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5 Ways to Wear Corduroy Pants this Fall

October 14, 2022

Happy Friday! Since I didn’t even start wearing makeup again until mid week (after taking time off for illness), I won’t be sharing a daily outfits collection today. Instead, we headed to our home studio yesterday afternoon and shot a variety of ways to wear corduroy pants this fall. I tend to name these posts 5 Ways…but I always come up with more than five! And while these particular pants, which I purchased in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, are sold out, you can adapt all of these styles to the corduroy pants you own or buy this season, as well as corduroy skirts. Let’s get started!

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I purchased my maple oat colored Eileen Fisher corduroy pants in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and they just recently sold out. But I’ve created a shopping widget full of equally stylish and wearable corduroy pants and skirts from your favorite retailers and dropped it in the bottom of this post. I like that these particular cords are a looser fit and feature a straight, tapered leg and flat front. But you can recreate any of these style formulas with the silhouette you own or prefer to purchase. I’ll include shoppable links in the caption of one photo from each style formula for any items that are still available. But I’ll focus on style tips in the text.

Top Them with a Sweater

While these photos were taken shortly after purchasing my pants in the summer, this is the outfit I wore yesterday to Bible study. I thinking topping your corduroy pants with a pretty sweater is the most obvious outfit formula, but it may also be one of the prettiest.

Eileen Fisher
sweater (in clear water) // shoes (in light whiskey suede) // earrings // necklace

Our days are cool presently, but not cold. So I chose a lightweight, slightly cropped sweater to pair with my cords. This sweater is also by Eileen Fisher and is still available in several pretty colors. It’s also marked down. I actually finished my outfit with these lighter sand suede mules yesterday (you’ll see those further down). I like how this outfit features a minimal contrast in intensity, but it doesn’t lack color and interest.

Eileen Fisher

Style Tip: When choosing a sweater to pair with your cords (or any other pants), always remember to keep proportions in mind…in two ways. If you pants are slim or straight, you can have more fullness in your sweater. But if your pants are full leg or blousy, you’ll want to wear a slimmer fitting sweater. The second way you’ll want to consider proportions is in length. If you can elongate your legs with similar colored or flesh toned shoes, you can wear a longer length sweater. But if you are wearing contrasting colored shoes and thus shortening the leg line a bit, you’ll want to wear a cropped length sweater or tuck it in a little.

Try a Sweater Vest…Two Ways

Next I thought it would be fun to top my cords with one of my sweater vests. I own several by now, but I chose the black just to demonstrate an outfit with a high contrast in intensity. While I prefer to keep contrast in intensity low or medium for me, I know many of my readers want to put together outfits with more contrast. And this definitely works.

Corduroy Pants with a Sweater Vest
similar vest // tee // earrings // necklace // bangle // watch (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off your purchase) // shoulder bag // similar loafers (more economical)

Style Tip: If you create a high contrast in intensity outfit by pairing lighter and darker pieces, it’s smart to bookend the look. This is a great way to tie it together so it still looks cohesive. You can bookend your look by wearing the same color top (or jacket or even scarf) and shoes.

Sweater Vest with Cords

Please forgive the makeup stain on the vest. Ugh! Can I still claim, “I’m not quite well?” Hahaha!

Anyhow I thought I’d show you the cords with a sweater vest two ways. You could actually wear just the vest, too, but I’ve done that before here. I wanted to show you two great ways to layer the vest for fall. So above I showed it with my favorite white v-neck tee and below I swapped out the tee for my fitted stretch white button up shirt from Chico’s.

Vest and Shirt with Cords
similar vest // shirt // earrings // necklace // bangle // watch (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off your purchase) // shoulder bag // similar loafers (more economical)

And, because I know my readers have different preferences when it comes to things like an untucked shirttail, I also thought I’d show the shirt tucked (below) and untucked (above). I think either way works nicely; it’s really just a personal choice, and both are in style. The untucked version obviously looks a little more casual and relaxed.

Vest and Shirt with Cords

Style Tip: If you are wide across the hips or waist, avoid adding a line to this part of your body. Remember, even an untucked white shirt acts as a visual line across your hips. So if that’s something you’re trying to avoid, keep that in mind when trying out various styling techniques. For instance, I personally think my body looks a little better without the shirttail at the hips. The visual line is raised just a bit to a more narrow place on my body. Just play around with this concept to find what works for you.

Top Them with a T-Shirt & Blazer

Next I topped the corduroy pants with that same favorite white t-shirt

T-Shirt & Blazer with Cords
white t-shirt // blazer // similar sneakers // earrings // necklace // bangle // watch (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off your purchase)

When it came to choosing a blazer that I felt looked right with my fairly casual cords, I chose one that is sold and has a relaxed fit. This Italian stretch flannel long blazer is fitted, but the long length gives it a contemporary, casual feel. And I love the way these neutrals play together.

