Corduroy isn't just for stuffy history teachers and ageing archaeologists, you know! Women's corduroy trousers can look sleek and chic or slouchy and casual, depending on whether they're high-waisted, wide-leg, baggy, flared or cropped. From Levi's to Topshop via Monki, Whistles and Mango, all kinds of fashion labels offer versions of the soft, stripey strides.
We've selected our ten favourite pairs of women's cords in the UK, with options you'll love whether you need fine or jumbo cord, smart or casual keks, petite, tall or plus-size trousers, ranking them according to comfort, price and style. We have selected cords in a range of striking colours from neutral black, white and navy to flattering green and statement orange. Time to put your best leg forward!
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Picking stylish, statement cords that flatter your figure and are comfortable all day long takes a little planning. In this section of our article, we'll guide you through the different trouser shapes and lengths as well as extra benefits that make a garment more practical and wearable.
Choose the waistline of your cords depending on your body shape and what feels comfiest to you. High waists are certainly the most common option. They put all the emphasis on that glorious bottom of yours! They're extra comfortable as they fasten above your stomach, elongating legs to make you look streamlined; a top pick if you have short legs! They truly flatter every figure.
Mid-rise corduroy trousers are far less common with both high street and designer brands. They can create that distressing muffin top but give the option of showing some stomach if you're happy to do so.
Overall, it's down to you to pick the waist height of your trousers, and while high-rise is still the most popular, there's definitely a gradual shift back towards the low-slung waists of the early noughties on the horizon!
Wide-legged corduroy trousers for women give a laid-back, casual look just right for weekends, low-key lunches and understated day-wear. They create a charming, boyish silhouette and can be worn with trainers, Converse or simple sandals. Flares are bang on trend right now too and both bootcut and extra-wide flares have a seriously vintage vibe when made out of cord!
Slim fit corduroy trousers are comfortable and easy to wear, making no particular style statement but bringing a little dash of the soft, stripey fabric into your wardrobe. They can serve as simple workwear or fit with an active lifestyle where you value practicality over dramatic fashion statements.
Next, think about the length of your trousers. To emphasise long legs or add the illusion of length to a petite figure, consider full-length corduroy trousers that touch the floor. Full-length women's cords are also a great shout for elegant events like important work drinks and sophisticated dinners.
Cropped corduroy trousers have a casual appearance and can be well-suited to the warmer months, allowing a little ventilation and breeze to reach your pins. They do have a shortening effect so if you have short legs already, consider teaming a cropped trouser with a heel such as a relaxed mule.
How much do you need your cord to stand out? If you really want heads to turn and notice your affection for this retro fabric, we recommend jumbo cord, where the stripes and gaps are extra wide. This makes your loyalty to the strokable stripes clear from a distance, highlighting the chic vintage look of your ensemble.
For trousers where the soft texture is the biggest appeal, rather than the striped aesthetic, fine or very fine corduroy stripes are your best bet. They have a delightfully velvety feel and a more modern look. Both types of corduroy are easy to wash and care for and priced more or less the same – it's simply a matter of personal taste.
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High Waist Corduroy Trousers
Smart Black Slacks That Go With Everything
Naomi Wide Leg Cord Trousers in Green
Be Seen in Wide-Legged Green
Ribcage High Waisted Orange Jumbo Cord Trousers
Wide-Fit Cords Pals Will Mistake for Vintage
Emma Cord Jeans in Navy
Striking Statement Flare for Work or Play
The North Face
Berkeley Corduroy Trousers in Blue
Rugged Blue Pants for the Great Outdoors
High Waist Slim Leg Cords in Blue
A Versatile Alternative to Jeans
Tobia Cropped Corduroy Trousers
Velvety Designer Culottes With Deep Pockets
Slouchy Corduroy Trousers in Ecru
Super Slouchy With a Mom-Jeans Cut
Women's Wide Leg Cords With Pockets
Wide-Fit Cords in a Range of Shades
Ribbed Flare Corduroy Trousers in Stone
Laid-Back 90s-Style Flares in Subtle Stone
No wardrobe is complete without some simple black trousers, but make yourself stand out by choosing a unique shape and – even better – a lesser-worn fabric like charming corduroy. Whistles offer these uncomplicated slacks, which have a high waist and a slim, cropped leg.
The fine corduroy means they don't necessarily reveal their fabric identity at a distance; it's the dreamy feel to the touch that really appeals about these go-with-everything trousers. They could be your go-to work pants that feel more dressy than standard polyester high-street fare or glammed up with heels and a glitzy handbag for a posh night out where comfort's still key.
These trousers use the finest, skinniest cord of all our selections, giving them a practically velvety feel that makes them harder to identify as corduroy, but easy to fall in love with at just one touch. The properly wide leg adds that carefree feeling to any outfit, but the stylish front seams keep them smart, not shabby.
The colour has to be the number one selling point of these comfortable trews; that lovely bright olive green is so much more fun than neutrals and works well with complexions from very dark to porcelain. The spacious pockets are an added perk, and the cool crop adds a whimsical feel.
