Behold! The Brogue
As an equal opportunity blogger with a real yen for the classic shoe of all time, a moment of reverence, please. While I may be ridiculed or derided for being sloppily sentimental, exceedingly mawkish, or just the least bit misty eyed over a pair of shoes, I am but a humble follower of the newspaper of record (The New York Times) who was first to sing the praises, just today, for this most exquisite of men’s footwear.
Described as chunky, clunky and insufferably inconsiderate in chewing ankles to the tender bone during the break-in phase, there is, nevertheless, a resurrection afoot for the unsurpassed beauty of brogues. As the heartfelt are telling it, “I’m completely feeling for brogues this fall.”
A little history for the unenlightened or unconverted — Brogues are the 1960s wingtips with the heavy leather sole worn by businessmen in an era typified by philandering, booze and cigarettes in the workplace. Ah those were the days! They served as heavy anchors to the slender suits of the times that have been resurfacing, thanks to those marvelously mischievous “Mad Men.”
Across the land and showroom floors, there’s a virtual time warp underway with spinoffs hitting the shelves at esteemed retailers like Brooks Brothers, J. Crew and Banana Republic. Duckie Brown’s brogue collaboration with Florsheim has reinvigorated its classic Royal Imperial collection with saturated colors and artful perforations; other stateside manufacturers like Alden and Allen Edmonds have classic versions of the shoe that originated in England with brands like Trickers, Church’s and Grenson.
I have always loved the cordovan color for its rich tone, but black holds up just as well. Besides, the versatility of brogues cannot be overlooked — suited for business, or coupled with jeans, faded and worn, or dark and unwashed, cuffs rolled please, they are de rigeuer for the style savvy. Convinced? Anyone else feeling for brogues?
A little reading material to handsome up the man about town in those brogues can be found at The Barstool Romantic in an essay entitled “What is a Man” by Tom Chiarella for Esquire.
Disclaimer: No financial interest or monetary gain. Just the soft sweet swoon of exaltation.