11 Different Types of Loafers For Women
The Many Iterations of This Classic Shoe
While shoes may be a necessary requirement to walking out the door and beginning your day, there is something uniquely satisfying about a slip-on-and-go option that is polished, chic, and pulls your whole look together: this is the beauty of the loafer. Though first noted historically in the 1800s as a British country house staple for the Royal Family, it was in the 1930s that the style was adopted by Norwegian dairy farmers as one for the masses and started being marketed as an option for both men and women.
Over the years, more iterations have become available to match the latest trends, but the primary construction has remained much the same. Slip-on styling, a pronounced vamp (the strip of material that runs along the top of the shoe), and a low-profile silhouette have kept the loafer a perennial classic. If you’ve yet to add one to your collection, it may be time to try them on for size.
#1 THE PENNY
The preppy style introduced in the 1930s by Maine shoemaker G. H. Bass, the Penny Loafer, typically constructed from leather or suede, has the distinct addition of a horizontal strip across the vamp with a slit meant to hold pennies - for good luck or to make an emergency call. Affectionately referred to as “Weejuns,” after the Norwegians who inspired them, this loafer style pairs well with khakis and blazers.
#2 THE SLIPPER
The style closest to the originally co-opted iteration, the Slipper loafer, is the most minimal. With the ability to go from casual to black tie, these shape-shifters can be found constructed from luxe velvets, textured leathers, and suedes, with added details such as contrast piping or embroidery. The moccasin-style construction makes slipper loafers incredibly flexible and comfortable, allowing them to be worn as part of your casual outfit ensemble.
#3 THE TASSEL
Mimicking the look of tied shoelaces, the Tassel Loafer, introduced in 1957 by Brooks Brothers, often comes in leather or suede and has a tassel at the center vamp. Giving the slim style some added visual interest, it is said that these started as a bespoke model for actor Paul Lukas. Extremely versatile, Tasseled Loafers can be easily dressed up or as worn casually on the occasion.
#4 THE FRINGE
Fringe Loafers, or Kilties, mimic Scottish kilts and feature leather fringe along the vamp. Typically done in polished leather, this style burst onto the scene in the 1950s and comes in straightforward iterations as well as combined with both Brogue details and the traditional Penny Loafer styling. The Fringe is a fun, eclectic way to dress up a casual look.
#5 THE BOAT
Boat, or Deck, shoes are an all-terrain loafer style introduced for sea-faring activities but equally useful to complete casual looks. Constructed with a thicker rubber sole, they are typically cut from leather and have top-stitching around the vamp. A prime example of a shoe that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, boat loafers are a great option for warmer months.
#6 THE HORSE-BIT
Introduced in 1953 by Aldo Gucci, the Horsebit loafer further plays off the Penny by adding a bold metallic horsebit across the vamp. Coming in many different fabrications (leather, suede, stamped velvet, painted - the list goes on), this loafer shoe style is a designer classic that anyone in-the-know will immediately recognize.
#7 THE PUMP
Taking the silhouette of a classic loafer and adding a low-cut heel, the Pump Loafer elevates the style in a way that can just as easily be paired with your favorite denim as with a formal dress. With the addition of eye-catching details - think covered buttons or contrast piping - these heeled versions are a delightfully feminine take on what is typically a unisex shoe. The Pump is a wardrobe must-have for elevating looks and gaining a bit of height without sacrificing comfort.
MEET THE FIONA
Mavette’s take on the loafer is embodied by the Fiona Collection, handmade in Italy. With four different iterations, the Fiona plays with the classic styling of a loafer through both contrast and tonal piping, smooth vamps, and leather construction and gives each an eye-catching, feminine spin that is as wearable as it is stunning. With so many options to choose from, it’s nearly impossible to pick just one. It’s time you meet Fiona.
#8 FIONA LOAFER
Our take on the Pump, the Fiona Loafer has a sturdy 2” block heel and a cushioned insole that molds to your foot. Cut from supple and sustainable Italian leather, it is available in six colorways: ivory with black contrast piping, black with ivory contrast piping, black on black patent, embossed brown croc with tonal piping, navy with tonal piping, and tan with contrast magenta piping. These loafers look just as good in the office as they do when you are casually off-duty.
#9 FIONA FLAT
Most similar to the Slipper, the Fiona Flat has a low profile and smooth, uninterrupted vamp. Cut from leather, it is available in ivory with black contrast piping, textured black with tonal piping, and metallic silver with tonal piping. This style offers a chic pointed toe and a fully padded insole, making it an easy choice for workday or weekend.
#10 FIONA KITTEN MULE
The Fiona Kitten Mule takes the practicality of a Slipper and gives it a backless silhouette and a kitten heel. The 2” heel gives just enough lift to elevate your look but is comfortable enough to be worn from day to night thanks to a fully cushioned insole. Available in both ivory with tonal piping and lavender, these are the perfect pair to pull once Spring comes around.
#11 FIONA BOOT
Taking the classic stylings of the Fiona at-large - elegant lines and piping, smooth Italian calfskin - the Fiona Boot gives a bit more coverage for when it is too cold to wear a proper loafer or if your look needs a little edge. With a 2.5” heel and two colorways to choose from, black with ivory piping and ivory with black piping, it is an instant classic that you will find yourself reaching for year after year.
If you are new to exploring women’s Italian loafers and are ready to add the style to your wardrobe, we are here to help. The supple leather and Italian craftsmanship of Mavette’s Fiona Collection means that, whichever you pick, these shoes will be with you for seasons to come. Whether you are looking for a straightforward classic, like the Fiona Flat, something you can wear to the office, like the Fiona Loafer, or something that splits the difference, like the Fiona Mule or Boot, you cannot go wrong with this collection.
Want to make sure these are considered loafers? If not, I suggest we move these since they are off-topic. If they are, then we can keep it.
Shop the Fiona Today.