A Hume

A Hume
Oxfords v Brogues – The Kingsman Controversy

Oxfords v Brogues – The Kingsman Controversy

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Spy spoof Kingsman: The Secret Service attracted a lot of controversy but at A Hume the most contentious issue was a question of shoes.



What’s the Difference Between Oxfords and Brogues



Those who’ve seen the film will perhaps know where we’re heading. But for those who haven’t our interest centres around the declaration that -‘Oxfords, not brogues’ – is the creed of a Kingsman.



Kingsman The Secret Service

Colin Firth and Taaron Egerton in Kingsman The Secret Service. If you look closely you’ll see Mr Firth is not wearing Oxfords.



The inference being that a Kingsman should only wear Oxfords. And, just so we’re clear, a Kingsman is an exceptionally well-dressed spy, headquartered at Saville Row.



The problem is, this pithy exchange is potentially confusing.



In fact there’s evidence out there in the blogosphere that the Kingsman Oxford v Brogue polemic has unleashed a maelstrom of mis-understanding. It has exposed the poor Brogue to blind prejudice as perfectly good shoes are cast into the dark recesses of wardrobes in favour of smooth shiny Oxfords.



The world is not quite at the mercy of a super-villain but still, we feel compelled to step in and restore calm. So…..



Why Oxfords, not brogues?


Loake Chester Brogue




Well, we reckon Colin Firth is in a froth over the old school rule – long ago broken by many of the world’s most stylish men – that Brogues are country shoes unfit for stylish city gents.


Loake Scafell Oxford Shoe





The plain Oxford on the other hand is a shoe formed in smooth leather that owes its smart, formal appearance to its closed lace design. It was traditionally worn in town for business and formal wear.


Loake Fearnley Oxford Brogue



But here’s the confusing thing, Brogues aren’t a style of shoe. The term Brogue simply refers to the pattern of decorative perforations – the broguing. There are several types of Brogue pattern though a full explanation is best saved for another blog post. The main point is that broguing can be applied to any style shoe – including the Oxford.



It might be a full Oxford Brogue, a half, or quarter Oxford Brogue. It’s still an Oxford. And the Kingsman statement appears to say that any Brogue detail on an Oxford is not at all acceptable to wear with a suit. Which really is a bit hardcore and antiquated.



Where’s the Fun in Following the Rules?



Oxfords as Business Wear

Oxford Brogues are perfectly acceptable for business wear. Here they are as styled by GQ. Image source: Pinterest.



Even the most diehard footwear fascists accept that a Quarter Brogue Oxford is an acceptable dress shoe. And some of the men we admire the most. Whose style we love. Such as our Tweed Icon Nick Wooster and the glorious David Beckham, enjoy nothing more than playing with the rules that banish brogues from a stylish adventure in Town.



So for goodness, fashion and fun’s sake take the whole ‘Oxfords, not brogues’ thing with a large pinch of salt. Remember it’s just a movie. A spoof with its tongue in its cheek.


Nick Wooster Brogue Boots

Where’s the fun in following the rule? Style icon Nick Wooster sporting brogue boots and tweed in town. Image source: Pinterest.



Know the difference between Oxfords and Brogues. What the terms mean. And what the rules might have been. But follow your own rules. Create your own style. And if you want our advise follow the creed:



‘Oxfords, and brogues.’



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