Borrowing from the boys is not, by any means, an original concept, especially not since Diane Keaton made it effortlessly cool in Annie Hall or every time a French girl would drape her boyfriend’s blazer over her shoulders or clasp her father’s watch around her wrist. And these days, menswear, womenswear—it’s all one giant blur in today’s gender-fluid, free-for-all, androgyny-happy society. Yet, there’s still something to be said about the quintessential girl-boy pairing of all time: a pretty, flirty dress anchored by a pair of I-mean-business brogues.
It’s a classic combo so maddeningly simple, it’s no wonder it continues to prevail, regardless of season, year, or what’s “on-trend.” It achieves the same effect as throwing on a leather jacket to toughen up a delicate top or gripping a briefcase-like purse to add structure to a soft silhouette, but stepping into wingtip brogues or two-tone Oxfords brings a degree of versatility and functionality that the others lack. Versatile, in that, as Victoria Beckham pointed out to us on her fall/winter 2016 runway, menswear-inspired brogues can complement a look as formal as an evening dress or as casual as sporty separates (pictured, above). And functional, in the sense that your feet won’t turn against you after a particularly active day (no heels, no arches, no pain). With that said, we present to you a very practical (and very chic) present—five ways to integrate menswear-inspired shoes into your wardrobe.