Price range: from £135 to £795.

Your wardrobe nowadays may contain a wide spectrum of outfits that each deserve complimentary footwear. One of the finest pieces of cross-over footwear along with the Derby shoe is the Loafer. A classic slip-on shoe worn by Hollywood style icons of the golden era and Ivy League students alike, it is the smart-casual shoe of choice. Historically originating from Norway and adopted by the United States with its Moccasin like construction, the loafer has evolved over the years with various shoe makers adding their craftsmanship and unique take on this modern classic.

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Edward Green Duke Penny Loafer at MR PORTER

Made in either leather of suede variants, the loafer can be found in various forms such as the popular Penny Loafer or the Tasseled Loafer. Traditionally made as a laceless option for the weekend, the shoe has grown in stature to be equally acceptable as a dress shoe for smart occasions or dressed down more casually. A pair of loafers are equally effective when wearing with a suit and tie or even soft tailoring with button-down shirts as well as a pair of selvedge denim jeans.

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Cary Grant owning casual loafers

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Paul Newman in G.H. Bass & Co. Weejuns

We asked several esteemed shoe makers whether it’s de rigour to wear the penny loafer with a penny placed in the shoe. Some came back with a resounding no when others pointed out that it isn’t required, but each to their own. Admittedly, one can opt for wearing with the pennies placed in the diamond slits across the upper leather bar, but we appreciate the untouched immaculate look of a loafer.

Edward Green Duke Penny Loafer

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Understated and yet manufactured to incredibly high standards, the Duke Penny Loafer epitomises the cross-over capabilities of the loafer and its versatility to be worn with any array of accoutrements. Wear in the office with confidence and then out on the town with nonchalance.

£795 at MR PORTER

Crockett & Jones Crawford Loafer

 

crawford-5859-19b-2An elegant loafer ideal for city and business attire, the Crawford Loafer is an impeccable shoe slightly longer in length with a soft round toe. Based on Crocket & Jones’ 363 Last which is regarded as one of their best fitting lasts, it includes a slimmer heel unit and narrow waist that gives good arch support.

£525 from CROCKETT & JONES

Ermenegildo Zegna Bartolo Penny Loafer

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The Bartolo Penny Loafer boast a lightweight crepe sole for a more comfortable tread allowing for prolonged wearing. Ideally worn in casual surroundings, paired with jeans and a bomber jacket- they are a perfect smart-casual option.

£470 at MR PORTER

The Affordable Option

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The Scarosso ’Duccio Ebano Leggero’ tassel loafers are handcrafted on an Italian shoe last by skilled artisans in Italy. Handcrafted in a light-weight construction and leather sole made of soft greased leather for flexibility. High-quality ebony calfskin provide the shoe with its unique look.

£195 from SCAROSSO

The Original

 

bass_weejunsThe Weejuns Larson by G.H. Bass & Co. is the original slip on penny loafer- after almost 80 years, its classic design and lightweight, comfortable, flexible construction are still best-selling. Shown here in timeless black polished leather, carefully hand stitched in tonal waxed thread by master craftsmen. The outsole is constructed in a black polished leather heel. Easy wearing and equally handsome worn with a suit or slim denim.

£135 from G. H. BASS