The Loafer is the ultimate in relaxed men’s styling. The footwear with just a hint of the rebel. These are shoes to wear at play so it pays to have a little fun when styling your classic Loafers.
The definition of the Loafer is simple. They are low-heeled men’s slip on shoes. This broad approach has allowed for a wide array of design interpretations and from backless to Penny Loafers there is a style for every wardrobe.
Loafers sit at the less-formal end of the footwear spectrum although many styles will take you into smart casual and beyond. Wear them with jeans, with chinos and even with shorts to add a quiet sense of cool to your look.
Loafers have an interesting backstory and it was one we couldn’t wait to dive into. Find out more about this classic footwear, below.
1. The first Loafers were made for King George VI
Loafers first appeared as a relaxed house shoe for the royal family to wear when they were away from their duties. The very first Loafer is said to have been developed for King George VI by his shoemaker Raymond Wildsmith and became known as the ‘Wildsmith Loafer’ – an icon of classic shoe design.
2. They were inspired by Norwegian Fisherman
The modern Loafer is a relatively new addition to the shoe spectrum and the inspiration came from an unlikely source. European and American travellers visiting Norway took a shine to the comfortable slip-on shoes worn by local fisherman and the design followed them home. The style quickly took hold, soon becoming a staple of both men’s and women’s fashion.
3. They are still causing debate amongst style experts
To sock or not to sock. It’s a debate that has been around since the dawn of Loafers themselves. Although there are extreme views on either side of the argument we say it depends on the setting. Worn casually, sockless can look great. For smarter events pick out some great socks to partner with your Loafers.
4. The Penny Loafer was designed to carry change
The Penny Loafer was designed with a distinctive leather strap across the front. This strap is still a feature on many modern Loafers but its origin is strangely specific. It was apparently created to hold a single penny – which was the cost of a payphone call at that time. This meant that if a fashion-forward Loafer wearer got into any kind of trouble, he still had the means to call home.
5. James Dean was a huge Loafer fan
James Dean is one of the true male style icons. He embodies effortless cool. His clean, masculine sense of fashion is one that many of us still live by today. What’s more, he was a serious Loafer fan. The relaxed feel of the slip-on footwear fitted seamlessly with his casual look. If mens black leather Loafers are good enough for James Dean they are a must-have for your wardrobe.
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