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The Best Men’s Corduroy Pants For Stylish Comfort

Best Corduroy Pants
Photo: Outerknown Seventyseven Utility Pant

There are a handful of vintage clothing staples that have made their dramatic return in recent years, but few can measure up to the cult resurgence of corduroy. While the style dates back to the latter half of the 1700s, it was widely accepted in western culture during the 1970s, and today, retrospective garments are adopting the textured construction to garner some much-needed nostalgia.

Where Do Cords Come From?

A Brief History Lesson

Realistically, corduroy’s historical roots go as far back as ancient Egypt, where fustian fabric was initially produced. However, this primitive material didn’t feature the smooth, velvety raised feel we are used to now. These ridges are known as wales and first came about roughly around 18th century England, initially serving as a durable improvement over typical textiles.

What To Look For

Get Your Wale On

Wale Count: When finding new cords, the wale count is crucial to consider. While the word “wale” has many definitions, including the D.C. rapper, in this case, the term is defined by Britannica as “a column of loops running lengthwise.” Still, it’s often said to derive from the Anglo-Saxon word that describes hill-like ridges, which in this instance, makes perfect sense. Moreover, most entry-level options in this space are constructed of 11-wale corduroy, meaning there are 11 ridges per inch. So, what’s better? Fewer wales or extra wales? Well, it depends on your ensemble, as more results in a more streamlined look, while fewer wales have much thicker ridges, although they’re far sturdier (and even a bit fuzzier). Lastly, the most helpful recommendation we can give is to consider what exactly you’ll be using a new pair for before adding it to your cart.

The Best Corduroy Pants For Men

LL Bean Stretch Country Corduroy Pants
Photo: L.L.Bean

L.L.Bean Stretch Country Corduroy Pants

The Starter: L.L.Bean’s enviously comfortable pair of cords pull no gimmicks, as its traditionally-fitting silhouette ensures they are comfortable enough as it is without a plated front. That said, this pair doesn’t necessarily put style points at the forefront, deeming them far more affordable than the better-looking options around. The classic bottoms are constructed using a blend of 98% cotton and 2% spandex, resulting in the perfect stretch while still weighing a sturdy 9 ounces and offering an ideal, regular fit that makes them easy to wear with any form of top or footwear. Wale-wise, this particular option boasts a cozy 11-wale cord, setting a pretty solid benchmark for softness for such an affordable pair; this just proves you can never go wrong with an American-bred heritage brand.

Recap

L.L.Bean Stretch Country Corduroy Pants

Affordable, stretchy pants built for everyday comfort.

LL Bean Stretch Country Corduroy Pants

Pros
  • Sturdy, 9-ounce weight
  • Built-in stretch for all day comfort
  • Surprisngly affordable compared to others with a similar construction
Cons
  • Quality has taken a hit in recent years

Flint and Tinder 365 Corduroy Pant
Photo: Flint and Tinder

Flint and Tinder 365 Corduroy Pant

The Safest Bet: Flint & Tinder specializes in rugged, heritage-inspired outerwear, but the brand knows what it’s doing when it comes to more refined menswear examples, too. The 365 Cord is a testament to that fact, boasting a chino-inspired design, stretchy, comfortable performance, and a traditional five-pocket layout to bridge the gap between modern and classic. Each example has been reinforced with stretchy spandex for increased mobility and finished in a vintage corduroy for a unique, textured look. Best of all, F&T’s regular-fitting pants are pre-shrunk so you don’t have to worry about them getting smaller in the next wash.

Recap

Flint and Tinder 365 Corduroy Pant

They’re chinos! They’re gym pants! They’re both!

Flint and Tinder 365 Corduroy Pant

Pros
  • Elements of all your favorite pants put into one
  • Pre-shrunk with a regular-fit
  • Built-in stretch for increased mobility and comfort
Cons
  • All things considered, nothing

Buck Mason High Ridge Cord Carry On Ford Standard Pant
Photo: Buck Mason

Buck Mason High-Ride Cord Carry-On Ford Standard Pant

The Upgrade: Leave it to Buck Mason to design sleek, business-casual pair of bottoms. The Los Angeles boutique’s straight-fitting Carry-on Ford Standard Pant is made from an average 9 oz. 11 wale corduroy, but they’re easily one of the best-looking options you’ll find when it comes to this weight and texture. The garment-washed bottoms are equipped with a 32.5” inseam, then rounded out with an old-school Hollywood waistband to give it a timeless appeal that operates just as well when tucking in t-shirts as it does a button-up — that said, you won’t have any issues either way.

Recap

Buck Mason High-Ride Cord Carry-On Ford Standard Pant

A streamlined design made to work with any shirt.

Buck Mason High Ridge Cord Carry On Ford Standard Pant

Pros
  • 11-wales provide the perfect balance of stability and thinness for upscale outfits
  • Vintage-inspired Hollywood waistband
Cons
  • Fits on the shorter side — refer to the size guide
  • Only available in one color

Outerknown Seventyseven Cord Utility Pants
Photo: Outerknown

Outerknown Seventyseven Cord Utility Pant

Best Shoreside Corduroys: Since Kelly Slater is the king of surfing, and we’ve often deemed high-wale corduroy the perfect material to rock by the water, it only makes sense to label his brand’s option the ideal shoreside pick. Outerknown is adept at crafting all sorts of garments fit for basking in the sand, and these razor-thin, ’70s-inspired 16-wale cords are impressively breathable and ideal for any spring wardrobe thanks to their easy-going construction, a handful of eye-popping colors, and a traditional fit that makes throwing them on as simple as can be. Best of all, they’re made of nothing but organic cotton, paving the way for safer conditions for all parties involved.

