Loafers are a unique choice in everyday footwear, seamlessly blending practicality with style through their versatile silhouette and sleek appearance.
Jake Gyllenhaal, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Lil Nas X wore loafers and Gucci suits at the 10th Annual LACMA Art + Film Gala in 2021 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 6th, in Los Angeles, California (Credit: Avalon / WENN)
These shoes take you from a day at the office to dinner with friends. Whatever your fashion style is, your closet isn’t complete without a trusty pair of loafers in your shoe collection.
The beauty of loafers is that they’re not a one-size-fits-all shoe. There are different styles of loafers, allowing you to find the pair you’ll reach for every day.
The most common types of loafers include penny loafers, tassel loafers, bit loafers, Venetian loafers, driving loafers, moccasin loafers, espadrille loafers, and lug sole loafers.
Paris Jackson wears animal print Weejuns penny loafers from G.H. Bass & Co. with yellow socks and denim (Credit: Juergen Teller / WENN)
While typically made of leather or suede, loafers can also be made of other materials such as canvas, nubuck, and even patent leather. They come in various colors, from classic black and brown to trendy colors like red, blue, and green. There are also loafers available in two-tone combinations and with patterns.
Whether you have a capsule closet or hundreds of shoes, loafers are an essential type of footwear you can wear every season.
Why loafers remain popular
Leather loafers are durable and formal, suitable for dressing up, while suede loafers are more casual and comfortable, ideal for dressing down.
Loafers should fit snugly but comfortably. You should be able to easily slip your foot in and out of the shoe, but there should be no extra room.
Considered essential workwear for both men and women, their minimalistic design and sleek silhouette have been popular for generations.
As they’re relatively simple to manufacture, loafers are generally affordable compared to other types of shoes, especially dress shoes.
A good pair of loafers can be found for around $100, while a couple of high-quality dress shoes cost upwards of $500. Of course, some high-end loafers from brands such as Gucci can cost hundreds of dollars
1. Grey Nubuck Driving Loafer / 2. Clean-Cut Spanish Loafer / 3. Sophisticated Desk-to-Dinner Loafer / 4. Classic Platform Loafer
These shoes give you comfort without compromising on style. They’re outdoor slip-on shoes that offer you all the comfort of an indoor shoe.
Part of the appeal of loafers is their comfort. You don’t have to worry about doing up laces or zips. It’s as simple as slipping your foot in and out of the shoe.
They can often be just as comfortable as your favorite slippers. While these shoes are fuss-free, they still maintain the timeless look of more formal ones like oxfords.
Olivia Palermo wears Fratelli Rossetti loafers with a floral Giambattista Valli skirt and jacket, Lucy Hale wears black Miu Miu platform loafers with a skirt and cardigan, and Kristen Stewart wears Hereu side-buckle detail loafers with jeans (Credit: MEGA / WENN)
Loafers generally have an exposed ankle with a separate sole and low heel, complete with a moccasin-like upper vamp.
Shoes that offer a snugger fit typically have an extra piece of leather, known as a ‘saddle’ at the top of the vamp.
Loafers are versatile and timeless shoes that can be dressed up or down, making them a staple in any wardrobe. Whether you’re looking for a comfortable pair of shoes to wear to work or a stylish pair to dress up your weekend outfit, there’s a pair of loafers for you.