Senior Cords: A College Tradition Goes High-Fashion

Senior cords, which feature hand-drawn details, first appeared on campuses in Indiana. Now there are high-fashion takes.

The fashion designer Emily Adams Bode Aujla bought her first pair of senior corduroy pants from a vintage-clothing seller in 2013 when she was a senior at the New School. The pants style had by then been around for more than a century.

Senior cords seem to have first appeared at Purdue University in Indiana in the early 1900s, according to an archivist at the university, and evolved to become a sort of wearable yearbook for college and high school seniors in the state.

The students would use corduroy clothes — typically pants and skirts

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