Above all else, the loafer shoe trend is rooted in a prioritization of comfort — and according to T Magazine's Nancy Macdonnel, the ubiquitous popularity of these casual flats can be attributed to designers Bass Weejun and Gucci. The former introduced its first pair for men in 1936. However, women's appetite for relaxed footwear caused a surge of interest in the label's new loafers, which subsequently resulted in Bass Weejun adding a female version a couple of years later.
Not long after, Gucci entered the New York market with its flagship store opening in the 1950s and the Italian fashion house's horse-bit, tasseled versions were met with open arms. Throughout the early 20th century, loafers had strong collegiate and professional associations, however as time has progressed — and fashion with it — loafers have come to embody the true definition of a timeless trend.
For 2020, several loafers cropped up on the Spring/Summer runways. Prada, a label that's always good for a strong pair of loafers, offered a slew of block-heel iterations. Other labels that gave their stamp of approval to the laidback staple include elegant backless loafers at Lanvin and modern color-block interpretations at Loewe. These runway endorsements on top of the fact that loafers are virtually seasonless and offered at a range of styles and price-points make them just about the worthiest shoe trend of, well, all time.
Ahead, get the download on the year ahead for loafers, where to shop them from, and even a few outfit ideas to kick start your wardrobe for the new year.
The Loafer Shoe Trend: On The Runways
Prada's assortment of gold hardware-embellished leather block-heel loafers are sure to be spotted during the upcoming street style season. While it's still cold out, wear them with printed tights or a pair of knitted socks. In the spring, pair with a floral midi dress.
Loewe never fails to offer footwear that's both artistic and stylish. These mixed media loafers don't disappoint.
Consider these Lanvin loafers your new workwear staple — they'll go with everything from trousers to pencil skirts.
The Loafer Shoe Trend: Where To Buy
A pair of Gucci loafers is the true meaning of a wardrobe investment: They're well-made, versatile, stylish, and will last a lifetime (if you take care of them properly, of course).
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
If you're looking to shop from an emerging label, consider Paris-based Nomasei; they offer a low-heel loafer with sleek hardware.
Mansur Gavriel's intrepetation of the loafer is sleek and sophisticated. Wear now, wear often.
The Loafer Shoe Trend: How To Style Them
The term menswear is becoming increasingly irrelevant at this point, but since suiting and loafers are both staples that were traditionally designed for men, why not wear the two together and celebrate their move toward fluidity?
Denim and sneakers will always pair well together, but why not give your trainers a break and swap in some loafers?
For an outfit formula that's reliably French-feeling, go for a blazer + jeans + loafers — it works every time.
Give your aesthetic a collegiate-inspired feel by wearing an oversized shirt with a pencil skirt and loafers. Don't forget the socks.