Corduroy is a perennial fall favorite and for good reason—soft, warm and durable, it makes a great alternative to your everyday jeans (or blazer), which have been in heavy rotation all summer. But there's another reason why this classic fabric is so timely right now. Designers, already on the heritage bandwagon, were in a recessionary state of mind when designing for this season. So corduroy, with its working class roots (think Depression-era jackets with reinforced elbows), found its way into a slew of collections from Band of Outsiders to Junya Watanabe. "People want that security right now," Gilded Age designer Stefan Miljanic told WWD after his fall show. "Corduroy sparks emotions. It's the warm, soft but gutsy feel that makes it an essential fall fabric."
The thicker the ribs (known as the wale), the more casual the fabric—so a narrow wale (called pinwale) can be dressed up, while thicker wale is used on such outerwear as barn jackets.
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