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How To Style Brogue Boots

How To Style Brogue Boots

17 Apr 2023

How To Style Brogue Boots

By James Shackell

When you think of ‘brogues’, you probably think of Derby shoes, like our BENNET brogues. That’s your classic office or wedding shoe: classy as hell, traditional, packed with personality. But what about brogue boots? Is that a thing?

Boots definitely do come with broguing, both in leather and suede. They’re rarer than brogue Derbys or Oxfords, and they technically fall into the ‘dress boot’ category. But they do exist, and they’re a stylish alternative to the same-old, same-old dress shoes you see at every corporate event. They’re also quite versatile. You can match men’s brogue boots with chinos, jeans and even suit pants. A style like the SAMUEL will look great with a crew-neck tee, button-up shirt, or heavy woollen peacoat.

In this article, we’ll tackle men’s brogue boots. How to style them, and how to keep them looking good.

What are ‘brogues’?

‘Brogue’ technically refers to a style or technique, rather than a particular shoe. You can have brogue Oxfords, Derbys, boots, or even sneakers. The ‘broguing’ refers to those little perforations and patterns in the leather. The style comes from Scotland and Ireland (bròg is actually Gaelic for shoe), and were originally designed to let water run out of your boot. Very handy if you’ve been trekking through peat bogs all day.

Modern brogues aren’t practical in that way, of course, and the perforations are really just there for decoration. We’ve written a whole guide on brogues, if you want more info, but all you really need to know is that broguing makes a shoe more fancy. It’s a formal style. This doesn’t mean you can’t dress it down, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Brogue boots with chinos

For a smart-casual, cocktail-friendly look, try matching brogue boots with slim-fit cotton chinos. For this, you want neutral-coloured pants – maybe khaki, beige or navy – and a simple button-up shirt. You can layer up further with a knit blazer, or dress things down slightly with a good-quality crew knit. Our PRESCOTT suede military boots work well here. Just remember to cuff your chinos nice and high. A strong double cuff should do the trick.

Brogue boots with a suit

Being formal by nature, men’s brogue boots work great with traditional two-piece suits (for ultra-formal three-piece numbers, we’d probably still recommend a pair of Oxfords or Derby shoes). Here’s how you do it: grab a slim-fit suit in a solid block colour (charcoal and navy work best), throw on a white shirt and complementary tie, then finish with polished leather brogue boots like the GRIMES. Make sure to hem the suit pants slightly higher for this look. You don’t want any ‘break’ or loose fabric around the ankles.

Brogue boots with jeans

Our personal favourite combo is brogue boots and jeans. Jeans and boots tend to work well regardless, and the broguing really helps kick things up a notch. Perfect for date nights, smart casual events, or anywhere you want to make an impression. Just pick a pair of straight leg or slim-fit indigo jeans, GALLAGHER brogue boots, and a simple crew knit jumper. A lighter wash on the jeans will look more casual, which is fine, but a darker wash is probably the way to go. Brogues work best when you keep things classy.  

Brogue boot mistakes

Brogue boots are pretty forgiving, so don’t worry too much. About the only things we wouldn’t pair with brogue boots are shorts and/or a tuxedo. The broguing is too formal for shorts, and boots with a tux is not usually a good look. Apart from that, feel free to experiment. Mix up colours and materials. Try contrasting that decorated leather with something more rugged, like flannel or wool. And have fun with your brogue boots – they’re there to make a statement.

Brogue tips and tricks

-   Keep the rest of your outfit fairly simple. Block colours and neutral tones. The idea is to let the brogue boots stand out.
-   Leather care and conditioning is vital, and that goes double for brogues. That perforated leather is a magnet for moisture and dirt, so make sure to keep your boots polished, dry and clean.
-   Use layers to create visual interest. Brogue boots match really well with peacoats and woolen overcoats, especially in gray or navy.
-   Keep your accessories simple, but considered. And make sure to match your leather: brown brogue boots go with a brown belt. Vice versa for black.