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How to Wear Loafers—21 Stylish Ways to Style Them

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I'm Blair Staky

Welcome to my home on internet where I share the things that bring me joy. Mom, artist, web designer living in Denver, CO.

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Loafers are one of those classic, timeless pieces of footwear that even when they’re not trending, no one will fault you for wearing them. They style of loafers will change overtime, but the loafer itself isn’t going anywhere! Let’s talk about how to wear loafers so you can look stylish in this classic look yearround.

how to wear leopard loafers

Whether you’re headed to the office, running errands, or meeting friends for a casual hangout, loafers are the perfect go-to shoes that effortlessly combine fashion and functionality. They’re stylish, comfortable and honestly the ultimate footwear staple for all seasons.

With their timeless design and versatility, loafers have become a fashion favorite for both men and women, but for the sake of this post, we’ll be talking about women’s fashion and how to work it into your wardrobe and daily looks.

From classic leather to trendy suede, there’s a pair of loafers out there to suit every style and occasion. Pair them with tailored trousers for a polished office look, or dress them down with jeans and a cozy sweater for a relaxed weekend vibe. The options are truly endless.

Not only do loafers add a touch of sophistication to any outfit, but they also provide unbeatable comfort. With features like cushioned insoles and flexible soles, you can wear them all day long without any discomfort. Plus, their slip-on style makes them incredibly convenient and perfect for those on-the-go moments.

I find that when I throw on a pair of loafers, my outfit looks instantly elevated and chic.

Let’s chat about the best ways to wear loafers and elevate your style game to the next level. Whether you prefer a classic look or want to experiment with bold colors and patterns, loafers are here to revolutionize your shoe collection.

The (Quick) History of Loafers: From Menswear Staple to Fashion Statement

Coming from a family who has owned a men’s clothing store for a century, it would be impossible for em to skip over the long-standing history of he loafer. The history of loafers dates back to the early 20th century, where they were originally designed for men as slip-on shoes for casual occasions. The first loafers were made in Norway, and they were called “Aurland shoes” after the town where they were made. Pretty cool, right?

The popularity of loafers really grew in the 1930s when they were adopted as part of the preppy style in America. They were worn with trouser socks and Bermuda shorts, and then with khakis and polo shirts. In the 1960s, loafers made a comeback as part of the mod fashion movement, and they were worn with slim suits and skinny ties.

Today, loafers are a fashion staple that can be worn with almost anything, and you’ll see in plenty of examples below that you can achieve so many different looks with loafers—it’s kind of amazing.

How to Wear Loafers

Types of Loafers: Penny, Horsebit, Lug Sole and More

First off, let’s discuss some of the most popular types of loafers as they come in so many different styles now. The most popular types of loafers include penny, tassel, and horsebit loafers.

Classic Penny Loafers

classic chic outfit
Image via @symphonyofsilk

Penny loafers are easily the most classic and versatile style of loafers. They feature a simple, slip-on design with a leather strap across the tongue. They are called penny loafers because it was popular in the 1950s to put a penny in the strap for good luck—I love that!

Lug Sole Loafers or Chunky Loafers

chunky heel mules outfit
Image via @mialuckie

These have become super popular recently and are a fun, updated and modern twist on the traditional loafer. They have, as you might have guessed, a chunky heel, also known as a lug sole that give them an edgy look. The chunky heel also adds height and feels very fashion forward.

Horsebit Loafers

cozy and comfortable fall outfit
Image via @Taymbrown

Horsebit loafers are one of the dressier types of loafers and one of my personal favorites. Personally, I find these to be really classic too. They feature a metal horsebit on the front and are often made of high-quality leather. You can wear them dressed up with trousers for work, or wear them casually with jeans or corduroys.

Loafer Mules

loafer mules neutral outfit
Image via @LaurenKaySims

Other types of loafers include loafer mules which are sort of a hybrid—loafer in the front, mule or slide in the back. These are really comfortable and easy to slide-into and look elegant.

Pointy Loafers

Lastly, a pointed toe loafer is definitely a more modern twist on the classic, but one that I love. A pointy toe instantly adds some edge to your look all while elongating your legs.

