What is the Best Way to Incorporate Vintage Inspired Brogues into a Female Work Wardrobe?

March 8, 2024

Brogues, a classic shoe style traditionally associated with men, have crossed the gender divide and are now a popular choice for women seeking footwear that is both stylish and practical. With their distinctive perforations and robust construction, brogues bring a touch of old-world charm to any outfit. But how do you wear brogues in a way that is fashion-forward and work-appropriate? This article will guide you through the different ways to incorporate these versatile shoes into your female work wardrobe.

Brogues: A Shoe With a Rich History

Before we delve into how to wear brogues, it is essential to understand the rich history of this shoe style. Originating from Scotland and Ireland, the brogue was initially a practical shoe designed for working outdoors. The distinctive perforations, or ‘broguing’, were there for a reason – they allowed water to drain from the shoes when crossing wet terrain.

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Over time, brogues evolved into a dress shoe, worn by men for formal occasions. However, they have now become a unisex style staple, loved by both men and women for their versatility, comfort, and undeniable style.

Women’s brogues come in a variety of styles, from classic oxfords to more modern interpretations. While black is the most common color, brogues can also be found in brown, tan, and even bright, bold colors. This diverse range of options allows you to choose a pair that fits your personal style and complements your work wardrobe.

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Incorporating Brogues into Your Work Attire

One of the main reasons brogues are a fantastic addition to any wardrobe is their flexibility. They can be worn with a variety of outfits, from casual to formal. Let’s explore some ways to incorporate brogues into your work wardrobe.

Pairing Brogues with Trousers
Brogues and trousers are a classic combination. A pair of black or dark brown brogues can add a sophisticated edge to a plain black or navy suit. For a more casual look, pair them with high-waisted trousers and a crisp white shirt. The key is to ensure your trousers are tailored well – too long, and they will cover the details of the brogues, too short, and they might make your legs appear shorter.

Brogues with Skirts or Dresses
Don’t think that brogues are only meant to be paired with trousers. They go just as well with skirts and dresses. A midi skirt or a tailored dress with a pair of brogues can make a chic and comfortable work outfit. For a more modern look, pair brogues with a mini skirt and a tucked-in shirt.

Brogues with Jeans
While jeans may not be a typical work outfit for some, they can be smartened up with a pair of brogues. Go for straight-cut or skinny jeans that sit just at the ankle to show off your brogues. Pair them with a blazer or a smart top for an office-appropriate look.

Choosing the Right Brogues

When it comes to choosing the right brogues for your work wardrobe, consider the style, material, color, and your personal taste.

Brogues come in different styles – from full brogues or wingtips, which have a pointed toe cap that extends along the sides of the shoes, to semi or half brogues, which have a standard straight edged toe cap. Your choice will depend on your personal preference and the nature of your work.

Leather is the most common and recommended material for brogues. It’s durable, comfortable, and ages well. However, if you are looking for a vegan alternative, there are excellent quality synthetic materials available too.

While black and brown are the most popular and versatile colors, don’t be afraid to try other colors. A vibrant pair of brogues can add a pop of color to a monochrome outfit and express your unique style.

Care and Maintenance of Your Brogues

Investing in a pair of brogues is just the first step. To ensure they last and continue to look good, you will need to take care of them. Regular cleaning and polishing can keep your brogues looking their best. Use a soft brush to remove dirt and dust, and apply shoe polish in a color that matches your brogues. Additionally, using shoe trees can help to maintain their shape.

Remember, brogues are more than just footwear. They are a fashion statement that can elevate your work wardrobe. So go ahead and choose a pair that reflects your personality and style, and wear them with confidence.

The Different Types of Brogues

Brogues are not a one-size-fits-all shoe. They come in various styles, each with its unique features and aesthetic appeal. Let’s take a look at the different types of brogues you can add to your work wardrobe.

Full Brogues or Wingtips
Full brogues, also known as wingtips, are distinguished by their pointed toe cap that extends along the sides of the shoe. This style is traditional and is often worn for more formal occasions. If you want to wear brogues with a suit or a formal dress, full brogues could be an excellent choice.

Semi Brogues
Semi brogues, or half brogues, have a standard straight-edged toe cap. This style is less decorative than full brogues and is considered slightly more casual. A pair of semi brogues would be perfect with trousers or a skirt for a smart-casual office look.

Quarter Brogues
Quarter brogues are the most minimal of the three styles. They have no perforations on the toe cap, making them the most modern and versatile of the brogues. If you want a pair of brogues that can transition from the office to after-work drinks effortlessly, quarter brogues would be a good fit.

Regardless of the style, brogues are a fantastic addition to any female work wardrobe. Whether you choose full brogues, semi brogues, or quarter brogues, remember to pick a pair that suits your personal style.

Conclusion: Brogues are More Than Just Shoes

If you are looking to incorporate a touch of vintage-inspired elegance into your work attire, brogues are an excellent choice. They are practical, stylish, and versatile – making them perfectly suited to the ever-changing demands of the modern workplace.

Whether you pair your brogues with a smart suit, a chic dress, or even a pair of jeans, they can add a touch of sophistication to any outfit. With a variety of styles available, from full brogues to semi to quarter brogues, you can find a pair that complements your unique style and meets your practical needs.

However, owning a pair of brogues is more than just having a trendy pair of shoes. It is a nod to a rich history, a statement of style, and a commitment to quality. So, as you embrace this vintage-inspired trend, remember to care for your brogues well. Regular cleaning, polishing, and proper storage can keep your brogues looking their best and ensure their longevity.

Ultimately, the best way to incorporate brogues into your female work wardrobe is to wear them with confidence. As with any fashion choice, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing. So, go ahead, find your perfect pair of brogues, and stride into your work day with style. Continue reading our articles for more fashion tips and advice.