When does a trend become more than a trend? When, in fact, does it become an accepted mainstay of the style norm? At one point, the suit was a trend, after all, and somehow it caught on. Men gradually moved out of frock coats and into lounge suits during the 1910s.
If certain trends do transcend their finite nature and hit the mainstream, corduroy’s almost certainly done just that this season. It’s been a prominent part of casual menswear, and dressed-down tailoring for the best part of five years (it shook off its fusty connotations in the mid-noughties), but this autumn it’s absolutely everywhere. There’s not a single brand that hasn’t at least touched on it in their collection; whether in overshirts, trousers, work jackets, or indeed suits.
The new season’s still dropping, so we’ll bring you a beefier corduroy style guide later in the autumn, but for now, here are three new finds to help you get ahead of the curve, and get back into the striped stuff with the minimum of fuss.
1. The blazer
Look at this thing – it’s stunning. In rich royal blue corduroy that’s just a little bit lighter than navy, with super-sized ‘wales’ (that’s the technical term for corduroy’s ribbed surface), big lapels and modern silhouette – it ticks all our boxes. It’s made by independent Italian brand Doppiaa, a firm Jackal favourite, which has been reinventing Italian tailoring with modern twists since it was founded in 2015. Despite its sleek looks, this jacket couldn’t be easier to wear; try it over a Burgundy rollneck with dark jeans or chinos for a versatile seasonal look. Doppiaa’s something of a best kept secret in the UK, if you want to try this on in person, Fenwick on Bond Street is your best bet.
2. The overshirt
Universal Works knows a thing or two about corduroy. The brand’s founder, David Keyte, has been championing the cloth as a workwear staple since he launched UW in 2009. This season, he’s brought his collection round full-circle, mixing his signature utilitarian silhouettes with a new superfine shirt-weight baby-cord that’s closer to velvet than corduroy. His Baker’s Overshirt is a signature piece, and in this olive superfine cord it’s soft and lightweight; perfect over a T-shirt now, and a rollneck when the mercury drops. It’s been garment washed for a satisfying lived-in feel, too.
£89, shop now
3. The sneakers
Are corduroy sneakers too much? Nope. These are a signature design from Novesta, the Slovakian sneaker brand that’s been making quirky ‘Star Master’ low-tops for the best part of 80 years. The brand was founded in 1939, and has been creating sneakers with vulcanised rubber soles using the same machines ever since. Reassuringly robust, yet comfortable and unassuming, these are a fun way to work the fabric of the season through your casual wardrobe while the weather’s still mild. The natural beige colour keeps them both understated and practical. Wear with navy or tobacco chinos and your new olive overshirt, for a smart way to work two very different cords into one look this autumn.
£69, shop now at Oi Polloi