It’s May, which means the flowers are in full bloom, and the season of loafers is officially on deck. Within the past two years, the slip-on dress shoe has carved out its own path in the wild world of contemporary menswear. Thanks to a wave of funky, unique new styles, the loafer has gone from the prepster’s footwear of choice to a style embraced by cool creative types everywhere. And this week, there are two brand-new loafer drops to start the season off with a bang.
The first comes from the rising New York label Aimé Leon Dore. Keeping consistent with the classic style the brand has become known for, the penny loafer is done up in a timeless suede with a soft leather lining. It’s offered in four straight-ahead colors—navy, brown, white, and yellow—and each shoe is hand-constructed in Portugal.
The second comes from the legendary loafer makers at G.H. Bass & Co. and the preppy British label Fred Perry. (Fun fact: We dubbed the Bass Weejun the loafer that every guy should own.) The collaborative release includes two styles: a tasseled loafer, as well as the classic penny loafer. The iconic silhouettes have been updated with a thick ridged sole and a tartan lining inspired by Fred Perry’s beloved jackets, giving the shoe a much more unique look than your standard pair.
For the uninitiated, wearing loafers can feel a little daunting: too formal, too stiff, too country club. Just keep in mind that they go with just about everything—and the more bizarrely you treat them, the better. Wear them with sweatpants (or even shorts!), and they’ll polish up your look. A style-forward loafer paired with roomy dress trousers will mellow out the formal vibe. Basically, the more unexpected way you can think of wearing a loafer, the better. So, now that it’s May, give your sneakers and house slippers a break and bust out a pair of these. Even if your friends and coworkers can’t see them on your next Zoom call, you’ll know they’re there, and that is what counts.
Aime Leon Dore Pennies, $245 at Aime Leon Dore
Weejuns X Fred Perry Layton Kiltie Loafer, $220 at G.H. Bass & Co.