The loafer is a shoe with heritage and history. There are many different variations and options on the market, each with their own unique features. Today we will cover a brief overview and a few executions of the iconic shoe.
A loafer is a slip on shoe completely without lacing or similar fastening solutions. Therefore, it completely relies on a more snug, individual fit for the shoe to remain on the foot.
There are many stories about how the loafer was introduced to the public market. Some argue that shoemakers were inspired by Native American's footwear while others refer to the GH Bass loafer as the first of it's kind. However, the first large popularization of the loafer can be traced back to the mid 1900's “preppy” era. Apart from this, the shoes later on came to be a more formal option for casual outfits.
Today, almost every shoe producer offers at least one interpretation of the loafer, which shows the shoes impact. Most common are the penny and tassel loafer, but horsebit and belgian shoes are also often spotted.
Cavendish loafer C&J
The tassel loafer is recognized by the two tassels attached using a leather (or sometimes fabric) string. This creates a sophisticated detail and adds more character to the shoe. What I personally favor about the tassel loafer is it's versatility. This shoe can be worn with almost any outfit, from an evening suit to a casual wear.
Harvard Loafer C&J
The Penny Loafer on the other hand has a more formal approach with it's clean silhouette. A leather piece is cut out and attached to the shoes upper front which adds more character to the shoe as well as improving the symmetry. A penny loafer can easily be worn to business casual or more formal ensemble, and in many cases relaxed outfits.
Overall, the loafer is most suitable for spring, summer and autumn wear due to the open construction. Their versatility enables a wide variety of combinations that all look great. For example, a pair can be worn both together with a heavy, houndstooth flannel as well as a fine fresco summer wool fabric.
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