Let’s hear it for corduroy, 2017’s unlikeliest success story and one which looks set to continue in to the new year. Once the preserve of the elbow patched geography teacher and the Austin Powers fan afraid to go full velvet crush, cords are now as ubiquitous on the catwalk as they are in the office and club. Yep, we’re as surprised as you, for when corduroy is bad, it’s awful; deeply unflattering, unshapely and uncool. But fashion is a fickle beast, and the positives of the much maligned material seem to fit in with the landscape of what’s hot this year.  So, here are 5 IDEAL ways to wear corduroy in 2018.


In recent times we’ve witnessed the rise of clashing patterns and prints, the juxtaposing style a look which just goes from strength to strength. Now it’s the turn of clashing materials to enjoy the limelight, and there is no better textural delight than corduroy. It’s a tactile turn, and pairs to full effect with another pronounced texture as a foil – think your favourite oversized knit jumper with a cord skirt.


Baggy corduroy lacks shape, and skin tight looks, well, weird, so a slim fit is a good place to start. For men, cord trousers such as these from Chums, are to be worn slim fit and with a flash of ankle. For women, it’s all about a high waist and thick turn ups, preferably worn over some chunky heels.


One of the more enduring ways of wearing corduroy, this, but a few rules still apply, or you’ll end up looking like Jarvis Cocker conducting a parent’s evening. For men, a denim cord, shearling style is very much in. In fact, any men’s corduroy jacket benefits from a contrasting collar both in texture and colour. It goes without saying that these should be worn button-down, and the same goes for women wanting to don a cord jacket. 2018 is likely to see a boxy shape for females – wear over a slogan t-shirt for maximum cool.


Although it’s nicknamed the ‘poor man’s velvet’, Corduroy is a fabric so rich that you can pull it off in some outlandish colours. If you’re going to take the plunge into something so textured, why shroud its glory in darkness. Particularly popular right now are pinks and burgundy for women, and the perennially dad-cool colour palate of mustards and tans for men.


For women, this is in. Because, hey, if you’re going to wear the controversial fabric, you might as well go all out. It’s a statement, sure, but one with serious pedigree in 2018. It doesn’t always flatter the bigger frame in full suit mode, so close pay attention to colour. For men, the colours of the country gent are a good reference point. For some more ideas on how to wear corduroy check out the below infographic.

Top skirt available from www.thirtyoneboutique.com
Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.