An understated footwear often overlooked by the style tribes, loafers were often part of a prepster’s repertoire. Until a few years ago. Now embraced by the creative types, streetstyle stars and celebrities, these humble footwear are a constant rotation in every dandy’s wardrobe. Besides being incredibly comfortable, loafers are also extremely versatile and can elevate your style quotient instantly.
But before we get into how to style them, let’s go through the different types of loafers.
Originating from Norwegian farmers in the 1930s, the term penny loafer was in fact coined after the pretty penny. The shoe’s “lip-like” feature with the small opening at the centre was initially a design feature but later adapted by British and American cobblers to fit small, round objects like a penny, which very often came in handy to make a phone call in a phone booth at that time.
This type of loafers is said to be a successor of the penny loafer. Its metal strap brings to mind a horse’s snaffle. It was originally designed by Guccio Gucci (yes, the founder of Gucci) who was inspired by the guests at the Savoy Hotel while working as the hotel’s lift boy.
First introduced in the early 1950’s in post-war America, the tassels were added for “richness in character” and were popular among Ivy League students at that time.
Kiltie tassle loafers
These are designed with a decorative leather panel that covers the instep.
True to its name, simply slip it on and you’re out of the door. While it may look humble, there are various versions in the market rendered in snakeskin, suede, embroidery and many more. How’s that for stepping out in style?
How To Style Them
Formal (With A Suit or Blazer)
This is perhaps the most classic styling of loafers. Pair it with a simple suit or dressed up double-breasted blazer with ribbed socks. It’s an elegant look but never over the top.
Bill Skarsgård is seen here wearing horsebit loafers.
Denim (Buttoned-Down Casual)
Who says you can’t pair leather loafers with denim jeans and a buttoned-down shirt. Loafers are versatile enough to look chic on just about any streetwear ensemble. Yes, even track pants.
You wouldn’t think to pair black leather loafers with shorts but it is really not too radical of an idea. Even a simple printed short can be immediately jazzed up with a pair of loafers to up your street cred.
This guest at Paris Fashion Week paired his repertoire with classic penny loafers.
Saint Germin Loafer
The Saint Germain loafer is a testament to Louis Vuitton’s shoemaking know-how. This slim waxed calf leather shoe with an accentuated trim in grained Taiga leather is crafted from it has a traditional sacchetto construction for suppleness, while its patina is crafted by hand. The Taiga-leather strap is discreetly embossed with the LV Initials.
Gucci Jordaan Leather Loafer
Gucci’s signature leather loafer is designed with an elongated toe and finished by the house’s signature Horsebit detail—an homage to Gucci’s equestrian roots.
These derby brogue shoes are expertly crafted in polished black calfskin. The stitched upper features intricate perforation and a lace-up vamp with a subtle heat-embossed ‘Dior’ logo on the side. The glossy black leather sole and stacked heel further distinguish the refined style of this sophisticated.
Smoking Oxford Shoes In Patent Leather
These high-shine polished derby shoes are a sophisticated take on Western-inspired shoes. They feature elegant tonal stitching and stacked wooden heels. It offers a rebellious attitude and a street-style edge with it’s glitter finishes. Perfect for the rockstars of the world.
Coin Rim 20MM Loafer
Demna Gvasalia leads the Parisian house and infused it with his own contemporary take. This black square back and toe calfskin loafer has it’s signature sculptural shape, true to the label’s DNA. You can spot this pair with it’s debossed BB logo on the tongue. Although usually known for its sneakers, these Balenciaga loafers will make you want to go from streetwear to sartorial.
Black Leather Loafers
These Italian made statement squared toed loafers feature the striking FF baguette-shaped gold-finish metal buckle. Done in black leather, it rests on a stacked heel and is perfect for just about any occasion.
Toblach Brushed Leather Slip-On Sneakers
These brushed calf leather loafers are an expression of timeless elegance. With it’s signature chunky, low block heel and easy slip on style, a lot of people would wish they were in your shoes – literally. The standout feature is of course, the enamel triangle logo.
Tabi Leather Loafers
Inspired by traditional Japanese footwear, this Tabi split-toe has become an instantly recognisable fashion favourite. The smooth, black tonal leather with front strap penny slot only add to the shoe’s elegance.
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