Tuesday, February 21, 2012

shoe crush: loafers

I’m a bit late on this one because I’ve been holidaying. Yes, you should be jealous. Unfortunately the time came to return to work, but in doing so I noticed that what had been an upcoming before Christmas had entrenched itself as a full-blown trend.

I myself unwittingly partook, buying these babies in Thailand.

But when I went to show off their glorious comfort and style combo I found I was behind the times. Just every female in the design department was wearing a version of the humble loaf. Not just wearing them, but putting my untouched beauties to shame with worn-in leather and scuff marks.

Although those design folks are usually one step ahead of the rest of us, they weren’t the only ones. Lovely ladies wearing loafers grace Lambton Quay, and there are loafs-a-plenty in the shop windows. This foot fashion is so far forward I wonder if it’s almost finished?
I hope not, because they’re a wonderful addition to the flat shoe family. Tired of embellished flats and sparkly slip-ons, I was attracted to the loafers for their fabulous sense of casuality.

They remind me fondly of a pair of moccasin slippers my father wore for a good ten years. (Footwear had a much longer life those days, he also claimed he’d worn the same jandals for 15 years, until his heels eventually met the pavement, and I happen to know one of his pairs of Dr Martins are as old as me, and still just as styley). And unless you’ve bought an invariably cheap pair, they have the look of being leather and well-sewn, even if they are not. Is it that by placing stitching on the outside that we are led to believe it will hold? Rather than being tucked away and secretly glued.

Loafers are also incredibly versatile. They’re perfect work-wear, brilliant “couldn’t give a carers” when paired with nautical top and jeans, and surprisingly soft under a summer dress.

I unfortunately made the mistake of buying mine just a snippet too small. In the world of the tiny-footed South East Asia, you have to take a few punts on sizes. Having a choice in either one size up or one size down of optimal, I decided I couldn’t live without them and better to stretch them out than slop around in a 40. I also didn’t want the lady to think I was a giant who wore size 40 shoes. There was something about the largeness of them that made them less attractive. So I went for the toe crushers, and after a few toe-seizing cramps they seem to have eased off enough to leave the house in.

So, take a standard black or refreshing tan. Add a chain or the ever-delightful leather tassel and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer-autumn transition shoe. There’s even a few statement options out there in bold colours, but I think a good loafer speaks for itself. It’s ultra-comfy chic, already in a store near you.

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