Striking the Right Cord


Nothing says it’s sweater weather like the return of the PSL, a walk in the woods crunching dried leaves beneath your hiking boots and a great new pair of cords.

Today’s talking fashion focus is on cords – be it the velvetiest of pin cords also known as baby wale (not whale, as in beluga, orca or humpback, as I thought for years with images of the cutest little baby whales though uncertain what that had to do with the skinny rib) to the chunkier wide-rib. This season we are all over cords . . . and it’s safe to say that cords are all over us too.

This retro look never really goes out of style for long, but this time around the look, shape and colour is a real throwback to the yonder years. And while all kinds of shapes are in style, to really be on trend you want to look for a wider bootcut shape, a wide crop pant or a trouser-pant in traditionally earthy, autumnal hues like golden yellow, burnt orange, sienna red, camel and teal, and do wear your cords top-to-toe. In other words, when you pick up your corduroy pants, be sure to grab its matching blazer or vest . . . or blazer and vest  and bend the rules – LOVE! And wear it monochromatic or with this season’s popular ruffled or bell sleeve top or a tie blouse. YOLO, no?

Dresses are another great way to sport the corduroy fashion trend. I am particularly in love with the shirt dress, the blazer dress and jumpers done in corduroy. It’s always  easy dressing and so lady-like, but the cord fabric makes them a little more cool-girl hitting the street.

If separates are more your jam than fret not because you don’t have to double down on your corduroy to look current. It’s just one little take on a trend. Pull them apart and wear it on its own. A simple A-line skirt, short, knee-length or long, paired with an iconic turtleneck is a no-fail look. Same goes with a corduroy blazer paired with jeans. And do mix corduroy with other rich textured fabrics like this season’s crazy popular glen check, tweed or suede.

If you’d rather not do a nod to mod, but love the look of the rich textured fabric, try it in a sleek moto-style jacket in a cool colour like mink grey, or throw on an oversized scarf or cape. I’m also crushing on Olivia Palermo’s high-waisted, button detail skinny pant that she did in her line for Banana Republic.

Corduroy is also making its way into outerwear coats like the classic trench, oversized hip-length jacket or bomber. Do it with this season’s shearling trim detail and the look is vintage-modern. Or pair a long, oversized corduroy coat over a long bohemian dress.

When picking up corduroy think in terms of the corduroy width and your own width. I generally favour the baby wale because it’s universally more flattering and easier to wear than the wool-y wale, but the wide-rib is making a big comeback. If you are looking to broaden your top to match your bottom or vice versa, the wider wale may be up your alley.

So whatever your flavour, the cord of the king’s options are endless. Why not pick yourself up a pair of this season’s soft, cozy and touchably textured trend. People won’t be able to help but stop and pet you.

Carolyn Bissett



  1. Where can I get that blue dress? 🙂

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