Brogues: Know the Difference and How to Wear Them

January 14, 2023

"That's a nice suit, sir. Is it a Brioni?"

"No, it's a Kingsman. Savile Row, tailored. Cloth from one of the finest mills in England."

"And the shoes?"

"Oxfords, not brogues."

"What's the difference?"

"Brogues are for country gentlemen. Oxfords are for secret agents."

Harry Hart (Colin Firth) and Eggsy (Taron Egerton) - Kingsman: The Secret Service

But did you know that you can have a shoe that is BOTH an Oxford AND a Brogue!

BROGUES MEANING

Brogues are a popular choice for many people due to their versatility and timeless style. They can be dressed up or down, making them suitable for a wide range of occasions. Additionally, the decorative perforations on the surface of brogues add a touch of sophistication and personality to an outfit. Brogues are also known as wingtips.

Whether you're looking to elevate a casual look or add some interest to formal attire, brogues can be a great style option. In this article, we will delve into the history and significance of brogues, as well as explore the different types of shoes and boots that can feature this distinctive detail. We will also offer some tips for incorporating brogues into your wardrobe and styling them for any occasion.

 

HISTORY OF BROGUES

Brogues are a type of shoe or boot characterized by decorative perforations or punching on the surface. The term "brogue" comes from the Gaelic word "brog," which means "shoe." These perforations, which are also known as "broguing," were originally used as a functional feature to allow water to drain from the shoes, making them suitable for wet and muddy conditions. Meaning the shoes were literally covered in holes to allow drainage.

This meant that it was the shoe of choice for Irish and Scottish farmers in the 16th century, giving the style its reputation for the country gentleman’s shoe of choice. Though it would eventually go on to be used over other layer of leather in a more decorative fashion.

In the early 20th century, brogues were embraced by the upper class as a sign of leisure and wealth, and in the 1950s and 60s, they were popular among the mod and beatnik subcultures. Today, brogues can be found in a wide range of styles, including dress shoes, boots, and even sneakers, and are made from a variety of materials including leather, suede, and canvas. Despite their evolution over the years, brogues remain a popular choice for those looking to add a touch of sophistication and style to their wardrobe.

 

TYPES OF BROGUES

 There are several types of brogue shoes, ranging from formal to casual styles. These shoes are characterized by their decorative perforations or patterns on the upper leather and have been popular for centuries. Whether you're looking for a formal Oxford brogue  or  brogue boots, there options to suit your taste and needs.

FULL BROGUE

A full brogue has decorative perforations along the edges of the toes and quarters, as well as a decorative medallion with distinctive "W" design at the toecap. This is a more casual style of brogue and would be suitable for wear with business casual or casual attire.

Men Brogues Boots in Burgundy | Sparrods & CoSparrods & Co Brogue Boots in Burgundy 

SEMI-BROGUE

A semi brogue has decorative perforations along the edges of the toes and quarters, with decorative medallion on the toe. This style is slightly less formal than a full brogue and could be worn with business casual or smart casual attire.

 

QUARTER BROGUE

A quarter brogue has decorative perforations along the edges of the quarters, but not along the toes or with a decorative medallion on the toe. This is the most minimal type of brogue, and is suitable for formal occasions such as business meetings or events.

Oxford-Quarter-Brogue-Shoes | Sparrods & CoSparrods & Co Oxford Semi Brogues Shoes

LONGWING BROGUE

A longwing brogue has wingtip-style perforations that extend all the way to the heel. This style is less common than the others and is generally considered to be more casual. It could be worn with business casual or casual attire.

 

GHILLIE BROGUE

A ghillie brogue has laces that are tied around the ankle, rather than through holes in the vamp of the shoe. This style is often associated with traditional Scottish dress, and would be appropriate for formal occasions such as weddings or ceremonies.

 

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

As a brogue can come in basically every material, today we are going to focus on the huge variety of boots and shoes that can come with broguing on it.

BROGUE LACE UP BOOTS

They are a type of mens brogue boots that features broguing and laces up the front. They may have either open lacing, where the laces are not covered by a panel of leather, or closed lacing, where the laces are covered by a panel.

Mens Brogue Boots in Black | Sparrods & CoSparrods & Co Outback Black Brogue Boots

 

BROGUE SNEAKERS

They are a casual shoe option that combines the classic style of brogues with the comfort and practicality of sneakers. They typically feature open lacing and may be made from materials such as canvas or leather.

brogue-sneakers-brown | Sparrods & coSparrods & Co Alpha Brogue Sneakers in Espresso

 

DERBY BROGUE

A Derby brogue is a type of dress shoe with decorative perforations and an open lacing system, where the laces are sewn on top of the vamp. This style is less formal than an Oxford brogue, and can be worn with a variety of outfits, from business casual to smart casual.

Derby Brogues | Sparrods & CoSparrods & Co Derby Brogues (aka Spectators)

 

BROGUE DOUBLE MONKS

They are a type of shoe that features broguing and a unique buckle closure. They are a stylish and modern alternative to traditional lace up shoes. Double or single monk strap shoes can also constructed to be full, semi or quarter brogues. 