Blazer with T-Shirt and Cords

To keep the look casual, I wore my white leather sneakers. I think it would have worked to wear my sand colored retro sneakers also. But I like the way the white leather sneakers and white tee bookend the very casual, fun outfit.

Style Tip: Avoid fussy blazers or those that look very polished and dressy when choosing one to pair with your corduroys. Cords are generally more casual pants, so keep the look balanced with a more pared back selection of blazer or other jacket.

Top Them with a Flannel Shirt

I think another obvious choice for corduroy pants is a flannel shirt. I picked up this Rails flannel shirt at Evereve. It’s pricey, but Rails does shirts extremely well. I liked that this flannel shirt is much more feminine looking than most. It features slight puffs at the shoulders and fuller sleeves than most. And of course there’s that pretty pink stripe in there.

Flannel Shirt with Cords
flannel shirt (more economical options – not necessarily all flannel) // shoes (in light whiskey suede) // bangle // watch (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off your purchase) // earrings

But of course you can top your cords with most any flannel shirt you own or purchase. I found some equally feminine plaid shirts here at Loft (at great prices!), but I didn’t take the time to check if any of them are actually flannel. Doesn’t matter really, unless that’s specifically what you’re looking for.

Flannel Shirt with Cords

You also could finish this outfit off with sneakers or clogs or other flats if you chose. I was just trying to show a variety, and I do like how the suede plays against the corduroy and flannel. All three textiles are generally associated with cooler weather, so I think that makes for a nice, seasonal combination.

Style Tip: When putting together outfits, I think it’s smart to consider your fabric combinations. While you absolutely can wear anything you like at this time of year (line, cotton, seersucker, etc.), there are some fabrics that just feel and look more cold weather appropriate. And I think it’s smart to put those together. For instance, I’d avoid wearing linen with corduroy, at least at this time of year. Then again, if you live in a climate where you’re still wearing linen, that combination may look really interesting and appropriate. It’s just something to consider.

Top with a Pretty Print Shirt

Of course you’re not limited to flannel shirts. You can top your corduroy pants with most any other pretty print shirt, too. I like to choose one that creates a pretty color play. First I’ve chosen one of my favorite button up cotton print shirts.

Print Shirt and Corduroy Pants
shirt (TTS – wearing medium) // sweater // boots (similar color boots & 40% off!) // bangle // watch (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off your purchase) // earrings

I actually have sand colored suede booties that might would have looked better here, more elongating. But I wanted to show you that you can wear contrasting boots if that’s all you have in your closet. Sometimes we have to make adjustments because we don’t want to purchase ALL the things, know what I mean? So the key to wearing contrasting booties is to tuck that top. If I were to leave the shirt untucked (it’s a long one, too), my legs would look chopped up and shorter. The proportions would not be pleasing to the eye.

Shirt and Cords

So I simply chose booties in a color “that works.” They don’t have to match. And it helped that there is brown in my shirt, but I don’t think that would be absolutely necessary either.

Style Tip: Don’t forget easy and fun style hacks like throwing a pullover sweater over your shoulders. That’s one of those little tricks that I see other women wearing and think why didn’t I think to do that??? It’s easy, somewhat practical because it really keeps the chill off and effective.

Next I topped the corduroy pants with a pullover print top. This works equally well.

Pullover Shirt and Corduroy Pants for Fall
shirt // navy flats (TTS) // similar tote // necklace (DFMD TOP SELLER!!!) // bangle // watch (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off your purchase) // earrings

In fact, this turned out to be my favorite outfit of the bunch, which was quite surprising to me. This reminds me that sometimes it’s the simplest combinations that make the biggest impact. I think the feminine, navy print top creates just a little juxtaposition against the corduroy pants. And I just happened to have purchased these pretty navy flats recently, which worked perfectly to bookend the look. I really bought them to wear with jeans for an elongated leg and maybe even some tonal looks. But they are so comfortable and work really nicely here. The flats so also come in a beautiful cognac.

Pullover Shirt and Corduroy Pants for Fall

By the way, that chain necklace I’m wearing is the number one seller here at Dressed for My Day for the past 30 days. I’m wearing it so often these days. I find it is such a simple but very effective way to accessorize most every outfit, especially one with an open collar like this shirt features.

Keep It Tonal

And for my last look I thought it would be nice to create a tonal or tone on tone outfit. That’s actually one of my favorite things to do with cords since you can buy them in so many pretty colors. The idea is simply to wear the same tone head to toe.

Tonal Look with Cords
sweater // mules // clutch // similar necklace // bangle // watch (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off your purchase) // earrings

There are a few tricks to keeping a tonal outfit from being boring. One, combine several different textures if at all possible. I’m wearing corduroy, cashmere and suede, all beautifully fall appropriate but distinctly different fabrics. Second, don’t hesitate to mix slightly different shades of the same tone or color. In fact, layering on different shades is a good way to maintain proportions and focus on the body parts you want to accentuate while downplaying those you want the eye to skim over. For instance, the fact that my pants are slightly darker than my sand colored sweater, supposedly makes my bottom half look a little thinner to the eye.

