April 01, 2021
Adding a wingtip or brogue to your wardrobe is one of the best ways to elevate your style without feeling like you made any extreme changes. However, men are often unsure which type of shoe would fit in their wardrobe best when choosing.
Fortunately, we’re here to share a little Menswear 101. Then, we’ll reveal our top picks for wingtips and brogues that feel as great as they look.
A brogue is any shoe or boot with decorative perforations along the edges of where its leather pieces are sewn together.
Historically, brogues are a part of classic 16th-17th century Irish dress. While they look great in appearance, the real purpose behind the perforations was to have a way to drain water from the shoe when trekking across Ireland’s boggy landscape.
Brogues were originally worn outdoors—which solves the answer as to why they're known to be casual shoes. A general rule of thumb to follow when choosing brogues, the more perforated holes, the more casual they become.
A wingtip shoe is a specific type of brogue and is defined by a leather stitching on the top of the toe that makes a “W” shape. Wingtips are the most known brogue, and it’s no wonder why—they combine personality, touch, and class for the wearer.
An offshoot of the traditional wingtip is the long brogue wingtip. They extend their “W” shape to the back of the shoe instead of stopping at the midpoint. The long brogue is often viewed as a rustic or sporty version of the wingtip.
If there’s one takeaway here, it’s to understand that a wingtip is always a brogue, but a brogue is not always a wingtip. This is because like mentioned earlier, a brogue is any leather shoe with perforations along with its layered pieces. A wingtip is simply one specific design of a brogue.
Luckily for both, their styling often overlaps. Brogues and wingtips attribute to more casual wear, but modern styling has given way for them to work great with formal attire when appropriate.
Below is a special roundup of our brogue shoe offerings, plus tips on how to style each silhouette.
Made with calfskin leather and an EVA shock-absorbing outsole, Jasper showcases the features of a classic wingtip perfectly. A creamy brown colorway allows the perforations to show their stuff, and their distinct layering gives the wingtip that signature built-up look. Jasper truly deserves to be in every wardrobe.
Gavin looks much in the same way as Jasper, except its burgundy leather creates an opportunity for more formal pairings. This is because when you have a brogue with a darker color, it starts to appear closer to a traditional dress shoe—smoother and slimmer. The darker the color of a brogue, the easier they become in pairing with, say, a suit.
Possibly the darkest brogue we carry, Oscar is an exclusive whole cut brogue in a powerful navy colorway. The addition of a thick rubber sole gives Oscar duality in styling along with comfort. Whether it be a classic suit or casual outfit with dark denim jeans, this is a brogue that will show its intricacies up close and personal.
Another feature on our brogues that gives them the ability to pair well with formal attire is a monk strap. Palmer’s cognac color might persuade wearers into thinking they should keep them only for casual wear, however, due to the way monk straps level up a shoe, there’s no reason why these wouldn’t look amazing in a navy suit with a patterned tie. If you want to know more about why monk straps can do this, we talk about their history more here.
In our first release of a longwing brogue, Alexander features two distinct colorways that will level up anyone’s brogue game. The Alexander Cream Longwing is a solid rustic design, mixing cream-colored calfskin with a gray mesh underlay. These work great with casual dress, especially when shades of blue are involved—particularly navy and light blue.
Alexander Black is our second longwing and employs a sporty design that draws inspiration from the Jordan XI Low, also known as Bred Lows. Luxe black pebbled leather sports itself on the longwing stitching while a black suede lies in the backdrop. Fire engine red is added to Alexander’s comfortable EVA sole and inner lining to invoke an iconic Chicago colorway.
Above you'll see some of the ways the Marc Nolan community is styling their wingtips and brogues. You'll notice there's diversity and versatility in every look—a testament our unique design process.
Belmont utilizes wingtip features to add a level of sophistication to utilitarian-natured combat boots. Their use of a brown stacked sole and combining textures allow the Belmont to wear everything from dark denim to a crisp suit. If you like combat boots, these are a must in your rotation.
Jax is our best wingtip boot with a sneaker bottom. A burgundy body invokes more formal opportunities for styling while also keeping great wingtip details. Instead of a solid-colored leather boot, Jax stands from the rest by offering more than meets the eye with grey tweed inserts. It’s a classic boot that people will come to appreciate even more when they look closer.
Wrapping up with our third wingtip boot offering is our Donovan, a Chelsea boot that features distinct leather layering and perforations. Donovan’s emulate a pure wingtip while also utilizing the sleek, comfort-driven silhouette of the Chelsea. A memory foam insert and calfskin leather lining provide great all-day wear. And in terms of styling, their fire engine red elastic insert offers a bold contrast to brown leather and navy suede colorways.
Our community is also about stepping and styling in their wingtip boots. Above you'll find some outfit inspiration sourced from the guys that know Marc Nolan best.
Wingtips and brogues have stuck around in fashion for hundreds of years for a reason. Whether you're on your first pair or your fifth, there are always fresh new ways you can incorporate these shoes into your wardrobe.
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