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Loafers vs Slippers: What Are The Differences?

June 03, 2022

When it comes to choosing your Italian footwear, you will have two main options: loafers vs slippers. What are the differences between these two types of shoes? And, which is right for you? In this article, we’ll answer both these questions and many more you may have on this topic.

While both of these footwear choices are classic and stylish, they have some striking differences. As you'll soon discover, certain situations call for loafers - while slippers are the right choice in other scenarios. Your desired look will also dictate which style you should choose. But ultimately, you can wear loafers in place of velvet slippers, and vice versa. They’re both stunning choices for formal occasions and casual settings alike. It just comes down to how you style them.

Let's start by explaining what exactly each style is. Then, we'll compare and contrast them to help you make the right pick. And no matter which style you end up choosing, we'll explain where you can find the best of each style online!

What Are Italian Loafers?

Loafers are a type of shoe that slips on and off easily. They have no laces or buckles and often feature tassels or metal details. Loafers can be made from a variety of materials, including leather, suede, and fabric. They’re a great choice for a number of scenarios - from fancy dinner dates to the boardroom, weddings, and really anywhere you want to look your best.

While they may have some slight differences, Italian loafers for women and Italian loafers for men are almost indistinguishable from each other. No matter your gender, you can put together some stunning looks with loafers. This is why we love them - they’re so versatile. But as you’ll soon discover, they aren’t the only type of footwear that can do it all. Let’s talk about velvet slippers.

What Are Velvet Slippers?

When you first hear the term "slipper" you may picture something you lounge around your house in pajamas with. And this is true - there are house slippers that are meant to be worn indoors traditionally. 

These days, though, there are velvet slippers that are designed to be worn out of the house. In fact, a pair of luxury velvet slippers can be the statement piece that ties your entire outfit together. 

These are incredibly classy and stylish when worn correctly. They work great in formal scenarios such as weddings, or really any occasion where you want to step out looking your best. And like loafers, you can wear them casually too - you’ll just have to carefully plan out the rest of your outfit. There are both mens velvet slippers and velvet slippers for women - but the styles resemble each other very closely. They’re a great gender-neutral shoe.

Loafers vs Slippers: What Are The Main Differences?

Now that we know the basics about loafers vs slippers, let's compare them! There are really only a few noteworthy differences. Of course, the shoes themselves look a bit different. They use varying materials and are to be styled differently.

Materials Used

While the untrained eye may not distinguish the difference right away, most people can see striking visual differences between slippers and loafers. That mainly comes down to the materials used. Slippers are made with a softer material, like felt or velvet. They also may have embellishments, like tassels or fur. They typically have a sleeker profile than loafers, which can look a bit boxier.

Loafers, on the other hand, have a more classic look. They're usually made of leather or suede. 

Comfort Level

Both our loafers and slippers are incredibly comfortable for all-day wear. However, it’s true that our slippers are a bit more comfortable. Frankly, they just look more comfortable, too! Their loungey look is part of what draws so many to take a chance on them in the first place. While this isn’t true of all loafers (especially not Del Toro loafers), historically, penny loafers have been regarded as difficult to break in and a bit less comfortable than their slipper counterpart.

Styling Tips 

When it comes to loafers vs slippers, how you style them is also quite different. 

One of the reasons men and women alike love loafers is how versatile they are. In fact, they're often seen as a more stylish, classy alternative to sneakers. You can dress them up or down with ease depending on your intended look. For a casual look, they can be worn with a nice pair of jeans and a button-up shirt or sweater. To dress loafers up, pair them with your favorite suit or at least a nice, tapered pair of dress pants. 

Velvet slippers, on the other hand, are a bit tougher to wear casually. They look best when paired with a suit or at least a pair of dress pants. Women can rock their slippers with a nice dress or skirt. However, we must admit that we have seen some pretty stunning casual looks - paired with a nice shirt and denim. It’s all in how you wear it - so just be sure to step out in confidence!

We recently wrote a complete guide on how to style loafers for women and men alike if you’re interested in learning more. And if you are interested in learning more about how to wear smoking slippers in style, we have a resource on that as well! Regardless of which shoe you choose, we’ll help you look your best as you step out in them.

Loafers vs Velvet Slippers: The Verdict

So, should you go with a pair of loafers or velvet slippers? Despite a few important differences, these styles are actually pretty similar - they can be worn in the same types of settings, and with the same types of outfits. They both can be slipped on and feature no laces or buckles. They both feature a raised heel. And, when styled correctly, they both look absolutely stunning.

Thus, it will mostly come down to personal preference. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Which type of shoe do you envision yourself wearing more frequently? 
  • Which shoe catches your eye and captivates you more?

Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with either of these - especially when you buy handcrafted Italian shoes online at Del Toro. Both our velvet slippers and Italian loafers are remarkable choices for any event or occasion. With styles for men and women alike, you can head over to the site and treat yourself to the footwear you deserve.