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Discover the world of loafers for women and learn how to effortlessly style them. Dive into the slow fashion perspective of Black Tulip, emphasising ethical sourcing and a carefully curated approach to fashion.

Loafers have always been a staple in women's footwear, blending comfort and style with their classic yet contemporary appeal. From menswear-inspired designs to chic and feminine options, loafers offer endless possibilities for creating sophisticated and effortless looks. In this article, we will explore the various types of loafers, provide styling inspiration, and delve into the slow fashion perspective from Black Tulip, where ethical sourcing and a thoughtful approach to fashion take centre stage.


  • Loafers originate from Norway, and gained success in the 1930s after catching the attention of American tourists.
  • Today, they are a versatile wardrobe essential, that are crafted for men and women, and are worn in and out of the office.
  • You can choose to wear penny loafers, which are the classic and timeless loafer design, often adorned with a metal embellishment.
  • Chunky loafers are a modern and edgy take on the classic shoe.
  • Black Tulip founded the Slow Roast Movement to unite like-minded individuals who share a love of seasonless styles and wish to purchase fashion pieces in a more responsible manner.
  • We have created our own loafers using ethical materials that will stand the tests of time.

Understanding Loafers: A versatile footwear essential

What are Loafers?

Loafers have an interesting origin rooted in the early 20th century. Their story began in Norway, where a type of slip-on shoe called the "Aurland moccasin" was popular among Norwegian farmers and fishermen. These moccasins were known for their simple, comfortable design and durable construction.

In the 1930s, the Aurland moccasin caught the attention of American tourists visiting Norway. These tourists were so enamoured with the practicality and comfort of the shoes that they brought them back to the United States. The Aurland moccasins soon gained popularity among Americans, particularly in the Ivy League universities and prep schools.

To cater to the growing demand, American shoe manufacturers started producing their own versions of the Norwegian moccasins. One of the most prominent brands to do so was the Maine-based company G.H. Bass & Co., which introduced the iconic penny loafer in the 1930s. The name "penny loafer" originated from the practice of students inserting a penny into the shoe's saddle strap as a fashion statement. Men’s loafers were a huge hit with the American audience.

what are loafers

Loafers gained further recognition and popularity in the 1950s and 1960s when they became associated with leisure and casual elegance. They were favoured by prominent figures such as Hollywood actors, musicians, and style icons, cementing their status as a fashionable and versatile shoe choice.

Over the years, loafers have undergone various design adaptations, incorporating different materials, embellishments, and heel heights. Today, they have become a timeless footwear option for both men and women, seamlessly blending classic sophistication with contemporary style.

What makes loafers different from other shoes?

What sets loafers apart from other shoes? They are distinguished by their slip-on design and lack of laces or fastenings. Unlike traditional lace-up shoes, loafers provide a convenient and effortless way to wear footwear. Here are a few design features that set them apart from other shoes:

  • Slip-on design: Loafers are designed to be slipped on and off without the need for laces or buckles. This feature adds convenience and saves time when putting on or taking off the shoes.
  • Low profile: Loafers typically have a low-profile silhouette, which means they sit closer to the foot compared to bulkier shoe styles. This sleek and streamlined design gives loafers a more refined and elegant look. They allow you to show a hint of skin or the socks of your choice.
  • Comfortable fit: Are loafers really comfortable? When the right size is chosen, they are! Loafers are actually known for their comfortable fit. They often feature a wider toe box, allowing the toes to move freely and providing ample room for comfort. The absence of laces or closures contributes to a relaxed and snug fit.
  • Versatility:Loafers are highly versatile and can be worn with various outfits and styles. They can be dressed up or down, making them suitable for both formal and casual occasions. Loafers can effortlessly transition from office wear to weekend outings, offering a versatile shoe option for different outfits.

Exploring loafer variations: From Chunky to Penny

The main difference between chunky loafers and penny loafers lies in their design and aesthetic. Chunky loafers, as the name suggests, have a bulkier and more substantial look. They often feature a thicker sole, a larger heel, and a wider silhouette, giving them a bold and statement-making appearance. Women’s chunky loafers are known for their edgier and more contemporary style, adding a touch of modernity to any outfit.

On the other hand, penny loafers have a more classic and timeless design. They typically have a sleeker profile with a low heel and a slim silhouette. Penny loafers are characterised by a decorative leather strap across the instep, often adorned with a small metal slot or "penny" as a traditional detail. This iconic feature gives penny loafers a refined and sophisticated look, making them a versatile choice for both formal and casual occasions.<

Styling tips: Effortlessly chic looks with loafers

What should I wear loafers for?

Women’s Loafers are the epitome of modern versatility, providing endless styling options for every occasion. From boardroom meetings to weekend brunches, these shoes effortlessly blend style and comfort. Elevate your professional look by pairing sleek leather loafers with tailored trousers or a chic midi skirt. For a trendy streetwear vibe, team chunky loafers with high-waisted jeans and an oversized graphic tee. Opt for suede loafers and flowy dresses for a bohemian-inspired ensemble, or rock heeled loafers with cropped pants and a blazer for a fashion-forward office look.

Loafers also make the perfect travel companion, offering easy slip-on-and-off convenience during security checks and long flights. With their modern appeal and endless outfit possibilities, loafers are the go-to footwear choice for the contemporary woman who values style, comfort, and versatility.

What should I wear loafers for?

Are loafers professional shoes?

Loafers can absolutely be considered professional shoes, as they exude a sophisticated and polished vibe. Their sleek and refined design, often crafted from high-quality materials like leather, adds an elegant touch to any professional ensemble.

Loafers offer a stylish alternative to traditional dress shoes, allowing you to maintain a professional appearance while incorporating a hint of contemporary style. Pair them with tailored trousers, a crisp blouse, and a blazer for a sleek and professional look that will take you from the office to after-work events with ease.

The slow fashion perspective: Ethical sourcing and mindful choices

Ethical sourcing and craftsmanship are integral to the creation of loafers, and Black Tulip's commitment to the slow roast movement aligns with the principles of slow fashion, setting them apart from the fast fashion movement. Pioneered by Black Tulip, the slow roast movement embodies the essence of slow fashion. It signifies taking the time to create thoughtfully designed and well-crafted pieces, ensuring that they are shared with the world only when they are truly ready. By embracing the slow roast movement, Black Tulip aims to counter the fast fashion industry's emphasis on rapid production and disposable trends, fostering a deeper appreciation for quality, longevity, and conscious consumption.

In contrast, the fast fashion movement is characterised by mass production, rapid turnover of trends, and often unethical labour and environmental practices. Fast fashion brands prioritise quick and inexpensive manufacturing processes, resulting in a significant negative impact on both people and the planet. However, the slow fashion movement, exemplified by Black Tulip and the slow roast movement, promotes sustainability, ethical practices, and a more mindful approach to fashion by creating seasonless styles using ethical ingredients to concoct unique styles.

By choosing Black Tulip's loafers and supporting the slow roast movement, you are not only investing in stylish and high-quality footwear, but also contributing to the advancement of slow fashion values, ethical sourcing, and craftsmanship. It is a conscious decision to align your fashion choices with a movement that strives for a more sustainable and responsible industry, setting a positive example for the future of fashion.

Loafers for women combine timeless style with comfort, offering a versatile footwear option for every occasion. By understanding the different types of loafers and experimenting with various styling approaches, you can create effortlessly chic looks that reflect your personal style. Embracing the slow fashion perspective, prioritising ethical sourcing and mindful choices, allows you to make a positive impact on the fashion industry. So slip into a pair of loafers, step out with confidence, and join the movement towards a more sustainable and stylish future.