September 13, 2011

Style Feature: The Brogued Shoe

Shoes are an oft-overlooked part of a man's wardrobe. A boring pair of shoes can undo all of your carefully considered sartorial choices. Brogueing is a decoration characterized by perforations and is a nice way to bring a little excitement into your footwear.

1. Full-Brogue

These wingtips are one of my favorite pairs of shoes. The softer leather pushes them a bit more toward the casual side, but I have dressed them up when I want to put some more fun into a suit.

Extra Tip : To get the most out of your dress shoes, get them rubbered or put taps on. This will extend the life of the sole and is a fraction of the cost of a new pair.

Shoes by Ted Baker; Shirt by Nautica; Denim by AllSaints Spitalfields;
Socks by Psycho Bunny; Sunglasses by Prada.

2. Quarter-Brogue

These balmorals are dressy enough for a formal affair, but the hint of brogueing gives that fun kick of added style.

Extra Tip : The closed-lacing is what distinguishes these from the more casual blucher (also called derby) style of shoe.

Extra Tip II : Generally speaking the more brogueing a shoe has, the more casual it is.

Extra Tip III : Many high-quality, handcrafted shoes, Allen Edmonds and Alden for example, offer restoration services to get your well-worn shoes looking like new again. This is great not only for the pair you’ve had for years, but for the diamond-in-the rough thrift shop find.

Shoes by Allen Edmonds; Suit by PS by Paul Smith; Shirt by Charles Tyrwhitt;
Tie by Robert Godley; Belt by Lacoste; Tie bar by Kenneth Cole New York;
Pocket square by Burberry; Socks by Cole Haan; Eyeglasses by Dolce & Gabbana.

3. Wingtip Boot

These boots are straight-up casual. The treatment given to the leather gives them a broken-in look. It also means I don’t feel bad beating them up from daily wear in the city.

Extra Tip : This look could almost have been called Head-to-Toe: John Varvatos. While I don't generally recommend wearing only a single designer, there are some instances where it works. I'll cover this in a future series.

Boots by AllSaints Spitalfields; Shirt by Converse John Varvatos;
Corduroy pants by Converse John Varvatos; Vest by Black Hearts Brigade;
Scarf by Express; Sunglasses by Prada.

Hopefully this post gives you a little taste of the variety and range that a brogued shoe can offer to your wardrobe. Coming up soon is part 2 in my Care and Maintenance series on leather.

Stay stylish,
- JJ

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