How to Style Loafers

How to Style Loafers

Ever wondered how to wear loafers?

Today we’re showing the loafer a little love, with our guide of how to style loafers in South Africa.

The classic loafer feels so comfortable you will not believe it's a dress shoe. This classic men’s dress shoe is as stylish and comfortable in a business meeting as well as on a casual day out. It’s the perfect dress shoe to pair with a suit for the office, or khakis for a dinner with friends.

 You’ll be glad to know that the trusted loafer is one of South Africa’s biggest shoe trends at the moment and will remain so for a long time to come.

Comfortable, easy to style and as chic as they come, loafers are today worn with a variety of outfits for a range of occasions, including many that are formal. The loafer is a worldwide classic, making it more versatile than almost any other men’s shoe.

Here are a few styles you may encounter in your search for the perfect loafer:

1. The Penny Loafer:

As classic as classic gets. The penny loafer has a leather strap across the top of the shoe, with a diamond-shaped slot just wide enough to hold a small coin. 

2. The Tassel Loafer:

The actual origins of the tassel loafer are unclear, but one possible story involves a Hungarian-American actor who owned a pair of Oxfords with tassels at the ends of the laces. The Alden Shoe Company was tasked with making something similar, and came up with a slip-on pattern that used the tassel as a decoration. In 1950 they launched the shoe after experimenting with the design, and the tassel loafer was a hit from then on. Incredibly stylish, the tassel loafer is a favourite of the many styles this shoe comes in. Available in materials like suede or leather, this style exudes sensibility and delivers classic flair.

3. The Buckle Loafer:

You have Gucci to thank for this one. The snaffle loafer – aka the Gucci Loafer – was introduced in 1968. Its distinguishing feature was a golden brass strap in the shape of a horse’s snaffle bit laid across the front. It is considered one of the most distinct versions of the loafer.

4. The Apron Loafer:

Apron loafers are identifiable by visible edges or stitches that finish off the toe (thereby forming a sort of ‘apron’ along the shoe’s front). Also known as moc toe, apron loafers feature a separate piece of leather that extends from the bottom of the top line around the shoe itself. The resulting stitching line gives the impression of a ‘crease’ between the top of the toe and the bottom.

Inspiration & How To Wear Loafers in South Africa

Knowing the options available is only half the battle. Once you’ve got loafers in your wardrobe, the next step is learning how to wear them with style and class. 

The loafer can replace just about any other shoe in an off-duty outfit, while adding an extra dash of dapper to the look. Casual loafers can be worn with denim and khakis, and sockless with shorts during warm seasons.

Go for jeans and a t-shirt if you want to keep things relaxed, and a shirt and chinos if you want something with a little more class.

Loafer with Jeans:

Loafers and the smart casual dress code in South Africa were pretty much made for each other. Both exhibit simple style and class. Penny loafers are the most versatile loafer, and you can pair them with a pair of jeans. Loafers with jeans allows you to still wear your favourite denim but in a more fashionable and dressier way. The rules book here really goes out the window, however our long advice is to ensure the length of your denim is on the shorter side. Excessively long and baggy jeans will look horrific with loafers. Ripped and washed jeans are all suitable too. If you can, choose contrasting colours and ensure the top half compliments the bottom half. Meaning no sportswear on top. 

Loafers with a Blazer:

Loafers and a fitted Blazer. The perfect combination!! Here you’re playing in smart casual territory. Both single- and double-breasted blazers will work as too will jeans, trousers and chinos. Once again, trouser length is important as is colour matching. Wearing a fitted t-shirt with a blazer, will keep your look dressy but not too over the top. 

Loafers with Chinos:

Summer nights and events are perfect for the chino and loafer combination. Blue, creme and khaki chinos are most often the favourite for men. Brighter coloured trousers are cool but they do limit what coloured loafers will work. Pair your chinos with a shirt or polo shirt, add a belt and ditch the socks. Enjoy, my friends.

Loafers with a Suit:

Loafers will always work with a suit. Just ensure your trouser length is at the ankle. It should be a relatively casual suit, not a three piece. The bigger question is to sock or not to sock? That is the question. The beauty of fashion is that all rules are meant to be broken, and at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. In other words, wearing loafers with no socks is very popular right now, and loafers with socks never really went out of style. Socks with loafers are like pocket squares – rock them if you like them, don’t if you don’t. The sockless look has been trendy amongst South African men lately, so consider it if the weather and occasion allows.

Loafers with Shorts:

Lastly, loafers with shorts. Shorts and loafers DO mix. A nice pair of khaki shorts, no socks and choice loafers make for a perfect summertime outfit. Throw in a crisp shirt, some killer shades and a clean watch and you’re rolling in style.

We hope that this guide has added some insight into Loafers. With Omar’s latest selection of men's loafers, it's easy to add an edge to your look -“The Omar’s Way” 

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