Tonal Look with Corduroy
sweater // beige suede Ally block heel pumps // clutch // similar necklace // bangle // watch (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off your purchase) // earrings

And third, it’s perfectly fine to add a splash of another color to a tonal outfit. Neither my tortoiseshell necklace nor my brown corduroy & suede clutch distract from the long line of caramel or beige I’ve created. You’ll notice I wore my sand colored mules in the first photo and switched them out for my beige suede Ally block heel pumps in the second. So you can create a tonal look with heels or flats nicely.

You can create similar tonal looks with any color of corduroy pant or skirt. And speaking of colors, keep in mind, as you peruse the shopping widget below, that most of the pants (and the one skirt) I’ve selected come in a wide range of colors. So click through for other color options. There is indeed only one skirt. They weren’t as easy to find as I had hope, but I do like the one I found.

Thanks so much for dropping in. I hope this was helpful for those of you who enjoy wearing corduroy. I know it’s not everyone’s favorite fabric, but I do enjoy it this time of year. Have a great Friday!

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Blessed for My Day

Do you sometimes feel as though you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders? Well, maybe you don’t assume you have the answer or solution to all the world’s problems, but you might feel hard pressed to at least offer an answer to all the difficult situations in your family or among your friends. Maybe you’re in a season of life when it seems that everyone around you is hurting, struggling. And maybe you ache with concern for them, but you don’t know how to help or the solutions to offer.

Let me remind you that you do not need to carry these burdens, but you do know to whom to take these cares. The Trinity is at work in your life and you can call upon Him to work in the lives of your loved ones. God the Father is working good for those who love Him and are called by His name, and His plans will not be thwarted. Jesus is preparing a place for those who follow Him, and is at the right hand of the Father advocating for us. And the Holy Spirit, who resides within each believer, is convicting, reminding, assuring, guiding, and comforting us through each and every day. We are not without resource. In fact, talk about dream teams! We have the power and the presence of the Triune God. Do not be troubled. He is at work.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ~ John 14:1-3

xoxo, Kay
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12 thoughts on “5 Ways to Wear Corduroy Pants this Fall

  1. Love how much you teach us about proportions and the use of color. I wish someone had taught me that years ago! Love your 5 Ways posts. So interesting to see how the choices change the look of the outfit. Thank you also for encouraging us in the Word at the end of each post. I am struggling with pant length decisions. I like a straight leg pant like the cords you chose in today’s post. This time of year I alternate between loafers and ankle booties. Do you but the same length pants for both shoe styles? I don’t like a length that drapes down on the loafer too much. Is it okay to have the pants look shorter when switching to an ankle boot?

    1. Yes, as you can see I have worn several different heel heights with my cords. My loafers and sneakers both are platform and have a little bit of elevation. My mules are flat and of course I’ve also worn heels and heeled booties. These are actually ankle length pants to begin with so I just don’t let a little bit of space bother me. Really, we’re being so much more gracious about pants lengths these day, and I’m all for taking advantage of it. I know some women are still very insistent on full length pants and jeans, but that just really complicates matters. And it’s much more modern to wear a higher hem length these days in general.

      1. Your pant length response reassured me! I have several ankle pants but worry about length when I wear different height shoes. Glad it is more fashionable to have a shorter length.😀

  2. I’m so glad that both of you are feeling better and that you continue to pay attention to what your body is telling you! Kay, you created so many great outfits with the one pair of pants. I can’t pick a favorite. I think it would be helpful sometime if you showed us a picture of a look that doesn’t work, especially for those of us that are visual learners. I am paying more attention to proportions, thanks to you and the other influencers I follow. I hope you have a restful and blessed weekend!

  3. Kay,
    Do you have a list somewhere on your site of the tips like in todays post. It would be nice to be able to keep the list in my closet for reference, since I can’t remember all of them. Thanks ,


    1. Ah, no. That sounds like a good idea. I’ll try to create a cheat sheet soon and make it available in my printable library. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. What a lovely post Kay. It’s packed with great style ideas and your choice of cords and accompanying garments and accessories in your colour palette are so flattering on you. This is definitely worth referencing again and again for style inspiration. have a joyful weekend.

  5. Would it be possible to model some corduroy skirts? Or do you just wear them in place of the pants? What kind of shoes go with corduroy skirts? Stockings? Tights? leggings? It’s getting chilly this fall.

  6. Hey Kay!! I would love to Pin your different looks to my Pintrest acct. So if I need an idea as to how to put an outfit together all I have to do is go to my Pintrest acct and just click on it and it will show up. Thank you for your blog. It’s very helpful. Also love your videos. Have a Great Day!🧡🍁