Loafers with Suits

So your wondering if it's ok to wear loafers with suits? First a tiny bit of loafers background as it relates to mens shoes, it will make the answer to our question a little more relevant. The loafer is simply a lace-less shoe that slips onto the foot. They are frequently referred to as slip-ons and their origination is said to date back to the 1930's with an introduction into Europe by Norwegian trade exports.

Beginning as a casual and more leisure mens shoe the loafer resembled more of a moccasin at it's introduction. However, with the development of finer leather uppers and in some cases quality leather soles, they have become much more formal and are now even appropriate with business suits.

Many men often ask if loafers are appropriate for business attire or plainly put, "are loafers with suits acceptable" and the answer is a definitive yes. There are however a few elements to keep in mind when combining loafers with your business suit. Here's a short list of things to keep in mind, follow these and you'll be pairing loafers with most of your suits in fine fashion.

  • Leather:

To pair with a suit be sure they are constructed of high quality leather and not synthetic leather or casual looking leathers. Fine leather uppers are a must when worn with a business suit

  • Darker is More Formal:

As is typical with most colors, darker is more formal so darker brown mens shoes are more appropriate with a business suit

  • Darker than Your Trousers:

Also typical with most shoe & slack combo's but in this case it is even more paramount that shoe color is distinctly darker than the gentleman's trousers.

  • Wear Socks:

This "should" go unsaid but unfortunately we sometimes have to make sure we're reminding the less observant men. Wearing a business suit is in fact "informal" attire and it is not appropriate to go without socks

  • Shoe Color = Belt Color:

This applies to all mens dress shoes but is worth mentioning here, mens shoes, slip-ons included should match his belt.

  • Keep em Polished:

Another universal shoe law for mens dress shoes but even more important for combining slip-ons with business suits

There you have it, just a half dozen quick points to keep in mind when pairing loafers with suits. If followed, you can absolutely wear them with informal attire.

As this is the case, a leather loafer creates unmatched shoe versatility for the gentleman's wardrobe. Not only can they work with his suits but those same pair of shoes can likely compliment casual dress styles like his business casual or smart casual outfits. This versatility will also extend into jean territory if he wishes to dress up his jeans. Flexibility and the numerous style types (penny, bit, kilted, monk-strap etc.) is likely what makes this shoe so popular as a mens dress shoe or casual shoe.


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