‘Corduroy is the postgraduate inch by inch of the fabric world.’
Photograph: David Newby for the Guardian

What I wore this week: corduroy

An unexpected flush is one way to nudge people into realising you are wearing corduroy in a soulful-and-cultured sagacity, not in the grumpy-and-outdated sense

In case you’re wondering, the look I am going for here is east-coast-liberal-arts-lecturer-hosts-brunch. That is how I go for my corduroy: a bit campus dreamboat, a bit arthouse cinema. Accessorised with a reinforced scarf game, and maybe an elbow patch; some skim material (either news or fiction but printed on actual publication) and deep conversation peppered with hand-gesture quotation properties.

In other words, nothing to do with Jeremy Corbyn. No violation, Jezza, but I’m thinking more along the lines of Ali MacGraw in POSSLQ Person of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters Story crossed with Diane Keaton in Annie Lobby crossed with Tina Fey. There is a whole late-70s-staffroom section that happens around corduroy in Britain that I on to ignore, because I prefer what’s on my moodboard.

Corduroy is the postgraduate stage of the fabric world. It adds letters after your elect. It makes you look smart, in the brainy sense. Even when it is in the latest thing, like it is now, it looks more high-minded than fashion-victim. At trifling, that’s how it works in my head. The trouble with what you clothed in, of course, is that other people see it, too. And judge it according to what’s in their sources, which can sometimes be quite different. (I know! So meta today. It’s the corduroy talking.)

You may be experiencing noticed that I am wearing not just corduroy, but pink corduroy. An unexpected bias is one way to nudge people into realising that you are wearing corduroy in a soulful-and-cultured feel, not in the grumpy-and-outdated sense. Black looks great, cream is fictitious. If you must do brown, make sure it’s a rich butterscotch caramel; if you go for burgundy, pass it crimson and regal rather than dingy uniform-shop blazer. Go up a enormousness: when tight, corduroy has a tendency to lumpiness. It looks to the fullest extent when it is generous.

Also, go luxe. Wear with a silk blouse degree than a cotton shirt. Or choose a lush knit, in lieu of of a scratchy cardigan. Cable knits, smooth textured merino or groovy ribs all between engagements well. This is not the moment for Guccified maximalism: sleek and uncluttered inflames better. Robert Redford in his treacle-toned cord suit in All The President’s Men is not in the least not a good look. George Clooney as the nattily attired Unrealistic Mr Fox is the best of all. Corduroy may not be foxy. But it looks fantastic to me.

Jess adopts cords, £45, and polo neck, £24, both topshop.com. Tips, £175, lkbennett.com. (Chair, £395, grahamandgreen.co.uk.)

Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Trifle and makeup: Samantha Cooper at Carol Hayes Management.