2. a leather shoe shaped like a moccasin, with a low flat heel.
FROM IVY TO 1960s PARIS
Sneakers firmly have their place in our world, and whilst they're incredibly comfortable and some look cool as shit, style wise they have their limits. At this time of year, I'm a firm advocate of shoes that don’t require laces. Psychologically, it represents a shift in mindset. The cold rainy days are over, and so the boots can go into semi retirement. I can embrace the simple lazy life with days spent laying in parks or eating out in the sunshine, so the footwear has to match this energy.
Loafers have been for the loafers amongst us since their inception. The Ivy days of yore spring to mind, with young college students strutting around campus in khakis and white socks. Though the cooler alternative lay across the Atlantic, with young Parisians hanging outside the Champ-Elysées Drugstore wearing loafers bare ankled and listening to the latest British pop music.
Thanks to their easy and unassuming appearance, no one dares to turn away someone who comes in wearing loafers. When worn with things like fatigues and denim, they can elevate a look ever so slightly and so are the staple of my casual wardrobe. And whilst all leather shoes have some kind of break in period, once it hits, loafers not only look even better, but they can be surprisingly comfortable. Some of mine are weirdly softer than my All Stars. But if that’s not enough, you could always sneak in an insole from one of your older pairs of sneakers.
DEALING WITH HOT WEATHER
Sometimes though, things get too hot for even loafers. I was once told (by someone I had only just met) that my feet look like they’ve been through several wars. Since then I’ve sidestepped flip flops, slides, even Birkenstock I’m sad to admit. But with that being said, I do admire Fisherman style sandals. They’re like leather shoes that have been stripped down to a skeletal form and succeed in hiding most of the feet yet still keep things cool. On the other side are canvas espadrilles and woven leather shoes such as Huaraches, both solid choices which have been popular with jet setters for years.
LET IT SLIP
For the true slackers amongst us, we finally have slippers. Not the kind you’d wear at home, but low vamped, light, soft shoes that might remind you of 1970’s Jet Setters in the Riviera or mid century artists at home. The Moroccan raffia slippers are a perfect example of a shoe that is elegant, yet so laid back. I’m a fan of wearing them with loose linen trousers and band collar shirts . I look like I should be in some small village out in the Mediterranean picking fresh oranges, when in reality I’m just grabbing coffee from across the street surrounded by the smell of hot garbage.
It’d be criminal to not also talk about the inappropriately louche (I hate using that word these days, but there's no other way to describe it) Venetian slipper. A velvet slipper that carries a lot less pretentious than traditional ones, I was at first skeptical when a friend introduced me to them in Florence. They looked a little too much like actual house slippers. He however went ahead, picked up a pair in navy and went on to wear them non stop throughout the entire season; going from a dark brown linen suit, to shorts and a Breton stripe when chilling by the sea. The Venetian takes comfort to a whole new level, and they need a bit of audacity to pull off, but the payoff is worth it.
IN AND OUT
On one final note, once some of these shoes look a little tired out, no need to throw them out. They can find a great new life as shoes to wear at home when laying around or for doing light yard work. We’ve only got one planet, so it’s always good to do your part. No one in the house will care about your big toe peeking out of an old espadrille.