In this video, find out everything you need to know about Loafers. What constitutes a loafer, its different variations, how to style and when best to wear them. We discuss the Penny Loafer, Gucci or Horsebit Loafer, slip-ons and slippers, why they are technically not a loafer, weejuns, Alden, Tassels and more.
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Let me explain what a loafer is. In casual situations, a loafer can substitute any other shoe that you have may it be a canvas shoe or like a sandal or whatever.
A loafer is:
- a laceless shoe
- it has an exposed ankle
- it has a moccasin like welt or seam on top of the vamp
- unlike mocs, it has a separate sole
- has low heels
A Slipper is:
- like the loafer, it has an exposed ankle
- NO lacing
- NO seam on top
A loafer has Norwegian origins. A Norwegian actually went to the US and saw the native american moccasins, brought them back to Norway, modified them slightly, added a separate sole and that's how the loafer was created. In general, Loafers are casual shoes because they're slip on and as such they're usually not worn with double breasted suits or more formal garments.
The Duke of Windsor broke these classic rules of style and he would often wear a two-tone loafer in brown and white or off-white that he would wear with double breasted suits so by traditional style rules, this was completely wrong but he was so powerful and impactful that today, you can see people wearing loafers with different kinds of suits and double breasted suits.
When it comes to loafer construction, most of the time you will see that it has a very thin sole, it's much thinner than a sole that you would see with a Goodyear welt shoe, that means they're usually Blake rapid stitched or just glued. If you have to walk a lot, definitely go with Goodyear welted loafers otherwise, Blake rapid stitched loafers are fine or blake stitched. Glued, I would probably personally say to stay away from it simply because it's usually an indicator of lower quality.
- Wildsmith loafer (British invention)
- Aurland Loafer - it is a town in Norway which was home to Nicoli Gregori who's the one who invented this Norwegian loafer style in the 40s and the 50s.
- Tassel Loafer - features these dangling tassels. It has a very long last, it's flat and elegant. The original tassel loafer was invented by the Alden shoe company.
- Penny Loafer - invented by G.H Bass in the US and it was really popular with people from the Ivy league who put pennies in this diamond shape just to stand out from the crowd. Particularly popular sometimes in cordovan leather or like a red color, you can also find it in suede. It comes in all shades of brown, sometimes spectators and it's just a really great casual shoe that people like to wear after work, maybe to resort towns, to more casual dinners, it's also very popular during the summer.
- Gucci Loafer - has these characteristic horsebits on top and usually come in gold or in silver and they became so popular in the US. You can certainly consider adding it to your shoe closet because it's a timeless style and you should be able to wear it in 20 years from now and still look very classic and timeless.
In terms of formality, loafers are overall more casual but I would rank the Tassel loafer slightly higher than the Penny loafer, Of course that is impacted by the choice of leather. A black penny loafer is more formal than a yellow, suede tassel loafer but given that colors and leather are equal, I would classify the penny loafer as slightly less formal. Nevertheless, it can be business appropriate, I think it looks great for example, with a chino-blazer combination.
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When I was growing up ,to get a pair of Bass weejuns I had to mow 10 lawns to get enough money, the shoes sold for 17dollars. Pair with a Gant shirt($3.50), gold cup socks($1.50) and Levy cords ($4.50), you a fashionable outfit, this was 1965....
Don't forget to talk about the texture, weight and size of the pants in relation to the shoe; tie a corduroy pair of would need a thicker, wider shoe to match it.
Also talk about mixing materials, textures and patterns in relation to pant, ties, shirts and jackets.
I like oxfords except the plain black balmorals. They are so dull. Therefor I would like to know if under a business suit, a black leather penny loafer (slightly elongated) would be a good alternative?? (otherwise I probably go with a single strap black monk)
Note: I mean nice loafers, elegant and not the boxy ones with round noses. But more like the black Carmina loafer.
I cannot stand how the shoe only goes half way up my foot, to me it looks bad and can be too loose fitting; why don't many loafers go further up the foot closer to the ankle?
I'm actually looking at a nice weaved tassel loafer right now, but they are so "short" in the foot area that I cannot see how I would wear them stylishly, which is a shame because I really like them.
Thanks for the guide! Do you know what a 'Turner' loafer is? At least 4 major brands market Turner loafers, but I'm confused on what makes them Turner's (Bass, Allen Edmonds, Santoni, and Dr. Scholls).
Sven, Great video. Just curious what do you think of the Navy M. Gemi Volo loafers for men? Also, I assume youd have to have a navy belt to go along with these? Finally, what would you were with these loafers. Suit wise? color of chinos? Thanks
Regardless of how one may feel about these shoe styles I think there could've been a better name for the "loafer". Some men can pull off loafers but in my opinion ultimately the shoes come off has emasculating. Just my two cents. I do love this channel and its become one of my favorites.
Thanks once again Sven! Can't get enough of the channel & content. Just received my Edelweiss flower in the mail & can't wait to wear it! Quick question, do you think the original G.H. Bass penny loafer today would be of any good quality wise or do other companies make it better? Just curious...I have a thing for the original.
Alright, you're killing me with the OLD comment! I just turned 50, and no, I don't wear tassle loafers, and never have. Lol. I prefer you're second reference, as "seasoned", over the old. Joking aside, thanks for these videos. I see many younger men, "huh- hmm" everyone I guess, that have no ability to dress themselves anymore. What happened. And that poor fellow, you know the one, who lets his wife dress him and is obvious. So again, thank you for educating men who want to know and understand how to dress, and what makes a suit, a real suit. Just found your channel and subscribed. Now, where the hell did I put my Grecian formula? Lol....JM
+Gentleman's Gazette Warum gleich so sarkastisch? Das man bei Ihnen, oder auch bei Antonio bessere Informationen erhält als im Forum, ist doch klar. Trotzdem muß ich nicht alles gut finden, nur weil da das Etikett "klassische Herrenmode" draufsteht. Tassel-Loafer finde ich extrem unmännlich. Meine 11-jährige Tochter reagierte auf ein Foto eines Tassel-Loafers mit dem Kommentar: "Papa, Du bist doch nicht schwul geworden, oder?" Ich finde das überspitzt, trifft aber den Kern.
Naja, wenn das irgendwelche suspekte Gestalten in Foren von sich geben, weil sie sonst wenig zu tun haben, dann muss das stimmen.
Ich empfehle Ihnen einfach das ganze Forum zu lesen und alles für bar Münze zu nehmen.
What do you think about the Sebago Men's Classic Leather Loafer?
Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Sebago-Mens-Classic-Loafer-Cordo/dp/B0007T11KC/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1457278624&sr=8-10&keywords=penny+loafer
Is it too leathery? I'm worried about the sole's material.
I'm from Norway, and Aurland is the village right next to the one my father originates from. The Aurland shoes are still in production as they are sold for around 150 USD a pair! The really awesome feature is that they come with a Norwegian dime to put inside the little pocket that the top leather piece creates, because this was the style back then, even though the Norwegian dime was eliminated from the market decades ago!
Yes, as +Eirik Roheim points out, there is a webstore. But this one isn't complete - at the factory in Aurland you can find more models of the Aurland shoe than you see here. But there's still a nice range of selection on this website.
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