Brogues: A History

The brogue was a huge trend in men’s fashion for spring and summer 2014 and it’s set to have another successful season this year.

Brogues are popular all year round, but see particular exposure in the warmer months for their lightweight qualities and, of course, the fact that they can be worn with just about anything. Salmon pink shorts? Go ahead and step out in those brogues. Smart casual denim? Brogue away. Tailored suit? Perfection.

We know that brogues are everywhere now, and all respectable gentleman have at least one pair in their wardrobe, but have you ever wondered what their origins are? It’s said that their roots can be traced back to Ireland and Scotland in the 16th century, with the word “brogue” first making its way into the English language around that time. The perforated hide we know today as a fashion statement was then a means of easily draining water from the shoes after the wearer had walked through bogs or marshes.

The brogue is often compared with, or mistaken for, the Oxford shoe, named after the prestigious university. However, their similarities are only skin-deep, as the origins of the Oxford shoe are miles from that of the brogue. Oxford shoes are centred around a rebellion by students against the status quo of the time - knee and ankle high boots.

Interestingly, brogues were considered the mark of a peasant even up until the early 20th century. Until then, brogues were worn only by those who crossed country on foot, and simply wouldn’t be considered appropriate for any other purpose or occasion.

Fast forward to the 21st century and brogues have come a long way. Sharp, smart and identified as a key premium men's fashion trend for almost every season and occasion.

You can find the perfect brogue for you on our website; this month we’re loving the London Brown at just £250. Already have the best brogues in town? Complete the look with a stylish Yorkshire bespoke suit. Get in touch on 01904 633049 for the best tailoring in the county.