While we unabashedly love this style of Italian shoes, the loafer is often under appreciated in the men’s fashion world. It’s really a shame because the loafer is not only timeless; they are also comfortable and versatile addition to your wardrobe. The trick is picking the right pair for your style and personality. Lucky for you, we’ve got some pointers to help you find the perfect Italian loafers.
What are you made of?
Like most Italian leather shoes, loafers can pretty much be divided into two materials: leather and suede. The first option is definitely the most popular, and for good reason. Regular leather loafers are sleek and can be dressed up or down. With proper care, they are the sturdier option as well.
Suede, on the other hand, is very delicate—whatever you do, avoid getting them wet at all costs. That being said, suede loafers are a great casual choice in the warmer months and offer a more unique look. If you want to show your softer side, go with suede.
What’s your style?
There are three basic styles of loafers: the Penny Loafer, the Bit Loafer, and the Tassel Loafer...
This style has come a long way since its JD Salinger prep-school fanaticism. Even with their storied history, they still look modern and can pair well with a suit. However, this smart style really shines when you use them to dress up your more casual outfits. Even a plain t-shirt and chinos can look effortlessly cool when you slip into a pair of Pennies.
The Bit is the dressiest of the loafer styles—and for good reason. Guccio Gucci himself designed the first bit loafer, so their high fashion history deserves a little respect. Hands down, the bit is the best loafer option to pair with your favorite tailored suit. However, you can still pull it off with more casual looks. Try them with black trousers and a crisp oxford button-down (sleeves rolled) for a timeless and effortless appearance.
The Alden Shoe Company released the first tassel loafer in the 1950s. The style was an immediate hit, prompting several lookalikes from other fashion houses including Brooks Brothers. Not as subtle as the penny, but not as dressy as the bit, the tassel loafer is an in-between option when you want something practical, but with just a touch of personality. Let that personality show without any distraction by wearing the tassel loafer sans-socks-- or with no-show socks if you fear the smell.