Loafers 101 | Styles, Formalities, &  Characteristics

Loafers 101 | Styles, Formalities, & Characteristics


Loafers, a dapper man’s equivalent to slip on vans. Loafers are a great shoe, they can be dressed up and dressed down. But, one thing about loafers is that there are a lot of different styles of loafers, and that can be a bit detrimental. There’s all kinds of loafers, from the famous penny loafer, to the casual driving moccasin, they are all under the loafer family but they all have their own characteristics, and formalities. That being mentioned in this blog we are going to go over 3 different styles of loafers, their formalities and characteristics.

1. Penny Loafers


Penny loafers are perhaps one of the most classic loafers of all. With the fact that the loafers are more classic the formality of this shoe is also more formal. I love these loafers they are so versatile and can be dressed up or down as you see fit. One of the biggest characteristics of this shoe is the split strap across the top of the shoe. The slight opening has made its mark for these shoes because back in the 50’s young men at school began to insert pennies in the split in the middle of the strap. I recommend these shoes a lot for men that like to dress more dapper. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have dress these up all the time, these are a versatile pair of shoes, you can dress them down with a great pair of jeans and a dress shirt. Now these loafers do come in other textures and colors. My recommendation is to pick up a pair of black, dark brown, or even some oxbloods. There are different textures such as suede but if you don’t have your basics I’d start with a great leather one first.


The formality of this shoe is high, but not that high. This is a great shoe for the office or any non formal meetings, but if you have a business meeting with some executives or even clients I would thrown on some lace ups, so make sure that you are are of the setting or situation and you’ll be good to go.

My recommendation is to pick up a pair of black, dark brown, or even some oxblood’s. There are different textures such as suede but if you don’t have your basics I’d start with a great leather one first.




ALLEN EDMONDS (Retail $395)


2. Tassel Loafers


The tassel loafer is another great loafer that I believe all men should own. This shoe, just like the penny loafer, can be dressed up or down. The characteristics of this shoe are very obvious: the tassels on the front of the shoe. It is actually said that actor Paul Lukas, after WWII, went to the Alden Company and showed them a model of a shoe that he wanted invented. It was basically a shoe with laces but with tassels at the end. Alden went ahead and re-modified the whole shoe (thanks, but no thanks), and basically put them on a loafer styled shoe, hence the birth of the tassel loafer. Another characteristic of this shoe is that it does have some leather lacing around the tap of the shoe (pictured below).


The formality of this shoes is very much in the middle of casual and business casual, these are perfect for the office and then happy hour. Pick up some nice suede or even a different color and have some fun. As mentioned previously, make sure to get the basics first.


ALDEN (Retail $700)


BECKETT SIMONON (Bernard) (Retail $199)


3DM LIFESTYLE (Retail $160)


3. Driving Moccasin


The driving moccasin or also called the driving shoe is a great casual shoe for the warmer or even fall season. Now these shoes have a very interesting history. Back in the 60’s an Italian brand decided to make a driving shoe. We have to understand that back in the day leather was not cheap and well made shoes were very expensive. That being mentioned these shoes were made for men that did not want to wear the sole of their shoes while on the road. Hence the driving shoe was born. Thereafter, another Italian brand (TODS) decided to make a more affordable version and that is how it was more accessible to the general public.


There are a lot of companies that make these shoes but here are some of my favorite brands for driving moccasins:


NORDSTROMS (Retail $100)

ASOS (Retail $60)

If you are on a budget you have to check out ASOS

AMAZON (Retail $50)


When it comes to formalities, I believe that this shoe is really just for casual occasions. The most I would do with this shoe is a pair of chinos or a pair of slacks (dressed down). These shoes are very much informal, I see guys all the time wearing these the wrong way. They’ll be wearing these with a full suit and that’s not the formality for this shoe, for anything suit related the penny loafer or tassel loafer would be a better choice.

These shoes also have a wide variety of colors and textures, from suede to croc skin, or colors like red and green. Now these are all fine and dandy but again get the basics first.

Now its your turn, what shoe do you own? Or are planning to own? Let me know in the comments! I hope you guys enjoyed this article, if you did make sure to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on stuff thats coming up. Also, make sure like this blog.

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