Corduroys and Chinos
One of my favorite looks for fall is combining a dark brown corduroy sport coat with a casual pair of chinos, especially with an open collared, plaid shirt, like you see above. The chinos should probably be khaki colored, but olive could work just as well. The shirt can also be an OCBD, chamois, flannel, or some other kind of brushed cotton. The key is to get something that’s heavy and rough enough to visually hold its own against the corduroy. For shoes, I recommend a dark brown pair of loafers, chukkas, or plain-toe derbys. I would personally opt for plain calf, but if you wanted more texture, you could reach for suede or pebble grained leathers. 
The best thing about corduroy and chinos is that, like with good denim and tweed, they only get better with age. Corduroy sport coats, for example, look best when they’ve developed that uneven wear from years of repeated use, and causal chinos are much nicer once they’ve softened up with age. This makes them perfect for guys who don’t like to fuss too much over their clothes. So long as you make sure they fit well, you can wear them hard and feel assured that any use will just add to their value. When well-aged, corduroys and chinos have a great way of conveying a relaxed, nonchalant sense of style, which in my opinion is the best kind. 
Plus, their combination just expresses fall very well. As seen here on Woody Allen. 

Corduroys and Chinos

One of my favorite looks for fall is combining a dark brown corduroy sport coat with a casual pair of chinos, especially with an open collared, plaid shirt, like you see above. The chinos should probably be khaki colored, but olive could work just as well. The shirt can also be an OCBD, chamois, flannel, or some other kind of brushed cotton. The key is to get something that’s heavy and rough enough to visually hold its own against the corduroy. For shoes, I recommend a dark brown pair of loafers, chukkas, or plain-toe derbys. I would personally opt for plain calf, but if you wanted more texture, you could reach for suede or pebble grained leathers. 

The best thing about corduroy and chinos is that, like with good denim and tweed, they only get better with age. Corduroy sport coats, for example, look best when they’ve developed that uneven wear from years of repeated use, and causal chinos are much nicer once they’ve softened up with age. This makes them perfect for guys who don’t like to fuss too much over their clothes. So long as you make sure they fit well, you can wear them hard and feel assured that any use will just add to their value. When well-aged, corduroys and chinos have a great way of conveying a relaxed, nonchalant sense of style, which in my opinion is the best kind. 

Plus, their combination just expresses fall very well. As seen here on Woody Allen. 

Green Corduroys for Fall
I’m personally not one for unusual trousers. Some men can pull off loud colors and vivid patterns with aplomb, but they’re few and far between, and I’m not one of them. The one exception I make, however, are green corduroys in the fall.
If you’re just getting your first pair of corduroys, I recommend ones in a dark shade of russet brown. These can be successfully worn with almost any kind of autumnal clothing you can imagine – grey shawl collar cardigans, green waxed cotton Barbour jackets, navy flannel shirts, and brown suede shoes. They’ll be soft, comfortable, and a touch warm.
If you’re getting your second pair, I recommend wheat. Anything that resembles something like the muted color on your standard pair of chinos to ones that are just a touch more golden. If you hit the right shade, and be sure not to veer into something too yellow, these should be about as easy to wear as your dark brown pair.
Once you’re on your third, however, I suggest considering green - something like British racing green or olive. These are slightly more daring colors, but still feel reasonably conservative. Like dark brown and wheat, green is an earthy color that feels very seasonally appropriate in the fall. I wear mine with navy or grey sweaters, the kind with a very heavy texture such as Shetland or lambswool, or with a gun club sport coat, pale blue oxford cloth shirt, and brown slip on shoes, like you see above.
If you’ve never bought corduroys before, take care in paying attention to the size of the wales. These are the ribs that make up the fabric’s signature texture. Something with thicker, more widely spaced, plush wales will look a bit more old-fashioned; something very fine will look close to velvet. A mid-sized wale is a safe bet, though I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wide wales either. Those will look quite comfortable and traditional, and if you don’t wear them in an overly baggy cut, they won’t look too frumpy. My green corduroys are somewhat wide waled, actually, and cut on the fuller side of slim. Corduroys are of course a country garment, but in green I think they’re especially rustic. Country clothes, in my opinion, always look better when they’re cut slightly fuller than city clothes. 
You can pick up decent corduroys at any number of places. Cordings, Pakeman, and Hoggs of Fife have very nice traditionally cut models, while Epaulet’s and Howard Yount’s will run slim. There’s also Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers, who will have different models for different fits. The upside to them is that you’re more likely to live near one of their stores, so you can check out their products in person. However, I’ve also found that the other suppliers are happy to give you measurements if you enquire. 
(As an aside, if you haven’t read Jesse’s address to the Corduroy Appreciation Club, you really ought to read it. It stands out in my mind as one of the funniest clothing-related things I’ve ever come across. Corduroy Now, Corduroy Forever!) 