Have you been looking everywhere for a vintage-looking pair of orange cords for women? Call off the search and click frantically on these stylish, shapely corduroy trousers by the iconic American denim brand, Levi's. You always know you're getting style and quality from this household name clothing line that's nearing seventy!
The high waist provides a flattering shape on bums and hips of any size, while the medium loops allow you to customise these super-soft strides with your favourite belt. The wide leg is casual rather than clownish, and the length lets them fall just over sneakers, sandals or boots. The warm, rusty orange colour will flatter any skin tone in summer or autumn!
Who says corduroy needs to be casual? These deluxe high-waisted trousers have a gentle flare that complements and lengthens any leg shape. The truly timeless shape projects elegance and class, perfect at work with a prim, delicate blouse or with a sexy bralette and leather jacket for a night on the tiles. The hefty price keeps them outside our top three, but we're big fans.
They say good clothes can be styled in a million ways, and we think the deep navy blue is a great pick for an item you plan to wear to death over the years; the dark shade hiding wear and tear, the luxurious cotton-elastane blend packing a little stretch for extra durability and comfort. Plunge your hands into the pockets or style with a belt for a rebellious look.
The North Face Berkeley corduroy trousers are a popular search term in women's clothing and it's no wonder, really; they hit the grungey spot perfectly with their slight crop, carpenter-style pockets and tapered cut, serving a mix of 1980s punk and weather-proof, outdoorsy excellence.
The high waist helps balance out the leg-length lost with the crop, while the tapered style makes them just right for teaming with boots for an intrepid hillside march or even a night in the mosh pit – it truly is up to you how you style them. The important thing is they've got ultra-deep pockets and belt loops for personalising the fit and look.
We love the idea of corduroy trousers in a fresh, summery denim blue to serve as a smarter alternative to jeans. Roll the ankles of these slim-fit pants up to reveal your favourite high-tops or trainers, or team with smarter shoes for a semi-casual working day.
Kickers started in la belle France back in the early seventies, so you just know that French chic is sewn into every garment. We like the fine stripes of this corduroy and feel these trousers have a modern-mumsy look rather than shouting retro rebel. They've got pockets too; score.
Now, these designer cords are a little on the expensive side, and that eye-watering price tag is what keeps them towards the lower end of our list. If you are lucky enough to have the budget for these irresistibly soft wide-legged culottes, however, we think they're a figure-flattering choice with a real Parisian elegance.
The high-rise fit means they fasten just above the navel, keeping your stomach safe and snug and showing off your behind to its very finest. These are the widest-cut legs on our whole list, and from certain angles, they could almost be a skirt, which we love. The nautical blue can be swapped for subtle khaki which will look tremendous against black and olive skin or even on redheads.
Spanish-born high street label Mango has some truly lovely items, and these almost-white corduroy trousers would look just as wonderful dolled up with a black cami and high-heeled sandals as with a slouchy band t-shirt and scruffed-up plimsolls.
They have a distinctly Mom-jean shape (that is, high waisted and voluptuous at the top, tapered into a slim fit at the ankle) which may not suit all shoppers – the emphasis provided by the extra fabric at the top is known to draw attention to the hips and bum. They're gloriously casual, though, with belt loops and decent-depth pockets. Just don't spill anything on them!
Hailing from Kansas, USA, Lee Jeans are popular because of their broad range of shapes and styles and reliable crafting that guarantees years of ultra-comfortable wear. We like these baggy, cropped cords with a mid-rise waist for a cute, tomboyish outfit.
Whether teamed with a sailor-striped Breton top or a crocheted halterneck for summer beach days, these quality corduroy trousers have belt loops for a fit-fixing belt and two (albeit rather shallow) pockets at the front and back. We think the price is a little high for the slouchy appearance, but we do like the colour options; try pink, yellow or blue if red's not your thing!
Edgy, boyish and super casual, these bootcut flared cords from good old Topshop convey laid-back cool in one brief glance. We like the grungey greige colour, the throwback circular zip pull and the gentle flare which also adds to the 90s feel of these comfy keks.
They don't have belt hooks or pockets, which may sound disastrous to some, but the stretchy, pull-on shape is ideal for lazy days where wriggling into your clothing needs to be as low-effort as possible. Team with chunky trainers and a boxy bomber jacket for understated cool.
Find it hard to make daywear decisions? We know the feeling. Below are links to our ten favourite picks for key women's wardrobe items such as dungarees and denim jackets. We've rounded up the very best ladies' clothing from top brands like Levi's and Free People serving up unforgettable looks to save you hours of hesitation!
Well, there you have it everyone, a simple guide to selecting gorgeous, flattering cords for women of all shapes and sizes. Now you know what to look for, we're sure you've found at least one wondrous wardrobe addition that will suit your style and become an everyday favourite.
Author: Annie Hopkins
No. 1: Whistles｜High Waist Corduroy Trousers
No. 2: Monki｜Naomi Wide Leg Cord Trousers in Green
No. 3: Levi's｜Ribcage High Waisted Orange Jumbo Cord Trousers
No. 4: Gerard Darel｜Emma Cord Jeans in Navy
No. 5: The North Face｜Berkeley Corduroy Trousers in Blue
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