The Penny Loafer is one style of men’s shoe without lace-up chameleon. Casual, but elegant if the occasion calls. The difference will be in the details, and if you master the choice will have on hand, or on the feet, a footwear is extremely versatile.
The shoes are the basis for a perfect appearance. Regardless of the dress style, footwear is an important part of the image. A rocker with sandals simply will not be a rocker. And the young fashion would be lost without the right kind of running shoes.
Some penny loafers are very stylish, and will focus your mind in a productive day at the office. Others, however, will make you feel relaxed and optimistic, referring to a day in your favorite coffee shop. And there, ready to get to know this style of shoe, and figure out how to incorporate one more weapon in your arsenal?
The History of the Penny Loafer
Who created this type of men’s shoe was the Bass Shoe Company in 1936. The original name is Bass Weejun.
The “Weejun” comes from “the Norwegian” because the story behind the name is that american students traveling through Scandinavia liked the loafers footwear by fishermen in norway and brought the idea to the United States, where the shoe has gained huge popularity.
The Bass has decided to launch a loafer inspired by this model, but added a decorative strip at the top of the leather to to differentiate the the shoe with a touch stylish. View from above, this strip is reminiscent of a lip. They say that the idea was of Mr. Bass, to symbolize a kiss of approval on each shoe that exit the factory.
Just lacked the final element: where did the “penny”?
Penny is the name of the currency of a cent. The leather strap penny loafer has a hole in the exact size for a coin. Long time ago, a phone call in a phone booth from the USA now cost 1 penny. The students placed a coin in each shoe to use in case of emergency, or to request a song on the jukebox.
More than being a shoe, the penny loafer represents the casual style that the United States brought to men’s fashion to the side of the shirts oxford button down and jeans. It was exactly this casualness that popularized the penny loafer among students of american universities on the east coast, which with its prestige, dictated fashion through the ivy league style. They wanted a comfortable and elegant option, casual enough to eliminate any suspicion that they were corporate types.
The Style of the Penny Loafer – Before and Now
In the 50’s, the penny loafer used to be a dress with pants chino beige, sweaters Shetland and jackets tweed. It is precisely because of this informality, they are still good options today, especially if you like aesthetics more retro.
The opinion about the shoes without laces, also known as “slip-ons”, “loafers” or loafers can change a lot from country to country. In the USA and in Britain, a loafer black elegant has a base of loyal supporters, and is part of the business wardrobe classic. In other places, the circuits most conservatives consider up loafer black very casual to business or with a dark suit. In certain scenarios they belong only to the universe of casual.
In Brazil, the shoes without laces tend to accompany suits in business environments and the social. The most common has elasticated and is well wide in the nozzle, reflecting our stance casual, and a certain aversion to any idea of order and formality. We can even dress up in a suit and the shoe, but we’re just crazy to get home and take out. The footwear with elastic is who satisfies this desire with more speed.
However, it is not uncommon to see in Brazil loafers with shorts and pants at the end of the week, despite being models as well more simple than a penny loafer. The style you see the most in people bristle age, and guys who watch a video saying to drop sapatênis more reminiscent of slippers. A moccasin for a casual weekend is always a great option of style and comfort. This shoe also has its place, but the penny loafer is the most versatile.
As a rule of thumb, the penny loafer is the most elegant of sneakers, but not even close to the formality of a shoe with laces. They combine with jeans and jackets casual, but can also be used with trousers, chino’s and blazer. Depending on the format, and then you have to be very careful, you can use with a suit also.
Different Styles of the Penny Loafer
As with most men’s clothes, the details on the penny loafer make the difference.
You want a loafer is an american classic like the Bass invented? Then you should look for the seam type moccasin at the nozzle, compressed the two pieces of leather that form the top and the front of the foot. You can also see the seams “beef rolls” her side that look like rolls of flesh tied. The language will probably be lower, which means that your foot is more exposed. This style is often sold without a lining to combine with the spirit of casual.
The penny loafers more refined (not necessarily better) may have only one decorative detail stitched at the toe, but not a construction moccasin true (a good example is the comparison between the boots Red Wing Supersoleand the classic Red Wing Moc Toe 875), the language of the most high, and no apparent seam (the seam on the side is usually covered by the leather strap). These details appear more in penny loafers british.
