Loafers: History, Facts and Style

Oh the loafer, the increasingly popular, stylish, comfortable and ever so versatile slip-on. Not just used by Norwegian farmers anymore. No, this slip-on shoe is now revered by many all over the world and produced by designers such as Gucci, Fendi and Prada. Worn by fashion designers, stylists, lawyers, businessmen, fashion bloggers =), etc. Evolving over time and adapting to different eras.

The history of Loafers

So you may be wondring Norwegians? Huh? In the 1930’s Norwegians were producing leisure slippers (moccasin style) and began exporting them to the rest of Europe. Americans visiting Europe at the time started purchasing them so they slightly started picking up popularity but it wasn’t until Esquire magazine featured them that these leisure slip-ons became known to the masses in America.

The History of Penny Loafers

The Penny Loafers

So when did the just plain loafers become a penny loafers? Well a gentleman by the name of G.H. Bass has a large part in this. In 1936 he created the shoe that is now so immensely popular, The Penny Loafer. It was his company’s addition of the leather strip across the front of the shoe with a somewhat diamond shaped cut-out that changed this shoe. What does all this have to do with a penny? Remember something called a pay phone, well back when it cost a penny to make a phone call many school children used to place a penny in their loafer for an emergency phone call home. Very neat, right.

How Loafers are Used Today

Loafers have been unique since they were brought from the farms to offices. Worn by men and woman, young and old these shoes have become a staple in the society of many cultures. Loved by lawyers and grandpa’s this versatile shoe can be worn on a relaxing Sunday afternoon or a hectic Monday morning business meeting. The loafer has changed colors, material, heights and weight over the years but has never lost its popularity. Now you can buy one with rhinestones or with sequins, they can be made of suede or snakeskin it’s all up to you.

Gucci Loafers


I hope you enjoyed this post and learned a little something about the shoe that you may be wearing right now. I love fun historical facts about fashion and how the items we wear today has changed over the decades. So, please let me know if you found this post interesting and fun because I plan on writing more.



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13 thoughts on “Loafers: History, Facts and Style

  • default avatar

    Hi, I do think your website may be having web browser compatibility problems.
    When I look aat your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in Interrnet Explorer, it’s got some overlapping issues.
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    Let’s Look Back: A History Lesson of the Penny Loafer | Rue La La

    […] penny loafers? Because I could go on. But instead, I’ll give you a little history lesson – you know, so you can drop some knowledge when someone (inevitably) admires your new […]

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    Love this post.Its fashionably educational.more pls!

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    Love the gucci!*


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    Kimberly Pearl

    Loove the heeled platform with a flare jean – it’s so seventies nerd-chic gone sophisticated! x

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    Signature Mix

    I could use a silver heeled loafer to go with this fab history lesson.

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    Fascinating. Great seeing you in your grey loafers. Don’t forget to let Erin know what to wear to the zombie prom! http://www.deadlovebook.com/dead-love-zombie-prom/

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    super informative! love the silver loafers!


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    of Fashion


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    Silvia Chelazzi

    Amazing shoes.


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    Very well written 🙂 I just learned something new! xx

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    Purvi Verma Saini

    Today I have increased my knowledge a bit more 🙂

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    that high heel loafer is so sexy! love it! thank you for sharing 🙂

    Also, thank you for your nice comment on my blog. Hope you checked out the sock bun and it worked for you!

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    Aletha Lang

    love that Prada Penny Loafer!!! Great post. Thank you!