May 24, 2021 3 Comments
Looking for a pair of footwear that’s super classy, comfortable, and highly versatile? Well, the one-stop solution for all these requirements is a decent pair of loafers.
The men’s footwear segment has evolved immensely over the past few years with several new styles and designs emerging. The traditional laced-up shoes look has been replaced by slip-ons and a whole range of colors has become available. Among one of the most sought after shoe variety for men these days is loafers.
Whether you’re seeking a pair to go with your formal trousers, or jeans, or casual chinos, loafers make for the ideal choice. They’re chic and add charm to any outfit and every occasion. But in order to style them perfectly, you need to know all you can about them.
On that note, join us as we introduce you to the world of Handcrafted Men's Leather Loafers and let you know all about some particularly popular kinds of loafers – Penny Loafers, Tassel Loafers, Venetian Loafers, and Belgian Loafers.
Starting with the basics – What are loafers?
Loafers are classic slip-on style shoes without any laces or extra fastenings. They are the most comfortable and reliable choice of footwear when it comes to any occasion. They are typically made of leather, shaped like a moccasin with a flat heel.
Originally, loafers were considered as casual shoes, but with evolving fashion trends, they’re being worn by men on formal events as well. While they are the most compatible and classic footwear for men, with time there have been new additions to give traditional designs a unique modernistic look, be it the pattern, color, or different textures like velvet and suede. Many contemporary designers also create loafers embellished with crystals and pearls, and some even use handmade intricate embroideries to add their own style and aesthetic.
Qualities of loafers that make them different from moccasins
Loafers and moccasins are kind of similar but they’re primarily distinct types of footwear. Here are some differences that will give you a better idea in understanding how they’re distinct from one another:
In addition to these, the following qualities of loafers make them stand out:
Now that you’ve understood the basic characteristics of a loafer, it's important to choose the right material, style, and pattern. Being lace-less shoes, loafers are extremely practical. Also, there’s a wide range of options available when it comes to these shoes, from traditional penny versions, to Venetian loafers, and tassel loafers. There’s truly a style available for every foot! In the next section, let’s cover what you need to remember while choosing a perfect loafer.
Which material should you choose – Leather or Suede?
Before we dive into the variety of loafers available, it's worth knowing what material is best and what importance each one holds.
Like other smart shoes, loafers are generally made of two fabrics – leather and suede. Both the materials have their own pros and cons.
If you’re looking for a more stylish, sleek and gleaming finish, leather loafers are the perfect choice for you. They mark a strong punctuation for a smart look and team up best with full suits or casual tailored separates. The only concern you might face is how to keep them clean and in good condition. Since leather is a strong and sturdy material as compared to suede, loafers crafted from it generally wear well and stay with you for a longer time.
Suede is a more delicate material, and unlike leather it asks for a lot more care. Suede loafers should be exclusively reserved for the spring-summer months. They look luxurious and fancy, but need to be protected from excessive moisture at all costs. Suede delivers a more relaxing and casual feel, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be worn for formal events. It’s just that they have more of a chill vibe which isn’t very suitable to autumn or winter season.
Most Popular Loafer Styles
While there are quite a few different styles of loafers available in the market, the following are the most sought after.
Penny loafers are irrepressibly smart and preppy footwear. They are such classics that they take pride when assembled on the shoe rack even if they were invented almost a century ago. Former creative director of G.H Bass & Co. says, “The beauty of the penny loafer is its versatility. The shoe can be easily dressed up or dressed down and works with almost all the outfits’’.
Penny Loafers have the capability to add a lot of class and style quotient to any basic outfit. They work great with summer attires as well as full-on suits, but they’re best used to add some polish to any casual or smart look. Be it a jacket, an oxford shirt, a t-shirt and chinos, or a jumper and tailored shorts, they look best with anything and everything.
Paul Lukas, an Oscar winning actor who starred in films like “The Lady Vanishes” and “Watch on the Rhine” is responsible for the birth of Tassel loafers. He was well known for his debonair style, and as the story goes, Lukas approached several shoemakers asking them to design a shoe that had tassels on an Oxford style shoe, something that he’d picked up in Europe. A few years down the line, in 1950, one of America's then leading shoe makers, Alden Shoe Company, released the first tasseled loafer with limited pieces. Now isn’t that an interesting story?
Tassel Loafers satisfied the demand for an elegant yet dressy shoe – a design that didn’t sacrifice practicality. Today, the best tassel model for loafers is the Cordovan. It’s made from subcutaneous layers of horse’s rump. As exquisite as it sounds, Cordovans are extremely luxurious, lustrous, and durable loafers.
Venetians are one of the most comfortable and suave loafers in the entire loafer family. They sit squarely between the two categories, formal and casual. These shoes look supremely cool with your favorite dark blue denim, but on the other hand, they look just as dapper with a formal suit.
Venetian Loafers suit really well with khaki pants or your most favorite pair of dress trousers because of their elongated vamp. It is more of a preppy shoe without being haughtier and more elegant which makes it more of a casual wear. But if you want to style them with a nice tailored suit, go for a more subtle pattern that doesn't show a lot of stitching. That design will definitely amp up your look.
The first-ever Belgian loafer was crafted by a small group of craftswomen in the Belgian countryside. The technique they used to build this style of shoe was almost three hundred years old. First of all, the shoe is stitched from the inside and flipped once it's done. Quite strange, isn’t it? But this is actually the technique that results in an authentic Belgian loafer.
Belgian loafers come in different styles, colors, patterns, and materials, which makes it easy to find a pair for every occasion. They are very comfortable but unfortunately, any sort of extended use can break them down really quickly. Belgian loafers are very similar to slippers, and therefore, their best habitat is indoors, like restaurants, movie theatres, offices, or at home.
Loafers add a lot of character and smartness to your entire look. They’re supremely comfortable, and yet so classy. Pairing up your clothes with a classic penny loafer can change your entire look and make you look a hundred times more elegant and voguish without compromising with the comfort. So, what are you waiting for? Buy your pair now!
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