HOW TO STYLE MEN'S BROGUES:
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE FOR MEN
Timelessly trendy, the brogue is a must-have addition to any stylish man’s wardrobe. Whether you’re dressing for a smart-casual gathering at the office or an occasion that requires a mid to high level of formality, this versatile men’s shoe style guarantees to effortlessly elevate your ensemble and add interest, charm and excitement to your attire.
However, with a plethora of variations of this popular shoe design available on today’s market– think wingtips, toe caps and everything in between – it can be challenging to navigate the what, why and when rules of styling this shoe.
With this in mind, here at Rieker, we’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to wear brogues. Covering everything from colours and wingtips to when, where and what to wear with brogues, read on for everything you’ll ever need to know about making the most out of this popular men’s dress shoe.
In a sea of contemporary and classic shoe styles, the brogue is perhaps one of the first to stand out – and for great reason. Stylishly decorated with intricate and unique patterns and perforations, the brogue provides a lively alternative to the traditional Oxford or Derby style shoe and allows the wearer to express their personal style and character uniquely.
Though the brogue’s perforations were initially created with Irish workmen in mind, they are now their trademark feature. They arguably solidified this style in fashion history books and contemporary wardrobes alike. Once you start looking, you will find various broguing patterns to choose from. However, perforations along the toe-cap, sides or upper length of the shoe are the most common.
Brogues have come a long way from their days as an Irish workman’s shoe. Implemented initially to filter water through the wearer’s shoe on wet terrains, the signature perforations of the brogue are now what makes it a popular selection for smart-casual and office style dress.
When browsing brogues, it’s crucial to take into consideration the intensity of the broguing, as this can indicate the level of formality it is suited to. Before we delve into what to wear with brogues, we’ve covered the three main brogue styles to help you get started.
Quarter brogues sport a signature cap toe, with fine perforations along the cap’s edge. The subtle yet stylish broguing of this shoe style makes it ideal for more formal occasions and are a great way to add subtle class to an outfit without being too busy or taking attention away from your main ensemble.
A step up from quarter brogues, the half Brogue allows for a more playful design that showcases style, class and character. Half brogues boast a perforated toe cap – Perfect for adding the finishing touch to your office attire. A stylish middle ground, this level of brogue can easily be dressed up or down for various levels of formality.
Also known as wingtips, the full brogue showcases intense patterns and perforations in a style that begins at the toe cap and extends along both sides of the shoe. From a birds-eye view, this signature style of broguing is identifiable by the ‘W’ shape adorning the toe cap. As wingtips are quite a busy design, we’d recommend saving this style for events that demand a more relaxed level of formality.
Here at Rieker
we stock an elegant collection of men’s brogues to choose from, including slip-on and lace-up designs in various styles and finishes. To make the most out of this popular men’s shoe style, read on for how and what to wear with brogues.
HOW TO WEAR:
Like brown formal shoes, brown brogues are a versatile addition to any gentleman’s wardrobe. Ideal for an array of special occasions and events, they can be brought out time and time again to complement your look effortlessly.
For formal office events or drinks with friends, pair brown brogues with tailor-cut grey trousers for a contemporary appearance that boasts class, or complement a formal blue suit with tan leather brogues to add instant charm and elegance.
For more casual attire, we’d recommend marrying this colour brogue with light coloured chinos and a button-up shirt. However, be careful not to match the colour of your chinos and Brogues too closely, as this can have you standing out for all the wrong reasons.
At Rieker, we stock a chic collection of men’s brown brogues, which will suit a vast array of styles and outfits. Whether you’re shopping to dress up or down your attire, our range has a Brogue for you.
HOW TO WEAR:
Though black shoes are traditionally the go-to for formal events, we’d recommend leaving black brogues at home for cocktail and black-tie occasions, as the busy impression of broguing can take away from your overall look.
However, that’s not to say that you can’t wear black brogues with a suit. For events that require a smart-casual look, pair black brogues with dark grey or black business suit trousers and enjoy a refined, masculine look. The unique perforations of the brogue will add charming detail to your ensemble and will stylishly accentuate the tailoring of your get-up.
If you’re heading out for drinks with friends or it’s a dress-down day in the office, collaborate black brogues with navy slim-fitting jeans and a t-shirt and blazer. Though more relaxed than a suit and tie pairing, this modern combination still offers a distinguished look that will elevate an everyday ensemble and make a standout statement of sophistication.
HOW TO WEAR:
Combination colour brogues naturally inspire a more quirky look, making them an excellent choice for those not afraid to stand out from the crowd. Though the black and tan leather combination is the most popularly seen, blue and tan brogues are also rising in popularity.
Bright and attention-grabbing, this style of brogue is guaranteed to make a statement all on its own, meaning that you don’t want to pair this design with an already busy outfit. To pull off combination colour brogues, stay casual: Pair with dark denim jeans and a blazer and add personality and uniqueness to your everyday smart-casual attire.
HOW TO WEAR
BROGUES WITH JEANS
When considering what to wear with brogues, you may find yourself stuck on whether or not jeans are a suitable choice. Here at Rieker, we fully applaud this stylish combination – So here’s how to do it.
The unique perforations and patterns of the brogue shoe are made to stand out, so when pairing brogues with jeans, it’s essential to pick a pair of jeans that won’t take away from the intended impact of the shoes by covering them up.
By pairing your brogues with skinny or straight-leg jeans, your brogues will stand out and add unique character and style to your overall look. Baggy jeans or anything that falls below the ankle will take away from this, so we’d recommend avoiding this combination at all costs.
Of course, the shade of denim you choose is also an essential factor to consider when styling your brogues. For lighter shades of denim, stick to brown and tan coloured brogues. For brilliant blue and darker denim pieces, you can experiment with brown and black brogues or a combination of colours. However, be careful not to pair brogues with blue accents too closely to your shade of denim.
Black jeans pair well with a variation of coloured shoes. However, black brogues will match best. If you’re feeling daring and want to pair black jeans with brown brogues, make sure your brogues are on the darker side of the colour spectrum.
CAN I WEAR
Pairing your brogues with a suit is a fashionable move, and one that, here at Rieker, we’d thoroughly recommend.
Stick to quarter or half-broguing patterns for more formal events, as wingtips communicate a less formal look. As suits naturally inspire a more conventional ensemble, we’d also advise sticking to traditional colours, such as brown or black. Black brogues never fail to deliver on the style front and will add effortless class and elegance to your get-up. Whilst brown shoes add warmth and character without taking away from the level of formality required.
The unique perforations of brogues will stylishly accentuate the design and fit of your suit and are a sure-fire way to add instant sophistication and elegance.
SHOP MENS BROGUES
After reading through our guide, we’re confident that you’ll be an expert on what to wear with brogues, so be sure to check out our range of men’s brogues at Rieker.
For more men’s shoe styles, explore our full range of men’s shoes, which includes loafers and various other formal shoe styles suitable for events of all kinds.