The image of fashion editors strutting around in sky-high stilettos stems from celluloid caricatures. But really, the best loafers for women are far more realistic. We blame Patsy Stone, Miranda Priestly and Wilhelmina Slater for perpetuating the myth that the fashion pack relies on sunglasses and a supercilious attitude. While we love a pair of vertiginous heels if we’re going ‘out out’, and sandals are definitely warm weather favourite, the style set still remain absolutely smitten for flat shoes and loafers. Day-to-day, alongside fashion trainers and ballet flats, you’ll struggle to find a style the industry wears more.
Gucci’s loafers were a staple accessory during their 1970s heyday, and are synonymous with the House to this day. Worn sans socks, they can be louche or preppy and their gender-free mood makes them a hit with men and women. They came back with a bang when Alessandro Michele was creative director back in 2015, and are set to stay at the helm of the brand now Sabato De Sarno has taken over. There have been slip-on versions, backless silhouettes, stack-heel iterations, logo-adorned lurex, raffia and a rainbow of leather shades when it comes to Gucci’s line-up of loafers, but they’re not the be-all and end-all.
Chunky loafers and thicker soled styles were what everyone wore in the mid-’90s, and with fashion’s current retro obsession, they’re all the rage now too. Designers like Prada, Alexander McQueen and GANNI have been leading the pack, but the high-street has followed suit with clunky offerings like this tassel-trimmed pair from Vagabond and these butter yellow beauties from Itzy x Charles & Keith. As for how to wear them? Exactly as the influencers do: with white socks, mini skirts and blazers.
Of course a dark or black loafer will work particularly well in autumn/winter, but the best loafers for women are also ones that’ll serve you all year round – read: when you’re not feeling a sandal and need a shoe more serious than an espadrille. Look to Russell & Bromley, & Other Stories and Tophop to see exactly what we mean. Bonus point: their moccasin-influenced shape makes them as comfy as slippers, just don’t tell Miranda Priestly.
For more from GLAMOUR UK’s Fashion Director At Large Alex Fullerton, follow her on Instagram @alexandrafullerton. For more from GLAMOUR UK’s Commerce Writer Georgia Trodd, follow her on Instagram @georgiatrodd.