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Loafers: everything you need to know

Posted on 09 July, 2017

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘loafing about’? It’s an expression used to describe lazing around without a care in the world. We believe the term was originally coined after the shoe (due to its origins as some posh bloke’s country house slipper) but who knows.

What we do know is how they should be worn, for what occasions and if there is ever a good time to wear socks with them?!

Let’s begin.

When should I wear loafers?

If we’re talking about a specific season, then the humble loafer is definitely most at home in spring and summer. The nippy autumn breeze would bite your exposed ankles, and the inch deep snow would freeze your tassels. Nobody wants frozen tassels.

The fact that loafers can be paired well with either chinos or shorts make them even more suited to the summer months.

Where should I wear loafers?

While many loafer styles err toward being more casual, there are some more formal styles out there. Take the penny loafer for example. Originating from Norway in 1934, the penny loafer features a strip of leather (or suede) across the front, with a convenient, penny-shaped hole in it - hence the name.

To see a modern twist on this classic style, have a look at our Halton loafers. Available in either sage grey or tan, the suede finish makes these ideal for both a few drinks in a British beer garden, or some Mafioso al fresco dining in Sicily.

The Halton loafer: perfectly blending formal and casual.

How should I wear loafers?

Generally speaking, loafers go best with chinos, trousers and shorts. There are always exceptions to this rule, but jeans aren’t a common coupling with them. Slim fit linen trousers also work really well in achieving that effortless summer look. In order to make a real impact though, try getting a bold colour (our Mitton navy loafers are a great example) and pairing them with some check trousers …

The Mitton loafer: perfect for making a bold statement

What material should my loafers be made of?

Loafers are usually constructed with either suede or leather. As a general rule, leather loafers have greater implications of formality and smartness, while suede ones tend to channel a more relaxed vibe. For example, leather loafers can be worn well with trousers, yet suede ones could look a little mismatched. That’s not to say you shouldn’t own a pair of suede ones though.

Take our Ribble loafer, they look great with a pair of cream chino shorts, yet their tassel detail adds a touch of smart to any casual ensemble.

One of our bestsellers, the Ribble is versatile and comfy - just like a loafer should be.

Is it ever okay to wear socks with loafers?

Here’s the big question. Much like wearing socks with sandals (yes there are still people out there committing this typically British fashion crime), socks and loafers are rarely seen together. This isn’t to say it shouldn’t and can’t be done though, as the image below shows:

However, for the more modern summer look, we recommend going sockless. Or if you really can’t get on board with that idea, why not try a pair of ‘invisible’ socks?

Hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought when it comes to wearing a pair of loafers. They’re not a shoe style for everyone’s wardrobe, but for those brave enough to try them out, there’s a whole world of new outfits awaiting. Happy loafing!

 

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