Fall Style Suggestion: Slim Corduroys

As the weather turns at least a bit colder and the calendar moves closer to October, it’s worth keeping in mind how you might phase out more warm-weather pieces for seasonally appropriate gear. Dark denim is an absolute essential in any season, but for the college-aged guy or younger, there are some nice alternatives worth exploring.

Corduroy is absolutely one of those alternatives. It’s been popping up everywhere as of late on items as varied as blazers, but it arguably works best as a replacement for those jeans or colorful summer shorts. It’s a great textural change-up with a pair of wingtip boots, for example. And in the right shade, it can pair with plenty of different  v-neck sweaters, cardigans and t-shirts alike. Working in some combination of those items — involving, say, an OCBD — is absolutely the ticket to getting a consistent style rotation and personal uniform. They’re also an excellent way to work in some fall color — perhaps a deeper, faded wash would work well here.

A deep, dark brown shade in corduroy is the perfect fall alternative to denim.
A deep, dark brown shade in corduroy is the perfect fall alternative to denim.

On a personal note, a newly-arrived pair of Old Navy corduroys fit decently trim through the thigh and leg, with a nice, not-too-thick weave at a great price (about $35 on sale). The color selection on Old Navy’s website also was extensive at the time of purchase, and it’s possible a few more pairs could be picked up at a low price point.

Brown wingtip boots -- the perfect pairing with corduroy.
Brown wingtip boots — the perfect pairing with corduroy.

Places like Jomers sell a finer pinwale corduroy at a great price — that could work in a pinch, but thicker weaves are available at J. Crew and other outlets. Ideally, the fit of those corduroys should fall between a Levi’s 514 and a 513 — slimmer than a baggy pair of jeans, but not skin-tight.

Looking for a minimal amount of break is also key here. The perfect pair could be cuffed or rolled and sit atop a pair of shoes without showing too much ankle. If that’s the case, some crazy socks could act as a conversation starter.

While it’s not freezing cold outside yet, it’s never to early to start thinking a season ahead in terms of weather and style. Corduroys are a great piece to take you from dark denim and colorful shorts to the crisp days of fall and winter. They add textual interest to an outfit and function in the same way as denim. Experiment with deeper, richer fall colors and you’ve got another style staple in your rotation.

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