Green Corduroys for Fall

I’m personally not one for unusual trousers. Some men can pull off loud colors and vivid patterns with aplomb, but they’re few and far between, and I’m not one of them. The one exception I make, however, are green corduroys in the fall.

If you’re just getting your first pair of corduroys, I recommend ones in a dark shade of russet brown. These can be successfully worn with almost any kind of autumnal clothing you can imagine – grey shawl collar cardigans, green waxed cotton Barbour jackets, navy flannel shirts, and brown suede shoes. They’ll be soft, comfortable, and a touch warm.

If you’re getting your second pair, I recommend wheat. Anything that resembles something like the muted color on your standard pair of chinos to ones that are just a touch more golden. If you hit the right shade, and be sure not to veer into something too yellow, these should be about as easy to wear as your dark brown pair.

Once you’re on your third, however, I suggest considering green - something like British racing green or olive. These are slightly more daring colors, but still feel reasonably conservative. Like dark brown and wheat, green is an earthy color that feels very seasonally appropriate in the fall. I wear mine with navy or grey sweaters, the kind with a very heavy texture such as Shetland or lambswool, or with a gun club sport coat, pale blue oxford cloth shirt, and brown slip on shoes, like you see above.

If you’ve never bought corduroys before, take care in paying attention to the size of the wales. These are the ribs that make up the fabric’s signature texture. Something with thicker, more widely spaced, plush wales will look a bit more old-fashioned; something very fine will look close to velvet. A mid-sized wale is a safe bet, though I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wide wales either. Those will look quite comfortable and traditional, and if you don’t wear them in an overly baggy cut, they won’t look too frumpy. My green corduroys are somewhat wide waled, actually, and cut on the fuller side of slim. Corduroys are of course a country garment, but in green I think they’re especially rustic. Country clothes, in my opinion, always look better when they’re cut slightly fuller than city clothes. 

You can pick up decent corduroys at any number of places. Cordings, Pakeman, and Hoggs of Fife have very nice traditionally cut models, while Epaulet’s and Howard Yount’s will run slim. There’s also Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers, who will have different models for different fits. The upside to them is that you’re more likely to live near one of their stores, so you can check out their products in person. However, I’ve also found that the other suppliers are happy to give you measurements if you enquire. 

(As an aside, if you haven’t read Jesse’s address to the Corduroy Appreciation Club, you really ought to read it. It stands out in my mind as one of the funniest clothing-related things I’ve ever come across. Corduroy Now, Corduroy Forever!) 

HAIL THE WALE!
Today is 11/11/11, the Day Which Most Resembles Corduroy (of ALL TIME). Join me and my fellow Corduroy Appreciation Club members in celebrating this most auspicious occaision.
HAIL THE WALE!
If you are so inclined, I encourage you to consider my 2010 address to the Corduroy Appreciation Club, which considers the many benefits of the fabric and of course the grave threat posed by corduroy’s sworn enemy, velvet.

HAIL THE WALE!

Today is 11/11/11, the Day Which Most Resembles Corduroy (of ALL TIME). Join me and my fellow Corduroy Appreciation Club members in celebrating this most auspicious occaision.

HAIL THE WALE!

If you are so inclined, I encourage you to consider my 2010 address to the Corduroy Appreciation Club, which considers the many benefits of the fabric and of course the grave threat posed by corduroy’s sworn enemy, velvet.

Cornell, 1948
via Greensleeves to a Ground

Put This On Episode 7: Personal Style

Episode seven of Put This On explores personal style - elegant, quirky, distinctive and everywhere in between.

Field correspondent Dave Hill visits the annual meeting of the Corduroy Appreciation Club, held each year on 11/11, the date which most resembles corduroy. He discovers a magical world, dedicated to the promotion of that most bookish of fabrics, and to the denigration of the sworn enemy of the wale: velvet.

Then Roxana Altamirano brings a new Nerd Boyfriend segment, with an investigation of an icon of eccentric style, Andre Benjamin, aka Andre 3000 of Outkast.

Plus: a conversation with one of the world’s most elegant men, Gay Talese. He’s not just one of America’s most celebrated magazine writers and the man who invented the contemporary magazine profile. He’s also one of the best-dressed men in the world, the son of an immigrant tailor who imbued in his progeny a love of fine clothing. Besides that, he’s got his own lapel shape!

