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.
That being said, corduroy has always struck the perfect middle ground for many style-forward thinkers. It’s plush, luxurious, and premium, without deeming itself as such. It can be used in workwear, outerwear, and common, everyday items, thanks to its inherent durability. And, depending on its wearer’s tastes, it can also take on a variety of different appearances, thanks to deviations in wale pattern, depth, and width. Without getting too deep into the semantics of cord, we’ve decided to show, rather than tell. Below, you’ll find an acute collection of corduroy legwear offerings that faithfully adapt the vintage style into a more modern realm, allowing you to add a touch of heritage-inspired poise to your everyday arsenal.
J.Crew has built upon its affordable catalog with a slew of traditional menswear styles, and while it excels in a number of areas, legwear has always been at the top of its list. The brand’s 770 pant is a corduroy variant that harkens back to iconic examples from decades past while adding a supremely thin 14-wale fabric for some contemporary flair. Beyond that, each model boasts a classic, five-pocket layout, and comes in a wide selection of colorways for versatile pairing.
prAna’s Sustainer isn’t a traditional cord, and that’s completely alright. Instead, the pant takes on a unique, 98% organic cotton/Lycra elastane composition for an amicable stretch, as well as a modern, slim fit for those who are looking to utilize it in a more stylishly-tailored ensemble. Like many of the pants in this genre, it boasts a classic, five-pocket layout, as well as a smaller wale for those looking to keep things discreet.
Flint & Tinder 365
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.
Stan Ray Tapered Fatigue
Stan Ray’s Tapered Fatigue pant is a military-inspired variant that calls upon a semi-thick wale for its visual dominance. Dressed in a utilitarian Olive Green colorway, this rough and rugged example boasts a 100% cotton construction, a tapered leg, and zip fly, putting it right in-line with other corduroy offerings. However, what’s special about this pant is its deviation from the norm. Instead of the traditional, five-pocket layout of its peers, it opts for a workwear-inspired, four-pocket construction, allowing it to take on more than your classic corduroy offering.
Madewell has a knack for cleanly-designed clothing, and that’s been proven, once again, with the brand’s Slim corduroy pants. These classically-contrived offerings feature a slim-fit cut from the thigh to the lower leg while boasting a consciously-sourced 93% cotton/polyester/polyurethane cord mixture for improved comfort and longevity. While many companies pay little attention to the plushness of their cord, Madewell takes the high road, imbuing its examples with only the finest, and most velvety stretch corduroy around.
Outerknown Paz Cord
While Outerknown is famous for its surf-inspired garments, it’s been known to dip its toes in other areas of the clothing industry. The Paz Cord, for example, brings a classic legwear style to the brand’s catalog, courtesy of its leisurely silhouette, “throwback” design, and large-wale corduroy. This unique piece brings an interesting fit to a world of standard cord offerings, thanks to its baggy upper-leg area, although it does taper as it gets closer to its ankle opening. A series of splash pockets, signature logo buttons, and O< embroidery accents round out the pant, reminding buyers of Outerknown’s commitment to the cleanliness of our oceans.
Taylor Stitch Camp Pant
Taylor Stitch’s Camp Pant is as much of a love letter to the art of corduroy as it is its own, heritage-inspired offering. To honor the timeless style, the brand has opted to add its own touch of contemporary flair, incorporating a ruggedized, bar-tacked construction, an 11-ounce organic cotton cord fabric, and respectable YKK hardware for improved longevity. This means that each and every pair has been built to accompany you on numerous adventures throughout the years, weather permitting.
Noah’s Adjustable cord takes a much more stylistic approach when compared to the other offerings on our list. Instead of focusing primarily on the heritage-inspired re-creation of the timeless garment, the brand has decided to throw its own lot into the ring, incorporating a flat front, zip fly closure, elasticated waist, slash pockets, and a low-profile, letting people know that corduroy isn’t confined to use during the winter. Instead, this summer-savvy example boasts an array of saturated colors, quick-drying characteristics, and lighter weight than its counterparts, making it a perfect choice for summertime wear.
Todd Snyder Italian Stretch
Todd Snyder’s Italian Stretch cord is yet another homage to the history of the iconic garment. To keep it as close to the classic offering as possible, it calls upon a traditional, five-pocket layout, vintage, 14-wale stretch corduroy, and a handsome exterior texture that harkens back to the heavy-wale offerings of old. Since it’s still a contemporary pant, the addition of stretch material, a zip fly, and slim-fit tailoring helps it to stay well within the realm of everyday fare.
Saturdays NYC Benjamin
Saturdays NYC loves to channel vintage garments for its contemporary offerings, making classic corduroys a go-to choice for the creation of its modern menswear. Not only does the Benjamin boast a 100% cotton, wide-wale corduroy, but it’s also been tailored to take on no taper throughout its leg, helping to bridge the gap between the genre’s older garments, and today’s modern legwear. Each example has also been treated to a set of front slash pockets, a fixed waistband, and slash embroidery, adding a tasteful touch to the already-refined garment.
Engineered Garments Fatigue
Engineered Garments specializes in unique, small-batch offerings that are defined by their stylishness. As one of the genre’s premier artisanal clothing companies, it upholds its duty as a proprietor of remarkable goods through the creation of the New Romantic Fatigue — a wide-wale corduroy offering that features a 100% cotton construction, custom patchwork, and signature side-entry pockets, paying homage to the militaristic staples of old.
Rota Higher-Rise Rust
We’re rounding out our list with Rota’s Higher-Rise Rust pant — an elegant, Italian-made offering that encompasses everything a corduroy pant should be. Each example boasts a perfectly-realized, medium-sized wale, as well as a flat front, tapered, leg, and internal lining, helping to keep the pant viable during the colder months. And for those of you who are all about the details, you’ll be delighted to hear that the Rust also features a unique cord sourced directly from Brisbane Moss, as well as an extended waistband closure, side adjusters, and subdued accents.
The 12 Best Japanese Denim Brands
Corduroy is an iconic texture, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re looking for a more traditional piece of legwear but don’t want to sacrifice that artisanal feel, head over to our guide on the best Japanese denim brands, where we outline some truly outstanding jeans.
HiConsumption is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more