Are loafers back in fashion again? Ask for the kit

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“I love fall, and the return to real clothes feels like the real start of my year, even though I’m in my early sixties, so long out of school. Are loafers the right choice for me? I dutifully wore them in my preppy prime in the 1980s, but can I wear them again? If I do: how do I wear them now? Thank you for your help ”- X, a reformed BCBG.

Classics endure for a reason: Good, solid ideas are the backbone of fashion and the key to timeless, timeless style. Loafers have taken an almost 10-year hiatus from the big trend cycle, since the last revival around 2012. But this fall they’re back in full force, fueled by a generation for whom the look is entirely new.

Passionate young women in their new Prada-esque lug sole moccasins will indeed have to share this trend, because moccasin life is for everyone. Dear Reformed Preppy, there’s only one person I would consider calling to help you understand the semantics of moccasin fashion, their history, and a fresh take on how to wear them now: Susie Sheffman is a respected fashion editor with decades of experience. at the top of her domain and she herself has always been a follower. As an added bonus, she also takes care of the creative direction of the Browns Shoes campaigns, so she’s been thinking about this season a long time ago.

“I have been such a lazy girl from birth!” she says. “My earliest memories are walking to school, jumping and scratching the heels of my moccasins along the sidewalk.” September, she says, has always meant a new pair of moccasins. “We were going to go to Buffalo,” she says, to buy new ones at border outlets.

“They never went out of style,” Sheffman says. “There is a certain type of quintessential classic style baby who has always worn them.”

But why are they so ubiquitous again? “There are so many factors that converge. On the one hand, the sneaker thing has been going on for so long, ”she says. It’s just as easy to watch – you put on loafers after all – and the context is the same. “A fresh look, the same atmosphere. Whenever you went for sneakers, now you can choose moccasins instead. It’s just a more refined way to leave the house, but with the same appeal: no laces, you don’t have to bend down. Call it a soft comeback in tough shoes.

The main difference this fall, Sheffman says, is the sock. No more barefoot and moccasin years. Further on exactly what socks to look for now and the intricacies of hem adjustments; Let’s first see how we got there and what conclusions we can draw about the trend cycles to understand: why moccasins and why now?

Sheffman shares the bedtime fashion story of the origin of the moccasin, starting with Bass Weejun, the OG moccasin label that still exists, virtually unchanged and a very valid fashion choice to this day. “In the early 1930s, rich young Americans were wandering around Europe,” she says. “They admired the shoes on the feet of Norwegian fishermen. The name Weejun is a phonetization of “wegian”. The shoe became an instant classic for men, immediately co-opted by women who were won over by its practicality. The Penny in the Moccasin, BTW, was for a practical purpose: keeping coins handy for making calls from phone booths! ’80s preppies filled the tiny coin slot in the uppers of their moccasins with silver coins, a testament to the decade of greed.

But that goes beyond the post-war 1950s, when moccasins became synonymous with elegance – from James Dean to JFK, stylish men punctuated their pants with a crisp moccasin. Sheffman faints at his favorite everyday moment, as seen on Grace Kelly, at the end of 1954’s “Rear Window”: Pair of Moccasins, reading a book about the Himalayas.

Around the same time, a moccasin revolution was taking place in Italy. It was in the 1950s that Gucci made a nod to equestrian style with the bit material that turned moccasins into fashion statements; today the Horsebit Loafer from 1953 is a bestseller. Since Alessandro Michele took over as creative director at Gucci in 2015 (in fact, before that, as he was in charge of accessories in the decade leading up to his rise to the top of the brand), the Gucci loafer has become a reissue. unstoppable and continuously updated. icon.

Hardware-themed twists – chains, logo plaques, grosgrain ribbons on the vamp – have become constants in other Italian houses, such as Ferragamo, and at Tod’s, the home of the driving moccasin. , kissing the moccasin’s cousin.

Miuccia Prada has riffed on iterations of her own styles of moccasins – often with the chunky, showy studded sole the brand currently favors – since expanding her family heritage luggage brand into a full line of women’s clothing. in 1989. In fact, it’s “Prada jolie ugly” or the “ugly beautiful” aesthetic that underlines the current way of wearing moccasins, says Sheffman, which is a concentrate of “cheesy chic”.

So, with a heritage that is both humble and elegant, the loafer again feels right for the vast contradictions of life in 2021. “They have become an international symbol of elegance and wealth,” Sheffman says, but at the same time. time they are egalitarian and anyone can wear them.

“There are a lot of options right now: colorful, two-tone, faux snake or crocodile, but the studded sole is the way to go,” says Sheffman. She loves sleek black moccasins, or white or cream moccasins all year round, or what she calls cordovan (a classic burgundy), with caramel as another great everyday investment. But daring rainbows and driving moccasins can also be a fun and novel choice.

Younger ones, she says, “will wear them loud with something soft, like moccasins with a midi dress or a flowing skirt.” Soft could also mean dressing in a sweater, she adds, the hard shoe as a fundamental contrast to the layers of textured knits and oversized cardigans.

To pair a moccasin with pants or jeans, Sheffman says there are two options. One is slightly flared cropped pants (or rolled jeans, à la Grace Kelly), where you see a notch at the ankle above shorter socks. The other is what Sheffman calls “puddle pants,” which means she hears long, wide-legged pants or jeans puddling on the floor, so you only see the end of the moccasin.

In any case, as above, the important thing is your socks, especially when worn with dresses. “I usually never put on socks until February,” she says. “But socks are essential this year.” She’s not talking about fancy socks with patterns, but the colors are fine. “Although I myself prefer a crisp white sock,” she says. The main thing is that they have fresh elastic: “It can’t be loose; the socks should be pulled up to the middle of the shin.

Again, this is a cheesy look, not a naughty schoolgirl comeback, so carefully avoid knee-length socks. She suggests hitting Japanese chains such as Uniqlo or Muji for inspiration from socks.

For our reader, Sheffman has one final message: “For a more seasoned fashion fan, yes! You can wear something that you lovingly remember from when you were younger. It’s a trend that you can easily and confidently embrace again.

Send your urgent fashion and beauty questions to Leanne at ask@thekit.ca.

Shop the tips

From classics to bulky, chunky soles with all the bells, whistles and hardware you can handle, there’s a moccasin for your style, like a prince at your waiting Cinderella foot

Gucci shoes, $ 1,275, gucci.com

A classic updated with the brand’s unmistakable horse bit hardware, this Gucci madness manifests any awkward dreams of luxury you might have this fall.

Browns Shoes, $ 228, brownsshoes.com

Brown shoes, $ 228, shoesbruns.com

This Browns B2 notched sole option is stylist Susie Sheffman’s choice for the season’s designer-inspired look.

Ferragamo shoes, $ 910, ferragamo.com

Ferragamo shoes, $ 910, ferragamo.fr

In the Italian driving moccasin tradition, this touch of sky blue is a more elegant and cheerful take on the fall moccasin trend.

Browns Shoes, $ 298, brownsshoes.com

Brown shoes, $ 298, shoesbruns.com

This is Sheffman’s alternative selection for a moccasin that says fall 2021, still a bit of substance to the silhouette but less of the chunky placket.

Aldo shoes, $ 85, aldoshoes.com

Aldo shoes, $ 85, aldoshoes.com

This is a quick, classic take on the trend, in a tasteful butterscotch option. It is also available in winter white.

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