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Fashionista NOW: Autumn Footwear Obsession ~ Brogue Shoe Fashion Inspiration

Brogues are a breed of timeless footwear that can be worn with almost anything. And if you’re a fan of sturdy shoes that are made for walking and are kind of dressy and stylish in a classic sort of way, brogues shall be your answer!

While I’m unable to pinpoint to a specific time when my heart and feet fell for these versatile flat shoes, I can say without a tinge of doubt that ever since I’ve had my very first pair of brown suede brogue shoes, no other shoe style will do!


Brogue-induced Irrationality

And this infatuation extends to the brogues that are made for men as well. My heart flutters at the sight of an intricately made rustic leather brogue with its charming perforated embellishments.

And if I catch sight of feet of random males (or females) all snug in a pair of this classic footwear invention, my eyes would curiously move up to catch the facial composition of the wearer as if the shoe alone would allow me glimpses into their personalities.

There’s something about brogues in general that makes me feel like those with this mutual preference for the shoe type have at their disposal the most sensible of perception when it comes to choosing the right footwear; that it should be made for serious walking and still appeal to a timeless aesthetic.

Patting my own back shamelessly, I then imagine that all brogue shoe wearers share a rare genetic predisposition that makes us all brogue-smitten and no matter how preposterous this thought is I just cannot help myself. Am I seriously weird? Do you relate at all?


History of Brogues

Anyway, on a serious note, here’s a list of facts to know about the awesome brogues:

  • Brogues have been around longer than you think. The word “brogue” originates from the Gaelic bróg (Irish), bròg (Scottish) that translates to “shoe” and the Old Norse “brók” which means “leg covering”. The term entered the English vocabulary in the late sixteenth century.

  • In the early twentieth century, the word “brogue” was first used to describe a type of outdoor, country walking shoe worn exclusively by men. During this time, the shoe style was NOT considered appropriate for social or business settings.

  • Modern brogues trace its roots back to Scotland and Ireland where rudimentary version of the shoe (made for farm workers) was constructed utilizing untanned hide with perforations to allow water to drain from the shoe as the wearer walked across a wet ground.

  • The process of making tiny perforations, cutouts or pattern of punch-holes along the seams of the shoe is called brogueing (or broguing).

  • Overtime, perceptions regarding footwear have altered as shoe makers fashioned brogues with new and creative interpretations that made them a staple for not only the men but the womenfolk as well. Now they’re versatile enough to be worn for any occasion and season.

  • Brogues entered the fashion scene in the 1900 when patterns made by the holes/perforations on the traditional shoes appeared on ladies’ shoes as decoration. The slight heel of a dress brogue produced a distinct sound when tapped, making it ideal for formal Gaelic dances.

  • In the 1930s, both Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn introduced masculine fashion elements while maintaining a feminine and tailored appeal which then had fueled forward for more menswear-inspired fashion for women.

  • Enter 1976, George Cleverly renowned for his men’s footwear creations fell for the charm and persuasion of British model Twiggy that he had designed and constructed the first women’s brogues.

  • The 1990s marked a significant time for the footwear as Ellen DeGeneres broke out in a brogue for the Oscars breaking away from the tradition of lavish heels usually worn at the glamorous event.

  • Alexa Chung made brogues relevant in the early 2000s that they returned on high fashion runways. Brogues were in a few years back and at present date, they’re still reigning under the fashion spotlight and shall remain so for years to come.


Equipped with a new appreciation of how the modern brogue came about, let’s look to the style-conscious lookbookers for some tips on how to wear brogues in style for the Autumn (or in any kind of weather).

brogues – Le Bunny Bleu

nude brogues – eBay

red lace up brogues – Vancl

brogues – Zara

lace up brogues – New Look

dual tone brogues – New Look

two-tone brogues – Frank

brown brogues – Görtz 17

Anyone mad about brogues as much as I am? If so, what about these shoes that just tickle your fancy?

If you fall within the group who feels that brogues are for old men, please tell us why in the world would you think so? All are welcome to comment down below!

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Here on Fashionista NOW, our one and very own Miss Reverie showcases the latest in fashion trends and its various social implications in our everyday lives. You may read more of her at REVERIE SANCTUARY.

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