Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Men’s Fashion: What Makes a Great Brogue?

When it comes to choosing footwear, you don’t necessarily need a wardrobe full of shoes for each and every outfit. By investing in a few choice pairs, you can make sure you have something to finish off any style perfectly.

Every man should own a pair of brogues - it’s as simple as that. They’re a wardrobe classic that no fashion-forward gent should be without. Characterised by their chunky design and perforated decorations, brogues were originally designed for walkers, to allow water to escape when tackling wet terrain. Nowadays, they make fabulous business wear and are perfect for less formal occasions when complemented with denim.

Here’s our guide to choosing the perfect brogue for you.


If it isn't broke, we don’t see the point in fixing it. At least, that’s our opinion with regards to the classic brogue in a warm, tan leather. Barker shoes like the one below are handmade in Britain and are sure to last you for years, as a good-quality brogue should.

Finish off the look with jeans or trousers (depending on the occasion), a crisp shirt and a sharp blazer.

(Barker Baileys Brogue, in Cedar Calf Leather, £220, from Charles Clinkard)


Though brogues are traditionally made of polished leather, suede is becoming increasingly popular. Best avoided if you’re tackling harsh winter weather, limit wearing suede to autumn at the very latest to prevent you from losing a fabulous pair of shoes to water damage!

Check out these Baker casual suede brogues, available to buy online from Dune. While they won’t be appropriate for the office or occasions when you’re required to dress dapper, they’re a nice alternative to have in the wardrobe for a more relaxed look.  Pair them with dark-wash denim, preferably in a slim cut: wearing regular cut with brogues will swamp the shoe and distract from the detailing.

Though the majority of suede designs are brown or black, don’t be afraid to experiment with the different colours on offer. These vibrant green brogues by Arthur Knight might not immediately jump out at you, but paired with dark jeans and a brown leather jacket, you’re sure to lead the fashion pack.


Over time, evolution has given us variants of the traditional brogue, including boot designs. While these modern interpretations are by no means disrespectful to the fashion monument that is the brogue, appreciate that overall impact of your outfit will be dramatically different.

(Loake Burford Brogue, in Tan Leather, £220, from Charles Clinkard)

Definitely waning towards the more casual look, boots are generally slimmer in design – they’re perfect if you’re intimidated by the bulk of a classic brogue. Wear with a slim-cut jean to carry out the sleekness of the boot. 

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