fashion world. Whether you’re embracing the vintage vibe or giving them a modern twist, these ribbed beauties are sure to add some texture and warmth to your wardrobe. So go ahead, give those cords a whirl and show the world that retro really can be reinvented for today’s style scene.