How to wear loafers in the winter

Don’t put your Samuel Windsor loafers away when the temperature drops

Don’t put your loafers away when the temperature drops
Image: Samuel Windsor

With an average winter temperature of at least 60°F, lucky Floridians benefit from a climate that’s better suited to a pair of loafers than tough winter boots. But could you wear loafers in wintertime Minnesota or Maine where the mercury dips below 20°F, and ice and snow abound?

We say yes. Which doesn’t mean your rugged winter boots won’t see plenty of use but, if you play it right, there’s no need to dress like a Yeti – at least not all the time. With these simple tips you’ll soon be swapping boring winter boots for dapper loafers.

Wearing loafers in winter

Classic Kempton loafers from Samuel Windsor

Loafers are a snappy alternative to lace-up shoes
Image: Classic Kempton loafers from Samuel Windsor

If you live in, or are visiting, the warmer southern states – you can easily wear leather loafers along with a pair of snazzy socks. You just need to make sure you balance them out with streamlined and elegant outerwear – a bulky midwinter overcoat will make your feet look unnaturally small.

So what should you wear with your loafers in the winter? Go for thin layers – a t-shirt, warm cotton tattersall shirt, sweater and quilted jacket will keep you warm on chilly winter days. Add a scarf, flat cap, gloves and moleskin pants for a little European flair.

Do you live in cooler climes? Go for an overcoat that’s more form-fitting. A slimline peacoat looks great – or go for a smart covert coat in 100% wool. Either will keep you warm without the bulk, and your loafers won’t look out of place.

Wear loafers even when it’s snowing

Classic Penny Loafers in black suede from Samuel Windsor

Swap wet winter boots for smart loafers once you get to work
Image: Classic Penny Loafers in black suede from Samuel Windsor

You wouldn’t want to slither on the ice or risk frostbite just to look good, but before discounting loafers for winter wear, remember where these shoes come from. Also called “Weejuns”, loafers were the favored footwear of Norwegian fishermen – and yes it does get pretty cold in the wintertime fjords.

Even when it really is too cold, wet, or snowy to wear your loafers outdoors, that doesn’t mean they should stay locked in your closet until spring. Carry your loafers to the office in a tasteful men’s shoebag, or leave them under your desk – that’s a great way to wear your suede loafers without ever risking ruining the nap with water stains.

Loafer colors for winter

Classic Kempton Shoe in oxblood burgundy leather

Burgundy is a stylish twist on classic black.
Image: Classic Kempton Shoe in oxblood leather

Think black and brown shoes are boring? Think again. Brown and black are both super versatile, and their neutrality means you can pair them with all sorts of outfits. Going for black or brown is also a practical choice, as they’ll hide the winter dirt your shoes will inevitably collect.

If you’re wearing loafers for a night out, try bending the rules slightly and teaming brown loafers with black pants. It’s a great casual look because the darker shade of the pants makes the brown more vibrant. If you want to make a statement with a more snazzy color, try burgundy.

Can I wear socks with loafers?

Use your socks and loafers as a style statement

Use your socks as a style statement
Image: Joe Belanger

Fashion aficionados will tell you that socks and loafers just don’t go. But this is hardly practical when it’s chilly outside. So can you wear socks with loafers?

In simple terms, the answer is yes. But it’s important to pick the right socks.

Because loafers have such a low profile, you can really show off some color and style. Go for a wintery pattern to make a fun statement that brightens up dark days.

Make sure your loafers fit

Leather loafers from Samuel Windsor are made to slip on – not off

Loafers are made to slip on – not off
Image: loafers from Samuel Windsor

Whilst loafers are designed as a slip on shoe, it doesn’t mean they should slip off – getting the right fit is important. This is particularly important in the winter. Chilly feet don’t need the extra pain of a poorly fitting shoe, but if you’re wearing thick socks, you might want to rethink your shoe size.

Measure your feet wearing the kind of socks you intend to wear with your loafers. And remember, in cold weather, blood circulation to your toes is often the first to go. You don’t want to squash those digits or you’ll make the problem worse, increasing the risk of circulatory problems like chilblains.

Wearing loafers during the winter takes a little extra thought, but it’s perfectly doable – why wait for spring when you can wear these wonderfully stylish shoes all year?

Posted in Men's Shoes.

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