Picking a stylish shoe for the right occasion is crucial if you care in any way about fashion. And with the brogue in vogue for women it’s a reminder that the smarter shoe — in brogue style, derby style, and oxford style — is a timeless classic that will always look good on the well dressed gentlemen.
As such, here’s a rundown for those seeking the look for casual, smart/casual, and smart occasions.
This shoe didn’t start off as a stylish addition to an outfit, it had a functional use. And that was to allow the wearer to traverse the wetlands and bogs of Scotland and Ireland. Traditionally the famous perforations on the brogue allowed water to drain from the shoe. Today the perforations remain, but as a stylish addition.
A brogue isn’t just a brogue. There are four main types; the variations have differing toe caps, and quantity of perforations.
Full brogue/wingtip brogue
These are the most common brogue. With a distinctive ‘W’ shape when looking from the top; and the toe cap extending around the side, finishing near the ball of the foot.
They have perforations on top, and along the edges. They’re serrated along the edges also.
If you’re going to a more formal occasion then you could try out an austerity brogue. These have the same wingtip shape (‘W’ shape), but without the perforations (or broguing as it’s sometimes called).
Half brogue/Semi brogue
The half brogue is also more formal than the full brogue.
You can tell the difference as it has a toe cap rather then a wingtip. This is perforated, and also has a serrated edge.
The quarter brogue is again a more formal shoes. It’s got the same toe cap style as the half brogue, but only has the perforation around the edge (and is also serrated around the edge)
Let start by being brutally honest about this style: This isn’t a trendy brogue; It’s not recommended.
It was popular in the 1970s, and has fallen out of fashion since.
What does it look like so you can avoid it?
The wingtip goes all the way around the shoes, and it often has a thicker sole.
The Derby and Oxford relate to the lace section of the shoes. And depending on the style, it’s either more suitable for casual, or more formal.
Which is which?
The derby has an open throat at the bottom, which is then laced together over the tongue. This open throat is much like an open shirt; making it more casual.
Because of the open throat the Derby is easy to slip on and off, it also adds to it being a more casual shoe. And the lace area being more flexible makes it more comfortable.
On the other hand, the Oxford has a ‘V’ shape with a closed throat. Giving the shoe a formal look.
And the Oxford has a dirty secret… The stitching and eyelet tabs are on the underside. This can lead to rubbing, and the shoe being less flexible. Does that sound like a casual shoe to you?
There are different types of brogues, and depending on the look you seek you can choose one of the three styles — I’ve discounted the Longwing brogue because of its poor aesthetic.
You’ll also need to make a decision on a Derby style or Oxford: Derby is more casual, Oxford more formal.
Chris Hunt blogs, loves fashion, and promotes a leading London nightclub called Chinawhites.