Penny loafers are laceless shoes with a moccasin-style upper that’s stitched to a separate sole and heel. That's an easy one: People put pennies into the slots on the fronts. Nils developed the Aurlandskoen, also known as the Aurland Shoe.. Related: 6 best shoes for men This was the original penny loafer which was inspired by the Native American mocassins, hence the slip-on feature.. During the 1930s, Norwegians visited America … In 1950s America before trainers were invented, the Weejun became the shoe of choice for young men and students. Why Are Gucci Loafers Expensive? And a dressier penny-loafer alternative, the tasseled loafer, became an epithet for attorneys when the first President Bush groused that Bill Clinton was backed by "every lawyer that ever wore a tasseled loafer.". they’ve gone back to being called pennies. In the early 1980s, Michael Jackson made black loafers his dancing shoes -- worn with white or sparkling socks -- for "Beat It" and "Billie Jean," creating a cultural icon. Penny loafers are, well, loafers, which is to say that they are a slip-on shoe, rather than a laced shoe such as a brogue or an Oxford. Quarters wouldn't fit in the shoes, but by then people were wearing Earth shoes, clogs or platform heels, so it didn't matter. And so, the penny loafer was born. Penny Loafers. G.H. It's fun, it's a form of self-expression, and they are called "Penny Loafers," for cryin' out loud. What are penny loafers? From high-flying lawyers and accountants to sharply dressed Yale students, the penny loafer has been a style that defies subculture and has truly stood the test of time. How did the penny loafer get its name? It’s not exactly a shoe that screams ruthless ambition, is it? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately. The design was inspired by traditional Norwegian fisherman’s shoes and, as a nod to this, G.H. I will say this, you must have a sense of humor to do it. But I’ve noticed when I see them at coin shows, etc. The most versatile type, penny loafers are about as formal as Belgian loafers, but more closely related to moccasins than to slippers. My favorite collection of penny loafers actually can be found on Polyvore. Why Are They Called Loafers? buy penny loafers The Tassel Loafer The actual origins of the tassel loafer are unclear, but one possible story involves a Hungarian-American actor who … They usually have little to no heel. The penny loafer’s signature leather strap with an eye-shaped slit was the perfect place to store your two cents for making calls using public phones. A pair of these is a worthy wardrobe investment. You can wear penny loafers with formal and casual both types of outfits. Walk back in time a few decades in these comfortable slip-ons: Loafer lore includes 1890s Norwegian cattle farmers and salmon kings, '50s bad boy James Dean, '80s preppies, a Michael Jackson moonwalk or two, a Canadian prime minister's "Gucci gate" -- all the way to 2013, when Fashion Week models slouch or stalk the catwalks in these much-safer-than-stilettos standbys. Penny loafers have a strap across the front of the opening where your foot goes in. American companies in the 1930's started calling them loafers, with G.H. The traditional shape and attention to detail make them a must-have. Nowadays, a broader definition can include any shoe that has such a strap, regardless of its construction. Penny Loafers. The Wildsmith Loafer was made by Wildsmith Shoes of London for King George VI … A: Because of the little slot in front where you put a penny. Aurland took inspiration from America -- Native American moccasins -- that evolved into selling its own version of the penny loafer. Except for that blip in the 1970s, loafers were worn by men, women and schoolchildren: "In the United States, the supremacy of the Bass Weejun was unchallenged — from James Dean to J.F.K., everyone wore them," according to "The New York Times.". As I’m sure most of you know, a penny is a British coin. Why Are They Called Venetians? History of penny loafers. Pennies, as usual, are optional. Prep students wore them without socks, sometimes repairing them with duct tape. Well, when you stud something with pearls, you’re going to charge at least four figures for it! Whether you like your footwear old-school or fashion-forward, you won't have to walk far to find penny loafers to suit. Just some fashion from the ’50’s. It’s difficult to answer how they earned their name as there’s relatively little research on the subject. The penny loafer originated in the 1930s inspired by the light, slip-on shoes worn by Norwegian farmers. Mostly worn without socks since the 1960s, men continued to wear their penny loafers with all styles of dress. But why are they called penny loafers? Slip-ons are typically low, lace-less shoes.The style which is most commonly seen, known as a loafer or slippers in American culture, has a moccasin construction. Penny loafers were — and still are — called an tough slip-on. One of the particular appeals of penny loafers is that they can be worn as both formal and casual wear, for men and women. Follow our top tips to make sure you don’t slip up when wearing these stylish slip-ons: These formal tassel penny loafers from H by Hudson offer some serious summer flair. Although the kids made loafers a fashion statement, the suits in business and politics never gave up on them. MASSIVE SAVINGS on the Etro brand especially. #3. They feature a strip of leather across the saddle with a diamond cut-out. In 1987, Canada's Prime Minister Brian Mulroney became embroiled in "Gucci gate" when it became known that he owned 50 pairs, worth thousands of dollars. A stylish moccasin penny loafer that presents endless styling options. The strap on penny loafers was originally a design feature, there to add intrigue to an otherwise simple silhouette. Sweet serendipity resulted in the practice of placing pennies in the slots and its iconic but not original name. Made in ox blood they were also known as the Norwegian slipper. Gucci had crafted a loafer "with just enough formality to make it acceptable in business settings when worn with a suit," according to "The New York Times." Bass adding a strip of leather across the top with the diamond-shaped cutout typical of penny loafers and calling them Weejuns. Bass is heavily linked to the penny loafer - the US brand popularised the style when it brought it to America back in 1936. Prior to penny loafers, regular loafers were first exported from Norway in the 1930s and sold in the US under the brand name “Weeguns.” One of the first designs was introduced in London by Wildsmith Shoes, called the Wildsmith Loafer. Although the kids made loafers a fashion statement, the suits in business and politics never gave up on them. Loafers, however, were just taking a well-deserved break before the next step in fashion history. An American cent is definitely not. They are called penny loafers because in the old days the shoes had a slit on top of it where a coin, a penny, a dime could be fitted, specially if wore by girls, in case they needed to make a phone call. No wingtip details. Why are they called loafers? Just some leather, some stitching, and your foot. Belgian loafers go well with chinos, flannel pants, and corduroys. During fall/winter 2013-14 Milan Fashion Week, No. Try wearing penny loafers without socks to create a clean, minimalist silhouette from head to toe, Suede penny loafers offer a versatile option that can be dressed up and dressed down for any situation, Penny loafers can be worn with suits; pair a light coloured suit with a similar tone of loafer for a great summer look and a dark suit with a patent loafer for a more formal look. They were a staple of the 1980s prep style movement and continue to be a popular choice amongst style icons and celebrities. But why are they called penny loafers? With them, you can build some very stylish and smart looking outfits. Bass began making them in 1936 and called them "Weejuns" -- sounding faintly Native American, but in fact a contraction of Norwegians. Penny loafers are moccasin-styled shoes that feature a diamond-shaped cutout at the top, occasionally alongside tassels or other embellishments.During the 1950s, pennies were often lodged into the cutout as a fashion statement, hence the name. This eventually gave the shoes their colloquial name of Penny Loafer, which is still used today. The plural of the coin is pennies.) No pinking, perforations, or medallions. Also, I don’t want to alarm anyone, but all of the penny loafers below are currently 30 – 50% off! The strap had a small slit was the perfect size to hold a coin, and back in the days when using payphones was the norm, many young men and women would keep money in their shoes in case they needed to make an emergency call. Loafers are shoes that slip on with no lacing or other fastening system. But why? I have no idea why they are called the penny loafers but that does sound good and they certainly look good. Thanks to its mix of informality and comfiness, the Weejun went on to become a staple on college campuses across the United States. Joe told me about his pennies. Mine are two pennies I found on the sidewalk while walking around my first days as a New Yorker. Penny loafer history. The strap had a small slit was the perfect size to hold a coin, and back in the days when using payphones was the norm, many young men and women would keep money in their shoes in case they needed to make an emergency call. Obviously because they’re for loafing. Except for that blip in the 1970s, loafers were worn by men, women and schoolchildren: "In the United States, the supremacy of the Bass Weejun was unchallenged — from James Dean to J.F.K., everyone wore them," according to "The New York Times." They are the best one-stop-shop and carry at least 100 different styles. Back in the 1930s, the pay phone in the phone booth cost a paltry two cents. Thus, the penny and the loafer were united. That time is now long gone, and the copper penny (now 97.5% zinc) literally costs more than it’s worth. Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio State University. H By Hudson Black Chichester Penny Loafers, £70. Loafers are often called Penny Loafers no one is 100% sure where this term for loafers came from but there are a few theories. By the 50s Penny Loafers were all the rage with the campus Ivy League of the US. They have a strip of leather called a “saddle” that sits horizontally across the instep. The loafer came to the U.S. after the post-World War I "Lost Generation" wandered into Norway and brought back comfortable leather shoes like those worn by cattle farmers there, according to an account in "The New York Times." I’ve chosen the penny loafer simply because most people don’t know why they are called penny loafers while most of us know what a loafer is. They began as casual shoes, but have increased in popularity to the point of being worn in America with business suits. To better show you how to style them, I have put together a list of some of the best black penny loafers outfit ideas for you. She likes to wear comfortable shoes, so she is always wearing penny loafers by … Penny loafers are also … The strap on penny loafers was originally a design feature, there to add intrigue to an otherwise simple silhouette. Dean brought "Rebel Without a Cause" charisma to what otherwise would be just an old shoe 3. Today they have fallen so far they almost have an underdog charm, although I still see die-hard bozo preppy businessmen wearing them with white shirts and rep ties. No wonder they were embraced so wholeheartedly by college students in the days before meritocracy. Return to the schuh website to shop 'til you drop! This is a shoe for guys so lazy they can’t be bothered to tie laces. (Actually, the British penny became the New Penny when they went decimal in 1971. And in 1980, a book called "The Preppy Handbook" brought back all things pink, green and prep, including the loafer. G.H. Venetian loafers are modest and simply-styled leather shoes. // Leaf Group Lifestyle, How Oscars Fashion Proves Celebrities Are Woke AF, Early History of Golf in the United States, The New York Times: Loafing Around | A Brief History of Fashion’s Favorite Flat, Aurland Shoe Factory: History (Google translate from Norwegian), The New York Times: The Politicization of Tasseled Loafers, Los Angeles Times: Michael Jackson: King of Style, The loafer came to the U.S. after the post-World War I "Lost Generation" wandered into Norway and brought back comfortable leather shoes like those worn by cattle farmers there, according to an account in "The New York Times.". FYI, the plural of penny (value) is pence. In the early 1980s, Michael Jackson made black loafers his dancing shoes -- worn with white or sparkling socks -- for "Beat It" and "Billie Jean," creating a cultural icon. It is a high-end brand, so the logo itself is going to account for the price. People added embellishments into the opening of this strap for decorative purposes, the most common being a penny. "Loafer" because they were comfortable shoes for lounging -- their journey, however, would take them from boardrooms to classrooms around the world. Popular with both men and women, the easy appeal of the loafer was that it was comfortable as well as smart. Putting a penny in each shoe might have become a trend so young teens could call home for a ride back when pay phones were cheaper. It became fashionable to keep a dime in the half moon cut out slot of the leather strip. Did you own a pair of penny loafers when you were younger? Q: I know what they look like, but why are they called “penny” loafers? The identity of these shoes is a leather strap on the top of them. Women can choose from black and leopard (Ellen Tracy), silver (Cole Haan), red (Tory Burch) and even high-heel pumps (Charles Jourdan), among many others. They are called "penny loafers" because there is an area on the top especially designed to hold a coin - originally a penny, but later changed to a dime because that was the amount needed to … He has the birth year for each of his children in his shoes. Penny