Ode To The Loafer

Words by: Stephen Pulvirent

weejun1While my taste usually remains somewhere under the large umbrella of “classic style,” whatever that means, I am prone to having “moments” if you will. For a period of time, I get extremely devoted to a specific garment or style, and tend to incorporate it almost daily in whatever else I feel like wearing. I’ll go months without touching a shoe that isn’t black, weeks wearing only blue patterned shirts, or in the other direction, periods of time where a certain width of tie is an absolute no-no. I see these little fits as ways to experiment and intensely explore a certain idea before mellowing out and finding a healthy middle ground.

Right now I am really feeling the loafer. It’s not the first time I’ve looked at laces as more trouble than they’re worth, but I am finding myself wearing string-free footwear 5 or 6 days a week. There is a certain “go-to-hell” attitude to a slip on, seemingly implying to all around that I’m in no rush, live life at my own pace, and don’t really want to be bothered with laces. Also, as summer begins to slip away, loafers seem a nice way to keep a bit of the warm weather leisure with me.  These loafers can take many forms, each with it’s own quirks and peccadilloes.

The classic American (Norwegian) style penny loafer, a la the Bass Weejun, is my favorite go to shoe. If I have to run out and grab groceries, pick up my mail, head to class, go to a party, it doesn’t matter, the Weejun gets the job done, and with style no less. Somehow they look just as at home with jeans and a soft-collar shirt as they do with a grey flannel suit and tie. A real classic, I don’t what I’d do without my Weejuns in black and burgundy.

For me, the beauty of the Weejun is that it sort of fades into the background of whatever else I’m wearing, keeping my feet elegant while also keeping them from being the center of attention. When I want something a bit more eye-catching, I go for my burgundy calf tassel loafers. A slightly more pointed toe, and a bit more visually arresting detail, the tassel loafer is equal parts dandyism and business.

w-velvet1Now for the fully on louche Don Juan shoe – the velvet slipper. Sadly they are only speculative for me now, but soon I plan on remedying that. A slip on shoe made from a wholly impractical, soft material, with a delicate sole and ribbon piping. Plus, while black is the classic formal option, they come in as many colors as you can imagine and with an infinite number of embroidery options.  It doesn’t get any more go-to-hell than that as far as I’m concerned.