Corduroy is having an, um, a wale of a comeback.
While it regularly shows up at stores for fall in dribs and drabs, this season, the durable, often-cottony textile that boasts a distinctive striped rib pattern is trending hard. Comfortable, fashionable, cozy and cute--what could be better? The appeal is universal and offerings run from jackets, to skirts, pants and shoes, even totally adorable kids' clothes. Many items throwback (think Brady Bunch kids or Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate”). The benefits are plentiful: The material is washable, toasty enough but not furnace hot, generally well-priced and a sensual, velvety textural add-in to any wardrobe.
At Ooh La La Boutiques in Long Beach, Babylon and Sayville, owner Jenny Montiglio is seeing the corduroy craze in the marketplace. “When we were shopping for the season we saw corduroy everywhere – it was overwhelming compared to in the past.” She says, “I’m personally a huge fan of cord – it has a real retro ‘70s feel and the look is rich and luxurious, yet it’s not expensive at all.”
Designer Sophia Lewis, who works with a high end corduroy for the German brand Closed that's sold at Henry Lehr in the Hamptons, says the appeal is the fabric’s “soft, interesting structure.” This season, she’s opted for an unexpectedly vibrant color palette, which includes ruby red.
Tara-Mae McSparron, the buyer for women’s and young contemporary for Lester’s in Greenvale says the texture “has always been part of our fall assortment, but this season it’s taking a bigger role.” She considers corduroy “a great second option to denim. I think it’s got a real old school '70s fashion vibe – it’s comfortable, a bit warmer than denim and covers the whole gamut, from kids to adults.”
The mix at Lester’s is substantial and includes everything from corduroy headbands to cropped flair pants, which are, “the twist,” says McSparron. She styles the look with a “tucked in turtleneck or sweater and graphic sneakers.”
Montiglio adds that, “sometimes our customers are a little afraid of cord until they try it. They think it’s too retro and ask ‘oh is that a hippie look?’” But she says, by “mixing and matching cord with solids and cable knits and other unexpected pieces, they leave feeling polished and loving it.”