Wale Watch

velvet background
FashionHistoryOff Beat 4 Comments

For a lot of people, corduroy is a fabric that we remember from our childhood years. As the weather would start to turn cold, corduroy would make its way back into our daily wardrobe replacing our lighter cotton pants and shorts. It is soft and durable, and has been keeping us warm for centuries.

The history of corduroy is a pretty interesting one. Although the word sounds like it may be derived from French, the fabric is actually of English origin, and was made sometime in the 1780’s. Originally, it was woven with silk and used to make clothing for royal servants, but by the 1800’s manufacturers started to use cotton instead, which resulted in a more durable and inexpensive fabric that became known as “poor man’s velvet”.

Woman in corduroy skirtCorduroy has certainly been in and out of fashion many times over the years, and rightfully so. Because of its working-class, practical nature, the styles and silhouettes have largely been old-fashioned and unflattering, particularly for women. Having grown up in the 1970’s, I was the proud owner of a variety of corduroy items, including jumpers, bell-bottoms and jackets, most of which I’d rather forget.

However, today corduroy seems to be making another comeback. With the addition of spandex and modern technology we can say goodbye to the square shapes and bulky styles of the past. With a slew of updated colors and new fitted silhouettes, corduroy has undoubtedly become more feminine and wearable.

If you don’t think you can sport this trend, take a look at this incredibly stylish woman we encountered while waiting on line for our lunch!  Her cord pencil skirt is a simple take on a classic style that cannot go wrong.

So, don’t go another day sacrificing comfort for style, treat yourself to some corduroy. Here are a few of our favorite lust-haves from J.Crew, Armani Collezioni and THE ROW:

jcrew cordsarmani cord skirt

the row jacket





Harboring a life long obsession with corduroy?

Tomorrow, 11-11-11 is a holy day, a day of significant importance, the day where the “wales are aligning” – it is Corduroy Appreciation Day. We are not making this up. Members of the Corduroy Appreciation Club (a social club for people who like corduroy fabric) will be celebrating this fabric on the “most important date in history”, the day that most closely resembles the lines of the fabric. You can still purchase tickets to the NYC event, but just know that you’ll have to sport at least three items of corduroy to gain entrance. Hail the Wale!

  • Erin T

    I’m a northerner transplanted to the south and since it doesn’t get too cold where I am, I always enjoy wearing corduroy because it makes me feel like I am actually experiencing fall and winter, even though the southern weather doesn’t quite reflect the noticeable season changes I grew up with. The 11-11-11 thing is hilarious… hats off to creativity. I’ll make sure to show my love for the wale tomorrow. Fun post!

  • Dorn

    I’m charmed by your bringing corduroy appreciation to our attention. So, what will the wale watchers wear to their appreciation day, old wide-wale soft functional fabrics or only current fashion? Even that should be fun to see. It sounds to be a group with a sure mission but an appealing light touch.

  • Millie A.

    I missed reading WYSK yesterday so didn’t see this until today. Hilarious!! Too bad I didn’t know about the event. Would old corduroy slippers count?

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