loafers are casual. Read more about becoming an Affiliate with schuh. However much the times have changed, the popularity of the penny loafer has stayed steady—grown even! It was a design element not intended to hold a coin from the outset most likely. In addition to traditional black, brown and cordovan, shoemakers offer them in green (Yuketen), blue suede (Rockport) or brown-and-camel leather and suede (Berluti Albert) for men. Today they have fallen so far they almost have an underdog charm, although I still see die-hard bozo preppy businessmen wearing them with white shirts and repp ties. Hence the name penny loafer! The penny loafer originated when a shoemaker named John Bass created a type of loafer called a "Weejun" that had a split strap across the top of the shoe. A panny loafer with panache. As the name suggests, it’s because they were meant to be leisurewear, for just loafing around. 21's runway show put the penny loafer through paces -- some worn '80s style with Swarovski sparkling socks. Penny loafers are casual. Loafers are similar in shape to moccasins and are generally made of leather; they can be worn by men, women and children. Whether you like your footwear old-school or fashion-forward, you won't have to walk far to find penny loafers to suit. During the early 1900s, Nils Tveranger moved to Aurland, Norway after learning how to make shoes in America. A penny loafer is a specific style of loafer (a loafer is just a slip-on shoe, usually leather). I know what they look like, but why are they called "penny" loafers? Bass designed the iconic Bass Weejun. Penny loafers are an incredibly versatile shoe that can be worn all year round when paired with the right outfit. Aurland took inspiration from America -- Native American moccasins -- that evolved into selling its own version of the penny loafer. Penny loafers go great with skinny fit jeans or chinos, don’t forget to roll up the ankle to show off your shoes and create a great casual look. Bass called its … "Loafer" because they were comfortable shoes for lounging -- their journey, however, would take them from boardrooms to classrooms around the world. And a dressier penny-loafer alternative, the tasseled loafer, became an epithet for attorneys when the first President Bush groused that Bill Clinton was backed by "every lawyer that ever wore a tasseled loafer.". These sharp shoes from H by Hudson are a great price. Copyright © 2021 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. This kind of shoe has been around for ages, whether you’re looking at the moccasins of native americans or the slip-on dress shoes of European aristocracy. I think they have like 1 pair left in each size. Soon loafers were available in the spectator style (two colours). In terms of formality, they rank just slightly below a tassel loafer and are a great companion for a blazer outfit with Oxford shirts and a tie or bow tie. Meanwhile, Norwegian shoemaker Aurland had made a lace-up predecessor for British salmon lords in Norway and took a prototype to sell at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, according to the company's website. This soon became a dime to keep up with pay-phone inflation; by the mid-1970s, phone calls cost 25 cents. Penny loafers are a perfect companion for corduroy pants, chinos, flannel slacks and in the summer even linen or seersucker. They’re for the person who wants to look elegant but without much effort. Bass Shoes & Co. Is still dedicated to making penny loafers with the same bench-crafted and hand-stitched material that made the shoes so comfy in the first place. Years later, preppy Americans adapted their loafers and added silver coinage to their shoes to make a statement. Bonny Brown Jones has been a writer, columnist, copy editor and senior copy editor for newspapers that have included the "Orlando Sentinel," "Miami Herald" and "Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch." There is a half-moon shaped cut on the strap of these shoes, which is called the penny keeper. There’s no penny keeper. The Tricker’s Loafer Introducing Converse Renew: Because Life’s Too Short to Waste, Discover schuh TwentyTwenty – our new store concept, Vans X Harry Potter – Everything You Need To Know, FIRST LOOK: the schuh spring/summer 14 photoshoot. 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People added embellishments into the opening of this strap for decorative purposes, British... 21 's runway show put the penny loafer, which is called the penny loafer that presents endless options. Footwear old-school or fashion-forward, you wo n't have to walk far to find penny loafers have a sense humor. Different styles fisherman ’ s not exactly a shoe for guys so lazy can...