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When Corduroy Comes Out Of The Closet


Let's hope it's on its way to a bonfire.

Tragically, there are corduroy enablers in the world, like Miles Rohan, who started -- most frighteningly -- The Corduroy Appreciation Club.


Finding members wasn't easy, according to this Talk Of The Town piece by Ben McGrath:

His wife, Jordana Furcht, who is a graphic designer, helped him with a sharper-looking batch of cards (they feature an image of a humpback whale, next to the phrase “All Wales Welcome,” and have real corduroy pasted on the back), and a few weeks ago he set out to canvass again. He brought fistfuls of cards into clothing stores and stealthily deposited them in the pockets of corduroy garments, hoping that shoppers would discover them and visit his new Web site. (“Banana Republic was scary—I almost got caught, because the pockets there are too small,” he said.) He chased a well-corded man into a Virgin Megastore. (“He looked cool, but he was completely freaked out by me.”) He stood on Astor Place holding a sign that said, “Do You Like Corduroy?”

The meeting took place on November 11th—“because 11/11 is the date that most resembles corduroy,” Rohan said—in the Back Room, a Lower East Side bar said to be owned by Tim Robbins (who sometimes wears corduroy jackets) and the retired hockey star Mark Messier (who certainly does not). Guests were asked to wear at least two corduroy items and donate a dollar; in return, they were entitled to whale buttons and ribbed peanut-butter cookies.

...The club’s new members, including a toddler dressed in OshKosh corduroy overalls and a man wearing Italian slanted-wale pants, assembled in front of the bar’s fireplace, many sitting on furniture upholstered in velvet, a fustian rival. Betsy Franjola, the fabric manager for Karl Lagerfeld, delivered a history lesson, citing competing claims about the etymology of the word “corduroy”: one story has the term originating in seventeenth-century France (corde du roi: the king’s cloth), and another traces it to thirteenth-century Manchester, otherwise known as Cottonopolis. Lindland, when his time came, had a controversy of his own to clear up: horizontal cords, he said, do not make you look fat.

Unfortunately, just like vertical cords, they make you look like twice-rewarmed shit.

Posted by aalkon at February 27, 2007 6:57 AM


Why are you picking on corduroy? Nowadays there are dozens of spaceage fabrics to hate. They feel like hell to the touch. They drape across the contours of your body with the worst characteristics of cardboard or cottage cheese, depending; and they often stink after two hours of wearing. (We're told that silver treatments are going to fix that, though.)

On the other hand, the clothes never, ever wear out. It's a deal with the Devil, the fabrics will never need mending and the buttons are fast despite your clumsiest pawing, so you'll never have an excuse for replacing the garment. And colors are becoming more durable, too.

I'm just saying, if you're going to hate clothes, cords are a slam-dunk, and passe besides. It's beneath you. Plus, cords got one thing going for them, and I speak from experience: Corduroy CAN be worn out.

Posted by: Crid at February 27, 2007 7:14 AM

Why are you picking on corduroy?

People need to know. Perhaps it'll be the first in a series.

As for corduroy being worn out -- whether that means being worn where other human beings can see it, or worn so much it's passed on to be passed over for centuries at Goodwill, it's a horrifying thought.

Remember everybody, when you get dressed in the morning; chances are, other peole will be forced to look at you.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 27, 2007 7:23 AM

Okay, I can see how people in Southern California could detest corduroy, but in winter here in Wisconsin, that extra thickness in the britches helps ward off the chill, and it feels SO good!

But corduroy's no good for snow, which sticks to the wale, then melts, soaks in, and feels SO bad!

Corduroy pants are very good for trout fishermen to wear inside their waders. The wale holds that chilly rubber far enough away from the skin to provide an insulating layer of air.

Then I always figure, as long as the pants are corduroy, why not go for a unified effect and wear a corduroy jacket too?

You've also got to take into account the fact that people in the Upper Midwest have a high tolerance for frumpy. Some of us even take pride in it. Wouldn't be caught dead looking flashy.

Posted by: axman at February 27, 2007 10:12 PM

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