First emerging in the 60۪s as a shoe to help rakish Italians handle their performance cars with more ease, all while still remaining stylish enough to drink Negronis and chase belle ragazze in, the driving loafer is identifiable by it۪s soft, moccasin-like construction and classic nubbed rubber sole. These days it۪s become a stylish casual staple for everyone from, well, Italians, to the likes of well-dressed men everywhere.
The great thing about this suave import is that it blends equal parts casual and refined for a great balance. It۪s a nice sweet spot to aim for when you۪re looking for a shoe that۪s going to add some polish to your more casual vibes without adding the over-formality of a more standard dress shoe. That being said, you۪ve still got to observe some rules of the road if you۪re going to wear driving loafers the right way.
The Right Occasion
As you can probably guess, this one isn۪t made for formal occasions; the driving loafer is a shoe for leisure and is best worn at times when there۪s a more relaxed vibe. We don۪t recommend them for formal events like a wedding or a big meeting, and they۪re better suited to daytime wear, vacations, relaxed office environments, and nights out that call for a little refinement and style.
Dress For Success
Since you۪ll be wearing them in relaxed settings, these loafers demand a complementary type of style. The driving loafer is best worn with casual looks like denim, chinos, and shorts. This isn۪t the shoe to pair with a suit unless it۪s of the summer cotton variety and dressed way down for a possible beach wedding scenario.
Skip The Socks
In keeping with their nature, the driving loafer is best suited to be worn without socks or with loafer liners. There۪s something about the sun and wind hitting your ankles as your casual style is elevated with this warm-weather essential. A cold beverage (with or without an umbrella) is probably a good call too.
Mind the Hem
Since we۪re wearing these bad boys with no socks, you۪ll want to make sure your hem is kept in check as well. The driving loafer demands a bit of ankle and any pants that are too long will be made to look extra sloppy with a shoe of this style. Try no break or a bit of cuff for the right amount but take heed, there is such a thing as too much ankle.