Brogues for all seasons

February 19, 2010 at 8:51 am | Posted in Fashion, George | Leave a comment
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Brogues: “A great cross-seasonal buy” and “a brilliant flat shoe for women who feel the ballet pump is simply too girlie”, according to last Saturday’s Guardian magazine. Perfect for George (and me) in that case.

Simon Chilvers, the Guardian‘s assistant fashion editor, suggests that at the moment they should be worn with slim rolled-up chinos. Chinos are perhaps a little too early, and American, for the Kirrin boys (they were big with American teens in the 50s and 60s). Julian, Dick, George and Anne tend to wear their brogues with shorts, or with straight leg trousers for the boys and simple skirts for the girls, often teamed with blazers and jumpers as part of their school uniforms (see previous posts on Five on Hike Together),


Five on a Hike Together (Part 2): Winter Shoes

November 28, 2009 at 10:12 am | Posted in Anne, Fashion, George, Julian | Leave a comment
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“‘I’m glad you girls took my advice and wore your thickest shoes,’ said Julian, looking with approval at their brogues. Some of our walking may be wet.'”

The transition of autumn into winter, and the incessantly damp weather, has necessitated an upgrading of my decidedly unsturdy summer brogues (below left) not so sturdy broguesfor some more robust winter shoes. My first port of call was the classic British retailer Russell & Bromley and although I went in search of brogues I finally came away with these jolly nice brown Abercrombies (below right). They are not cheap (£135) but are well-made and feel like they will last a good few years.

Strangely enough, Russell & Bromley don’t seem to have a website at the moment. According to Wikipedia (sorry) the company’s history began in 1873 when shoemaker George Frederick Bromley left Hastings and went to work for Albion Russell who was based in Lewes. If anyone knows more, please do comment.

Shoe buying tip: even if they feel a bit snug when you first get them, your R&Bs will loosen and soften up. Put on a pair of thick socks and wear them around the house for a few days before braving the streets. And don’t wear them for more than one or two days in a row for the first few weeks.

March 2010: I feel compelled to add an addenda here. The shoes did loosen a bit at first but they are still a little uncomfortable. And I am not alone in this. My housemate is also suffering with her patent black leather brogues, and the lovely lady who works in the Victoria Park Pavilion confessed to me today (during a shoe conversation over a Chelsea bun) that she has some similar Russell and Bromleys that pinch her feet too. The main problem is their width – none of us have particularly wide feet but they are just too narrow to be truly comfy. Sad but true. I am going to try having them stretched…

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