Stay tuned to putthison.com for more information about season two. If you or your business is interested in sponsoring season two, email us at contact@putthison.com.

Directed by Adam Lisagor

Editing & Second Camera by Benjamin Ahr Harrison

Hosted & Written by Jesse Thorn

Featuring Dave Hill & Roxana Altamirano

iTunes / Vimeo / YouTube

Clothing Credits

Funding Credits

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Gothamist: Secret Rituals of the Corduroy Appreciation Club REVEALED
Corduroy Club in the Times (click the pic)

Corduroy Club in the Times (click the pic)

An Address to the Corduroy Appreciation Club
I was lucky enough to be invited to speak to the fifth annual Grand Meeting of the Corduroy Appreciation Club on November 11th, the date which most resembles corduroy.  Below is the text of my address.  Hail the wale. 
First, I’d like to offer my thanks to Mr. Rohan and the kind people of Cotton Inc. for allowing me the opportunity to join this convocation.  It is a great honor to address such a warm and august group.Friends, we are gathered today for a noble purpose.  We celebrate not just a fabric, but a way of life.  For a thousand years, corduroy has stood for what is right in our lives.  Intellectual rigor.  Fresh air.  The comfort of a crackling fire.  It is a fabric as forgiving and enduring as our spirits at their best.Sadly, we stand together this evening in the face of great danger.  Interlopers, charlatans and ne’erdowells threaten our values and identities.  All, if you might forgive the pun, is not wale in our world.But before we get to what is wrong, let’s talk about what is right.What is your favorite piece of corduroy?  An old pair of pants?  A sportcoat?  A favored trilby that warms your pate on cool autumn days?What does that garment mean to you?How do you feel when you don it?  As your cold leg slides into that warm, soft trouser leg, are you heartened?  Ready to face your troubles?  As you slip your arm into the sleeve of a tattered old blazer, are you calmed?  Ready to get on with the work of the mind?  When you close the buttons of a suit, are you steeled?  Ready to take on the grasses and brambles that stand in the way of progress?This evening, I’m wearing my own corduroy suit.  For me, this is a suit in which I can live.I came to this beautiful hall in a soiled subway car, but I might as well have travelled in a grand carriage.  As I walked down the street I drew sidelong glances.  “Who is this man,” they seemed to say.  “A man at home where-ever he travels.  A man of refinement.  A man of elegance.  A man of corduroy.”But don’t get the wrong idea!  This is not some fabric reserved for oily diplomats, or gentrymen of questionable morality.  Corduroy is not weak!  It is not effete or innefectual or elitist.  Corduroy is a fabric built to take on the world.  Tuck your corduroy trousers into your boots and feed the pigs.  Roll up your corduroy sleeves and bring in the harvest.  Put on a corduroy field jacket and go outside to build something.What’s truly special about our fabric is that it a fabric for being and for doing.  For relaxed enjoyment and for taking care of business.  For reading ancient tomes and for building great societies.  Corduroy is the fabric of living.…There’s an Italian word: chiarroscuro.  It translates roughly as “the light and the dark.”  It means that the brightest light exists in concert with the darkest darkness.The sun shines incandescent against the blackness of space.  Knowledge wields its greatest power in the presence of ignorance.  A baby’s skin is softest against its father’s rough beard.For a thousand years, corduroy has been our light against the darkness.  It has served as bulwark; held the inky darkness back, kept the forces of evil at bay.  For a thousand years, corduroy has battled on our behalfs, but tonight, we join together as one to cry to heavens that we stand behind our fabric.  CORDUROY NOW, and CORDUROY FOREVER.We join together because there is one danger so clear, so present that without the efforts of those tonight assembled we might be subsumed by evil.  Consumed by that inky darkness.  While I am hesitant to even speak this evil’s name, I must, and I will.Tonight, friends, we join together to battle velvet.….Velvet is the fabric of evil.  Confidence men and crooked bankers join together nightly in velvet-fueled bacchanalias, laughing at their latest swindles.  Sickly courtesans don velvet codpieces and drink champagne toasts to their dominance of the common man.  Third-world dictators rub themselves with velvet swatches while firing squads execute dissident leaders.  Louche, lude, lascivious velvet is our enemy, and there is no one to fight against it but us.  Velvet is soft.  It is this softness that draws us in.  Not just here in America, but across borders.In Spain, a bullfighter choses a handful of cloth over the love of his wife.In Russia, an oligarch ascends to a velvet throne, stepping on the dreams of the serfs below him.In England, the embrace of a velveteen rabbit delivers Scarlet Fever to a defensless child.What is velvet, after all, but the promise of a life without consequence?  A world of soft-pile dreams with their loops clipped off.  A frenzied rubbing, a mad dash, a sensual, erotic extravaganza that never ends?But beware: velvet’s soft handshake hides a deadly blade.  In the real world, no matter what the velvet-peddlers might tell you, we must face the consequences of our actions.  We must take on the burdens of the world.  We must find comfort in a job well done - not in a job well shirked.In our own nation, velvet’s cruel, secret blade cuts deep.Witness in Iowa, a family of four.  A father cries himself to sleep each night, thinking of the mortgage payments he cannot make.  His tears fall gently onto the velvet nightshirt he had to own, the velvet sheets that drained away his life’s savings.  Their flimsy pile cannot keep out the cold.In Oregon, a young athlete, 22.  Came to college on scholarship, hoped one day to represent his nation in the Olympics - his sport, biathalon.  Then one day he meets a shadowy figure at a party, a man who promises softness  at any cost.  Soon his passion for shooting and corss-country skiing have waned, and all that’s left is a passion for velvet… and self-pleasure.An artisinal butcher in Williamsburg opens his own shop.  He’s doing well, selling salt-cured bacon and filet of avocado.  Then one night, surfing Etsy, he spots a pair of gloves.  “Those look nice,” he thinks, “and soft, as well.”  He imagines how much more comfortable he’ll be without his metal gloves.  When they arrive, he is comfortable.  For months, he’s happy.  Until one day he slips into a moment of reverie while chopping sun-dried tomatoes for an asiago sausage.  No one wants to buy meat from a butcher with seven fingers.Velvet: the fabric of liars… cheats… charlatans.  Murders… arsonists… rapists.  The fabric of Hitler, of Mao, of Jay Leno.Truly, these are terrifying times.There is much to fear.  Much darkness in the world.  Luckily, there is an answer.  It is us.We are here, together, today, because we share a vision.  A vision for a world where hard work pays off.  Where the lively mind is rewarded.  Where relaxtion and enjoyment are borne from a moral life.We are brave in the face of challenges.  Our wales will protect us.  Corduroy is our cause, and also our armor.  We will not stray from our path.We march towards a better world.  We march inexorably.  We march with courage… conviction… corduroy.Join me now in a cry of freedom.  Join me!CORDUROY NOW, CORDUROY FOREVER!  CORDUROY NOW, CORDUROY FOREVER!CORDUROY NOW, CORDUROY FOREVER!I thank you, and good night.

