Hey, remember the days when you’d be parsing the latest street style snaps for wardrobe inspiration, the task full of promise? Suddenly, your eyes would alight on a pair of shoes that sparked a fire in your sartorial soul. That sent you on an e-quest in search of their designer, name, make. Can you recall the electricity that jolted through your fingertips when you finally tracked down your prey and confined them to your cart? Not so easy, is it? Because lately every blogger, stylist, editor, model and sentient fashion being has been copping the (insert expletive here) out and buying those same (expletive ad libs continue) Gucci loafers.
We get it. Alessandro Michele breathed new life into the loafer game with his colorful, embellished, often fur-lined takes on the menswear staple. We still remember where we were when rapper and Christian Dior frontman A$AP Rocky showed up to J.W.Anderson’s Fall 2016 presentation in the designer’s fuzzy, clasp-front camel coat and an equally cozy pair of Guccis.
Don’t get us wrong — we’re not anti-Gucci, nor are we against the penny-ready silhouette. In fact, thanks to perforation, insulation and material experimentation (not to mention global warming), loafers are no longer confined to that sweet spot between August and November when their leather won’t make your feet sweat buckets (too real?) and telltale slush puddles won’t tarnish their beauty. The now year-round shoes are suited to practically any occasion. Stroll to the (laid-back) office in loafers, printed socks and denim. Head to your (more austere) work environs in loafers, luxe knits and a tailored ‘fit. Grab cocktails in loafers, shiny hosiery and a statement mini.
See? We’re down for the loafer cause. We just don’t believe everyone should tune down his/her/their imaginations because Michele’s tuned up his. Sure, we’re certain a $1,000 pair of his expert creations feels like butter to the touch and gives the wearer a sense of prestige, of daring, of crippling anxiety at the sight of a rain cloud. But let’s bring variety back to the street style game, shall we?
Ahead, 25 new, novel (and mostly affordable) loafers that’ll do the trick.