During the hotter months, when all we really want to do is strip down to our shorts and lounge in the sun, dressing for formal occasions can be a drag. You’ll wince as you put on layer after layer, begrudgingly throw a tie around your neck and curse your ever-creased linen suit.
But when it comes to shoes, it’s a different matter entirely.
The loafer is the perfect formal summer shoe. Originally developed over 150 years ago for the royal family and landed gentry, these slip-on shoes are cast in leather, occasionally decorated and a key part of the mid-century “Ivy Look”. And you should own at least one pair.
We turned to British born footwear label and king of the loafer, Duke & Dexter, to learn just how versatile this style of shoe can be.
For a summer soiree, a plain black leather loafer is best
A black loafer is a perfectly acceptable alternative to an Oxford, or formal brogue. If you’re heading to a super smart event, a patent black option is the way to go, but a plain black leather will also do the job. They’ll keep you looking cool with a suit and, without any pesky laces to fiddle with, you can slip them off as soon as your feet get too hot.
For a cocktail dress code, there is no better option
Cocktail dress, a notoriously difficult dress code to follow, finds its salvation in the loafer. These shoes — simple, laceless canvases — offer endless possibilities for patterns, materials and trims. From a suede pair to an outlandish geometric pattern, you can get away with colour combinations and designs that other shoes just couldn’t pull off.
For a little added interest, throw on a tassel
Nothing says pomp and ceremony like a tassel — and it’s no different with loafers. As you likely won’t be wearing socks with your loafers during summer, and your chinos will be rolled to a modest, ankle-exposing length, you can afford to add a little bit of interest to what is usually a very minimalist shoe. And it doesn’t stop with tassels — check out this edgy skull option from Duke & Dexter.
For something work appropriate over summer, a penny loafer
If the penny hasn’t dropped by now, loafers are the perfect all-around shoe for summer. Casual and beach ready should you buy a less formal variant, there are other designs — such as the Penny Loafer — which are office ready and suited to any workplace. So if your boots or Derbys have been giving you grief this summer, slip on a pair of Pennies.
Duke & Dexter
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