Gentlemen, Carl here. All right. Today, we’re going to talk about the loafers specifically what is a loafer, where does it fit in your wardrobe, what are materials used to make loafers, and what are the four most common styles. Now, in this post I’m going to quickly cover loafers, but if you want more information, go check out the support article over here at this style blog. Over there, I’m going to go into a lot more detail in the history, all the details on where they come from. I’m going to talk about more about the styles, I’m going to have full illustrations and you can go check out if you like these examples, the company, Paul Evans.
Ultimate Guide To Formal Loafer Slip-On Dress Shoes How To Wear Tassel Penny Belgian Loafers Photo Gallery
They’re the one that will bring you all the images all the samples I have here, I can tell you I wear their shoes, I enjoy them. It’s a great company, go check them out. Okay. So, this pair right here it’s the Stewart. I have this for about a year. I really enjoy wearing them for about I would say probably two particularly maybe three reasons. Number one is they are incredibly comfortable, so every time I wear this, I feel good about them. Number two, incredibly convenient, when I travel they come on and off. Now, the third part is their fun, you notice the material here, it’s gray suede. This stands out of all the shoes in my wardrobe, these are probably the ones that get the most compliments. Why? Because it takes a little bit of courage to wear something like this. I’m a pretty conservative dresser, most of my shoes are dark brown, they’re not, I mean they look great when you get up close, but from a distance they look pretty normal.
This is something that when people see it they’re like, wow, those are great shoes. And, I love having that fun, bringing that bit of spice into my wardrobe. So, that’s the great thing about loafers and that’s a great segue into the four characteristics that define what a loafer is. Number one, you need to be able to slip on and off. Now, this is a classic example of a Belgian-style loafer. As you can see it’s – your foot should slip on should slip off and that leads us to point number two which you will not see on loafers are straps or buckles like we see here on the monk strap or laces which you see here on a pair of wholecut oxfords which are the Martins and, again, Paul Evans example here. But, notice, loafers does not have any of those. Again, slip on and off, no buckles no laces, in addition, it is a casual shoe by nature. Now, the loafers they’ve got a bit of an interesting history, they – maybe their father was the slipper and their mother was the moccasin. Now, it’s interesting how they both came together, both of them had an effect on loafers in general, but both of them, the mother and the father of these shoes is a very casual shoe, therefore this will always be casual. That takes us to point number four, the use of a wide variety of materials. Now, you just saw an example of a pretty streamlined simple leather that you will see in most shoes, dark, you know, a little bit polished.
Now, what I love is when you get to start bringing in suedes and you’re going to see loafers in blues, you can see them in reds, you’re going to see them in variety from bright blues to navies, as I mentioned you can see them in gray like hue what we have here. The cool part about gray, it matches almost everything in my wardrobe and it also doesn’t stand out, but if you want something that really grabs attention, you’ll look at some of those blues and you’re really going to get some compliments. So, those are the four characteristics. Now, let’s talk about the four most common styles out there. So, the most common style you’re going to see is the Penny loafer. Now, the Penny loafer has an interesting history and that started with the moccasin. So, I don’t have a pair of example moccasins here, but I do have a pair of driving shoes, again, from Paul Evans, these are the McQueens. And so, what you’ll notice about the moccasin, you guys see it, It has no heel and it’s – when it comes down it really doesn’t have much structure in the shoe. So, that’s one of the define – couple of the defining characteristics of a moccasin. So, the Norwegians, they got a hold of the moccasin and they took it over to Europe, they looked at it and they said, okay, we can improve upon this and they created what they call Weejuns, the idea mixing the word Norwegian with Indian and you get the Weejuns. Now, Weejuns are basically the same thing as the Penny loafers and you’ve got the strap that goes over, so that is reminiscent of the moccasin, but they added more structure, they added a heel and that, is a classic. Now, again, you can see Penny loafers, you’re going to see them in suede, you’re going to see them in regular dark-colored leather.
So, that’s the first stop. Next, let’s talk about the Belgian style. And it’s going to have a small bow almost a tassel right over here. It has more of a slipper heritage than it actually has more of a moccasin heritage. So, this is where we almost get in the same place, but we come from different points. Now, the Tassel loafer, it’s that big tassel which sets it apart is going to be one of the most casual of all the loafers out there and that’s because of the size and the presence of that large tassel on top of it. It doesn’t matter, it even goes with a nice smooth in black material, it still is going to be because of the size of the tassel a very casual shoe. Now, the fourth style we’re going to talk about is the Horsebit or the Gucci loafer. Now, in 1950’s, 1960’s, Gucci saw the loafer rising up. They wanted to come out and put their stamp on something that would be unique. So, they came out with a loafer, they had this metal strap going across, look like a horse bit, so hence it’s got its name, but it actually came out of Gucci. Nowadays, you will find them in a wide variety made from various brands around the world, but that one right there was actually made to be worn by the fashion forward elite with suits and with dressier materials.
So, you can say loafers can actually, they went from starting off with a very casual heritage and they became progressively dressier as time went on. Nowadays, could you wear this with a suit? Yeah, you could probably pull it off especially in the United States, but what I recommend – no, I see this is something that you wear with a pair of odd trousers, gray flannel trousers maybe with jeans or maybe a suit light colored with no tie, you could pull this off. But, this is always in my opinion going to be a casual shoe. Now, guys I would love to hear from you down on the comments below, which of these four styles do you feel suits you? Would you like to have your third, fourth, maybe fifth shoe in your interchangeable wardrobe? And, again, go checkout the article here, I go into more detail and check out Paul Evans. It’s a great company, I’m proud to have him as a sponsor. Take care. I’ll see you in the next post.
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