As loafers celebrate 60 years of reinvention, Neeti Sarkar investigates the reasons for their enduring popularity
Flaunted by the who’s who of the world, it definitely headlines the ‘fashion that never fades’ list. Released in 1953, the Gucci loafer, one of the most iconic shoes to ever be Made in Italy, turns 60 this year. The label is responsible for giving loafers a stylish makeover, and MetroPlus finds how popular they are even today.
In Gucci or otherwise, celebrities around the globe have worn and loved loafers through the decades. From Michael Jackson, Clark Gable, Brad Pitt in Fight Club, Fred Astaire and Ronald Reagan to Jodie Foster, Naomi Watts, Mandy Moore and Jessica Biel, among others, have made fashionable statements in loafers.
City based accessory designer Manyata Sharma says: “The fact that they’re easy to wear and I know I won’t end up with a back problem or deformed feet that come from wearing sky-high heels, make loafers my all time favourite type of footwear.”
Depending on the material, loafers are best suited for spring/summer and monsoon (obviously, don’t opt for leather now!).
For a minimalist look, both men and women can opt for monochromatic loafers accented with a distinct horsebit strap (a la Gucci style) or a simple metal buckle. The ladies, who don’t mind a bolder look, can think leopard prints, floral patterns and geometric ones but make sure they don’t overpower your outfit. For a boho touch, go in for needlework/embroidered style loafers.
According to stylist Thrivikram Murthy, “The loafer has stood the test of time because of its versatility. Both men and women, old and young wear them. They go with so many different outfits and don’t stick out like a sore thumb. Everyday there are newer and more innovative designs in the market. Loafers will always be popular.”
Try the preppy staple with a pair of cropped pants or cuffed denims.
Whether with a peplum top, a button down blouse or a knitwear singlet or with plaid trousers or even a tank top and cardigan thrown over jeggings, the loafer can be worn with just about anything if paired smartly! If you're apprehensive about looking too short, you’d be happy to know the loafer comes in a slightly heeled version, too.
For those of you who are fans of the ballerina shoes, it’s perhaps time you give them a break and try loafers instead. If you’re worried that they are too masculine and you’re not the biggest fan of androgynous dressing, stores are stocked up on loafers that are dusted with glitter and come with embellishment such as studs and tassels. Also, they’re available in the funkiest of colours.
And don’t fret about loafers looking too casual as stylists clarify that they are as much about business and party wear as they are about loafing around. So now you don’t have an excuse not to invest in a good pair!