The majority of us have some form of relationship or understanding about loafers. Not infrequently, loafers have an undeserved reputation as a slightly "old-fashioned" shoe, especially among people who may not have a pronounced interest in clothing. In short, there are basically as many different loafers as there are different models of oxfords, brogues and other shoe types, and among the world's most well-dressed men, the loafer is often a big favourite.
Loafers and different details
Details such as the materials the shoes are made of, its colour, shape, sole colour and above all thickness all contribute to the impression of the loafers you wear. A very important part of the shoe, which is also a strong contributor to the reputation of loafers, is the length of the so-called tongue. The tongue is the part where the upper leather ends on top of the back of the foot. The lower this part is, the more the loafer you wear begins to resemble pumps for women. A loafer with a little too low a tongue, in combination with the wearer's attitude, greatly contributes to the image of the shoe model.
There are many stylish men’s loafers with a low tongue, but it can be very valuable to carry this insight with you if you are curious to start using loafers. The further up on the foot the upper leather ends, and the longer the tongue is, the more masculine the shoe's silhouette becomes. Again, this reasoning is very roughly generalised, and like so much else strongly linked to personal liking and taste.
Casual and more formal loafers
Loafers are actually a good shoe for those who are used to wearing sneakers, if you learn to choose the correct model. If you look at loafers historically, they have been considered as relatively casual shoes in everyday style contexts. Loafers in a brown tone, perhaps in a durable outsole, made from suede, becomes a very relaxed shoe that looks casual and you do not have to tie laces. The feeling of wearing loafers of this type, with a soft sole, is actually very reminiscent of wearing sneakers. Black loafers with a more durable outsole adds a certain essence of stylish attitude to your outfit.
If you wear loafers with a somewhat thinner and neater sole, made from polished dark tones of leather, then the shoe becomes more formal. These go well with trousers made from lighter, thinner fabrics and are perfect addition to a tailored suit.
Loafers, size and fit
It is important to always use a shoe horn when you are putting on your loafers. If you wedge a finger between the shoe's heel tab and your heel, you will quickly and effectively stretch the heel tab and change the shoe's fit. Loafers are a shoe model that place slightly higher demands than usual on you using the correct size and fit. A loafer that is just a little too big, will quickly result in you losing the shoe when you wear it, or at least that it slips awkwardly over the heel.
For example, if you are a UK 9.5 in shoe size in certain brands, it is common for loafers from the same brand to probably fit you best in a size UK 9. Well-sewn leather shoes also tend to soften and stretch slightly after a period of use, which affects the shoe's fit and the feel of the shoe on the foot.
Different types of loafers
Tassel loafers, loafers with small tassels on the upper, are shoes with a very high degree of style. They can be perceived as both formal and casual depending on previously given reasons such as colour, variation and material. Penny loafers have a small band over the upper, where students from Ivy League Universities in the fifties were happy to keep a penny coin for phone calls. Horsebit loafers are loafers that have a metal buckle in the shape of a horse bit over the upper.
Stylishly combine loafers
As mentioned, loafers can be worn both formally and casually. Think similarly when you combine other types of shoes with your attire to experiment between a formal and casual feel. Casual loafers according to the definitions given above, worn with jeans or chinos, are a really stylish combination that gives your casual trousers a slightly more well-dressed impression. If you instead wear slightly looser loafers with a casual suit of, for example, cotton fabric, linen, corduroy or flannel, the shoes reinforce the casual impression of the suit. Likewise, a formal shoe can elevate the formal feel to a more casual style. Although the loafer is a common sight in the summer, it is a shoe you can definitely wear all year round. Again, this depends a lot on the model's sole, thickness and material.
In general, it is good to think that coarser loafers fit well with trousers made from heavier and coarser fabric qualities. Neater loafer models harmonise well with trousers made from thinner and lighter fabric qualities. It is also good to think about the balance between the width of your trouser hem and the loafers you wear. The wider the trousers you wear, the more they will cover your loafers. Wider trousers combine well with slightly coarser loafers. In general, loafers go very well with trousers that have a leg width which allows the shoe's appearance to come into its own. Try your hand at finding the type of loafers that best suit your style identity. They very easily become a favourite in the shoe wardrobe.