The loafer is thought to have been invented somewhere in the 1920s, for King George VI, as a casual alternative for him to wear when not conducting his royal duties. However, there have been examples of loafer-like shoes dating back as far as 3500BC.
Examples of Primitive Loafer Variants
There's no doubt that these classic shoes have a rich history, and have played parts in many cultures over thousands of years. But how can these be implemented into the wardrobe of the modern man?
Today, loafers can come in many different shapes and forms; with tassels, embellishments and varying materials that can affect the formality and ways in which you can wear them. In this article, we will break down some of the most popular styles and offer some styling tips to keep you fresh this summer.
The Loake "Imperial" in Brown Suede
Although they are slightly higher on the formality scale, their ability to combine with semi casual outfits makes them a great first choice.
Our top option this year has to be the "Imperial" by Loake Shoemakers. These are perfect for casual weddings and long summer nights. These pair exceptionally well with linen suits, but are comfortable enough to be worn daily with denim and chinos.
First popularised by exclusive Italian fashion house, Loro Piana, the so called yacht loafer has recently entered the spotlight of classic menswear enthusiasts and is currently the must have loafer for men around the world.
As the name suggests, this type of shoe is a luxury lifestyle loafer, designed for sunny strolls and coastal living. These loafers always feature a soft construction of suede or fabric, with a flexible white sole for a bright and fresh look.
Loake Shoemakers have recently launched the "Tuscany" yacht loafer. Featuring fresh, modern styling, with the emphasis on quality and comfort that Loake are known for.
The "Tuscany" Yacht Loafer by Loake
We find that these look at their best with linen and light cotton fabrics. For example, combining these with a pair of light seersucker shorts and a polo shirt or linen shirt is sure to capture the nautical, affluent nature of this design. Being more of a casual shoe enables you to be creative with how you wear these. They are also available in a range of colours, so you can match them to almost any outfit.
Although moccasins are not technically loafers, it would be wrong not to include them.
Similar to loafers, moccasins are lightweight, slip-on style shoe. The main difference is that Moccasins are much softer, with more casual styling. Their simple construction gives them a flexible feel and comfortable fit.
Of course depending on the brand, you may find moccasins with varying details and styling. The Jeffery~West brand for example, adds a twist on to the moccasin with red detailing, and embellishments added to the vamp of the shoe.
Examples of Unique Jeffery~West Moccasins.
Jeffery~West provide excellent options for those looking to set themselves apart, and level up their style with a touch of Rock 'n' Roll flair.
Whether you opt for classic and understated, or something more unique, moccasins looks great when worn casually, with lightweight fabrics. Their less structured appearance makes them a great footwear choice with casual shorts.
We believe that every gentleman should own at least one pair of high quality loafers. They are a great way to elevate your style beyond trainers during the summer months, and are a timeless piece that will almost never go out of style.
Of course there are plenty of options to choose from, many that we have been unable to cover in a single blog post. If you're looking to find a loafer that suits your style, check out our full range here.