An Address to the Corduroy Appreciation Club

I was lucky enough to be invited to speak to the fifth annual Grand Meeting of the Corduroy Appreciation Club on November 11th, the date which most resembles corduroy.  Below is the text of my address.  Hail the wale.


First, I’d like to offer my thanks to Mr. Rohan and the kind people of Cotton Inc. for allowing me the opportunity to join this convocation.  It is a great honor to address such a warm and august group.

Friends, we are gathered today for a noble purpose.  We celebrate not just a fabric, but a way of life.  

For a thousand years, corduroy has stood for what is right in our lives.  Intellectual rigor.  Fresh air.  The comfort of a crackling fire.  It is a fabric as forgiving and enduring as our spirits at their best.

Sadly, we stand together this evening in the face of great danger.  Interlopers, charlatans and ne’erdowells threaten our values and identities.  All, if you might forgive the pun, is not wale in our world.

But before we get to what is wrong, let’s talk about what is right.

What is your favorite piece of corduroy?  An old pair of pants?  A sportcoat?  A favored trilby that warms your pate on cool autumn days?

What does that garment mean to you?

How do you feel when you don it?  

As your cold leg slides into that warm, soft trouser leg, are you heartened?  Ready to face your troubles?  As you slip your arm into the sleeve of a tattered old blazer, are you calmed?  Ready to get on with the work of the mind?  When you close the buttons of a suit, are you steeled?  Ready to take on the grasses and brambles that stand in the way of progress?

This evening, I’m wearing my own corduroy suit.  For me, this is a suit in which I can live.

I came to this beautiful hall in a soiled subway car, but I might as well have travelled in a grand carriage.  As I walked down the street I drew sidelong glances.  “Who is this man,” they seemed to say.  “A man at home where-ever he travels.  A man of refinement.  A man of elegance.  A man of corduroy.”

But don’t get the wrong idea!  This is not some fabric reserved for oily diplomats, or gentrymen of questionable morality.  Corduroy is not weak!  It is not effete or innefectual or elitist.  Corduroy is a fabric built to take on the world.  Tuck your corduroy trousers into your boots and feed the pigs.  Roll up your corduroy sleeves and bring in the harvest.  Put on a corduroy field jacket and go outside to build something.

