From 1930 to Modern Times: The Staying Power of the Classic Loafer
Loafers are comfortable shoes that are worn by many throughout the world. They first appeared in the 1930s in America, and since then, the fashion has spread across the world. Esquire magazine first printed pictures of the footwear, the designs of which were imported from Norway. Then, family in the state of New Hampshire began to create this shoe as a casual fashion for men and women alike, although it first became popular amongst men. Below is a brief overview of this popular shoe, and the ways in which you can wear them.
The Basics of the Loafer
With its flat heel and no strap, the loafer is a very popular fashion amongst both women and men. Most of the time, the loafer is made from leather. This material is soft and very comfortable, but is also durable. Women’s loafers typically have a low heel. The penny loafer is a popular name for women’s loafers, which started in the 1950s. A penny was traditionally placed as a decorative accent around the top slot of the loafer, at which point the term “penny loafer” was coined.
Since loafers are typically constructed from genuine leather, their cost can be rather high. But when you consider the extremely high quality you’re getting for the price, loafers are actually a tremendous value. In fact, most loafers will last a person his or her entire lifetime, if desired. Men’s loafers often come in suede varieties, which can be hard to find, but well worth the search. Some suede loafers for women are available, as well, but are typically less popular. Since the loafer has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, however, materials have become more broad, and the traditional leather loafer is sometimes replaced by those made from less expensive materials (and in a much broader range of styles). While non-leather loafers would not be considered a “true” loafer, they are still loafers by design, and add the same class and distinction to any outfit.
There are many styles of penny loafers available, particularly for women. Where once the penny loafer was the only type of loafer women wore, now there are a variety of options from which to choose. Prince Albert loafers, for instance, are very decorative, and are popular for their mix-and-match quality. Although these loafers were originally made to be worn at home as slippers, they have become popular as unique additions to outfits. Some loafers have tassels, as well, which is more of a dressy option for men than it is for women, although both are seen. Women’s loafers have exploded into a fashion trend that is almost on par with the skinny jean, although some of these popular loafers are almost unrecognisable as loafers save for the basic design. This actually helps to lower the price in some instance, though, as materials other than leather are often utilised to create the different looks.
What to Pair With Loafers
Loafers are the quintessential fashion statementfor those who want to be classy and comfortable at the same time. So it makes sense that most of the fashion combinations most frequently seen with loafers evoke a classic “throwback” feel. For men, loafers are often paired with nice dress trousers and a jumper with a collared shirt underneath. For women, loafers are often seen paired with a dress, or with a jumper, a skirt, and tights. Although some of the more modern loafers can be paired with bootcut jeans and a jumper, the classic loafer is meant to be casual on a higher scale, and while jeans are sometimes acceptable, the distinctively “preppy” feel is lost when this pairing occurs.
The loafer is a fashion trend that seems to be ever returning, and its staying power may be largely due to the comfort of loafers. For a shoe that is so popular and stylish, you might not expect to feel as though you’re wearing house slippers all day. But, in fact, loafers are designed not only for classic distinction, but for all-day comfort. So no matter where you’ll be headed in your loafers, and regardless of the material your shoes are made of, always ensure that your feet feel snug and cushioned, as comfort is high fashion where the loafer is concerned.
Megan Barnes loves enduring fashion. She especially enjoys talking about shoes and accessories on style blogs.