The Loafer Matrix

Charting the styles from casual to dressy, young to old.<div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url='http://dappered.com/2013/03/the-loafer-matrix/' addthis:title='The Loafer Matrix ' ><a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a><a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a><a class="addthis_button_email"></a><a class="addthis_button_pinterest_share"></a><a class="addthis_button_compact"></a><a class="addthis_counter addthis_bubble_style"></a></div>

Laces?  We don’t need no stinkin’ laces.  Now waitaminute… are laces out?  Never.  But with all of the attention loafers have been getting lately, some of us may start letting our lace-ups take a hiatus   As far as how dressy or casual a loafer can be, a lot of it has to do with what kind of leather it’s made out of (smooth = dressy), the shape of the shoe (sleek = dressy), and the shoes details (straps, buckles, etc…), so some types can have a huge range.  Generalized versions of many styles are shown below with how casual they lean, and what age group seems to usually wear them. 

 

Dappereds Loafer Matrix
 

From Top Left:
  • Espadrilles: Soludos for J. Crew – $36.00  Like underwear for your feet.  Lightweight fabric uppers with rope like soles.  Big this year in the states but you’ve got to wonder if they’ll stick?
  • Boat Shoes: Sebago Docksides - $80.00 w/ MARSHOES  Favored by both the older and younger set, but seems to be the default summer footwear for plenty of younger guys who aren’t in flip flops.
  • Driving Mocs:  Cole Haan Air Grant Driver – $148.00  Low profile and distinguished by their grippy sole that extends up the back of the heel.  Lots of different style variations can be seen with these.  Plain vamps, penny straps like the Air Grant, or even laced boat-shoe inspired tops.  Read Paul’s tribute here.
  • Venetian Loafers:  Johnston & Murphy Creswell – $150.00  Honestly, these could probably be laid right on top of the penny loafers.  Only reason why they get a slight nudge to the younger side is that some guys see penny loafers as something their Dad’s and Grandpa’s wore, so, they might favor the plain vamp of the Venetian.
  • Penny Loafers:  Allen Edmonads McGraw – $247.00 ($245)  Dead center.  Want a cheaper pair similar to the McGraw?  Try the Florsheim Cable, which drops to $144 w/ FLSAVE20.
  • Kiltie Loafers:  Bass Layton – $129.00  Some fashion magazines have hinted at these coming back into style.  Not quite sure on that one.  Usually found on bulkier shoes with shorter vamps.  Kinda like a Trans-Am mixed with a Lincoln Town Car.
  • Bit Loafers: Bruno Magli Tallo – $244 – $333   Boy these can go wrong in a hurry.  And therefor, less expensive versions can often look dreadful.  Even the high end bit loafers won’t please all, with plenty of guys thinking they’ve got way too much flash.  Literally.  Not a conservative style.
  • Tassel Loafers:  J&M Melton Tassel – $175.00  Many just won’t go near them, especially if they’re on the younger side of age 40.  Dangling bits up front might remind some of the “mail plane” scene from Three Amigos.  Want to young this style up?  Try a pair in suede and wear with a summer suit.  Or, look for a sleeker profile, like these Portuguese made tassel loafers sold through STP and going for $130.77 w/ the code ALMARCH3.
  • Double Monk Strap: Mercanti Fiorentini Double Monk – $149.95  Hang on for a sale and you can usually get these for around $120 or under.  Made in Italy.  Soles are glued, but they’re solid for the price.
  • Single Monk Strap: Allen Edmonds Franciscan – $325.00  One less buckle so usually a little more subtle.  These though, damn.  A new arrival with lots of bells and whistles. Half brogue, a sleek buckle, and so far available in black or the light walnut.  Crossing fingers for the bourbon color.
  • Those White Socks:  Well, when you reach a certain age, you can do almost whatever you want.

 Leave your thoughts on any additional styles, or, adjustments to the matrix in the comments section below