Made to do the dirty work…
First off, a little background story. I reckon that you probably know the history of how the Penny Loafer got its name; how the preppy Ivy Leaguers used the cut-outs on the saddle across the upper part to hold a penny to use in a phone booth (a concept very hard to explain to our youth today by the way). This was around the 1950s and 60s.
However, taking a step further back, the design actually originates from early 1930s Norway, where Nils Tveranger introduced the Aurland shoe made for Norwegian fishermen and farmers. (Norwegian fisherman and farmers got the Aurland shoe and the Irish fisherman and farmers got the Aran sweater.) These comfortable slip-ons were made to be able to do both the “dirty work” as well as be used when off duty.
Versatility is key…
I am a firm believer that if something was originally made with a purpose in mind, we should be true to the original idea and it should be used for said purpose. For instance, that’s the same reason why I take my 30-year-old Tag Heuer 1000 swimming and why I still carry a pocketknife as an everyday essential.
| CASPER’S EDC | Vintage Tag Heuer 1000, Victorinox Swiss Army Knife
Now, yes, I wear my loafers all year round, but naturally the often more rainy and chilly weather rules out some of them. For example, I obviously wouldn’t wear my leather-soled, tan suede penny loafers on a rainy day–that’s a given. And my drivers doesn’t work either.
But the classics like the Penny, the Tassels, and so on, will do the job perfectly.
READ MORE: The Definitive List of Men’s Loafer Styles
Go full leather with a rubber sole and you are good to go as well in the summer, as in winter (and spring and fall for that matter); something like the G.H. Bass Weejun. It was the original, so why not opt for the original that is still so true to its roots.
Or for something a little different, the Charles Penny Loafer from Brugnoli in Rome. I own a pair in dark brown suede with a crepe rubber sole that you might recognize from the Desert Boots, which making them extremely comfortable, durable, and versatile.
Made to be worn at all times, so wear them at all times! (Well, almost anyway.) But, you can wear loafers in the winter. For sure.
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style