Monk Strap Shoes  in Black Calf | Sparrods & CoSparrods & Co Oslo Brogue Double Monk Shoes

 

OXFORD BROGUE

An Oxford brogue is a type of dress shoe with decorative perforations and a closed lacing system, where the laces are sewn underneath the vamp. This is a formal style of shoe, typically worn with suits and formal attire such as tuxedos.

Oxford Brogue Shoes in Burgundy | Sparrods & CoSparrods & Co Oxford Brogue Shoes in Burgundy

 

HOW TO WEAR OXFORD BROGUES

Oxford brogues are a classic and versatile smart casual shoes option that can be dressed up or down, making them suitable for a wide range of occasions. These shoes, which feature decorative perforations on the surface, can add a touch of sophistication and style to any outfit.

In this section, we will explore outfit combinations for four different colors of oxford brogues: black, brown, burgundy, and tan or cognac. We will also provide some color pairing suggestions to help you create stylish and cohesive looks. Whether you're dressing for a formal business meeting or a casual weekend outing, these oxford brogue outfit ideas will have you covered.

BLACK OXFORD BROGUES

They are a classic and versatile men black dress shoes that can be dressed up or down, making them suitable for a wide range of occasions. Here are some outfit combinations for black oxford brogues:

  • For a formal business look, pair black oxford brogues with black trousers, a white dress shirt, and a black blazer.
  • For a more casual outfit, try pairing black oxford brogues with dark wash jeans, a sweater, and a leather jacket.
  • For a smart casual look, wear black oxford brogues with chinos, a button-up shirt, and a sports coat.

brogues black | Oxford Shoes | Sparrods & CoSparrods & Co Simba Black Oxford Brogues

In terms of color pairings, black oxford brogues can be worn with a variety of colors. Some options to consider include:

  • White or light coloured tops, such as a shirt or sweater, for a crisp and clean look.
  • Dark colors, such as navy, grey, or charcoal, for a sophisticated and stylish outfit.
  • Bold and bright colors, such as red or yellow, to add some personality and flair to your look.

    OXFORD BROWN BROGUES

    They are another classic and stylish mens brown dress shoes that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Here are some outfit combinations for brown oxford brogues:

    • For a formal business look, pair brown oxford brogues with navy trousers, a white dress shirt, and a brown blazer.
    • For a more casual outfit, try pairing brown oxford brogues with khaki chinos, a sweater, and a denim jacket.
    • For a smart casual look, wear brown oxford brogues with grey trousers, a patterned shirt, and a sports coat.

    Mens Brown Brogues | Sparrods & CoSparrods & Co Simba Espresso Oxford Brogues

    In terms of color pairings, brown oxford brogues can be worn with a variety of colors. Some options to consider include:

    • White or light-coloured tops, such as a shirt or sweater, for a fresh and summery look.
    • Earth tones, such as beige or olive, for a natural and cohesive outfit.
    • Dark colors, such as black or charcoal, for a chic and sophisticated look.

      BURGUNDY OXFORD BROGUES

      They are a stylish and unique mens formal shoes that can add a pop of color to any outfit. Here are some outfit combinations for burgundy oxford brogues:

      • For a formal business look, pair burgundy oxford brogues with navy trousers, a white dress shirt, and a grey blazer.
      • For a more casual outfit, try pairing burgundy oxford brogues with dark wash jeans, a white t-shirt, and a leather jacket.
      • For a smart casual look, wear burgundy oxford brogues with olive chinos, a button-up shirt, and a sports coat.

      Oxford Brogues Shoes in Burgundy | Sparrods & CoSparrods & Co Simba Burgundy Oxford Brogues

      In terms of color pairings, burgundy oxford brogues can be worn with a variety of colors. Some options to consider include:

      • White or light-coloured tops, such as a shirt or sweater, for a crisp and clean look.
      • Neutral colors, such as grey or beige, for a balanced and sophisticated outfit.
      • Dark colors, such as black or navy, for a chic and stylish look.

        COGNAC OXFORD BROGUES SHOES

        They are a warm and stylish mens formal shoes style that can add a touch of sophistication to any outfit. Here are some outfit combinations for tan or cognac oxford brogues:

        • For a formal business look, pair tan or cognac oxford brogues with navy trousers, a white dress shirt, and a brown blazer.
        • For a more casual outfit, try pairing tan or cognac oxford brogues with light wash jeans, a white t-shirt, and a denim jacket.
        • For a smart casual look, wear tan or cognac oxford brogues with beige chinos, a button-up shirt, and a sports coat.

        Tan Brogues Shoes | Sparrods & Co

        Sparrods & Co Simba Oxford Brogue Shoes in Cognac

        In terms of color pairings, tan or cognac oxford brogues shoes can be worn with a variety of colors. Some options to consider include:

        • White or light colored tops, such as a shirt or sweater, for a fresh and summery look.
        • Neutral colors, such as grey or black, for a balanced and sophisticated outfit.
        • Dark shades of green, such as olive or forest, for a stylish and cohesive look.

          Jessup Says

          So by now you should have an excellent understanding of why you may want to choose a brogue and an Oxford, as its never been a binary decision! They’re a fantastic decoration that can be added to pretty much any footwear for a more sophisticated and interesting style when compared to a traditional shoe without broguing.

          I would highly recommend that everyone has at least one in their wardrobe to experience the awesome style and versatility that brogue’d footwear offers.

           


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