Penny loafers are essentially laceless slip-on shoes that can be worn for formal and semi-formal occasions. These classic shoes evoke an exquisite sense of luxury, charm, and refinement. They are also versatile and can be worn with a vast number of outfits. That's why, they are the perfect pair for the discerning man - elegant, suave and enduring.
Penny loafers boast an illustrated history that delves deep into men's fashion. Interestingly, these splendid shoes emerged from humble origins. Nevertheless, it went on to characterize elite people across the US and the UK. With every pair of penny loafers you own, you carry an extraordinary piece of history with you. Each shoe carries a story that is interwoven with the history of the world.
Surprisingly, the footwear worn by Norwegian farmers inspired the invention of the penny loafer. The first slip-on shoe was designed by a Norwegian shoemaker named Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger. As its popularity grew, an American company started creating a similar shoe, naming it the "Loafer". While it was once a product name, loafers are now used as a universal term for moccasin-style shoes.
So, how did the loafer turn into the penny loafer? During 1934, another company came out with another version of the loafer. The distinguishing attribute was that a piece of leather was stitched across the front of the shoe. This strip featured a small cut in the shape of a half moon. When the shoes made their debut, it was called the Weejuns. However, the name "penny loafer" didn't catch on until much later.
During the 1950s, Weejuns became increasingly popular among students and young men. Back in the day, a silver coin was enough to make one phone call in a pay-phone. So, people started keeping one silver coin inside the cutout of their shoes. However, it soon became a fashion statement among elite prep school students. This is when it got the name "penny loafer".
In the ensuing years, it went from being a collegiate fad to a gentleman's accessory. That's mostly because, since the 1960s, penny loafers have been reiterated by high-end fashion labels like Gucci. By the 1970s, it became an integral part of every businessman's wardrobe. Its popularity peaked during the '80s, with the widespread use of the penny loafer in Wall Street.
With the evolution of fashion trends, penny loafers soon came to be used with formal suits and semi-formal outfits. While it's prevalence has relatively reduced, it never really went out of style. To this day, men across the globe covet penny loafers for its smart style and cozy comfort.
From the beginning to current times, the penny loafer has stood the test of time while coming into its own. The sharp aesthetics of the penny loafer, along with its ease of use, makes it a top choice for many people. And much like the cultivated man, penny loafers also exude heightened class, confidence, and sophistication.
And that's why penny loafers are now considered to be a gentleman's shoe.