Friday, February 10, 2012

Style Inspiration: Loafers

Grace Kelly is preppy and casual in cuffed pants and loafers.

As someone who more often than not wears heels, I've been in search of a pair of comfortable, flat shoes.  This thought came to me after I started going to the gym regularly and finding it to be quite painful to wear heels to work the next day (heaven forbid the impractical nature of high heels should ever occur to me otherwise).

I'm looking for a pair of loafers -- they are classic, versatile and preppy.  My first thoughts for inspiration were Grace Kelly in High Society or Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, but other major icons of the day were seen sporting them, from Brigitte Bardot to James Dean and Paul Newman.

The shoe's origins were rather unlikely:
The penny loafer originated in the 1930s when loafers of several varieties were fashionable as men’s and women’s shoes. Somewhat unbelievably, this fashion started with the Spaulding company when they produced shoes styled after those of Norwegian dairy farmers that had appeared in an article in Esquire Magazine. (Source)

The "penny" in its name comes from John Bass's idea to add a little embellishment to the loafer, or a decorative touch, often held in place by a small object, like a penny.

Here are a few styles I've been lusting after:

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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