Men should have a few footwear alternative in their wardrobes. If you give it some thought, there aren’t that many (trully) essential shoe models one must own. Without getting too comprehensive on that matter (it’s been covered here), I’ve been feeling an urge to go on about one in particular: the Loafer.
The reason? I believe it to be the most misinterpreted of the pack: I’m growing tired of the ill tailored suit/loafer combination: unfortunately, it seems that sporting a baggy suit with full break pants and the traditional black penny loafer, is the way to go for about 90% of the working male population whose job require them to suit up…Loafers are, in essence, casual footwear. Referred by many as the grown man sneaker, they have been around for ages, becoming a staple of men’s fashion especially for the preppy enthusiasts. Although they are indeed a step up from sneakers, allowing for a more put together ensemble, these are
usually not suit appropriate and are best paired with rolled up pants and no socks; in fact, they’re the perfect complement for the look.
However, as with everything in life there are exceptions to the “rule”, which, in this case, relate to the loafer itself, the suit and the environment you’re in. Although a suit usually calls for a more formal shoe such as an oxford, brogue or monk (one that covers your foot), pulling it off with loafers is doable.
If you’re going to try it, the first thing to take into account is the variety of models (penny, tasseled, etc) and leathers available, which grant them several degrees of “formality” within their casual spectrum. Following this, you’ll want to make sure your suit has that perfect slim silhouette and that your pants allow little to no break, whether you have them cuffed or not. Finally, consider where you’re going to wear it: casual settings allow you to go sockless, whereas working environments don’t.