Li­brar­i­ans, look out: fash­ion is coming for your cords

Yes, in­deed, but the edgy new op­tions are a far cry from the 1970s Open Univer­sity pro­fes­sor look

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - NEWS - Fash­ion Jour­nal­ist of the Year

Gin­ger, bur­gundy and saf­fron are the ul­ti­mate shades to ac­quaint your­self with

Cor­duroy, ac­cord­ing to US Vogue, has been mak­ing a se­ri­ous come­back since 2015. Weirdly though, there’s been very lit­tle of it about. Then again, it’s taken the jump­suit a full decade to go from re­port­edly ‘mak­ing a se­ri­ous come­back’ to ac­tu­ally mak­ing one.

If you’re late to the jump­suit party and fret­ting that maybe you’ve left it too late, I say, move on and fo­cus on cor­duroy. Even if cord doesn’t make a se­ri­ous come­back, it’s still a great ally. Why? Be­cause it’s so damn ver­sa­tile.

Cord has so of­ten been over­looked since it was last a se­ri­ous fash­ion thing in the 1970s. Thanks to Woody Allen, aca­demics and men with hair bil­low­ing free-form out of their nos­trils, it has suf­fered from egg-stains-on-tie as­so­ci­a­tion. It is not chic. It is not groomed. It is a sar­to­rial plac­ard that says, ‘I am an in­tel­lec­tual. I haven’t looked at a fash­ion mag­a­zine since I ac­ci­den­tally bought a copy of Ital­ian Vogue think­ing it was Hus­tler.’

Ex­cept now cor­duroy can be as sleek as you please. It lends it­self to both con­structed and ca­sual looks. This win­ter Prada, Miu Miu, Vic­to­ria Beck­ham and Ba­len­ci­aga have all done fancy per­mu­ta­tions, some with leather trim, lots of it tai­lored and worn as a suit (Saint Lau­rent’s de­li­cious cord blazer has just about sold out already) and all of it in gor­geously rich hues. Be­cause the other thing about cord is that, like vel­vet, it takes colour beau­ti­fully. How­ever, un­like vel­vet, it is ro­bust. It will wear down even­tu­ally, but in a more chic than shabby way.

I like fine rather than wide wales (ridges). The ef­fect’s more flat­ter­ing and sup­ple, but taller types can prob­a­bly get away with ei­ther. Gin­ger, bur­gundy and saf­fron are the ul­ti­mate shades to ac­quaint your­self with. They will look stu­pen­dous with navy, grey or black sweaters. As it hap­pens, there’s a photo from the 1990s of Carolyn Bes­sette-Kennedy in just such a combo. She looks so time­less and fab­u­lous you can’t think why cor­duroy ever fell into the clutches of Woody and co.

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