October 31, 2012

Ask Allie: How to Style Brogues

What do you think of the menswear shoe trend? I am specifically thinking about [brogues] though I am seeing all types of manly shoes in stores. Do you think this trend will continue? What do you wear with [brogues]?

I bought a pair of oxford shoes that are silver and sparkly and now I have no clue how to wear them. I have worn them only once with a pair of gray pants and it was okay but you couldn’t see the shoes very well. How can I wear for work and for play?

I am so thrilled that fashionable flat shoes have come back en vogue. After season after season of sky-high stilettos it’s refreshing to have velvet slippers, flat boots, and yes brogues on the scene. I think women's feet have been tortured for so long that the flat shoe trend will not be a passing fancy.  If brogues fit your personal style I say don't hesitate purchasing a pair.  Like riding boots and ballet flats, this is a classic style that comes and goes from the runways and retailers, but is classic and will never be completely passĂ©.  However after years of fashion geared towards feminine heels it’s hard to wrap your head around styling with flat menswear-inspired footwear. I find that brogues look best with college prep looks – pleated skirts, schoolboy blazers, trim cropped trousers, and oxford shirts. Here’s a few outfit suggestions, using silver glitter brogues.

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Monochromatic ensembles in shades of white are hot hot hot this fall and a perfect backdrop for statement shoes. Skinny trousers and a chunky knit sweater give the collegiate vibe that perfectly pairs with brogues, but the luxe color makes for a perfect match with glittery footwear. Keep the cool as ice look going with some chunky bracelets with sparkle and classic metal aviators.


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To make such shoes appropriate for an office setting, it’s important to have the rest of the ensemble quite classic, clean, and understated. I used the J. Crew CafĂ© Capri as a base point, since brogues look so sharp with cropped pants. A crisp white tailored shirt and heather gray v-neck sweater over it is subtle, simple, yet quite sophisticated. Continue the sparkle with pave studs and a subtle smoky eye.


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Brogues look fantastic with skinny jeans that gather just a bit at the ankle, and brogues with sparkle are begging to be worn somewhere fun. To make an outfit for a Saturday night date or to go to the bar with friends, I added a black boyfriend blazer and a perfectly slouchy band tee shirt. Add an arm party of tough silver bracelets to continue the shine and to pull the look together.


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Brogues are a classic style of shoe and look best with classic silhouettes. A flirty pleated skirt has the fullness to balance the brogues, and hints at a vintage vibe. To make such a look appropriate for the office, keep it clean with a fitted black turtleneck sweater and opaque black tights. A sleek silver cuff makes the sparkle of the shoes look purposeful, a bright pout keeps the outfit from being too somber.


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Who says that sparkle needs to be reserved for evenings? Brogues are comfortable enough to be worn running errands, and the sparkle amps up your weekend wardrobe basics. A pair of weathered boyfriend jeans and a striped boatneck tee are glammed up with a silver statement necklace and shoes; make a messy topknot look downright chic with a swipe of dark red lipstick.


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