10 Loafer Outfits That Prove You Can Wear This Sleek Shoe With Anything

Leggings? Plaid skirts? It all looks so good.

I remember my first loafers. Well, they weren't mine, exactly — they belonged to my father. Like boat shoes, only with no laces and appropriate for the office. I would ogle as he shined the leather pair with a fresh coat of polish, and glare, enviously, when he'd simply slip them on and be out the door in a matter of seconds — all while I had to fumble with my sneaker laces or the buckles on my Mary Janes. It wouldn't be until later on in life that I'd rock my own loafer outfits, but the appreciation for the stylish slip-on has lasted to this day.

Person wearing an oversized striped sweater with black stirrup leggings and black loafers
Streetstyleshooters/Getty Images

To preface, I was a '90s kid, not a tween or teen, so while my older sisters (both eight and 13 years my senior) wore Rachel Green-inspired platform loafers with their checkered skorts, I was rocking light-up sneakers. But luckily for me, loafers are one of those staple shoes that have stood the test of time for decades. Variations of this classic design continue to rotate in and out of closets, and the chunky flat is back in a big way.

The question is, how can we wear this shoe in a way that feels fresh and modern? To inspire all your future loafer outfits, here's a bit of inspiration I've gathered from Instagram.

As the Ultimate Neutral Shoe

Oftentimes when we call out a trend, we're showcasing something that will serve as your outfit's statement piece. But footwear is rooted in functionality, and loafers are the ultimate basic, neutral shoe. Purchase a brown, black, or beige pair and you'll find you can essentially wear them with any ensemble, no matter the cut of your hem, the color scheme of your overall look, or the level of formality.

With High Socks

Loafers and socks go together like peanut butter and jelly. The combo is reminiscent of the babydoll aesthetic, which might give you flashbacks to elementary school, but hey — it's aged pretty well. An easy way to make this pairing a bit more grown-up is by swapping your lacy ankle socks for knee-highs. A plaid skirt with a bright turtleneck will add some whimsy to the rest of your look, while a quilted coat brings it all together.

With a Blazer

Here's an easy fit that is both professional and casual: an unbuttoned blazer and a pair of loafers, styled with bottoms based on your mood and/or the weather forecast. Making this outfit monochromatic will ensure you look sharp and put together, but choosing shoes in a contrasting color is a quick way to add some interest.

With a Shacket

The fashion industry saw an uptick in shacket sales over the past year or so, as the jacket-flannel hybrid became popular across social media platforms. The outerwear alternative is a pretty lax piece, often worn in place of a traditional button-down and over everything from dresses to athleticwear. Slipping into loafers instead of sneakers will add a fashion-forward element to an otherwise chill aesthetic.

With a Maxi Dress

Minis aren't the only hemlines ready to collaborate with this must-have shoe. Maxis also look great with chunky sole options. However, for the finished product to look fresh, fun, and elevated, we recommend trading socks for tights or skipping legwear altogether, since a ton of slouching fabric might come off frumpy.

With Stirrup Leggings

Victoria Beckham's obsession with stirrup leggings has finally caught on, and the '80s fashion trend is making quite the case for why leggings should be considered pants, especially this season. Strengthening the argument is how good the stretchy bottoms look with a pair of loafers. Simply loop the stirrups underneath the heel, add a button-down or blazer for a tailored fit, and the result is a business-casual ensemble fit for the office, brunch, or grabbing a latte.

With Black Dress Pants

On the list of 'It' items making a comeback, black dress pants are definitely in the top five. Despite being a staple when it comes to work uniforms and formal events, loafers can actually help make this bottom street style appropriate. The addition of your favorite oversized knit will create a cozy winter outfit, and you can ditch the heavy-duty top for a cropped tank in the summer. It's a versatile combo you're bound to see everyone sporting from season to season; models like Bella Hadid and Cindy Bruna are already serving up inspo for your reference.

With a Pair of Baggy Jeans

Baggy jeans have officially dethroned skinnies (though this writer will never give up her skin-tight bottoms), but if you're envisioning mom jeans circa 1990, think again. Roomier denim isn't dowdy, it's trendy, and looser fitting styles clean up nicely. Dressing up your pair will ultimately depend on how you accessorize, so if you're aiming for something that's business-lunch approved, slip into a pair of loafers before sliding on a coordinating belt. Matching these two details will tie everything together seamlessly, so keep that in mind the next time you're in a jam.

As Part of Dark Academia

Feeling moody? Loafers meet Dark Academia standards, so if you're all-in on the romantic aesthetic inspired by intellectual literature and paralleled by gothcore, you might want to invest in a pair. The closet staple will work to complete nearly every variation of these private school looks — think tailored blazers and trousers, plaid skirts and button-downs, trench coats, and accessories reminiscent of school days, such as briefcases and pins.

To Offset a Bulky Coat

You can be comfortable and look stylish, too. For instance, when wearing a bulky, fluffy, or oversized coat, a sleek, slim-fitting shoe — in this case, a loafer — can balance out your look and make it feel less relaxed and pajama-like. Add a pair of skinny jeans or even an LBD to round it all out, and you have yourself an outfit fit for running errands on the fly.

Related Articles