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Shoes

What exactly are: Brogues?

What exactly are: Brogues?

In a nutshell

Brogues are the most versatile smart-casual shoes.

Backstory

Irish farmers invented the first brogues—pieces of leather punched with holes—to keep their feet from getting too wet as they tramped through dewy fields. Through brogues were the equivalent of hiking boots until well into the 20th century, today, they're firmly smart casual and work with a wide variety of clothes.

How to wear them well

"Brogues go with everything except really casual trousers," says Thread stylist Millie Rich. "I love them with dark denim, chinos, formal trousers, blazers and shirts, but the list goes on. Just make sure to go for a brogue with a round toe, rather than anything too long, and choose a brown pair: they're most classic." (On a budget? Keep an eye out for these specific details.)

Photographed: Gant chinos (£100), John Smedley jumper (£235), Hudson brogues (£160)