Embroidery, or no embroidery… that is the question. A brogue is an Oxford with detailing across the cap of the shoe, and sometimes around the side. Oxfords tend to be a plain shoe, sometimes with a converse style toe cap.
Similarities between the two shoes include: open lacing, a heel cap, and a curved toe.
Differences include: a ‘w’ or wing shaped piece of leather features the brogue, with Oxfords maintaining a smooth leather exterior.
This debate is addressed recently and notably in Kingsman: The Secret Service, as Colin Firth emphasises the superiority of oxfords. This discussion relates to the traditional predjudice of brogues only being for the countryman, with Oxfords being the choice for a stylish city gentleman.
This is a foley. In the present day brogues can be worn fashionably and respectfully for any occasion, especially for upper class city dwellers.
Blake Scott, Instagram menswear icon, can be seen wearing subtly embroiled Oxfords, smartly on the fashion conscious streets of LA below. He is an example of how brogues are perfectly acceptable for any situation and dresswear in the modern day.
My favourite pair of brogues are from Gucci, with the not so subtle addition of their logo to the wings. They can be purchased from mrporter.com for £485. Office.co.uk provide a budget alternative pair of brogues for £60.
First choice of Oxford shoes has to be ‘Mansion’ from kurtgeiger.com for £120. These are reasonably priced, and are proven to last by their good quality manufacturing; I have had mine for 3 years and still look new!