The loafer is popular, stylish, comfortable, and ever so versatile, we can’t find fault with the slip-on. It’s definitely the shoe every woman needs to have in their wardrobe.
Gucci is to blame, once again, for the resurgence of this iconic shoe and this autumn, it’s going to be the style on everyone’s feet.
Kendall Jenner, Sienna Miller, Alexa Chung and Dakota Johnson are just a few of the celebrities who have been spotted wearing and loving the Gucci Princetown Fur loafer-mule hybrids and at Milan Fashion Week it was hard not to spot a fashionista wearing the Marmont Fringed Suede pumps.
Kate Spade, Gucci and Michael Kors are just a few of the designers to put their own take on the trend. At Tory Burch they were heeled, Polo Ralph Lauren saw loafers paired with chunky socks and the perfect office-to-bar pair came from Coach where they were metallic and studded.
If you’re after an investment pair, then opt for a classic pair in black with a horse bit detailing on the front, for a modern statement opt for a bright shade or animal print.
Timeless, versatile and endlessly chic, this is footwear to invest in now. Thankfully the high street have answered our fashion prayers with designer look-a-likes to choose from, Dune has gone Gucci-esque with their designs which come in a full shoe or mule type too. Plus they come in staple colours like black, but brighter statement colours like pink and red.
You’ll find a few different ways to style your own loafers, from jeans to skirts to tailored pants. Wear them on the weekend with dropped, frayed hem jeans or dungarees, or take inspiration from the Tommy Hilfiger catwalk and wear them with ankle-frilled socks and pretty much anything that takes your fancy.
With an LBD or classic coat you want a pair of loafers that have an extra bit of detail, like studs or a tassel, or you could turn the preppy style on its head and pair yours with straight leg jeans, a classic silk blouse, and your favourite leather jacket.
Thankfully high street incarnations have been popping up thick and fast throughout the past few months, offering a comfortable, chic and practical solution to wearing the loafer.
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History of the penny loafer
The penny loafer dates back to the 1930s when loafers of several varieties were fashionable as both men’s and women’s shoes. Leisure slippers were produced in Norway and they were then exported throughout Europe. When people from America were travelling through Europe they started to buy them too, and the trend trickled through to the other side of the world.
The Spaulding company then produced shoes styled after those of the Norwegian dairy farmers and they appeared in an article in Esquire magazine, these leisure slip-ons were shown to a huge amount of fashionable and trendy Americans.
It wasn’t until a few years later the penny entered the equation.
G.H. Bass has a large part in the creation of the penny loafer. In 1936 he created the shoe, and it was his company’s addition of the leather strip across the front of the shoe with a somewhat diamond shaped cut-out that changed this shoe. But what does this have to do with a penny you might ask? Remember pay phones? Back then it cost a penny to make a call on one, and many school children used to place a penny in their loafer for in times of an emergency. Hence the name, the penny loafer.