Loafer: The Ultimate Guide to the Classic Slip-On Shoe
If you’re looking for a versatile, comfortable and stylish shoe that can go with almost any outfit, you might want to consider a loafer. Loafers are slip-on shoes that have a low heel and no laces. They are often made of leather or suede, and come in various colors and styles. Loafers are a staple of men’s and women’s wardrobes, and can be worn for casual, formal or business occasions. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about loafers, including their history, types, features and how to wear them.
The History of Loafers
Loafers have a long and interesting history that dates back to the 17th century. The first loafers were inspired by the moccasins worn by Native Americans, who used soft leather to make shoes that were easy to slip on and off. These shoes were adopted by European settlers, who added heels and decorations to them. In the 19th century, loafers became popular among fishermen and farmers in Norway, who wore them as practical footwear for working on boats and fields. These shoes were called “Aurland shoes” or “Aurland moccasins”, after the town where they were made.
In the 1930s, an American businessman named George Henry Bass visited Norway and saw the Aurland shoes. He was impressed by their design and comfort, and decided to create his own version of them. He named them “Weejuns”, after the Norwegian word for Norwegians. He also added a distinctive feature: a slit across the vamp (the upper part of the shoe) that could hold a penny. This gave rise to the nickname “penny loafers”, as some people would insert a penny into the slit for luck or emergency phone calls. Weejuns became very popular in America, especially among college students who wore them with jeans or khakis.
In the 1950s, another type of loafer emerged in Britain: the tassel loafer. This was created by an American actor named Paul Lukas, who wanted a pair of shoes that had tassels on them like his favorite oxfords. He asked a London shoemaker named Edward Green to make him a pair of slip-on shoes with tassels. The result was a sleek and elegant shoe that caught the attention of many fashion-conscious men. Tassel loafers became a symbol of sophistication and style, and were often worn with suits or blazers.
The Types of Loafers
Today, there are many types of loafers available in the market, each with its own characteristics and appeal. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Penny loafer: The classic loafer with a slit across the vamp that can hold a penny. It has a simple and timeless design that can suit any occasion. It is usually made of leather or suede, and comes in various colors such as black, brown, tan or burgundy.
- Tassel loafer: The loafer with tassels on the vamp that add some flair and personality to the shoe. It has a more formal and refined look than the penny loafer, and is often worn with suits or blazers. It is usually made of leather or suede, and comes in various colors such as black, brown, tan or navy.
- Bit loafer: The loafer with a metal ornament on the vamp that resembles a horse bit or a snaffle. It has a more modern and fashionable look than the penny or tassel loafer, and is often worn with casual or smart casual outfits. It is usually made of leather or suede, and comes in various colors such as black, brown, tan or gray.
- Moccasin loafer: The loafer that has a moccasin-like construction, with visible stitching around the toe and heel. It has a more casual and relaxed look than the other types of loafers, and is often worn with jeans or chinos. It is usually made of leather or suede, and comes in various colors such as black, brown, tan or beige.
- Driving loafer: The loafer that has a rubber sole with small nubs or pebbles that provide