How many versions of loafers are there? What started as something casual has gone in almost every direction imaginable. Drivers, bits, pennies, Venetians etc. Not to mention the soles: leather, rubber, nubs…it’s all there. Exponential options.
In an effort to step up our style this year, let’s look at some options that are not only a little more versatile, but also more mature. First up – the beefroll penny loafer. A slight deviation from the original, but still accepted in the mainline ‘penny loafer’ train. Instead of a full penny strap or a flat sewn strap, the edges are rolled under over the moccasin top and sewn. The stitching on the rolled leather looks like the way a butcher would sew a roast beef, hence the name ‘beefroll’.
What’s good about the beefroll loafer? Because it is typically constructed of a natural toned matte leather and a natural leather sole, it can very easily be dressed up or way down. These loafers look great across the spectrum – under 1.75″ cuffed slim khakis, to slim jeans, to regular khakis, to shorts, to swimsuits at the pool (in leiu of sandals…yep – do it). Very rarely should socks be worn with these, but always use shoe trees.
Some very good options:
1. Rancourt & Co. Natural Chromexcel Penny Loafers: Made in Maine by the pros. These are investment-grade, for those planning on wearing them for a decade.
2. Bass Leverett: These are constructed with a matte mahogany leather, which gives them an unshined, more casual look. Can’t go wrong with anything stamped ‘Weejun’.
3. Allen Edmonds Sedona Penny Loafers: While these don’t have the natural leather sole (Vibram instead), they do have the jagged cut on the tongue. Sharp.
4. Florsheim Berkley: A very cost-friendly option. Great details include the natural leather sole and the medium vamp.
5. Ralph Lauren Hand-sewn Penny Loafers: These remind me of the old Cole Haan version that was popular in the 90s. Thick leather and strong contrasting stitching make this a good option.
6. Oak Street Bootmakers Natural Beefroll Penny Loafer: These are great for the folks who like a lower vamp in casual loafers (me). The chromexcel leather should age very nicely.
What do you think? Did I miss any good options?