Striking the Right Cord

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“Where can I buy the best cords?” a friend of mine once asked, keenly stirring their foamy, sickly Starbucks coffee as they read my face for a response. I sat there, gazing out of the window, inwardly smiling; ‘the best’ is often asked for in this manner, as though it were some club secret of an underground society; stern and steely, the searcher asks for such trifles with the gravity of a police officer requesting the location of a missing witness. People take ‘the best’ very seriously indeed. However, I was not particularly inspired by the commonplace conversation until the friend asked his second question; “And also” he began, slurping his muddy glug of caffeine and sugar, “what colour do you think is best?”

I had always been of the opinion that cords were an autumnal trouser; keeping the tanned legs of summer warm in the cooling air of October. Most of the cords I own are therefore of autumnal colours; burgundy, like the leaves of the maple, moss and Army green. Like many, I choose for my colours to reflect the season; the vitality and saturation of spring and summer hues contrasting with the darkened, dying colours of autumn and winter. However, there are those who choose an alternative sartorial philosophy and defy the seasons by adopting rich and life-affirming tones in the darkest times of year. There is something to be said for this resistance.

Cords provide an opportunity to express one’s philosophy. A tie may help, ditto a pocket square but it is the corduroy trouser, the rich velvety pair of cords, that permit such an expanse of colourful expression as the weather begins to cool.

The Reluctant

cord-reluctant

For those who consider brightly coloured cords to be a considerable embarrassment, ranking alongside surprise renditions of ‘Happy Birthday’ and rhythm-clapping, the muted tones of navy blue, moss green and Bordeaux (at a push) are for you. All types of tweed and flannel jacket will suit – a light-grey flannel jacket with the Bordeaux is a particularly enticing combination – and such trousers are unlikely to attract any unwanted attention.

The Willing

cord-willing

For those eager to join the ranks of the resistance but unwilling to stick their neck out and risk the consternation of passing elderly ladies, a pair of bottle green, cinnamon or mustard corduroy trousers are the perfect choices. All will partner a flannel navy blazer or a tweed jacket exceptionally well and will be ideal for country weekends, sober enough for visits to the in-laws and vibrant enough to attract admiring glances.

The Brave

cord-brave

For those who wish to blast the dark, depressing death of autumn with defiant colours that reflect the more brilliant seasons of the year, bright pink, yellow and papal purple are the ideal choices. None but the brave will attempt these luxurious colours. You will receive looks, and comments, so beware.


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Winston Chesterfield is an amateur composer, fashion blogger, trained lawyer and style aficionado. He lives in Westminster, London and blogs at www.levraiwinston.com.

Comments

  1. Albert says:

    Nice article. Corduroy pants are great for autumn. And they come in a wide range of colors, similar to the tonalities of nature after the summer.

    http://www.delavegatailors.com/design.php?type=pants

  2. James says:

    Albert – thanks for the link. To the writers of the article, where did you pull the pictures from? It’d be super useful in an article like this to see where to buy some of the samples given – especially when you display such a great selection of colours. thanks

  3. A.C.S. says:

    You should have credited the pictures…

    http://www.cordings.co.uk/menswear/trousers/corduroy

  4. Neil S says:

    What a lovely article. Corduroy trousers are a genuine pleasure for the dressed down autumnal gentleman – the velvety comfort, the air of intellect, the structured roominess. And although I attract comments that I dress like a man twice my age, I think they bring something to all age groups.

    I wore them until I was nine, but not again until last year – oh the lost years. And now, they make the perfect choice for a chap just starting his postgraduate studies at Oxford. I can see a long seasonal friendship with cords for decades to come. I’ll avoid the pink and yellow though, as they seem a bit preppy for me.

  5. Neil S says:

    What a lovely article. Corduroy trousers are a genuine pleasure for the dressed down autumnal gentleman – the velvety comfort, the air of intellect, the structured roominess. And although I attract comments that I dress like a man twice my age, I think they bring something to all age groups. I wore them until I was nine, and now they seem a perfect autumn choice for my postgraduate studies at Oxford. I predict a life-long friendship with them.

  6. Martin Alexandre says:

    Corduroys are fantastic and a lot more confortable than denim. I have a huge collection to choose from and I can’t keep from buying additionnal items with all those nice colors on the market. Since college, I love to wear thight corduroys. Because of the snug fit I often get a boner especially when some friends stoke my thighs and make nice comments about my corduroys. I guess they love the softness of the material.