How do you know which one is suitable for a formal setting? Always think in form, sole, and color of the shoe. The more rounded/short/high for the nozzle, the more casual the shoe is. The more elongated and low, the more elegant it tends to be. The soles are thick, they are less formal and the leather soles are more suitable for a meeting room. Finally, the darker it is, the more formal it tends to be. To complete, as an extra tip, pay attention to the details: seams, rustic are obviously more stripped down while finishes discrete show refinement.
My personal rule is: buy outside of Brazil whenever possible. The fashion industry national has this habit of talking to the consumer pulls the bag of a foreigner and has a bias against domestic products. Blah blah blah. The great truth is that has almost only shoe that’s ugly and poorly done being sold in Brazil.
But in the case of the Penny Loafer you will be relatively well served here. Including, the shoes of the Bass were for a long time made in Brazil before the clients claim of a fall in quality and the brand be forced to move its production to El Salvador (don’t know if it is still there). The penny loafers casual has a lot to gain with a simple construction blaqueada for the flexibility, and the fact that the style does not have lining makes it even more simple to manufacture.
The penny-loafer is a shoe source in the us, where it is more popular. Why several of the marks below are from there. The list is organized by price and I’ll end with options national. Most of the models are available in several colors):
The Penny Loafer Original – The Bass Weejun ($ 109)
The original models of penny loafers from GH Bass. Legend has it that the made in the United States were of tremendous quality, but the current models are only reasonable. The worst part is the couor, which is often very shiny and hard. It is a classic design and a good option to buy a product, iconic.
Cost Benefit – Meermin
If you want a style more European at a good price I recommend the Spanish Meermin. The shoes have unbeatable price for products made with construction goodyear welted, in addition to various options of colors and forms ranging from the most refined to the most casual.
Outros Clássicos Americanos: Entre $ 200 e $ 300
There are some small marks moccasin traditional of the United States, located in the region of Maine, who make excellent products with the style of the Bass but leather decent.
The Rancourt and Quoddy use excellent materials. They offer varied options of outsole that you can customize and come with varieties in the construction of goodyear, or in the construction blaqueada. These two factories make shoes for many brands so whenever possible, buy direct at the source!
Neighbors: Guido Mocassines Model 2779
If you do not give to support the industry of the Brazilian footwear the best is to support the Latin America. Excellent manufacturing and a penny-loafer with the guy that he should have, including in Shell Cordovan Argentine. The Guido now sends to the whole world, and I hear very good things from his shoes. What confused me were the prices on the site… I imagine that to be Argentine pesos, and not the dollar.
The Spanish Carmina, and the british Crockett & Jones, are the input bar to the footwear of luxury and cost about $450. Made in Spain or England, both excellent shoes. Very beautiful, and in ways more finely-tuned, running away a little from the original American. They are indeed models more elegant, perfect with a pair of pants with social and even suit.
For life: Alden Handswewn Cordovan Penny Loafers – $600
There are a few brands of footwear in the world with the pedigree of Alden. Construction goodyear welted, hand-sewn, lined with vegetable leather, made of leather, cordovan , and guarantee ressola, these shoes will last you a lifetime.
Feel yourself a millionaire – Edward Greene Picadilli ($1.100)
Edward Green opened its doors in 1890 in Northhampton, England. Since then he has been making shoes of supreme quality with no compromise no quality in the cost function. The Picadilli is a model of the line “ready to wear”. It is also possible to purchase shoes on-line is made, fully tailored, of course for a higher price
Where to buy in Brazil
Ok… not all of the shoes from Brazil are hurting. One of the great advantages that they have in this style of shoe is the penny loafer is also quite cool with the construction blaqueada, more flexible. The national brands that I recommend are:
- Pacco Footwear– They have the classic model, and is an option as well cool with crepe soles
- Louie Shoes – Check out my review of a shoe Louie
- If you want something more casual, you can buy one from Brogan. Check out my review of a shoe Brogan
The penny loafer is a model of simple construction. When he appeared, was the man’s equivalent to the tennis today. It is a shoe that is more relaxed and casual. The models with the format of traditional are much better at the end of the week without socks with pants rolled up, or even with shorts. The models that are more elongated, with the front more “flat” are more stylish, but fall short in the transition to the casual (and in situations that call for such elegance I prefer a shoe tying).
Regardless of the choice, my final tip for those who want to invest in a pair of penny loafers is to choose a model beautiful, affordable and save the money for any model of tie.
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