According to the dictionary, a brogue is a “strong outdoor shoe with ornamental perforated patterns in the leather”. This means that any shoe with perforations is a brogue, which includes the Derby or the Oxford.
A Derby has “open lacing” which means that the eyelets are stitched on top of the vamp (the front section of the shoe), whereas an Oxford has the eyelets which are beneath the vamp. The more perforation detail that a brogue has on it, the more professional and smart it will look, so the next time you’re shopping for a new pair, make sure that you keep this in mind.
So, how do you wear them? The brogue has become so much more than just a work shoe, but it can be difficult to figure out how to wear it without a suit. Here are three ways that you can wear the brogue without a three piece.
The Coloured Brogue
A coloured brogue beautifully toes the line between casual and formal. These styles of brogue have been gaining popularity and they are available in a wide range of colours. For something subtle and rich, go for a green or brown, as these colours will go with a wide range of styles and be stylish season after season.
If you’re ready for a pop of colour or conversation starter, then try a dusky pink or blue suede brogue. Pair with dark jeans and a cardigan for a laidback, effortless look.
Don’t go for anything too garish or bright if the rest of your outfit is very tonal as it will look out of balance. Make sure that your outfit’s colours complement and balance each other out.
The Suede Brogue
An alternative to the traditional brogue, the suede brogue can be worn for work and for casual wear. The softer fabric means that the shoe retains its formal good looks but has a more relaxed style. Team with a denim shirt and chinos for a smart, but laidback outfit.
The Classic Brogue
Keep it classic and stick to a tan or black brogue. Slim jeans, with a crisp shirt and a blazer, your brogues should have lots of perforation detail on them. This makes for a really smart look that isn’t quite your regular 9-5, but can be worn in the office or to a business meeting. The darker the shade, the more toned down and professional your look will be.
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