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How To Style Loafers For Women and Men Alike

April 20, 2022

We love loafers - and we know you do too. This classic footwear style is stunning when worn correctly. And, loafers are versatile - they can be worn a number of ways and in a variety of situations. But the unfortunate reality is that so many men and women don't know how to style loafers. Don’t worry, we're here to help.

In this article, we're going to teach you how to wear loafers. We'll talk styling tips for men and women alike - including what situations you can wear these shoes in, how to wear them casually, and how to wear them formally. 

We'll begin by discussing the characteristics of loafers for those who are just now learning about this shoe.

What Are The Characteristics Of Loafers?

Loafers are a type of slip-on shoe. They typically have a low heel and a flat sole. The upper part of the shoe is often made from leather - but there are variations made with other materials like velvet, suede, and even canvas. Loafers will sometimes have decorative details on them - such as tassels, embroidery, or metal hardware. And, they come in a variety of colors and styles to suit any taste. This is part of why they're so versatile.

Loafers are a great shoe choice for men and women alike. They can be worn formally or casually, further adding to their versatility. All this considered, you can start to see why loafers are one of our favorite types of handmade Italian shoes. In fact, our year-end review of the best Italian shoes features some of the finest loafers currently on the market.

Why Is It So Important To Learn How To Wear Loafers?

It's true - loafers are one of the most versatile types of shoes you can have in your closet. There are very few scenarios where loafers are a bad choice. And, there are so many different ways you can style them - man or woman. But nonetheless, learning how to wear loafers is incredibly important. This is because the manner in which you wear them can make or break your entire look. The last thing you want is to miss the mark in your loafer styling and end up looking silly.

To help you avoid underdressing your loafers for a big event, or overdressing them for a casual situation, we're going to provide both casual wear and formal wear tips in just a moment. 

When To Wear Loafers

First things first - let's discuss when you should wear loafers. This will help give context to the rest of our styling advice. These shoes can be worn in both casual and formal settings - which is one reason why they're so versatile. You can wear them at work, on a date, running errands around town, or even to a black-tie event.

In general, you'll want to avoid wearing loafers in extremely wet or muddy conditions - as this can ruin the shoes. Other than that, there is no bad time to wear your loafers. They are universally accepted in all dress codes - the tricky part is styling the rest of your outfit accordingly. You can dress these shoes up for a more professional look, or dress them down for some casual styling. 

Now that we've covered when to wear loafers, it's time to move on and discuss how to wear loafers. Ladies first - allow us to explain how to style loafers for women.

How To Style Loafers For Women: Casual & Formal Wear Advice

Maybe you’re seeking out a casual look you can display at your next brunch with the girls. Or perhaps you want something more formal and professional for your next in-person business meeting or a big date. Whatever the case, we’ve got some style tips for you. 

These tips will apply to all sorts of loafers - including the increasingly popular chunky loafers. With that said, we personally prefer the classic loafer look - so these tips are specifically geared towards that footwear style.

How To Style Loafers For Women: Casual Ideas

One of the simplest (and most popular) ways to style loafers for women is with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. This is an incredibly easy look to put together, and it can be dressed up or down depending on the specific items you choose. For example, if you want a more casual look, you might opt for a pair of ripped jeans and a band tee shirt. 

Or, if you're looking to dress things up a bit, you could choose dark wash straight leg jeans and a silk blouse. The options are endless - but this is always a safe bet when it comes to styling loafers for women.

If you don’t love the way your outfits look when pairing a t-shirt with your loafers, don’t sweat. There are a few other ways you can go about it. Consider pairing your loafers with a baggy sweater, for example. You can’t go wrong with a nice sweater from your favorite designer. Not only will you be comfortable, but you’ll look stunning, too. To pull this look off, stick with a collared sweater. This will help prevent too much contrast that an overly casual sweater may create. For this look, we love matching with mom jeans or any other medium-rise jeans, for that matter.

How To Style Loafers For Women: Formal Ideas

We love wearing loafers casually - but that isn’t always an option, especially if you have a dress code to navigate at work. Fortunately, as long as you have some wiggle room in your dress code, you can still put together some beautiful outfits that would be acceptable in any professional setting.

One great way to style loafers for women is with a dress. This is an ideal look for not just work, but also for nice dinners or any other formal setting. The key is to choose the right dress. You'll want something that falls at or below the knee - and it should have a bit of structure to it. A shift dress or wrap dress are both great choices. As far as what type of loafers to pair with your outfit, you can't go wrong with classic black loafers. But, if you're feeling bold, you could try a pair of colored loafers or patterned loafers.

Additional Loafer Styling Tips For Women

Along with the inspiration above, we have a few more loafer styling tips for women looking to incorporate these shoes into their daily life. When styling loafers for women, remember the following:

  • If you're going for a more preppy look, consider adding a blazer or cardigan to your outfit.
  • If you want to show off your legs, pair your loafers with a skirt or shorts.
  • To make your outfit more fun and interesting, try pairing contrasting colors (like red and green) or mixing and matching patterns.

Now that we've covered how to style loafers for women, let's move on to how to style loafers for men.

How To Style Loafers For Men: Casual & Formal Wear Advice

Just like women, there are lots of different ways for men to style loafers. And whether you're dressing them up or down, the key is always to keep things looking sharp. From business casual at the office to black-tie formal at a wedding - there's a loafer style out there for every occasion.

How To Style Loafers For Men: Casual Ideas

One of the most popular ways to style loafers for men is with a pair of jeans and a button-down shirt. This is an incredibly easy look to put together, and it can be dressed up or down depending on the specific items you choose. 

For example, if you want a more casual look, you might opt for a pair of ripped jeans and a plaid flannel shirt. Or, if you're looking to dress things up a bit, you could choose dark wash straight leg jeans and a white dress shirt. 

If it’s a bit too warm out for jeans, you can pair your loafers with a nice pair of shorts. Some style experts say to avoid this look - as it can come off a bit preppy. Take that into consideration when styling your outfits. If you’re going to go the loafers and shorts route, stick with tailored shorts that fall just above the knee. 

How To Style Loafers For Men: Formal Ideas

Jeans and shorts might not cut it in the workplace, to weddings, or any other formal event. For those situations, we recommend you pair your loafers with a suit - or at least with nice tailored, tapered dress pants. This is an ideal look for work or meetings, church, or any other formal setting. 

The key is to choose the right suit. You'll want something that fits you well - and it should be made from high-quality fabric. As far as what type of loafers to pair with your outfit, you can't go wrong with leather - but for something bolder, consider velvet loafers.

Additional Loafer Styling Tips For Men

When styling loafers for men, there are a few additional tips worth mentioning:

  • Make sure your socks match the rest of your outfit. If you're wearing a suit, choose dress socks in a similar color.
  • If you're going for a more preppy look, consider adding a blazer or cardigan to your outfit. For those extra cold days, you can rock an overcoat. This will add a bit more formality to your look, too.

Final Thoughts On How To Style Loafers For Men and Women Alike

Now that you know how to style loafers for men and women alike, you can start pulling some clothes out of your closet and piecing outfits together. Whether you're wondering how to wear loafers casually or formally, we've shared some of our best tips for you today.

Keep in mind that there are really no bad ways to style loafers as long as you love the way you look. Who knows - you might just set the next trend by trying something new and exciting. No matter how you style your loafers, one thing is for sure - to put your best look on, you need the best loafers. And at Del Toro, that's exactly what you'll find. We have luxury Italian loafers for men and Italian loafers for women too.

With a variety of styles to choose from, your perfect pair is here waiting for you. Treat yourself to the quality footwear you deserve at Del Toro!