Friday, September 3, 2010

Autumn/Winter Footwear Recommendation – Tasseled Loafers

A Personal Recommendation
I have been wanting to write about this style of footwear for quite a while now but seemed to never get round to it. The tasseled loafer has fast become one of my favourite footwear trends this year, and at last count I had 3 pairs in different styles, colours and materials residing in my wardrobe. With a movement towards a more refined casual look this year within menswear, I think it is the perfect shoe to mix with all your new chinos, slim trousers and even tailored shorts that you undoubtedly would of purchased throughout the Spring/Summer seasons (especially if you read this site regularly).
This trend (or should that be lifestyle change?) of males dressing sharper shows no sign of slowing down, as the premium designers and high street are pushing trends such as Smart (read our ASOS trend coverage here), Tweed, Camel Overcoats, Shearling (report here) and formal items such as dress shirts and suits in check/plaid this Autumn/Winter. You will be able to keep up with all the latest trend previews right here on Fashionbeans over the coming months, but for now trust me when I sayyou should have a pair of loafers in your wardrobe, no matter what your age.

The key benefit of loafers is that they are
 so versatile. They will work within literally any outfit; whether you want to pair them with a suit, slim trousers, rolled up chinos, slim jeans or even tailored shorts. You can bring your casual outfits up a notch by pairing them with jeans and a tee/vest (ala Ed Westwick), giving your look an edge that many males would not consider. You can also dress down more formal clothing such as suits or trousers by leaving the brogues or dress shoes at home (with your socks) and reaching for the slip-ons. Again it just gives you that bit of individuality when compared to most of the other male population. They would be ideal to use with suit or tux separates – like our very own Matt Allinson has described in his men’s fashion basics series over the last few weeks – and I often use my black pair with some grey suit trousers and a simple white tee. Throw on a leather jacket over the top and you have the perfect balance between casual, formal and edgy.
The reason the tasseled loafer is my favourite form of loafer is that it adds an edge which a plain penny loafer doesn’t have. The tassel detailing is just enough to draw attention to your new shoes, but not enough to distract from the rest of your outfit. It is also slightly smarter than the standard penny loafer, so this means it mixes better with formal items without looking sloppy and can also be used to dress up casual items.
In order to give you a visual picture of just how versatile the tasseled loafer can be, I have sourced some great images from

What To Buy
You do not have to spend the earth in order to get a great pair of these shoes. Topman, Burton and the like have all produced versions over the past few months and they can be picked up at a great price. If you want to invest then look toward the mid-high priced designer brands such as Kurt Geiger, Paul Smith, Loake who have produced some versions of real quality. Do not be afraid to spend money on a pair if you have it because these are definitely an investment shoe that you will get use of throughout all seasons due to their versatility.
I absolutely love the Burgundy/Deep Red/Mauve colours that are available right now and think they look amazing against all types of jean washes, as well your standard black, navy and grey trousers. If you are looking for a timeless pair of footwear that will be suitable against everything you own, then my suggestion is a black or brown pair. Again I am a massive fan of tan loafers, but they are somewhat limited sometimes by the occasion.
When it comes to material you cannot beat leather in terms of durability, versatility and adaptability for any occasion. However, there are some beautiful suede versions on the market and if you have enough to buy a couple of pairs, they are a great addition to your wardrobe because the texture just adds that little extra to an outfit.
Check out some of the latest releases below and see if any of them take your fancy, they come highly recommended: