The Ultimate Guide to Corduroy Vests: Top Picks, Styling Tips, and FAQs

Corduroy is back in a big way this fall and winter! The ribbed, velvety fabric is popping up on everything from jackets to pants, but one classic corduroy item that every guy needs is a corduroy vest.

Whether you’re a college professor trying to channel those Ivy League vibes or just want to add some vintage flair to your wardrobe, the corduroy vest is a versatile style statement. Not only does it provide an extra layer of warmth, but it also adds visual interest and texture to any outfit.

In this article, we’ll run through the top 5 corduroy pocketed vests to shop for this year. We’ll also give you tips on how to style corduroy vests for different looks. Finally, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about how to care for and wear this timeless fabric. Let’s dive in!

Top 5 Corduroy Pocketed Vests for Men

1. Polo Ralph Lauren Sherpa-Lined Corduroy Vest

This vest from Polo Ralph Lauren is a preppy staple with a twist. The classic brown corduroy shell is lined in super-soft sherpa fleece to add incredible warmth. The front fastens with brown faux horn buttons for additional visual interest. This is a slimmer athletic fit vest that layers nicely over button-downs. It hits at the hip for good coverage.

Pros: Soft sherpa fleece lining, name brand quality, made of 100% cotton corduroy, attractive buttons

Cons: Dry clean only, fit may be slim for some, only comes in brown

Where to Buy: and department stores

2. Carhartt Rugged Corduroy Vest

Known for its durable workwear, Carhartt offers this rugged corduroy vest perfect for the outdoorsman. It comes in classic tan or dark brown 12-wale corduroy. The fit is boxy but allows room for layering over hoodies or jackets. It features four large front pockets and a collar that can be popped for extra wind protection.

Pros: Durable and warm 12-wale corduroy, quality stitching and lining, made in the USA, roomy utility pockets

Cons: Boxy fit isn’t for everyone, runs large so size down, limited color options

Where to Buy:, Amazon, outdoor and workwear stores

3. Legendary Whitetails Cotton Sherpa Lined Vest

This casual corduroy vest comes in a range of fall-ready colored corduroy options like olive, camel, and navy. The polyester sherpa lining adds softness and warmth. It features a full-length zipper, two front pockets, and an interior pocket. The midweight cotton corduroy has an 18-wale construction for visual depth.

Pros: Range of corduroy color options, warm sherpa lining, mid-weight fabric has nice drape

Cons: Slimmer athletic fit, runs small

Where to Buy: Amazon, rural/outdoor retailers like Tractor Supply

4. Patagonia Organic Cotton Corduroy Vest

For an eco-friendly vest option, Patagonia offers this slim organic cotton corduroy vest in dark classic navy or light stone colors. It has a fuller cut for layering over button-downs or t-shirts. The water-repellent finish protects against light moisture. Two hand pockets and single chest pocket provide storage options.

Pros: Organic materials, versatile color options, water-repellent finish, trusted outdoor brand

Cons: Expensive, limited sizes

Where to Buy:, outdoor retailers

5. Levi’s Sherpa Trucker Vest

Put a rugged twist on the corduroy vest with this sherpa-lined denim and corduroy combo vest from Levi’s. The collar, back yoke, and front placket are sturdy denim while the body features textured brown 12-wale corduroy. It’s lined in warm teddy sherpa and secures with metal buttons.

Pros: Interesting denim and corduroy combo, warm sherpa lining, iconic Levi’s styling

Cons: Denim not as soft as pure corduroy, slimmer fit

Where to Buy: Amazon,, Macy’s

How to Style and Choose Corduroy Vests

Now that you know some top corduroy vest picks, let’s talk about how to choose and style the perfect vest for your needs.

Matching Your Personal Style

Consider your own fashion aesthetic when picking out a corduroy vest. Preppy guys will feel right at home in a navy or olive vest layered over an OCBD shirt. Rugged and outdoorsy types should go for a roomier utility vest like the Carhartt. Musicians, academics, and other creative types can rock a slim brown corduroy vest with patches for a vintage vibe.

Picking Colors

Stick to versatile neutrals if a corduroy vest will be part of your regular fall rotation. Shades like tan, brown, navy, gray, and olive are easy to pair with other items in your closet. Make the vest the statement piece and keep other items simple.

Feeling bold? Rich shades like mustard, cranberry, or forest green make the corduroy vest a real style focal point. Just make sure to coordinate other pieces accordingly.

Getting the Right Fit

In general, corduroy vests drape well in a slim to straight fit. Extreme oversized vests can look sloppy. Make sure shoulder seams hit at your natural shoulder points for the proper fit up top.

For layering over hoodies and jackets, size up or look for corduroy utility vests with roomier cuts. Athletic and muscular guys can size up for a vest with more room through the chest and arms.

Choosing Layers

Half the fun of a good corduroy vest is layering it with other pieces. Flannel shirts or OCBDs in coordinating colors or check patterns look smart under a neutral vest. Pop the collar out over the vest lapels for extra flair.

For a more casual look, layer tees or thermals under an unbuttoned, untucked vest. Try a white tee with jeans and a brown vest or a heather gray thermal under a sherpa-lined tan vest.

Pairing With Pants

Corduroy vests pair perfectly with casual pants like jeans and chinos. Go for straight leg or slim jeans in classic blue, black, or white washes. Olive, navy, or khaki chinos also complement corduroy vests nicely.

For dressier occasions, wear your corduroy vest over an OCBD with wool dress trousers. Textured gray flannel or herringbone trousers add interest.

Choosing Shoes

Leather boots or chukkas balance the texture of corduroy vests. For casual looks, wear your vest with suede desert boots, Chelsea boots, or classic chukka boots.

