With the advent of “dad style” over the past two years, many pieces of clothing once considered unacceptable today are critical components of the menswear canon. From light-wash high-rise jeans to chunky sneakers and Steve Jobs-esque turtlenecks, items historically mocked are now at the center of the menswear universe, as prevalent in streetwear and malls as they are on runways. But, the trend only goes so far. Even up until very recently, corduroy pants were a step beyond, reserved for Old Navy discount bins. However, given how dad style has essentially evolved into “grandpa style” and high-waisted pants are finally staging a comeback (see Gucci for evidence) cords have slowly started to reenter the menswear consciousness. Of course, prep and Americana labels have been experimenting for years now, but in our current menswear moment, the corduroy trouser is exactly the combination of dated, novel and comfortable to suddenly explode.

What is Corduroy?

Before we showcase our favorite corduroy trousers available right now, we felt it necessary to explain precisely what identifies a fabric as “corduroy.” A reference to the the ridges visible on the fabric, corduroy is a product of a unique weaving process dating back to 18th century England. Created by adding additional sets of fibre to the base fabric to create ridges (more commonly referred to as “wales”), corduroy is a naturally durable, tear resistant perfectly suited for menial labor. Often separated as either normal or “wide-wale” corduroy, in fact the number of wales is inversely proportional to how “wide” the cord is considered, ranging from 1.5 wales per inch all the way to 21 (aka micro-cord), with the majority of fabric falling between 10 and 12 wales/inch. While these rules are no longer rigorously followed, traditionally the wider-wale (four and under) are only suitable for trousers and upholstery whereas the thinner wale is reserved for tops and outerwear.

What to Buy

Now that you know what corduroy is, which pants should you buy? With every label under the sun suddenly producing its own version of corduroy trousers, we felt it prudent to break down a list of our current favorites. Below, we present our favorite corduroy pants available right now.

Tags: workwear, prep-style, dad-style, ivy-style, prep, spring-style, spring-fashion, winter-style, winter-fashion, fall-fashion, fall-style, levis, engineered-garments, kapital, visvim, ami, supreme, noah, maison-margiela, prada