Once upon a time, the corduroy suit was a very specific swerve, the kind difficult to decouple from the pipe-smoking professors and downtown beatniks who swore by it. These days, though, the textured two-piece has never felt less precious: it’s rugged, warm, and endlessly versatile, a texture-heavy alternative to classic wools and stuffy tweeds. If you’re wearing a corduroy suit, it’s probably because you want to—not because some draconian dress code gave you no other choice.
If you’re worried about your buddies flaming you for going full “Wes Anderson mode” in the group chat, relax: the corduroy suit’s biggest selling point is its ability to hold its own split up. Unlike your usual business casual fare, corduroy suits work even better when you wear the jacket with a knit polo and jeans, or the pants with your plushest sweater. But if the cost-per-wear proposition isn’t enough to separate you from your hard-earned shekels, we rounded up six corduroy suits, each with something different to offer and all of which cost under a grand—sometimes way less.
The Dressy-ish Pick
Corduroy might lean casual, but a double-breasted suit done up in the stuff is one you can dress up as much—or as little—as your heart desires. Hitting a pumpkin patch-adjacent wedding in October? Toss J.Crew’s on with a crisp shirt and tie and cut up the dance floor in a fabric that’s built for it. Back in town post-nuptials? Keep the jacket close by to level up your jeans and tees.
The No-Brainer Pick
The best part of wearing a suit is how easy it makes getting dressed, and everything about Alex Mill’s—from the hefty wide wale to the sumptuous chocolate hue—lends it to easy mixing and matching. The second you put it on you’ll look exponentially more pulled together.
The Office-Friendly Pick
Already got a closet full of navy wool suits? Salute—now it’s time expand your horizons. In classic Todd Snyder form, the designer’s luxe Italian tailoring hits all the right notes: rich blue hue, spot-on fit, blazer you can just as easily wear to work or with a rumpled shirt on the weekend. When the time comes to ditch the jacket, the crisp, deceptively comfy trousers make for a swanky-as-hell jeans replacement.
The Dance Floor-Ready Pick
Few guys channel the swaggering sleaze of the ‘70s better than ES Magazine editor Ben Cobb, so it makes sense that the corduroy suit he conjured in collaboration with Tiger of Sweden looks like it boogied straight off the era’s dance floors. The cut is trim and flattering, the lapels are notched and beefy, and the pants are gloriously flared. All that’s missing on your end is a silky button-up (buttoned as low as you’d like, of course) and kicky boots.
The Cool-Guy Pick
If any lines existed between traditional menswear and quote-unquote streetwear, they’re no longer blurry—they’re gone. Exhibit A: This slate gray stunner from Amsterdam’s homegrown skate brand Pop Trading Co. Its roomy fit is great for busting a few heel flips on the way to work, and the hard-wearing fabric promises to keep it together through the occasional wipe out. Wear it as casually as possible: graphic tees and scuffed sneakers over button-ups and hard-bottoms.
The Sub-$200, Designer-Approved Pick
What happens when Claire Waight Keller, the ex-Givenchy honcho and one of the world’s savviest womenswear designers, links with one of the world’s savviest mall brands? A lot, surely, but for our purposes, the only answer that matters is this killer corduroy suit. Sure, it’s technically billed as womenswear, but according to the retailer’s own site, its longer length offers a “menswear-like look”. That should be all the excuse you need to hightail it to the women’s section immediately.