How to wear loafers?

Loafers are some of the most comfortable yet elegant types of men's shoes to wear in any season - especially in the summer. They are easy to slip on, don't have any laces, are available in different styles and colors and can be worn in smart or casual occasions combined with jeans, chinos, shorts, blazers or suits.

In this post we’ll go over the main men's loafer styles, how to combine them with men's clothing and how to take care of them.

Penny loafers

Penny loafers are the most classic version of the loafer shoe. They feature a panel with a slit across the top of the shoe. In terms of formality, they are less formal than penny loafer but depending on the finish, can also be suitable for more formal occasions.

Tassel loafers

Originating from the United States in the 1950s, tassel loafers are laceless shoes that have decorative leather laces hanging from the vamp. They are a more formal and arguably more stylish alternative to the penny loafers.

What to wear them with?

In general, loafers are a more casual shoe than Oxfords or Brogues. They add that extra bit of style and flair to any outfit, but aren’t really suitable for fully formal office attire. However there are certain styles of loafers, especially tassel loafers, that can be worn in business casual, black tie or formal dinner events.

Jeans & chinos

One of the easiest and most casual ways to wear loafers is to pair them with jeans and a t-shirt. Here it’s important to ensure jeans are not too long or baggy and to avoid sportswear.

For a slightly more elevated look, suitable for summer nights and events, pair with a shirt or polo shirt and chinos with classic blue or beige tones. Keep in mind that while bright colored trousers look striking, they can be difficult to match with the color of loafers.

Blazer & tuxedo

For a smart casual mix between formal and casual, pair loafers with a blazer and jeans, trousers or chinos. In order to avoid getting too formal, wear a fitted t-shirt under the blazer.

For black tie events, velvet tassel loafers or even highly polished black leather loafers will make a great look.

Socks

Wearing socks with loafers is a heated subject and in most cases it’s best not to. There are combinations where they add to the look but the easiest way is to avoid wearing them unless you know what you are doing. As a compromise you could wear low ankle socks that aren’t visible when wearing loafers. In addition to that, as with any pair or leather shoes, it’s important to let them dry out after wearing.

However if you do end up choosing socks, make sure they complement the outfit while keeping in mind that solid colors are easier to pull off and patterned ones require more careful consideration.

Shoe care

For suede loafers, use a suede brush after returning from rainy conditions - first let them dry for a while and then brush lightly to remove watermarks.

For leather loafers, polish after every couple of months - this helps keep the leather soft and avoid excessive creases.

Use shoe trees to keep the shape and structure - since loafers are mostly made of soft leather they are prone to losing their shape when not properly taken care of.

Browse our offerings in shoe care products here
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