Southern Boulevard’s Field Guide to Clothing Stores

The 70s had the right idea about corduroy and nothing else.

Because a lot of folks need it.

Today’s American clothing stores are a confusing mess. Clothing should be seen with a simple, direct Ron Swanson philosophy (Parks and Recreation on NBC: look him up, great man). Clothing serves the following purposes:

1. Protection

2. Usefulness 

3. Modesty

4. Self-respect

in no particular order, although Self-respect is at the top. This goes for men and women. 

No matter the era, a good pair of short shorts always get the ladies.
No matter the era, a good pair of short shorts always get the ladies. Also, a kiss on the forehead fixes any nasty spill prior to 1967.

Abercrombix Major – Do not go near this store unless you are a male escort. Shirts are cut strangely to reveal biceps, shorts are fringed and frayed, and everything is overpriced. The store smells like a teenage boy invented a cologne and then blew up his factory inside the store. Also it’s pitch black, which kind of defeats the purpose of buying something the right size. These garments do not fulfill any of the four criteria unless you are aforementioned male escort. 

Gapxicus Rex – The Gapxicus Rex can be found in many American shopping malls. Its Corduroys look extremely comfortable, and while I have not yet gotten a pair, I can assure you that Corduroys answer all of the above criteria. In fact, let’s take a moment to appreciate Corduroys.

Here’s the skinny on Corduroys from Wikipedia. The page is quite useful and is linked to this sentence.

Corduroy is a textile composed of twisted fibers that, when woven, lie parallel (similar to twill) to one another to form the cloth’s distinct pattern, a “cord.” Modern corduroy is most commonly composed of tufted cords, sometimes exhibiting a channel (bare to the base fabric) between the tufts. Corduroy is, in essence, a ridged form of velvet.

The fabric looks as if it is made from multiple cords laid parallel to each other and then stitched together. The interpretation of the word as corde du roi (from French, the cord of the King) is a folk etymology.[1][2]

As a fabric, corduroy is considered a durable cloth. Corduroy is found in the construction of trousersjackets and shirts. The width of the cord is commonly referred to as the size of the “wale” (i.e. the number of ridges per inch).[3] The lower the “wale” number, the thicker the width of the wale (e.g., 4-wale is much thicker than 11-wale). Corduroy’s wale count per inch can vary from 1.5 to 21, although the traditional standard falls somewhere between 10 and 12. Wide wale is more commonly used in trousers and furniture upholstery (primarily couches); medium, narrow, and fine wale fabrics are usually found in garments worn above the waist.

Corduroy is made by weaving extra sets of fiber into the base fabric to form vertical ridges called wales. The wales are built so that clear lines can be seen when they are cut into pile. The primary types of corduroy are:

  • Standard wale: 11 wales/inch, and available in many colors
  • Pincord/pinwale/needlecord: Pincord is the finest cord around with a count at the upper end of the spectrum (above 16)
  • Pigment dyed/printed corduroy: The process of coloring or printing corduroy with pigment dyes. The dye is applied to the surface of the fabric, then the garment is cut and sewn. When washed during the final phase of the manufacturing process, the pigment dye washes out in an irregular way, creating a vintage look. The color of each garment becomes softer with each washing, and there is a subtle color variation from one to the next. No two are alike.

Corduroy is durable, manly, elegant, understated. Please take a moment of your time for this under-appreciated denim alternative and read Southern Boulevard’s “Why are you Wearing Corduroys?” Corduroys are truly a heroic garment, giving endlessly of themselves without any of the so-called swagger of jeans. Jeans have become ridiculous, with a wide variety of cuts and “washes” which defeat the purpose of denim entirely. Corduroys have remained loyal. 

Some corduroys.

Sorry. We were talking about clothing stores. Also, I can copy and paste a Wikipedia page I quoted onto a blog page, right? Of course. I can do anything on a blog. (Using the Swanson attitude here). 

As a rule, adults should avoid dressing like they still sleep in a crib.
If your parents don’t want to talk about the 70s, this is why.

Navicum Oldarum – Navicum Oldarum has nothing to do with Oldness or the Navy. It’s pretty good.

Pollii – The horsemen who played polo originally in Iran would not have had the privilege of wearing corduroys. Items from this species are to be worn for respectful moments in life only – weddings, funerals, church services, and golfing. Do not buy several solid-colored Pollii T-shirts to show off, as many prep school lads do. I can assure you they are using the horse, a noble creature almost as selfless as Corduroy, (always capitalize Corduroy in a sentence) similarly to how prisoners and gangs use religious signs – to intimidate rather than show respect. Use wisely, friend. 

Maybe there's something to this top-only thing.
The extra fabric for the turtleneck came from the bottom.
Also, the 50s had an underworld of dark fashion choices

“There are three hair-cuts: crew-cut, buzz-cut, high-and-tight.”

“Shorts over six inches are capri pants; shorts under six inches are European.” – Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation

Want to suggest a field guide topic? Comment below.


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