Derived from the Gaelic ‘brog’ shoe from the Scottish and Irish countryside, brogue shoes are one of the most popular pairs of shoes. The distinctive perforations, initially designed to drain water while walking through boggy terrain have now evolved into a distinctive feature. Brogue shoes are an ideal choice to dress up any outfit. Whether it’s a business meeting, formal occasion, or a casual night out, one can never go wrong with a pair of brogues. There are several types of highlighting different ornate perforations and serrated detailing.
- Full Brogue/Wingtip: Characterized by perforated and serrated edges and seams have an ornate toe cap, also known as the “wingtip”, when seen from above appears like an ‘M’ or ‘W’.
- Semi/Half Brogue: This shoe has a straight toe-cap and perforated design around the toe cap and seams without a W shape and lesser overall detailing.
- Quarter Brogue: A more formal shoe with a straight cap, where the toe-cap has brogue detailing only on a quarter of the shoe.
- Longwing Brogue: An American style without a toe-cap and edge holes with the wingtip extending to the rear of the shoe as opposed to down the sole.
- Spectator Brogue: These are distinctive dual tone brogue shoes, where the heel, lacing and wingtip with the toe, are in a dark color and the rest of the shoe has a light tone.
However, with a vast variety of brogue shoes available in the marketplace, it can be difficult to choose which brogues to wear to different casual and formal events. Here’s a complete guide to help pair the perfect brogues with any outfit.
For classic and simple business attire like three-piece suits or tuxedos, full-brogues should be avoided. Formal wear pairs best with minimal styles, such as semi and quarter-brogues. Barker shoes such as Albert, Alfred, Hampstead and Woodbridge styles are perfect for formal wear. Black or dark brown leather shoes are suitable with black and grey ensembles, while a tan brogue shoe goes well with light colored suits. Both the boot and leather shoes style of brogues looks elegant with formal wear. Quarter, half, or full-brogues are more suitable for the work setting. While black quarter-brogue with immaculate sheen goes well with a formal suit and spectator brogue will be more appropriate for a casual suit.
A brogue with chinos or casual pants is also a smart combination for a more casual setting. Quarter and Longwing brogues are a flawless combination for casual attire. Wear light-coloured chinos with classic brown brogue shoes, button-up shirt and a smart blazer for an elegant yet relaxed look. A casual shirt or polo tee with chinos and Full Brogue boots is perfect for date night.
Brogues with denim are a winning combination. Black, brown or blue brogue shoes match well with slim-fit or relaxed fit jeans. Brown brogues are more suitable for lighter colored jeans. Wear them with or without socks, and roll the cuff to style your look. Wear a sports jacket, a knitted cardigan or a club-style jacket to complete the look. Barker shoes casual, lightweight brogues match effortlessly with shorts on a summer weekend.
Brogues with shorts are a textbook summer casual ensemble. Go for shorts just above or below the knee and skip the socks. Match up with shirts, knitwear, polo T-shirt or blazer. Choose a detailed full-brogue with a chunky sole for a more rugged look or a slim and simple suede pair for a more elegant look. Barker lightweight brogues women match perfectly with shorts on a summer weekend.