Wearing Tan Brogues to the Office. Yes or No?

Brogues were traditionally country wear, to be worn with a tweed jacket and odd trousers. Though it’s long been acceptable to wear brogues to the office, not all of them look the part: black or dark brown brogues are fine with a suitably coloured suit, but tan brogues are usually a step too far.

The tan brogues above (Loake 1880 Chesters) are your stereotypical English-made variety, built for toughness and durability. The soles, while made of leather, are much thicker than those of most dress shoes. The uppers are constructed over a fairly wide last (to accommodate heavy-duty woollen socks) and give the impression that they were designed to withstand a battering not usually associated with a life of emails, PowerPoint presentations and lunch-time meetings with clients. Put simply, they look clownish and clumpy when paired with most city suits.

However, that doesn’t mean that wearing tan brogues to work is an absolute no-no. If you don’t have to wear a suit to the office every day you can pair them with corduroy or tweed trousers. If you have a rugged-looking flannel or heavyweight wool suit then tan brogues might fit the part. They also look great with blue jeans; in fact they have the effect of making most straight-legged jeans look remarkably smart.

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