With trousers, don a pair of leather oxfords or monk strap shoes. Loafers also lend a polished finish.

Consider neutral-colored sneakers like white or gray to let your colorful corduroy vest pop. Just keep the rest of your look tailored and clean.


Hats like newsboy caps, beanies, and ballcaps all complement corduroy vests for casual cool vibes. Add layers like plaid scarves or infinity scarves under your unbuttoned vest.

Leather accessories like briefcases, messenger bags, andBelts also pair nicely. Keep jewelry minimal with just a watch and simple pendant necklace or bracelet.

For outdoor activities, wear your corduroy vest over performance layers and top it off with gloves, earmuffs, and other cold weather gear.

Cost Considerations

You can find inexpensive corduroy vests from retailers like H&M and Uniqlo for under $50. Mass market brands like Levi’s and Dockers offer quality vests in the $50 to $100 range.

For higher-end designer corduroy vests, look to Ralph Lauren, Patagonia, J.Crew, and Brooks Brothers in the $100 to $200+ price tier. Focus on fit, versatility, and high-quality materials.

Corduroy Vest FAQs

Still have some questions about selecting and caring for your corduroy vest? Here we cover some frequently asked topics.

How do you wash corduroy? Can it go in the washing machine?

  • Most corduroy vests can be machine washed cold and hung to dry. Wash with similar colors and avoid overloading the machine, which can cause wrinkles.
  • Some thicker corduroy may only need spot cleaning. Check labels!
  • Steer clear of hot water and the dryer, which cause shrinkage.
  • For dry clean only vests, find a reputable, eco-friendly dry cleaner.

What is wale spacing and why does it matter in corduroy?

  • Wale refers to the spacing between the ribs or cords in corduroy fabric. Wider waled corduroy like 8-10 wale has more visible texture.
  • Narrow 18+ wale corduroy looks smoother from a distance. Wide wale is more casual, narrow wale dressier.
  • Pick wale width based on the look you want. Tactile wide wale or smooth narrow wale.

What colors are best for a corduroy vest?

  • Stick to versatile neutrals like navy, gray, olive, brown, tan, and black for maximum wear.
  • Deep jewel tones like merlot, forest green, and mustard also look great.
  • Avoid loud neon or pastel shades which are harder to integrate into outfits.

What do you wear under a corduroy vest?

  • Flannel or collared shirts complement corduroy vests nicely.
  • For casual looks, layer t-shirts, thermals, or hoodies underneath.
  • Contrast the texture of the corduroy vest with smooth shirts and tees. Play with patterns like buffalo check.
  • Keep bases simple to let your corduroy vest take center stage.

What pant colors look good with a brown corduroy vest?

  • Shades like tan, beige, and lighter browns complement brown corduroy nicely.
  • Olive, navy, and gray pants offer enough contrast from brown vests.
  • Black and white pants give high contrast. Dark indigo denim works too.
  • Avoid matching brown-on-brown for an overwhelming amount of the same shade.

What decade are corduroy vests from?

  • Corduroy first emerged as an affordable fabric in the 1800s. During the 20th century it became more closely associated with pipe-smoking professors and Ivy League prepsters.
  • Corduroy vests rose to popularity among the academic and creative crowds in the 1960s and 70s.
  • They faded out of fashion a bit in the 1980s and 90s. The vintage revival of the late 1990s and 2000s brought corduroy vests back into menswear.

Can you wear a corduroy vest casually?

  • Absolutely! Dress down corduroy vests by pairing with jeans, tees, and sneakers.
  • Pop the collar on a flannel shirt under an open vest.
  • Choose wider wale corduroy for more texture.
  • Look for corduroy in more casual colors like mustard or forest green rather than say navy or gray. Play with patches.
  • Let the vest finish off an otherwise casual look.

Is corduroy warm enough for winter?

  • On its own, corduroy provides decent insulation to block wind and retain warmth. Look for mid to heavyweight corduroy fabrics.
  • For added warmth, look for corduroy vests with sherpa or fleece linings. This backing helps hold in body heat.
  • Layer corduroy vests over warmer base layers like sweaters or hoodies.
  • Supplement with other cold weather accessories like scarves, gloves, and hats for full protection.

How do you soften up a stiff new corduroy vest?

  • Wash in the machine per the care instructions before wearing to soften fibers and rid of excess dye. Use mild detergent.
  • Put the vest on and move around in it to help break in the fabric. Doing activity in the vest helps.
  • Wash the vest on its own at first to avoid lint from other fabrics getting trapped.
  • Let the vest air dry to maintain the texture. Avoid over-drying.

Can women wear corduroy vests?

  • Corduroy vests suit both men’s and women’s fashion. Look for more fitted “boyfriend” vests made for women.
  • Colors like blush, lavender, baby blue, ivory, or tan work for women’s vests. Accent with copper buttons.
  • Pair with feminine silhouettes like skirts for contrast. Florals and pussy bow blouses offset the vest.
  • For a menswear look, don a women’s corduroy vest over a button-down with tapered slacks.

It’s Time to Give Corduroy Vests a Try

There you have it! Now you know the top corduroy vest options, how to choose the right one for your needs and personal style, tips for rocking corduroy vests in any setting, and answers to those burning corduroy care questions.

It’s time to give this vintage menswear staple a try if you don’t already have one in your fall lineup. From its academic roots to workwear practicality to modern textural flair, the corduroy vest delivers timeless style.

Pair yours with flannel, denim, boots, and other fall favorites. Layer accordingly depending on the weather and occasion. With proper care, a quality corduroy vest will be your go-to cool weather companion for years to come.

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