Not Your Momma’s Loafer!

As a Carmel Wardrobe Stylist that has been around for a while, the loafer is not a new shoe option. What is new are the variations that make them much more mainstream and a dominant part of ladies streetwear options. Now, when something “newish” comes along it’s exciting! It’s also somewhat bewildering since we may not really know how to wear them in our wardrobe. We will talk about that today.

Loafer Styling from your Carmel Wardrobe Stylist

This shoe has been around forever! Some of us may even remember the penny loafer of old! Here’s a little fashion history: In the U.S., the Spaulding family in New Hampshire started making the loafer in the 1930s, copying the driving loafer that origins in Europe. In 1934, G.H. Bass, still available today, made their loafer under the name Weejuns. Then a classic was born with several variations.

The tassel loafer originated in London and often worn by college graduates and other professionals in the 1950s. The Gucci loafer, another icon, sported the Italian flair and all black color. (Port magazine, Wikipedia).

Carmel Wardrobe Stylist suggestion of a black loafer

Today, the loafer is considered part of streetwear, and the variations abound. As a Carmel Wardrobe Stylist, I think the block-heel (high heel) loafer is perhaps one of the most splendid options we have. Basically because this loafer looks amazing with pencil skirts, shealth dresses, the wide-leg jean and ankle pants. While the flat loafer in neutral colors such as black, brown, navy will always be popular; the higher heeled loafer in patent leather and fun colors such as cream, red, burgundy, hunter, and spectator (2 colors) gives a real upscale, different fashion vibe and upgrade to our outfits.

For me, one of the most versatile loafer colors is the burgundy, block heel loafer. This loafer is easily worn with slightly more casual dresses, sweater dresses, wide-leg jeans and other dress pants. It’s just a fun addition to the late winter wardrobe. The key is the heel height.

Carmel Wardrobe Stylist Caution: The low-heeled (flat heel) loafers are rarely a good match with a somewhat upscale dress or skirt. They do look great with a casual dress (like a T-shirt) or even a denim skirt or casual cotton skirt. Most of the time, a loafer with a heel of at lest 1.5 inches and higher is the perfect look. (Exception: a dressy flat is always great with slim-straight jean or slim dress pants.)

Wardrobe Stylist Favorite Loafers

Looking at the examples below, you can see several details elevates a loafer such as heel type, patent leather, details such as buckles, etc. Some of my loafer outfits: I own the crock, tassel loafers pictured here (Donald Pliner), and I wore them in so many ways:

Brown tights; plaid-knee length skirt; grey sweater; navy blazer; brown beaded jewelry.

The black patient loafers would look great with a wine sweater dress, charcoal black tights or even a suit with ankle or wide-leg pants. The burgundy loafers are slightly more casual so that means your outfit should follow suit: jeans, sweater; colored denim, blue denim; a short, straight winter skirt. You can see many options: just remember your shoe should align with the formality of your overall outfit. Contact your favorite Carmel Wardrobe Stylist to learn more!

Here are some of my favorites:


Carmel Wardrobe Stylist tan loafer with gold accent









Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine,
MA, AICI-CIC, Personal Image Consultant, Carmel Wardrobe Stylist