How to Style Brogues
History of the Brogue
Brogues are one of the most recognizable styles of shoes, dating way back to the early 1800’s when they were worn for a completely different purpose. Originating in Scotland and Ireland they were traditionally used by farmers they were specifically made for outdoor and country wear. The word ‘Brogue’ was initially used to describe a form of outdoor, country walking shoe which comes from the Gaelic and Scottish word ‘bróg’. They were made from a sturdy leather upper with decretive perforations also known as ‘brogueing’. The perforations were designed to drain water from the shoes when the wearer was walking through boggy and wet terrain. They were certainly not used for any other occasions and were worn by the majority of the working class. So how did the brogue evolve to be a timeless fashion icon? It was only when the young men from Oxford University began wearing the shoes that they became so popular for all occasions. This is why the Brogue became such an iconic style was because it was so versatile suiting both casual and smarter wear.
Brogues can be spotted by the perforated patterns that run all over the leather. The eye-catching detail adds luxury and style to any outfit. Today there are three main styles of Brogues;
- The Full Brogue is the most iconic style with perforated and serrated edges and seams with patterned toe cap, this is often called the “wingtip”. When viewed from above the toe cap will look as though it has a ‘W’ shape. This style is great for a more informal look perfect with jeans.
- The Half Brogue/Semi Brogue has the same perforated detailing around the toe cap and seams but has a straight toe cap and not in a W shape and has less detailing overall. Fitting well with workwear.
- The Quarter Brogue is defined by the straight toe cap with detailing along the caps edge, but not pattern in the middle of the toe cap. As well as the half brogue it is suited with suits and workwear.
Coming in three different main styles there is plenty to choose from and the majority will be leather in either black, dark brown or tan. However there has been a big change in fabrics and an increase of in suede brogues. However there has been a big increase on a new fabric, which is the suede brogue. It takes things into a whole new level, making them a more informal style footwear. Being more casual they come in a range of colours from navy to cream or khaki the list goes on. This makes them the perfect transitional brogue great for Spring/ Summer 2017.
How to Wear Brogues
Buying into a good quality brogue is something you will not regret, if looked after properly they can last you decades. A good brogue will endow poise, reliability and coolness. Mixing jeans with brogues is a great natural pairing and if done correctly can make for a great versatile smart/casual outfit.
- Skinny/Slim Fit Jeans: For a clean, sophisticated look, team your slim jeans with a pair of classic brogues either style would suit well, mix it up with a brogue boot to make it that little bit edgier. If you want a real casual outfit, add a suede brogue into the mix, a great match with black skinny jeans.
- Straight Leg Jean: For a casual cool look that’s easy to throw on try a straight cut jean, roll up the bottoms which makes for a nice contrasting hem and pair up with a full tan brogue, this outfit will suit a range of sizes.
To keep your outfit classic and cool, wear a black or tan brogue and wear with a slim or straight cut jean, t shirt and add a structured blazer or camel coat for an easy, sophisticated look. Or add a crisp white shirt and jumper for a more casual feel. For a street style look add a skinny jean with a t shirt and bomber jacket and if you want to wear your brogues for work, a semi or quarter brogue is the perfect fit as it’s not so much in your face but still you don’t have to rule out the full brogue if it fits in well with your chosen suit, then why not. Remember to always match up the colour of your belt and brogues so they complement each other.
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