Colourful Characters: the Cordings Trouser Collection

Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Colourful Characters: the Cordings Trouser Collection

The famous trouser rail at Cordings boasts almost all the colours of the spectrum. In more chivalrous times Lords would be preceded by their heralds proudly displaying their standards. In modern times our cords have been adopted by some equally colourful characters. Barristers and Baronets, Lords and Lairds, Royalty and Rockstars set off their understated tweeds with a dash of colour. The inspiration for our colours comes from the furrows of a ploughed field, the stipple of a freshly landed brown trout or the purple hues of a Scottish moor and of course a pheasant’s feathered finery. Moleskins, corduroy or chinos; the modern gentleman has a rich palette at his disposal for town or country.

How Do You Style Colourful Trousers

The task with these infamous coloured trousers then is to choose your accessories, and what to pair them with. For the ultimate country look, we recommend styling your colourful trousers

with a contrasting pair of coloured socks, like this Merino wool pair. Pair your colourful trousers with a waistcoat – this navy blue option pairs well with our yellow trousers. Finish off your look with a lambswool jumper and, of course, a tattersall shirt. We’re also a big fan of styling your colourful trousers with a tweed jacket to offset the vibrancy with understated, muted tones.

a row of legs dressed in colourful Cordings trousers including mauve , red, brown, cream, orange, green, mint green, navy blue, purple, baby blue and lilac.

The Different Types of Men’s Trousers

Cordings are synonymous with traditional trousers, made from classic British cloths, from moleskin to needlecord. Our trousers are built to last a lifetime and we work with long standing mills to bring you the best off the peg selection of traditional trouserings around – and of course they all come in a selection of vibrant colours. So what is the difference between needlecord and cord, and when are moleskins the right choice?


a pair of dark orange corduroy trousers
Our 7 wale corduroy – the cornerstone of the collection

Allegedly named after its association with the French royal family (Cor Du Roy) the cloth has become synonymous with country clothing.
Corduroy is woven as a loop pile cloth, with stripes of loops running down the length (warp) of the cloth on the loom. The loops are then finely cut, and the cloth is subjected to a process that raises up the pile to create thin stripes of velvet. The thickness of the individual stripe determines whether the cloth is cord, needlecord or baby cord, and the number of stripes per inch determines what the ‘wale’ of the cloth is. For example Cordings cord is 7 wale, meaning there are 7 stripes per inch. Cordings corduroy is a robust, relatively heavy 14oz cloth, which is a traditional British weight, creating a sturdy trouser that holds its shape, rather than becoming baggy. The cloth is woven in what is known as greige (a neutral colour) and then dyed once it has been woven. This process is known as piece dying. This creates a completely even colour across the garment, as opposed to garment dyeing where the trouser is made up and then dyed (creating a more casual look).

We are renowned for our large selection of colours, from navy and olive through to brighter purples and gold. It is a common misconception that navy is the traditional colour for cords. In fact, archive cloth from Brisbane Moss in Lancashire shows that strong bright colours have always been in demand, as they fit so well with tweeds and tartans. Corduroy is the perfect winter cloth, its summer partner is of course needlecord. The Cordings cord has side adjusters rather than belt loops and internal buttons for braces.

a man wearing a pair of navy blue 11 wale needlecord trousers made from supple Lancastrian cloth
11 wale needlecord in a supple Lancastrian cloth

Woven in exactly the same way as cord, the main difference is the stripes are finer and the number of wales per inch is 11 on a needlecord creating a finer lighter 12oz cloth. Our needlecords come with belt loops, and look very smart teamed with a polo belt. Again Cordings are renowned for our large colour selection in this fabric, with lighter brighter colours available during the warmer months.


a man wearing a pair of red moleskin trousers
Soft yet sturdy moleskin, originally designed for steel workers

Another pile cloth, named after the soft feel of a moles fur, moleskin was originally created during the industrial revolution as a workwear cloth, specifically in forges where hot molten metal would run off the cloth. Like all three of our pile cloths, the trouser has to be carefully made so that the pile direction is the same on both legs (this can be checked by running a hand over the cloth, if it is smooth it is known as ‘closed’) as the cloth looks a different colour when turned upside down. In some ways this is the sister cloth to Corduroy, perfect throughout the winter. It is a similar weight at 15oz, and has the same robust feel. Cordings are one of the only companies left in the UK still providing this traditional heavier weight cloth, which not only creates a smarter finish, but also has such good longevity that we have customers still wearing their moleskins from 30 years ago!


a man wearing a pair of tan brown moleskin jeans
The quintessential summer cloth, available in a range of colours from classics to brights.

A lighter twill cloth, and the sister cloth to the drill, is chino, it is made using a slighter finer ‘count’ of yarn, in a more subtle twill construction. Weighing in at 10oz it is our lightest trousering. Yet it still has a solid dependable feel that is the hallmark of the Cordings range. This is the cornerstone of the summer weight collection, and is available in a myriad of bright colours, as well as perennial favourites, navy and stone.


a man wearing a pair of dark grey flannel trousers
Smart understated style at its best – the British woven flannel.

Using a woollen spun yarn, which is then brushed to give the cloth its distinctive soft feel and look, flannel is the perfect alternative to suiting trousers. Impeccably smart when teamed with our grey hued tweeds, it is a perennially stylish classic.


Originally a military fabric, used for breeches and jodhpurs, cavalry twills’ distinctive steep twill, with two side by side tram lines, is another historic British cloth. This can be woven in cotton or wool. Cordings cavalry twill is a Yorkshire worsted 16oz cloth, a perfect winter weight trouser, and again is often worn with a blazer. The Whipcord has a similarly steep twill but with a higher twist yarn it is the perfect travel trouser.

Close up of Cavalry Twill and Whipcord trousers
Two traditional British wool cloths – the Cavalry Twill and Whipcord

We pride ourselves on our trouser collection – quality cloths, impeccably tailoring and unparalleled choice.

Corduroy trousers on the rack in Cordings Piccadilly
The trouser collection.