Loafers are back to setting fashion trends

Loafers are back to setting fashion trends

The ancestors of today’s loafers were invented by Native Americans. The shoes they wore were a very simple cut of soft leather wrapped around the foot to keep it safe.

In fact, in Algonquian (a language spoken by indigenous Americans) the word for shoes is the same as the one for loafers.

Another great contribution to the history of loafers comes from Scandinavian populations. Norwegians in particular, around the 19th century, started producing shoes that looked like slippers, made by assembling pieces of leather.

The story of loafers, however, officially begins in the United States, during the Thirties, thanks to the firm GH Bass (loafers’ manufacturer since 1876) that launched on the market the very first traditional loafers.

At first, this type of footwear didn’t break through; on the contrary, it was rather frowned upon and, because of their similarity to slipper, loafers were thought to only be suitable to wear at home.

Their development and popularity came afterwards, around the Fifties, when fashion became more popular and university students started wearing loafers to class.

The peculiarity of this new trend was that students used to put a little coin on the buckle of the shoes they were wearing. This trend was never forgotten, that is why this type of shoe is commonly referred to as “Penny loafers”.

This kind of footwear made a great comeback around the mid Eighties, when the revival of mid-century casual American style.

A type of loafer that gained a lot of popularity during this period is definitely boat shoes. After their launch on the market made by the north American company Timberland, they became an icon of the Eighties’ young fashion.

Today, loafers are produced in a wide range of shapes, colours, and materials, such as nubuck and suede.

During the latest years, due to the comeback made by the style of the Nineties, characterized by more “chunky” shoes, loafers managed to stay popular incorporating to their traditional silhouette a wider and thicker sole (or platform) to match palazzo pants, wide or cropped clothes, long and mini-skirts.  That is why we find them among the options offered by Caper, an aways up-to-date brand when it comes to designs that are both trendy and easy to wear.

Today, even the most classic models, the most elegant and short heeled ones, are gaining a more extravagant look with the addition of small chains or other details instead of traditional toe-caps.

This season, loafers are back to being worn with plenty of creativity and inventiveness, especially by young people, who enjoy creating old school inspired outfits, as well as new and original ones. Thanks to these new trends, loafers are being worn again and they are considered to be a must-have piece for every fashion enthusiast, especially due to their remarkable versatility.

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