Footwear Styles Man

Originating in Scotland and Ireland as the go-to shoe for those bound for the turf bogs, the brogue has since become a footwear mainstay for the contemporary gent.

What’s so unique about the brogue is its versatility. The traditional punch hole design on this silhouette’s upper – known as brogueing – gives it a distinctive character that other smart shoe styles lack. To capitalise on the brogue’s ease of wear, we’d recommend opting for a traditional brown leather style complete with leather or rubber soles.

Whether tan, chocolate, russet or chestnut, a pair of brown leather brogues will slot seamlessly into your wardrobe and team well with plenty of outfit permutations, from smart to smart-casual, as well as many of the hues you already own, particularly navy and grey.

For those of a more dressed-down persuasion, a brown wingtip brogue is ideal. Wear them with a white button-down shirt and rolled-up dark denim jeans for a look that’s casual and comfortable, yet still refined.

When it comes to brands that produce high quality brogues, look to traditional English manufacturers such as Tricker’s, Church’s, Cheaney, Barker and John Lobb who are particularly astute at their craft, offering a wide-ranging selection of interpretations of the classic.

One of the originals and undoubtedly one of the best, the Oxford – not to be confused with its close relation the Derby – is the perfect occasion shoe.

What sets the Oxford apart from the Derby is its ‘closed lacing system’, which is an elaborate way of referring to the fact that the bottom of an Oxford’s lacing section is sewn closed, with the eyelet facings stitched underneath the front section of the shoe.

Originally designed as a bespoke house shoe for King George VI, the slip-on loafer was also famously the silhouette of choice for the mod movement back in the early 1960s and is now just as likely to be found on the feet of musician Miles Kane as it is on Prince Charles.

Laceless and featuring an elegant, pared-down design, the loafer is an easy, highly versatile style that has been favoured by royals and rebels alike since the mid-19th century. Similar to the brogue, the loafer is best matched with smart and smart-casual ensembles.

In terms of colour and material, we’d suggest a breathable suede style in tan, beige or light brown for maximal wearability throughout the warmer spring/summer months, when it will quickly become your default option.

Able to be dressed up or down with ease, a suede loafer – whether tasselled or penny – works just as well with a button-down shirt and chinos as it does relaxed, warm-weather suiting (think linen and lightweight cotton styles). It’s also the ideal silhouette for going sockless, helping bring a touch of continental flair to your warm-weather looks.

However, you’ll need to bear in mind that suede really does not fare well in wet weather, so don’t risk them if it looks like rain. That said, you can take other preventative measures to reduce the damage of getting caught in a downpour, says Cooper:

More and more, we’re seeing the style dominate the runway, the streets and even the red carpet – all thanks in no small part to game-changers like Kanye giving sneakers their official seal of approval.

While the highly stylised aesthetic of the self-titled ‘Louis Vuitton Don’ may not appeal to everyone, there’s no denying that minimal vintage styles are having a real moment right now. Where neon-panelled, multi-detailed Nike and New Balance reigned supreme about a year ago, subtle styles crafted from premium materials now dominate – good news, then, for those of us who are keen to tap into trainers’ current popularity but want to retain a timeless appeal.

With an enormous amount of choice on the market today, it’s tough to select just one style, but suffice to say you should be looking for something white and made from leather. Adidas Originals – think Gazelle, Superstar or Stan Smith models – are a good place to start if you want something with a streetwear slant that works with both jeans and T-shirt combinations as well as smarter trousers and blazers.

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