Corduroy is a durable, velvety textile composed of twisted fibers that lie parallel, like a series of cords laid next to each other.
Corduroy has its origins among the French nobility, where it was once considered the “cloth of the kings”. However, in more recent times, corduroy has lost much of its luster. Because of its durability, corduroy came to be worn increasingly by the working class to the point that it is now often referred to as “the poor man's velvet”.
It's hard to wear corduroy without coming across as tacky. It's a very casual fabric that doesn't really trigger any style attraction switches, and has associations of being low class. A plain colored corduroy blazer can possibly come across as classy country style:
If you're trying to go for a more funky look, colorful corduroy pieces can be reminiscent of the '60s era disco style:
Small touches of corduroy can come across as less tacky (though not by much), like these pair of corduroy shoes: