When you think of brogues, what do you automatically think of? Workwear perhaps? Formal dress? Brogues have always been a type of formal footwear for many years but in recent times, there’s been a change towards the more casual dress.
A pair of brogues can instantly turn a casual outfit into a dressier one. Gone are the days where a pair of smart shoes means formal wear; you see on all the catwalks that brogues are being added as a footwear option to some of the most casual outfits, even tracksuits! Whilst that might be a bit too avant-garde for most of us, you can still make brogues casual by changing up your outfit.
Think relaxed, smart items and a country capsule wardrobe full of standalone pieces but that is all mix and match.
Brogues are a style of shoes that have traditionally been worn by men, but they have now branched out into women’s styles; some styles look more decadent than others, usually with the plainer styles being the more formal.
Country folk may think that brogues are no longer suited to them after they have become more mainstream, but we’re here to show you how to make them a country-style all over again. We’ve broken our post down into ladies and men’s styles so jump straight to the relevant section!
If you’re a country gentleman, you’ll probably already own a pair of brogues, whether they’re in smart shoe or boot form. Our traditional Market Day Brogues can be worn with both formal wear and casual outfits. They are your standard workwear, smart shoes so complement a suit, just as well as they do chinos and a smart shirt for those smart-casual occasions.
If you’re looking for a style that has a better tread for countryside life, our Wetherby style is designed for practicality with a sturdy sole and breathable lining. With these, the style is a little more casual, so a pair of straight leg jeans fit right in. Wear with a leather belt and a checked shirt for the ultimate country gentleman look.
If the weather outside is a little drab, a pair of brogue boots might be preferable. At Rydale, we’ve stuck with boots in traditional tan and brown shades to give you maximum wear out of them. We have our more casual Chelsea style boots, such as our Millington and Wetherby market pairs. Our favourite straight leg jeans suit most styles of footwear but are considered more day to day wear. By dressing them down, you can still add a smart shirt on top for those everyday gatherings where you want to dress up a little. If you’d rather dress down, a rugby shirt, polo shirt or crew neck T-shirt work just as well. With neutral bottoms and shoes, you can add as much or as little colour on your top half. You could stick with a neutral, such as beige or grey for a classic look or pick out your favourite bright colour, such as red or blue, to add a pop of colour.
If you prefer a smarter pair of brogue boots, our lace-up styles might be more up your street. Once again, an indigo pair of jeans will fit just fine but consider a pair of chino trousers instead. They’re a little more relaxed than jeans and often thinner, which is perfect for those warmer, summer months. Look like the ultimate country gentlemen with beige chino trousers and a checked country shirt. We know you probably already have these items in your wardrobe but it’s all about mixing and matching your current items whilst adding in a few new pieces.
The main issue for women and brogues is we’ve never really known how to style them. Do we wear them with a suit, do they go well with jeans or do they have to be used only in formal settings? Brogues have made a comeback for so many high street and luxury footwear brands in recent times so why can’t we make them a little more countryside glamour rather than trendy streetwear fashion?
Instead of traditional brogue shoes, why not try a pair of brogue boots? Our styles come in classic tan leather, perfect for so many outfits. If you prefer your boots to be slip-on, our Kirby Brogue Chelsea Boots are the ones for you or if you’d rather wear a lace-up style, our Kirby Lace Up Brogue Boots have more brogue features.
Skinny jeans are the ideal starting point to go with brogue boots; keeping your bottom half dark in black or indigo means you can go crazy for colour on your top half. Our favourite look is one of our classic country cotton shirts. The beauty of having a plain bottom half means you can go for whatever pattern and colour you want to on top. This is a great example of a smart casual look; if you work in a relaxed office environment, you might even get away with this look for work!
If you want to keep it a little more casual, a polo shirt is a different option. It’s still a classy look but with a less formal feel about it. You could also go for a striped top instead for a style that can be worn all year round.
No longer are a pair of brogues reserved for office and workwear outfits, you can wear them out and about with more casual and smart casual outfits too. Just by switching your work trousers with straight leg jeans or chino trousers, it can take you straight from the office to the pub, especially on Fridays!
A neutral pair of brogue shoes or boots will see you through every season and numerous outfits, just make sure to keep them clean if you’re going to be wearing them more than usual! The more you mix and match them with the rest of your wardrobe, you’ll find yourself grabbing them more and more!