Line Up Some Corduroy Particularly suited to the colder months, corduroy makes a wale of a good sportswear fabric for both men and women. About the origin of the name corduroy: Parlez-vous français? If so, you may have made the assumption corduroy means something like “cord of the king,” with some sort of royal lineage. Here’s the skinny, from the VFG Fabric Resource: There is argument about the derivation of the name corduroy, with many claiming it got its name from the French corde du roi, or King’s cord, and that it was used for the clothing of servants in French royal households in the 17th and 18th centuries. It may have been a form of marketing (wear a fabric worn in the presence of French nobility!) by an English entrepreneur. There are many weights of corduroy, defined by the number of wales per inch. The lighter, finer corduroys have tiny wales and as many as 25 wales per inch in the case of featherwale, while widewale (also called jumbo and elephant cord) can have as few as two wales to the inch. (Read more about corduroy in the Resource.) Whether your choice of wales are upscale or tough-as-nails, on the straight and narrow or high, wide, and handsome, you’ll want to winterize your wardrobe with our line up of vintage fashions made from corduroy!