Recap

Outerknown Seventyseven Cord Utility Pant

Beach-ready pants from a beach-ready brand.

Outerknown Seventyseven Cord Utility Pants

Pros
  • Breathable, 16-wale corduroy
  • Organic-cotton makeup
  • ’70s-inspired color palette with a beachy feel
Cons
  • Haven’t found one yet

Todd Snyder Italian Wide Wale Corduroy Trousers 1
Photo: Todd Snyder

Todd Snyder Italian Wide Wale Corduroy Officer Chino

Best Pleated Corduroys: Who better to consider when eyeing a piece of premium menswear than Todd Snyder? While other high-end fashion houses may charge an arm and a leg for buttery soft cords, the eponymous New York brand ensures you can dress to the nines without breaking the bank — at least not entirely.  This relaxed-fitting iteration of the military-inspired Officer Chino is delivered in cozy 7-wale corduroy from Duca Visconti, an iconic Italian mill that’s made high-end fabrics for nearly two centuries. On that note, the pants are made in Portgual, a country that’s led the textile world in recent years due to its premium craftsmanship akin to that of France and Spain, albeit at a lesser price tag — in other words, it’s a win-win situation since you won’t be coughing up over $500 for some cords. TS finishes the sturdy material with a double-pleated design and a button fly, composing quite a unique pair of pants that are as sturdy as they are stylish and as comfortable as they are casual.

Recap

Todd Snyder Italian Wide Wale Corduroy Officer Chino

Italian-made material that’s made to last.

Todd Snyder Italian Wide Wale Corduroy Trousers 1

Pros
  • Sturdy, 7-wale corduroy from Duca Visconti
  • Made in Portugal
  • Easy-going relaxed fit
  • Available in surplus store-approved colors
Cons
  • Pricier than most pairs

Best of the Rest

Some More Popular Pairs

Bonobos Corduroy 5 Pocket Pants
Photo: Bonobos

Bonobos Corduroy 5-Pocket Pants

Like anything from Bonobos, these well-made corduroys are ideal for any work environment. The New York e-commerce giant’s traditional take on the matter features the perfect amount of stretch thanks to a hint of elastane used in its classic 5-pocket construction. Best of all, the regular-fitting pants are available in as many colors as there are in the rainbow, guaranteeing any of its offerings can co-exist with the rest of your wardrobe whether you’re headed for the office or a night on the town

Taylor Stitch Democratic All Day Pant
Photo: Taylor Stitch

Taylor Stitch Democratic All Day Pant

These handsome bottoms stick to Taylor Stitch’s eco-cognizant guns, boasting a full-on organic cotton construction that deems them as beneficial for the planet as they are to your wardrobe. The Democratic All Day Pant’s unique fit provides extra room around the waist while slimming down through the leg, promoting a well-balanced look that doesn’t lack comfort. Oddly enough, the San Francisco brand doesn’t mention how many wales appear here, but it’s certainly within the 11-13 range.

Stussy Corduroy Big Ol Jeans
Photo: Stussy

Stüssy Corduroy Big Ol’ Jeans

Stüssy this, Stüssy that — we get it already. As the famous streetwear brand has grown virtually impossible to ignore in the past couple of years, garments like these keep us (and countless other loyal fans) coming back. Unsurprsingly, the clothier’s Big Ol’ Jeans are as comfortable as they look and fit as they sound — oversized, relaxed, and so cozy that no one will look at you the wrong way for rocking these to work. They’re highlighted by a traditional corduroy construction and rounded out with a tried-and-true five-pocket design that deems them as functional as they are wearable.

Carhartt WIP Newel Pant
Photo: Carhartt WIP

Carhartt WIP Newel Pant

Carhartt WIP’s Newel Pant is one of the softest offerings in our guide, boasting a 15-wale Ford corduroy construction made of nothing but buttery-soft cotton. Fit-wise, it’s the perfect blend of roomy and formal thanks to its versatile relaxed-tapered silhouette, a trusty button fly, and an adjustable back yoke, so it can operate as well with a button-up shirt as it does a tee, making them as versatile as they are comfortable.

Proper Cloth Stratton Stretch Corduroy
Photo: Proper Cloth

Proper Cloth Stratton Stretch Corduroy

While switching up such a traditional piece of clothing can be polarizing, Proper Cloth’s high-end spin on the matter makes things all the more enjoyable. Thanks to its use of premium Stratton Stretch Corduroy from Nuova Tessilbrenta, a famed Italian textile mill, the boutique’s 13-wale corduroys are highlighted by a velvet-like sheen that’s impossible to ignore. Plus, similar to other pairs, the somewhat slim-fitting silhouette have a bit of elastane for maximum comfort and helpful wrinkle resistance. 

The Best Chinos for Men

Photo: Dockers Made In the U.S.A Chino

The best cords are here to keep you warm, but our guide to the best chinos has several options to fit any style