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Brogue shoes are ‘oxford-looking’ types of shoes with decorative holes perforated around the cap toe through to the the back and around.

The term ‘brogue’ is technically not a type of shoe. It  refers to the decorative holes in a shoe caused by the perforation of the base leather of the shoe – typically an oxford or a monk strap. Today, you can find broguing on virtually any leather dress shoes ( loafer, oxford, slippers, monk strap, etc). The holes were once functional, with the main purpose being to let water out of the shoe. The term is a nap to the shoe’s origin’s in the Scottish Highlands (bro is Gaelic for footwear).

Broguing in the 21 century has got nothing to do with its original purpose or meaning, but everything to do with style. In that, the holes are not functional.  A full brogued oxford will make it less formal and an interesting player in a man’s semi-dress wardrobe.

The common combination of a contrast upper base of a fully brogue shoe with either a tweed, flannel, cheviots, or simply a different color leather, makes a brogue shoe much casual and fancy.

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It’s very wise not to wear any type of brogue shoe to an evening, black tie or any event of that nature. Brogues are not as visible on brown leathers as they are on black or very dark colors. So if you really want to show the broguing, go with brown. 

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