I discovered corduroy when I was eight years old. My little sister was in prep, and it was her turn to take home the class bear, Corduroy. Named for the fabric his little navy-blue vest was made from, Corduroy was a matted old thing. The stress from being passed from student to student each week was evident in his lacklustre faux fur and hazy eyes. Not to mention the musky smell, picked up cuddling one germy kid after another.
But his corduroy jacket stuck with me. In honour of that old bear, that winter I was inspired to pick up some mauve tie-dye corduroy flares. By Christmas, I owned a pair of navy corduroy sneakers, too.
Seventeen years on, just as ’70s flares and retro tees come full circle, corduroy is back (not the bear – though memories of him live on in the photos of him and my sister playing cards – but the textile).
Usually made of cotton or a cotton and polyester blend, it’s woven and cut into a raised, striped pattern known as cords, ribs or wales. It’s a strong, durable fabric that’s seen most often in winter, but can also be carried through to the warmer months, especially if you go for a softer texture with a thin, fine rib.
Here are the best new corduroy buys for your wardrobe and your home.
Pairs for your pins
We’re absolutely obsessed with Bassike’s long-rise cord pants, which are easily dressed up or down (and roomy enough for long days on the couch). This ankle-brushing trouser from Acne Studios is a real statement pair, in bright mandarin with a built-in belt. And these wide-leg tailored pants by Kuwaii balance comfort and structure.
Afends’ flower-print pants channel hippie vibes, and for a more classic look, try Kloke’s straight-leg pants. These Rolla’s Eastcoast flares – spotted on Bella Hadid – sit somewhere in between the two.
Top up, up top
The classic sports jacket gets a textured makeover with this Venroy men’s number, best paired with a linen tee. Ottway does long-sleeve unisex shirts for men and women, which are designed for a loose-fitting, relaxed look. And Aje’s Rebellion cord jacket has embroidered detailing on the back.
When you want a cinched-in look, this organic cotton corduroy dress from Gorman (currently 50 per cent off) has a neat waist tie. And pockets – say no more. Bul’s blue onesie is for days when you need to feel both warm and stylish; and this black number from Obus takes cues from a classic boilersuit. You can wear this playful, boxy dress from Assembly Label to dinner and a movie, or pair it with sneakers and a denim jacket.
Oblige to accessorise
This rust cord tote. will add colour and texture the simplest of little black dresses. And this bucket hat from Byron Bay label Thrills will take you from beach to festival, and protect you from the sun along the way.
Love to lounge
Let’s face it, some of us really are living in our dressing gowns right now – elevate that look with Cleverly Laundry’s terry robe. Alexander Wang’s stretch corduroy shorts are especially good for home workouts, and Seed’s beige cord pant and button-down shirt make for a harmonious at-home set.
Hauling over your home
Who’s to say you can’t match your wardrobe and your decor? The Sheet Society’s corduroy doona covers in earthy hues will add depth and warmth to your bedroom, and Loam’s corduroy cushions – in navy, beige and green – will add a little opulence to any room. We’re loving these Kip & Co lilac ottoman covers, too.
For the littlies
Melbourne-based kids’ label Goldie & Ace is inspired by ’80s and ’90s Australia. Its mostly unisex designs include these vintage-cut overalls, perfect for busy little lives. Seed, too has some very cute cord overalls, and this bright yellow quilted jacket. If its colour doesn’t make it impossible to lose, the built-in name tag will. And the matching pants have an adorable smiling bear on the back pocket.
Treat your feet
Gorman’s sling-back clogs take the textile from casual to cool, with an emerald green corduroy upper and a wooden sole. Stepney Workers Club’s chunky Dellow sneaker comes in beige to match almost every outfit. And Van’s Comfycush sneakers are super soft, for long days on your feet.