In 2021 the Loafer is the star of the show
Jeans, chinos, suits, tuxedos, shorts…
Just as the iconic tee-and-jeans combo or a suit is essential to the wardrobe, the classic penny loafer is essential to the shoe collection. Uber stylish, boundary pushing, high-fashion footwear that can be worn every day. Loafers reward the imaginative, the rule breakers (and makers) who are part of what make this shoe so fabulous. The “maybe this will look good with that” or “I know this shouldn’t work but it does” people.
How did this versatile slip-on slide into fashion? Like many trends do, loafers started in Scandinavia in the 1930s. Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger, a Norwegian fisherman invented the foundation of the loafer. He combined the look of the early moccasins worn by North American native Indians with the functional slip-on that fisherman used.
Travellers were key to the early popularity of loafers, showing interest in the shoe. In 1932, the Spauding family started producing loafers in America. Soon after, Weejuns hit the market. By the 50s, almost every high school boy and girl wore them. Legend has it that the penny loafer got its name from the slot in the shoe just wide enough to hold a small coin for emergency calls.
Hollywood, Gucci, James Dean, John F. Kennedy, and the like…
The versatility of the loafer was like no other shoe that came before… or after. Nearly 90 years on, the penny loafer has lived many lifetimes.
Famous actors and musicians adored loafers. Gucci created the first luxury loafer in their famous horsebit chain, red and green colour. The style became very ‘European.’ Leather, suede, velvet, you name it, the loafer has rocked it. You’ll see this style in streetwear, business attire, celebrity photos, on runways and in fashion look-books.
How to rock the loafer look
Loafers and jeans are the classic pairing. There’s no ‘how to’ when it comes to loafers. You make the rules. Show off those loafers though, with fitted, shorter jeans. Ripped denim works a treat.
For a preppy style, wear a blazer with the loafers. This look is perfect for any situation with a smart-casual dress code. Go for a fitted tee with matching trousers. Let the white shirt and shoes pop.
To scream ‘I holiday on the Mediterranean’, combine chinos and loafers. Pair cool colours like light blue, cream, and khaki, with a fitted shirt. This is a go-to summer events look.
Have fun with suits, with loafers (and bright socks, when you’re feeling it). There’s the classic black suit and loafers look for the ‘wow, I love your shoes’ effect. Think a navy suit and golden tan loafers.
And, of course, loafers and shorts. This look evokes a ‘cocktails on the roof’ or ‘going to the polo’ response. Dial up or down the preppy, based on how dressy you want to be. A white long-sleeved shirt, tailored shorts, a belt, and loafers – the complete package.
Remember, with loafers, you set the trends. Have fun with it.
Step up your style with this season's loafers.
It’s the shoe that always fits, no matter the dress code. Even in the photos, you can see how special the finishes are in our slip-on shoe range. The buttery soft suede or luminous toasted oak tan that takes a classic loafer to a new standard. Soft on the feet, with the Goodyear welted construction that lasts many seasons and transcends trends.
Image from Danilo Carnevale
Image from GQ