The Ultimate Guide to Women’s Loafers

Loafers are, at their core, a kind of fancy slipper, but these shoes are much more versatile and practical than this description would have you believe. Potentially suitable for both formal and informal environments, women’s loafers can be an excellent addition to your wardrobe. But how should you wear these practical and stylish shoes to make the biggest impact?

Wear Them Like Sneakers

A good pair of leather loafers is obviously more professional and attractive than a simple pair of sneakers, but for the most part, you can treat loafers like sneakers for most fashion purposes. As an example, you can wear loafers with jeans; if you do, it’s a good idea to ensure the bottom of those jeans hits the top of each loafer. You can also wear loafers with a dress, but in this scenario, loafers are best paired with a relatively short wrap dress or something that lands above the knee.

One of the most amazing aspects of loafers is that they’re so versatile. They can be suitably paired with almost anything as long as you’re conscious of the balance of the entire ensemble.

When You Shouldn’t Wear Loafers

Knowing when and how to wear something is a crucial part of fashion. But it’s equally important to know when not to wear something. For example, you shouldn’t wear loafers with any form of athleisure. And despite the fact that loafers are seeing a surge in popularity, they’re still a bit too casual for formal wear. If you’re going to a formal event or preparing for a very important job interview, leave the loafers at home.

Why Loafers Are So Popular Now

In the past few years, loafers have become incredibly popular – but why?

These are just a few of the main reasons:

  • Versatility. As we’ve seen, loafers are incredibly versatile. On the spectrum from casual to formal, loafers are right in the middle, meaning they are appropriate for a casual hangout. Still, they can also be appropriate for many work environments. Because they’re comfortable and easy to wear, you can wear them in a wide range of different settings and for a wide range of different activities. And if you have a few pairs of loafers in different colors and styles, you can have a set of loafers for literally any occasion (aside from formal gatherings and workouts at the gym).
  • Comfort. People also have grown to love loafers because of their comfort. These shoes don’t fit tightly, nor do they force you to walk a certain way. You can slip them on and off with relative ease and never have to worry about tying your shoes. At the same time, this level of comfort doesn’t make loafers seem lazy or sloppy – so you can be comfortable even in business environments.
  • Options. Women’s Loafers have exploded in popularity in part because of the number of options available. You can purchase loafers of many different shapes and sizes, and they can be made from a number of different materials. Loafers also come in a wide variety of colors and aesthetic styles, so they can be reasonably paired with almost anything in your closet if you’re willing to shop around for the right pairs.
  • Nostalgia. If you’re old enough to remember, loafers were popular in the 1990s. Accordingly, we can attribute some of this recent explosion in loafer popularity to the cyclical nature of fashion. While fashion doesn’t always follow this strict rule, it does seem like fashion trends tend to cycle back in after 20 or 30 years of being out of fashion. People who loved and appreciated these types of shoes as teenagers are now older adults, and wearing these shoes again provides a sense of fond nostalgia. At the same time, new generations are discovering a piece of fashion that has been out of popularity for many years.
  • Neutrality. Another benefit of loafers is that they’re gender-neutral. Historically, loafers have been a primarily masculine piece of fashion, but increasingly, women are wearing them. Wearing loafers is a totally gender-neutral act, which in today’s era of gender fluidity and confident self-expression, is highly appropriate.
  • The remote work era. Now that we’re a few years into the era of remote work, people are dressing more casually and comfortably, even in professional environments. Whether at home or going into the office, loafers can be a perfect fit.

yellow loafers

Whether you love them or hate them, loafers are having a moment. Whether you’re a passionate fashionista or just interested in putting the best possible outfits together, learning how to utilize this flexible, semi-casual piece of footwear is important. Thankfully, because women’s loafers are so versatile and neutral, you can wear them with (almost) anything with reckless abandon – and still look great. 

Featured Photo by Vladimir Yelizarov on Unsplash