Here at Who What Wear UK, we want to take all the stress out of shopping, and to help us do just that, we're launching a new series, We Try Before You Buy, where we'll be road-testing new trends, fresh labels, the latest drops and key buys.
Am I late to the game? Quite possibly, yes. But corduroy isn’t the kind of fabric I’ve ever felt was missing from my wardrobe: I’d always associated it with the vinyl-buying, gig-frequenting crowd—you know, the kind of people who might team it with worn-in Converse and a hoodie, blissfully happy in their state of corduroy-induced comfort. That’s not to say that I’m not into that look: I dig it—just not on me. But lately, you can’t escape it; from the high street to the runway, it’s everywhere. Mango and H&M are even seeing success with the most nerdy of all corduroy creations: the brown trouser suit.
Keep reading to see (and shop) all of the cord pieces I rate the most—and pick up some tips on how to style them.
On Anna Rosa Vitiello: Prada Suede- and Corduroy-Trimmed Houndstooth Blazer (£1335); Vestiaire Collective x Toni Garrn T-shirt; Miu Miu Corduroy Boyfriend Trousers (£540); Max Mara sunglasses; Fendi scarf
It was a pair of Miu Miu trousers that convinced me to give it a go: These are just the right shade of brown, with a nipped-in waist and a subtle balloon shape to the leg. I thought, If Miuccia Prada says it’s worthy of your wardrobe, then who am I to argue? A flattering fit is key, I imagine, to avoiding that “10 pounds extra” camera effect that I remember the cords from my teens having on my legs.
Then I tackled the chunky cord, as I like to call it—the slightly thicker variety as seen on the Isabel Marant runway. Though it might not work in a slimmer cut, Marant’s paperbag waist and wide-leg trousers make for a truly flattering silhouette.
But I wanted to experiment beyond tailored trousers, and when I stumbled on cream dungarees from ASOS, I couldn’t resist. They’re versatile in a really unexpected way: a T-shirt and sandals make them perfect for warmer days, while a cosy knit works just as well for winter. All that, and they’re on sale for just £16.
On Anna Rosa Vitiello: The Cords & Co Crew Neck Sweatshirt (£170); Max Mara sunglasses; Fendi scarf; The Kooples Emily Bag (£348); Black Brown Liana Belt (£80); Pascale James Large Moon Earring (£360 for a single earring)
And on the subject of seasons, I wanted to road-test the theory that corduroy can be as warm as a jumper, courtesy of an oversized men’s sweatshirt from new-to-London store The Cords & Co. Worn off the shoulder and belted at the waist, it was love at first pullover.
Lastly, I decided it was time to face my biggest fear—one of the figure-hugging variety. I may have cheated a little (opting for black pants with a kick flare was intended to counterbalance the “unflattering” fabric), but I can now happily announce that these high-waist pants from Swedish Hasbeens are to be my new go-to on days when denim just doesn’t cut it.
Next up, the autumn/winter 2017 fashion trends you should know.