A journey of a thousand miles begins with a fabulous pair of shoes.
As one who needs to travel quite often it surely is quite tiring. Sometimes the best I do is just stop, breathe and focus on the positive. And if that doesn’t work, I simply try a new pair of shoes. That’s when I feel cosy in my mind and feet.
Many people think shoes are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant person is what is on his feet. I am one who firmly believes that a man with good shoes is never ugly.
I love trying out different shoes as per the occasion. Some call me a certified shoe addict because I think there is always room for one more pair.
When it comes to shoes, a style that never goes out of style for me is the Brogues. Originating in Ireland over 500 years ago, it has always been my smart shoe of choice, being a timeless shoe full of style and history. So let’s know a bit more about it.
What is Brogue:
Brogue is derived from the Irish word Brog, which means a rough or stout shoe. Broguing is defined in the dictionaries as an ornamentation of shoes using heavy perforations. So it stands to reason that a shoe with perforations is a brogue.
Origin of Brogues:
The brogue was originally designed in Scotland and Ireland suitable to wear while working outdoors, which used to be wet and full of bogs. The perforations in these shoes allowed water to drain from them easily. The high lacing in these shoes kept it free from muck and dirt.
Characteristics of Brogues:
The basic characteristics which distinguish brogue shoes from other shoes may be low heals, lace panels, presence of broguing or decorative perforations, toe cap and knee cap. However, being so versatile not all brogues may have all these basic characteristics.
Styles of Brogues:
Brogues are versatile shoes and come in various shapes with various styles and designs having evolved over the years:
Full Brogues: These shoes generally have a pointed toe cap extending along both sides of the shoes which are called wingtips. They feature broguing along its edges as well as in the centre of the toe cap, which is generally decorative called the Medallion.
Semi or Half Brogues: These shoes will feature a toe cap but will not have the extensions or wings. They will feature broguing along the cap’s edges and sides and also generally have the medallion.
Quarter Brogues: The basic design of these shoes is exactly like the half brogues with toe caps without points and without any extensions or wings. However, what differentiates it is that they feature broguing only along the cap edges and not elsewhere and would also not feature any medallion.
Ghillie Brogues: These are full brogues but without a tongue and will have long laces along the instep that wraps around the ankle and tied below the calf. These are specially used for Scottish country dancing.
Modern Brogues: There are various kinds of modifications of this classic shoe style. Nowadays, the most popular variation is the U-cap or U-tip, a classic adaptation of the full brogue.
How to wear Brogues:
More the broguing, less formal the shoes are. Hence full brogues should be combined with country attire and semi brogues would go well with casual sports coats and brown suits.
Brogues should generally be avoided with dark three-piece business suits. Black ghillie brogues may be an exception.
If need to wear with a suit, opt for either half brogues or quarter brogues as they would maintain the formality of the outfit, not being too elaborate.
A full brogue or wingtip would be an ideal choice with a blazer or a sports coat as it maintains the right amount of formality and casualness.
The best attire that pair with brogues are jeans, chinos and casual trousers.
Brogues now come in a variety of colours but the classic black or brown would be the safe choices when it comes to wearing them for formal occasions.
Initially made of box calf leather, brogues are now available in suede and all other kinds of leather too. However, it is ideal to opt for smooth or uniform leather which makes the broguing shine.
It is advisable to prefer the traditional kind of regular or symmetrical hole perforations, but for those inclined to go fashion forward, creative broguing like shotgun or buck shot would be an interesting way to combine the classic look.
Brogues would generally work well with blazers, sports coats, jackets and casual suits. So it would be better to avoid wearing it with shorts.
Last but not the least, every man should have at least one pair of brogue shoes. Rather, one should have a few to work with different outfits, while at work or while partying.
How to buy brogues:
Brogue shoes are now available with almost all popular brands. With so many options available to check and decide, I prefer to buy my brogues and other formal shoes online.
With such options and after reading my article in detail about brogues, I am sure you will be able be find your brogue shoes that fits your style and suits your needs.