Who'd have thunk it. The Sloane Ranger's slip-on of choice has escaped its West London stomping ground and made it into the big wide world. The loafer, from Penny to Oxford, is back on the menu. worn without socks, or indeed with Falke's ingenious invisible versions (see below) the loafer is the ultimate in understated summer style. Here are a few of our faves.
1.Gucci's iconic loafers have defined the brand for as long as anyone can remember. Produced in Ostrich skin farmed in South Africa's Cape Province, the moccasins (pictured above) are an updated version of Gucci's classic moccasin, complete with a thick sole and a wheeled welt. And who could ignore the iconic snaffle, which of course explains the £1,240 price tag. Gucci a go-go.
Blue ostrich leather moccasin, £1,240 by Gucci. www.gucci.com
2. Asos' own brand offerings provide great value for money while maintaining a passable level of quality. These classic tassel loafers will have even the sharpest of shoe aficionados (oxymoron?) fooled.
Red leather tassel loafers, £95, by Asos. www.asos.com
3. Understated French brand A.P.C recently opened its first standalone store in London's Mayfair, which is good news for us, as we need these chocolate brown loafers in our lives. The only drawback is the £295 price tag, which is considerably more than A.P.C's usual asking.
Tassel loafers, £295 by A.P.C. www.apc.fr
4. If the thought of forking out a few grand for John Lobb's bespoke service leaves you cold, these beautifully made calf leather loafers could provide a viable solution. A snip at just under £500, a remortgage is just one of many payment plan options.
Turvey neutral Zonta calf loafer, £465 by John Lobb. www.johnlobb.com
5. We're impressed with Kurt Geiger's directional AW 2010 collection. With a competent selection of lace-ups, driving shoes and boots, there are strong looks for all conditions. The selection of loafers stood out farthest, in particular "Hanks", pictured above.
Hanks loafer £195 by Kurt Geiger. www.kurtgeiger.com
6. We never really understood the hoof-esque polygonal toes that defined Oliver Sweeney's collections for so many years. The change of direction toward sleeker shapes and classic forms is welcome.
Peruzzi Brown Tamponato loafer,£285 by Oliver Sweeney. www.oliversweeney.com
7. We can't get enough of Mr Hare. British tailor Marc Hare founded the company back in 2008 and everything he has produced since has been worthy of very high praise indeed. The tasseled "Genet" loafers from the AW 2010 "Miss Your Air" collection bring to mind the louchest of lounge lizards, which we're sure is what Mr Hare had in mind.
Genet loafer, £410 by Mr Hare www.mrhare.co.uk
8. For solid shapes, superior craftsmanship and excellent materials look no further than British staple Paul Smith. The Marcello loafer features a rounded toe and truncated heel, adding a contemporary twist to a classic shape.
Marcello loafer, £309 by Paul Smith www.paulsmith.co.uk
9.Certainly not to everyone's taste, Rolando Sturlini is best known for his bright riviera-inspired loafers. Super soft and good value for money, they're worth a look, but If turquoise suede feels a little too left-field, try the navy leather version in the same shape.
Navy Pitt Tassel Shoes, £145 by Rolando Sturlini. www.liberty.co.uk
10. If wearing shoes with sockless feet causes as many cold sweats for you as it does for us, try Falke's invisible socks, which sit just below the rim of the shoe, and they're non-slip so you won't even know that they're there. www.falke.com