How brogues appeared
It is thought that the predecessors of brogues appeared in Scotland and Ireland. The holes were flow-through and were needed for the water to easily flow out from the boots which shepherds, farmers and hunters wore at the swamps, so that the boots would be dried and aired better. «Brog» translates from Irish as «boot». This word appeared in English in the 16th century. Before the start of the 20th century the shoes were worn in the country, and they were considered to be very informal. But at the beginning of the 20th century brogues were literally born anew. Edward, the Prince of Wales, liked that the shoes were both comfortable and beautiful and decided to make them his official shoes for playing golf. It is his Highness the world owes the appearance of W-shaped cap toe decorated with a perforated pattern. The shoes are getting more and more popular, are gradually entering urban wardrobe and becoming considered acceptable even for combining with business suits.
Types of brogues
Brogues perfectly suit those who do not need to follow a strict dress code, however, it is worth noting that black models with minimum perforation are quite strict. There are several types of brogues:
Punched cap — there is perforation only along the seam that divides the toe and the vamp. The strictest variant.
Quarter brogues — there is perforation along all the seams. However, this term is also sometimes used for shoes that only have perforation on the seam that divides the toe and the vamp.
Half brogues — there is perforation along all the seams as well as on the toe (however, some people even call shoes without any perforation on toes half brogues). The perforation pattern on the toe is called a medallion.
Full brogues, wingtips — there is perforation along all the seams and on the toe, and the toe is separated from the vamp with a W-shaped («wingtip») seam.
Longwing brogues — this model is similar to full brogues, it also has a W-shaped seam and a medallion on the toe, but the side seams are very long and straight, and they start from the toe.
Austerity brogues — there is no perforation at all, but there is a W-shaped seam on the toe. Today you can come across this model very seldom.
Spectators — two-colour shoes. They can be brogues, but not necessarily.
Brogues and your wardrobe
We posted a separate article about when brogues are acceptable and how to wear them. The strictest models, which are the black ones with minimum perforation, are a good match for both formal and semi-formal day attire (morning coats and strollers) and business suits. Brown colour downgrades the formality of any item, and, besides, so do materials with marked texture (suede and grain leather), some design features and the extent of perforation. So, brown suede full brogues do not match a business suit in smooth woollen fabric, however, they would harmonise with a tweed suit, flannel trousers, chinos and even some jeans.
Those who like casual style should combine brogues with jeans, knitted cardigans, parkas or even trench coats. Adherers of strict style, on the other hand, are recommended to prefer models with a smaller amount of perforation — they perfectly match even with the most formal suits. You should also mind the thickness of the sole: brogues without a massive lower part are more appropriate for strict looks.
And, finally, it is preferable to wear models in light colours, for example light-brown ones, during the warm season, while black brogues are perfectly fine for formal receptions and the cold season.
You can find brogues that suit you best in our online catalogue on the website of the shop fineshoes.ru. Broguing has become very popular nowadays and is used for decorating different models of shoes. You can apply the word «brogues» to any pair decorated with perforation on the toe or along the seams. You can also call different models of loafers or oxfords, and practical derbies, and comfortable monks for brogues — the main criterion is still the perforation.