As far as footwear is concerned this season, the brogue is still king for style-conscious men and women alike. The formality associated with the shoe is relatively new; brogues have a long history of practicality,as the shoe of choice for outward-bound pursuits. The shoe of Celtic origin is known for its distinctive perforations (‘brogueing’) and visible seams, which once had a more practical function, to allow water to drain from the shoes when the wearer crossed wet terrain. The term ‘brogue’ was officially coined in the early twentieth century to describe an outdoor, country walking shoe appropriate for casual occasions.
Over the last few seasons, and after years of vertigo-inducing mega-heels, Fashion’s big names have shunned stilettos in favour of boyish flats. The rise of the brogue, loafer and ‘flatform’, and this season the Chelsea boot and velvet slippers, is the ultimate unfeminine backlash against heels. This isn’t statement footwear: it’s understated and boyish, the perfect fit with two key moods this season.
The stylish shoe is the perfect way to channel both the androgyny and heritage trends this season. Boyish brogues will add a masculine twist to feminine dresses à la Sonia Rykiel or can complement a dapper tailored look, as seen at Dolce & Gabbana and Paul Smith. The beauty of the brogue is in its versatility – it just feels so right for now.
My grey brogues sadly bit the dust in London and ever since I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement pair – my wardrobe really did have a hole in it without them as they were a great go-with-everything shoe. I spotted some pink ones in the Russell & Bromley sale a few months ago, but they didn’t have my size and I didn’t think they would go with everything; however, I checked again a couple of weeks ago and they had the same style in black, in my size and reduced to £55. The quality of craftsmanship is just beautiful and I love the glossy patent leather, which adds a bit of a dandy-ish touch! The new season reincarnation of the shoe (with a slightly thicker sole) was being sold for £165, so I feel like I got a real bargain – especially as a similar style from Topshop would cost £65 for much lower quality.