Materials: Suede or Leather?
Browsing through Paul Evans’ selection of loafers you’ll notice you have two choices in material: suede and leather. Leather loafers look better with outfits that lean to the formal side; think a full suit or a tailored outfit. Suede, on the other hand, is a bit more casual. Their soft exterior pairs well with the warm weather looks of summer and spring. If you’re looking for durability in your loafers, go for the leather upper. Suede must be protected from water at all costs while leather provides a sturdier shoe that wears well over time.
How loafers should fit.
With their casual background, it’s no surprise that the number one thing you should look for in a pair of loafers is a comfortable fit. When trying on loafers, avoid wearing thick socks. These styles look great with the current sockless trend, so you want the thinnest barrier you have to ensure you’re not getting a pair a smudge too big that will rub and blister. If you’re unsure about your size, our guide to finding the perfect fit is a great start.
Loafers in color
You’ll find loafers are offered in a larger range of colors compared to other styles. This shouldn’t scare you away from the style; instead embrace your options. If you’re buying your first pair or need something that is conservative enough to wear to work stick with neutral colors. Brown, black, navy, and gray are easy to match with suits and slacks and look great with a snazzy pair of socks if that’s your thing.
For versatility, brown and oxblood are safe bets. These colors go with just about every outfit and oxblood in particular can look particularly snazzy with city suits and chinos.
How to pair your loafers
Once you’ve found a pair of loafers in the right material, color, and fit you’re going to want to pair them with the best possible outfit. Here are some ideas:
Date night—A relaxed night on the town can still invoke a sense of elegance when you pair a polo shirt with a navy blazer accented with a pair of brown suede Belgian loafers.
Casual drinks—You’re not trying to impress the guys at the pub with your fashion smarts, but there’s no harm in looking nice. Dark wash jeans and a comfortable button-down shirt pair perfectly with penny loafers in any color.
With suits—Bit loafers are your best bet when it comes to pairing loafers with a suit. Ensure that the pair has a thick sole and heel like the Caine Bit Loafer.
To sock or not to sock? – Whether or not you wear socks with your loafers is 100% up to your personal preference. The no-sock look has gained popularity in the past years, but a lot of guys aren’t comfortable with the smell-factor involved. Short “not-socks” can give you the sockless look while providing a barrier between your foot sweat and the leather.