What’s truly special about our fabric is that it a fabric for being and for doing.  For relaxed enjoyment and for taking care of business.  For reading ancient tomes and for building great societies.  Corduroy is the fabric of living.



There’s an Italian word: chiarroscuro.  It translates roughly as “the light and the dark.”  It means that the brightest light exists in concert with the darkest darkness.

The sun shines incandescent against the blackness of space.  Knowledge wields its greatest power in the presence of ignorance.  A baby’s skin is softest against its father’s rough beard.

For a thousand years, corduroy has been our light against the darkness.  It has served as bulwark; held the inky darkness back, kept the forces of evil at bay.  For a thousand years, corduroy has battled on our behalfs, but tonight, we join together as one to cry to heavens that we stand behind our fabric.  

CORDUROY NOW, and CORDUROY FOREVER.

We join together because there is one danger so clear, so present that without the efforts of those tonight assembled we might be subsumed by evil.  Consumed by that inky darkness.  

While I am hesitant to even speak this evil’s name, I must, and I will.

Tonight, friends, we join together to battle velvet.

….

Velvet is the fabric of evil.  

Confidence men and crooked bankers join together nightly in velvet-fueled bacchanalias, laughing at their latest swindles.  Sickly courtesans don velvet codpieces and drink champagne toasts to their dominance of the common man.  Third-world dictators rub themselves with velvet swatches while firing squads execute dissident leaders.  

Louche, lude, lascivious velvet is our enemy, and there is no one to fight against it but us.  

Velvet is soft.  It is this softness that draws us in.  Not just here in America, but across borders.

In Spain, a bullfighter choses a handful of cloth over the love of his wife.

In Russia, an oligarch ascends to a velvet throne, stepping on the dreams of the serfs below him.

In England, the embrace of a velveteen rabbit delivers Scarlet Fever to a defensless child.

What is velvet, after all, but the promise of a life without consequence?  A world of soft-pile dreams with their loops clipped off.  A frenzied rubbing, a mad dash, a sensual, erotic extravaganza that never ends?

But beware: velvet’s soft handshake hides a deadly blade.  In the real world, no matter what the velvet-peddlers might tell you, we must face the consequences of our actions.  We must take on the burdens of the world.  We must find comfort in a job well done - not in a job well shirked.

In our own nation, velvet’s cruel, secret blade cuts deep.

Witness in Iowa, a family of four.  A father cries himself to sleep each night, thinking of the mortgage payments he cannot make.  His tears fall gently onto the velvet nightshirt he had to own, the velvet sheets that drained away his life’s savings.  Their flimsy pile cannot keep out the cold.

In Oregon, a young athlete, 22.  Came to college on scholarship, hoped one day to represent his nation in the Olympics - his sport, biathalon.  Then one day he meets a shadowy figure at a party, a man who promises softness  at any cost.  Soon his passion for shooting and corss-country skiing have waned, and all that’s left is a passion for velvet… and self-pleasure.

An artisinal butcher in Williamsburg opens his own shop.  He’s doing well, selling salt-cured bacon and filet of avocado.  Then one night, surfing Etsy, he spots a pair of gloves.  “Those look nice,” he thinks, “and soft, as well.”  He imagines how much more comfortable he’ll be without his metal gloves.  When they arrive, he is comfortable.  For months, he’s happy.  Until one day he slips into a moment of reverie while chopping sun-dried tomatoes for an asiago sausage.  No one wants to buy meat from a butcher with seven fingers.

Velvet: the fabric of liars… cheats… charlatans.  Murders… arsonists… rapists.  The fabric of Hitler, of Mao, of Jay Leno.

Truly, these are terrifying times.

There is much to fear.  Much darkness in the world.  Luckily, there is an answer.  It is us.

We are here, together, today, because we share a vision.  A vision for a world where hard work pays off.  Where the lively mind is rewarded.  Where relaxtion and enjoyment are borne from a moral life.

We are brave in the face of challenges.  Our wales will protect us.  Corduroy is our cause, and also our armor.  We will not stray from our path.

We march towards a better world.  We march inexorably.  We march with courage… conviction… corduroy.

Join me now in a cry of freedom.  Join me!

CORDUROY NOW, CORDUROY FOREVER!  

CORDUROY NOW, CORDUROY FOREVER!

CORDUROY NOW, CORDUROY FOREVER!

I thank you, and good night.

Four corduroys - shirt, tie, trousers and blazer.  Well played!

Four corduroys - shirt, tie, trousers and blazer. Well played!