Black Loafers Will Never Not Be in Fashion—These Are My All-Time Favourites

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(Image credit: @chiarasatelier)

Loafers have a rich history dating as far back as the 1920s, however, Gucci propelled the flat style into the spotlight with the release of its iconic Horsebit loafer circa the 1950s. It’s since become a distinguishable fashion item, thus maintaining its appeal. Jane Birkin donned its popular styles frequently since the ‘60s and the style implements remain the same—a contrast buckle, barely there heel and supple leather. The Gucci effect is still prevalent today as its inspired a wave of premium and high-street offerings, including The Row and Prada.

As a result, black loafers are available as part of many permanent collections irrespective of the season. It's also evident in many variations including moccasins, penny loafers and chunky lug-sole styles. The gold adornment has become synonymous with loafers but there are offerings that lean towards menswear with a clean cut finish and raised profile.

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(Image credit: @brittanybathgate)

As an enclosed shoe, loafers can transcend many seasons. They also suit many occasions and ensembles. Although they’re synonymous with androgynous styling, they can lend an edgy juxtaposition to skirted and dressy looks (with white socks, for example) and are suitable for workwear and off-duty days alike.

There are many iterations of the classic loafer that exist. Some bear fashion-forward elements, whilst others are heavily influenced by the equestrian style with the iconic metal horsebit detailing While we may be progressing to rounded-toe ballerinas, there’s something timeless and understated about the androgynous style of black loafers, making them well worth the acclaim.

Keep scrolling to see our edit of the best black loafers, from high street to high end. Take our word for it, it’s a piece you won’t regret investing in.

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(Image credit: @lois_la_mode)

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Freelance Fashion Editor

Avalon Afriyie is a freelance writer and storyteller based in London. She specialises in sustainable fashion, health and the narratives of marginalised communities.

She has a background in fashion show production and styling, having previously worked on The Clothes Show and with the Lyst Group. Since graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in English and contemporary media, she’s worked as a feature writer for an independent publication and a contributor for Quill’s creator network. She now marries her passion for words and style, writing for some of the most esteemed fashion and lifestyle publications, Who What Wear UK and Stylist.

Avalon also provides copywriting services, creative consultancy, and visual media for independent businesses, including travel guides, interviews, press releases and blog posts. Her work has been featured on Lush, Contiki, Youswim and Ohne.

She spends her days writing to her heart’s content for business and pleasure, shooting on film and dreaming of residing a stone’s throw away from the ocean with her love and a pup (clad in a sweeping frock, of course). She’s currently penning ideas for a book of personal essays and free verse poetry on love, life and the stages in between.