Royal Ridges: Corduroy’s Regal Retro Style

Corduroy is one of those fabrics that spans a broad swath of wearability, and can function with equal relevance and wearability across a vast array of style types. Both subtle and dynamic, and able to catch the eye (and, historically, the ear) in a vast array of rich, multi-seasonal colors, corduroy is one of the rare fabrics that the uppermost echelons of style gurus love to wear yet also works as easily on the les concerned and the less affected.

A classic element in the Prep vernacular, it gets the nod from both the Trad and the hip, both dusty old college professors and crispy Pitti peacocks. Grandfathers and their grandsons.

Perhaps it is this pan-generational versatility and appeal that lends to its everlasting status. Just as corduroy might be considered dead, here it comes again as fresh as ever, the dynamic texture and vast color palette making for the perfect canvas on which talented designers can execute their sartorial visions.

And though the name is at least romantically rooted in royalty (a loose portmanteau and/or bastardization meaning “cloth of the king”, though more actually a marriage of the “cords”, or parallel vertical wales for which the fabric is famous, and an English wool called “Duroy”) this versatile favorite exploded into popularity in the 18 th century as a strong, warm fabric that kept factory workers warm during the Industrial Revolution, yet also allowed them greater movement than the standard flannel.

On America’s shores it has been a staple of both utilitarian style and high fashion, and just about every echelon in between for decades. Corduroy was adopted into the standard semi-dressy fall/winter wardrobe on college campuses and coffee shop poetry readings at the height of the post-war era, and spread to west coast surfers into the 70s and 80s. It returns today, yet again: its original appeal (warmth, versatility, and durability) in all its glory.

We’ve gone back to our own archives to reinterpret some old favorites for our Fall/Winter 2020 line, but with a modern twist (as is our mode de vie, of course). We begin by offering an updated silhouette and styling in our favorite Grimaud 5 Pocket Stretch Delavé Wash Pant, and executed it in six rich colors – navy, ecru, dark olive, camel, light grey, and slate blue.

But the real show stopper is a ridiculously soft, thin wale, Made in Italy cashmere and cotton blend stretch corduroy, which we cut as components in our best selling and stylish suit separates. The Henri (rich navy blue) and Kylian (khaki) pants match up to Freetime Blazers in the same colors, making for a stunning addition to our modern heritage lexicon for fall, and a look as classy and timeless and the fabric in which it is rendered. Regal yet retro, and a king sized slice of stylishness.