From penny to patent, colourful to chunky, these are the flats to embrace in 2022
Words by Alice Howarth
You probably haven't failed to notice that loafers are everywhere right now. Previously the footwear of choice for the preppy elite, the classic shoe has been reimagined in recent seasons and updated in a multitude of colours, finishes and materials. And, with the rising popularity of flats, this genderless style’s reprisal isn’t wholly surprising. They offer the comfort we’ve come to demand over the last two years yet they're smart enough to wear to the office or on a dinner date too.
A storied history, it’s claimed loafers were first worn by Norwegian fishermen in the 1930s under the guise ‘Weejun’ but the style’s popularity boomed in the 1970s when fashion houses like Gucci and Tod's brought the classic shoe into the fashion discourse.
"The loafer is the best expression of a classic, yet stylish attitude. This is the reason why the loafer is an icon in Tod’s collections, mixed with different pieces of a wardrobe, it plays many roles in a final look," says Walter Chiapponi, the creative director of Tod's.
Indeed, the loafer is a true trans-seasonal shoe that can be styled in a multitude of ways. "I like when they are matched with a very feminine look, like shift dresses, or a sporty piece, like nylon windbreakers, to twist the classic elegance into something new," says Chiapponi.
During autumn and winter, you can wear them with socks and tailored trousers or tights and a mini shift dress; come spring and summer, you can wear them with maxi dresses, tailored shorts or bare legs and mini skirts. The possibilities are endless.
If you are looking to invest in a pair of loafers that you’ll be able to wear for years to come, you’ve arrived in the right place. Below, we bring you the Bazaar edit of the best loafers for 2022. From penny loafers to patent; mules to chunky and embellished, there’s a pair for you, whatever your style.
The loafers to end all loafers, these crystal-embellished beauties by Prada are our footwear of choice for festival season (paired with denim shorts and an organza tuck-in shirt) as well as wedding season (think tailored power suits).