How to wear loafers – 5 Styles any guy can pull off

mens street style brown loafers navy jeans blue bag

The loafer has become a key wardrobe staple for men these last few years. Suitable for both formal wear and casual settings, the shoe has come a long way since G.H Bass launched it’s first variation. But how do you wear this stylish shoe for all occasions?

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The refined, classic design has brought loafers to the forefront of fashion. The sleek finish, colour availability and variation of fabrics makes the loafer a shoe that every guy needs in his wardrobe. So if you need some summer appropriate work shoes, the loafer will fit right in. If you want to make your Saturday night look a little smarter, the loafer will do the job. And, if you simple just want to look dapper in the day time, you guessed it, the loafer can get you there.

As much as we want to say that the loafer’s a simple, minimalist shoe, it’s been given a few upgrades over the years. In today’s day and age there are so many variations of the loafer that it can be tricky to decide on the style you need or on which one goes with what outfit. We’ve therefore rounded up a few of our favourite styles and given them an outfit to match. All you need to do now is pick your favourite and step out with your head held high.

Tassel Loafers

You may immediately write these off as being too flamboyant or decadent for your liking but we’re going to show you that that’s all in your head. The tassel loafer is a classic. The added tassel design on the front makes them a little more interesting than the penny loafer. But, don’t be fooled, we still love the penny loafer just as much, just for different occasions.

The tassel loafer works well for weddings and smart casual events where if you want to wear a suit, you can but you don’t always have to go for the complete trouser and jacket look. Suit trousers and a simple shirt will do the trick. The outfit can be kept simple because the tassel detail will make the shoes the main feature. Pair some black tassel loafers with a pair of grey slim fit trousers and a crisp white shirt for an easy summer wedding outfit.

This outfit can be worn with both the penny and tassel loafer

Penny Loafer

This may be the most simple style, but it can be argued that it’s the most sophisticated. If you want to wear loafers to work, go for the penny loafer. If you want to wear them to a formal event, yes the penny loafer still looks good. These are smart, they look professional and they can make you feel well put together. They finish off an outfit with style and class so of course you’re going to need a pair.

These work best with a suit. The classic style of the penny loafer compliments the lines of a well tailored suit. You can go for all black or you can chose a pair of brown penny loafers and wear them with a navy combination. The slick finish of the loafer makes them instantly become office appropriate so if you want to mix things up, swap them with your brogues or Oxfords when the weather starts to get a little warmer.

Patent Loafer

The patent loafer is for those important business meetings and for any events where you need to look impressive. Everyone loves a pair of shiny shoes, they’ll give you all the good attention, just make sure you keep them up to scratch. No one wants to see a pair of patent loafers that are dirty or overly scratched because it’ll ruin their formal look.

Your evening wear wouldn’t be complete without a pair of patent leather loafers. The glossy finish makes for a tux appropriate shoe. So black tie events, if your the groom or one of the groomsmen or if you’re off to work in a very smart environment and just love looking the part. Black is best with these shoes so go for black patent loafers with a black suit. Three piece, double or single breasted, it’s completely up to you.

Suede Loafer

Suede is a great fabric to go for but, you need to think about the environment that you’re wearing it in. Muddy suede doesn’t end well, and neither does wet suede so no walking out in the rain in these. You need to look after your suede loafers because once they get ruined there’s really no going back. Protect them with protective spray before their first outing and you’ll be one step ahead of keeping them clean for longer.

Once you have the protecting thing sorted, you need to know what outfit to wear them with. These do work well with suits (you’ve probably gathered that most loafers work well with suits by now). These however look better with lighter suits. So think linen or other lighter fabrics. The lightness of the fabric will match well with the lightness of the suede. Coloured loafers also work well when they’re suede. Think about your holiday evening shoes. The ones you can slip on with a pair of chino shorts or trousers when you head out for dinner after a long day of sitting around the pool.

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Suede loafers can be put into the casual setting as well as the formal ones

Snaffle Trim Loafer

This may be in the same boat as the tassel loafer. Too decorative or too flashy for your liking. But again, we’ll stop you there. The snaffle trim is a classic, just think Gucci and you’ll be swayed. The trim across the front creates a sense of fun and personality, you can show off your style through the colours and features on the snaffle trim loafer.

These are great for events. As a party shoe, they keep your look looking fresh, just make sure you pair them with something equally as exciting. Note that you shouldn’t go too over the top but a pair of navy trousers with a subtly coloured shirt will look good with a navy pair of loafers. It’s all about rich colours when it comes to the snaffle trim so mix in navy’s and browns with suede or other textured pieces.

On That Note

You shouldn’t feel guilty if you end up going all out and buying more than one pair of loafers because we can tell you that you’ll definitely get the use out of them. They’re a versatile shoe that can be worn in all sorts of colours and styles. You’ll be thanking us after you’ve realised that the loafer has saved your outfit multiple times.


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The loafer has become a key wardrobe staple for men these last few years. Suitable for both formal wear and casual settings, the shoe...
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