Styling Loafers for Different Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter

Loafers are a versatile shoe that can be worn in almost any season. The key is to choose the right material and color for the weather. Here are some tips on how to style loafers for different seasons:

Fall

fall outfit with blazer and loafers
Image via Fashion Jackson

In the fall, you can wear loafers with dark-wash jeans and a sweater or a blazer. You can also pair them with corduroy pants and a flannel shirt for a more preppy look. Choose loafers in darker colors like brown, burgundy, or black. You can even look for them in unique patterns like snakeskin or a festive velvet for the holidays.

wide leg jeans with loafers outfit
Image via Danielle Gervino

Winter

In the winter, you can wear loafers with wool trousers and a cashmere sweater or a tweed suit. You can also pair them with dark-wash jeans and a heavy coat. Choose loafers in darker colors like black or dark brown, and opt for materials like suede or leather with a shearling lining.

Pair them with socks for a classic look that’ll also keep your feet warm!

Spring

how to wear loafers with leggings
Image via @lemanm

In the spring, you can wear loafers with light-colored jeans a simple tee and cardigan or blazer, or an oversized shirt and leggings.

casual chic outfit
Image via @useless_dk

Summer

how to wear loafers in the summer
Image via Emma Hill

In the summer, you can wear loafers with lightweight materials like a pair of jeans and simple silk camisole. You can also wear them with rolled-up jeans and a short-sleeved button-down shirt. Choose loafers in lighter colors like beige, tan, or white.

How to Wear Loafers with Casual Outfits: Pairing them with Jeans, Shorts, and Skirts

Loafers are a great shoe to wear with casual outfits. As a mom, casual is pretty much all I wear, but I still want to feel pulled together and chic. They add a touch of sophistication to any look while still keeping things comfortable and relaxed. Here are some ideas on how to wear loafers with casual outfits:

With Jeans

chunky loafer outfit
Image via Extra Petite

Loafers look great with jeans, whether you’re going for a classic look or something more modern. Pair them with slim-fit jeans and a t-shirt for a casual, everyday look, or dress them up with a blazer and a button-down shirt.

With Shorts

Loafers can also be worn with shorts for a casual, summer look. Pair them with tailored shorts and a simple tank or tshirt, or opt for denim shorts and a graphic t-shirt for a more laid-back look.

With Skirts & Dresses

how to wear lug sole loafers
Image via @Mliandrea

Loafers look great with skirts and dresses, whether you’re going for a midi-length or a mini-length. Pair them with a midi skirt and a blouse for a sophisticated look, or opt for a mini skirt and a crop top for a more playful vibe.

How to Wear Loafers for Work: How to Incorporate them into your Office Attire

how to wear loafers with a camel blazer
Image via Fashion Jackson

Loafers are a great shoe to wear to work, especially if you work in a business-casual environment. Here are some tips on how to incorporate loafers into your office attire:

black trouser outfit with loafers
Image via Life with Jazz
  • Pair them with tailored trousers and a blazer for a polished, professional look.
  • Opt for loafers in a neutral color like black or brown for a more sophisticated vibe.
  • Choose loafers with a subtle pattern or texture to add some interest to your outfit.
  • Make sure your loafers are clean and well-maintained to give off a professional impression.

Caring for your Loafers: Cleaning, Polishing, and Maintaining their Quality

grey Leith dress with loafers and a moto jacket

To keep your loafers looking their best, it’s important to take care of them properly. Here are some tips on how to care for your loafers:

  • Clean them regularly with a soft cloth or brush to remove any dirt or debris. It only takes a few seconds and makes a world of difference in how long they last.
  • Use a leather cleaner or conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple. This is especially helpful if you live in a dry climate like we do!
  • Polish your loafers regularly to maintain their shine and color. You can also take them to be shined if you don’t want to buy all the stuff
  • Store your loafers in a cool, dry place to prevent any damage or discoloration. If they sit in direct sunlight, they dry out and eventually crack.

As you can clearly see, loafers are a classic wardrobe staple that everyone needs in their closet. They’re comfortable, versatile and come in so many different styles so there’s something for everyone. I hope this inspired you to pair your favorite loafers with totally new outfits!

BTW, how to style ankle boots, and my all-time favorite running shoes.

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