Oxfords, not Brogues. In the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, Harry Hart (played by Colin Firth) spoke those three words that Eggsy (played by Taron Egerton) should always live by. It implies a sort of high-brow rule that a Kingsman, a member of a private intelligence agency founded by the British elite to protect the world, should – as a creed – always remember to choose oxfords over brogues so as not to commit a fashion faux pas.
Understandably, the fashion world went into shambles.
The main problem lies in the fact that brogues aren’t a type of shoe. A brogue simply refers to the broguing of the shoe or the patterned design perforations or holes. An oxford can be a brogue and a brogue can be an oxford. See what we mean? The fundamental style guide of a Kingsman, simply put, is flawed. And it gives the brogue an undeserved negative rep!
If you’re now questioning your style choices, let TheGetWell walk you through a quick guide on the essentials so you won’t make a mistake as preposterous as oxfords, not brogues. Pssh!
Disclaimer: This guide is to give you an overview of shoe must-haves. By no means is this a comprehensive list you should abide by to be considered “stylish.” We encourage individuality and everyone has their own style. You do you!
The right shoes really depend on the occasion. We wouldn’t ask you to buy one shoe per occasion. That’s just not economical. The best way to go about is to own at least 3-5 pairs of shoes at a time that will be essential for every event or activity you have.
Don’t let Kingsman or anyone else fool you into sticking to just one type of shoe. We all have different styles and different needs. For dress shoes, you can never go wrong with Oxfords and Derbys. They both fit in a professional and semi-casual setting. Whether you’re going to a board meeting or a weekend brunch, as long as you’re not going for an ultra-casual look, you can never go wrong with a pair of nice dress shoes.
Tip: Choose a pastel-colored button-down, tuck it in some slim jeans or khakis, put on that Oxford shoe, and you’re good to go!
If we’re being honest, athletic/running shoes should be the most essential pair of shoes any man should own. Whether you’re going out to go grocery shopping or meeting some buddies for a drink, the running shoe is the most sensible choice for comfort without compromising your sense of style. With today’s athleisure and laid-back type of style, a nice pair of running shoes will be your best friend.
It was either the all-around loafers or the white sneakers. In the end, we feel the practicality of the all-around loafers gives it a bit of an edge. Depending on where you are and what type of climate you have, suede loafers can be worn year-round or at least from spring to fall. These shoes are known for their versatility. You can wear them dressed-up, or dressed-down. It’s all up to you! Generally speaking, loafers work with both formal and casual outfits – although you might have to rethink your shoe choice when you’re wearing a full-on suit. *cough* Wear dress shoes instead! *cough*
Tip: No-show socks are the ONLY socks you should wear when wearing loafers.
Depending on where you are, boots may be a necessity more than just a fashion choice. For places that experience extreme weather conditions, boots are a perfect choice. Whether it’s snow or mud or anything else in between, a nice pair of boots would go amazingly well with your work trousers, jeans, or even slim khakis, no matter the weather. (Just make sure your dress boots are equipped to deal with snow or extreme moisture.)
Optional: Utility boots
We know that some may not consider utility boots as an essential part of their wardrobe (or a candidate at least) but hear us out! Utility boots, especially in places with harsh climates, are must-haves for people that primarily work outdoors and do a lot of manual labor. Utility boots have been worn by manual laborers for decades. Make sure that your utility boots are waterproof, with grip soles, and ankle support to give you full mobility even in the harshest weather conditions.
Tip: Dress boots and utility boots are not the same. Dress boots are, you guessed it, for more formal outfits. If you’re going to be doing a lot of manual labor or a lot of physical activity, utility boots would work best for you!
It was a difficult choice between considering white sneakers as an essential shoe as opposed to the all-around loafer. If you have the budget, we believe white sneakers are a must! We know a lot of people will be raising their eyebrows at this but white sneakers should be an essential part of your wardrobe. Why? Because it goes with just about anything. Make no mistake though, even this perennial shoe has its limits. Never, EVER, wear it when you’re going for a formal look. It just looks, for lack of a better word, lazy; to wear such a casual sneaker to complement a formal ensemble. Just. No.
Tip: It’ll look good on anything. Shirt and shorts? Yes, sir. Collared shirt and khakis? You bet. Sweatshirt and skinny jeans? Uh-huh.
Contrary to popular belief, casual sneakers are NOT athletic sneakers. Some casual sneakers may be fit for running but most aren’t. Think the now trendy Balenciagas and Fila chunky shoes. They go with just about anything and feel comfortable to wear!
This isn’t a complete list of things of absolute must-haves for your wardrobe. At the end of the day, fashion could only take you so far. Your style will always be something that’s unique to you and you alone. And, always remember, manners maketh man.