Last week, Put This On ran a q&a post about wearing loafers with a suit. I'm sure many of you have already seen the article, but for those who haven't you can read it here. While I find Put This On to be a very informative website and I agree with everything they say in this post, I feel I compelled to point out one glaring omission. What about tassel loafers?
The only reason I mention it is because the end summary is that one generally shouldn't wear loafers with a suit. Oddly, I almost always wear loafers with a suit. I'm not alone in this, but perhaps it's an East Coast thing. Here in Boston, tassel loafers worn with business suits are a common sighting, or at least they were when there were more men around in suits. It was/is so common in fact, that as a kid, before I knew the proper name for tassel loafers, I called them "lawyer shoes" because I only ever saw them with suits. I see plenty of guys with penny loafers and suits too, but that's a look I can't get with, excepting of course the case of seersucker suits. Tassels and suits go together like khakis and a blazer, at least in Boston. Why else would a thing like the black tassel loafer even exist if not to wear it with a navy blue suit? Then again, we are the same people who not only accept but tend to prefer button down collars with suits, another combination widely avoided almost everywhere else, so take my opinion with the appropriate grain of salt.
Context of course plays a big part. What's acceptable in an office environment here may not be elsewhere and these unwritten rules should be your guide.I tend to prefer the look because I wear my suits purely by choice, and I don;t want to look like I'm going to a board meeting. Often, a slightly less formal shoe is all I need to tone down a navy or grey suit. However, at a wedding or other formal event, I still wear black lace-ups.
Let me close by reminding you that I also like to wear black tassel loafers with my tuxedo, so it's entirely possible I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about anyway.