Stitch In Time… Corduroy
by Amy Newson
That once-stuffy material has been given a contemporary makeover and is making a super-chic comeback this season
What cotton or cotton-mix fabric with a raised, ribbed, sheared surface, underlying weave and velvety, soft touch has been a hot trend this autumn/winter? You’ve guessed it; I’m talking about corduroy. This retro material whose use was once commonly reserved for teachers, is currently enjoying a high-fashion moment, something it hasn’t had since the mid-80s. For centuries it was mainly used for men’s working and sports clothing (because of its durability) before becoming a fashionable textile choice in the late 60s. Corduroy was then used to make retro wide-legged trousers; cargo pants and shearling trim jackets, traditionally in the colour range of brown, white, blue, red and green. The once-stuffy material slowly became the go-to choice for the trend-conscious and could be found on all ages of the population.
This season has seen the corduroy trend re-imagined in subtle shades of butterscotch, caramel, antique pink and (unexpectedly) aqua blue. No longer a menswear staple either; the corduroy phenomenon has dominated the womenswear scene, no question. A huge selection of clothing, from blazers to slouchy-ankle trousers, maxi skirts, shearling trim jackets (which make the perfect cold weather replacement for your denim jacket) and baker boy hats are at the ready to be paired with chunky wool jumpers and sturdy boots. And the cherry on the top? Sleeveless pinafore dresses, paired with a frilly blouse, are the perfect choice for the most fashion-conscious of dressers.