As a shoe, the loafer straddles the realm between dress and casual, allowing many a man to comfortably smarten up a pair of shorts for a summer picnic, or dress down a suit, achieving a effortless and fashionable result. Due to the casual history of the loafer, it is unlikely to ever be considered a truly formal men’s shoe. But by following a few simple pointers, you can be sure to pull off a stylish ensemble with comfort and flair. What is the difference between loafers & slip-on shoes? Loafers are slip-on, lace-less shoes which leave the ankle exposed and feature a heel and separate sole. A common misconception is that any slip-on shoe is a loafer, but to be a loafer, the footwear must have a moccasin-like construction. Slip-on shoes are often designed similar to brogues or oxfords and are handy for the man who travels, because, as their name suggests, they can be slipped on and off with ease, for example when going through airport security.
This sleek men's loafer with internal height boosting insole has been constructed with a moccasin style
This stylish men's height increasing slip-on shoe is not a loafer, as it lacks the moccasin-like construction
Loafers have adorned the feet of royals, been improved by Norwegians and popularised by Europeans and Americans alike (read History of the Loafer: A Comfortable, Stylish Walk Down Memory Lane). But how do you make them work with your wardrobe? How to wear loafers DO
- During summer, don loafers in brown or light colours (not black). Wear them sock-less with dress shorts (think Bermudas or Dockers), or team with pants and dark socks for casual evening outings
- For year-round multi-purpose wear, opt for loafers in black, lined in leather as these work well for dressier purposes and can also be worn for smart casual activities.
- Be sure to match the metal detail on your loafers (if applicable), with your belt buckle, suspenders (braces) blazer buttons and cufflinks, for a seamless and elegant finish.
- If you are seeking to boost your height by a few extra inches, look out for loafers which have been specially designed to accommodate a height increasing insole, as this will make you appear taller
- Wear with short pants or white socks
- Wear jeans with loafers – pants are a better choice
- Wear loafers with socks AND shorts – this is definitely a fashion no-no!