Contemporary tassel loafers by Zonkey Boot
What is your opinion on tassel loafers: East coast prep American or leftist-lobbyist?
You may remember an aide of President Reagan describing Bush-pedigreed folk as “those tasseled-loafer guys who always cry foul when they lose”.
Frankly, I used to despise tassel loafers until one too many Pitti poses on my Tumblr dash got the better of me.
Now I own a pair, just to belong. Peer pressure, dude.
Classical tassel loafers by Cobbler Union
Hi again Dirnelli,
I’m the one buzzing around about tassel loafers.
May I ask why you used to despise tassels? I don’t mean to be intrusive, but your advice is always worth reading.
A lovely suede version by J.Fitzpatrick Footwear
Gaziano and Girling’s take on the suede tassel loafer
Tassel loafers remind me of former prep school days in New England. Yes, the shoes were for WASPy young Republicans back then, and I would not have been caught dead wearing them before the age of 40.
But now that I’m fortysomething, my fortysomething buddies and I are suddenly crazy for tassel loafers. It’s as if you must pass a certain age in order to overcome a certain stigma attached to wearing tassels.
Add to this point the fact that tassel loafers are fashionable again in a completely different context — worn at Pitti by young guys who look really good in them — and all of your prejudices about wearing tassel loafers just fly out the window.
A very interesting (and innovative) model by Riccardo Freccia Bestetti
An elegant suede version by Enzo Bonafè
I may grow completely sick of the shoes in a season or two and if you ask me the same question later, I may answer: Tassel loafers?…so 2015! Or I may adopt the shoes for the rest of my years. It’s too early to say.
But more importantly, your question raises a crucial issue: what is the impetus that causes us to reconsider wearing a once “uncool” menswear staple? That’s the debate at the core of menswear today.
We’ve exhausted so many obvious options in menswear that we are now falling back on dark and abandoned corners of the menswear universe.
Take gun club tweed checks for example, which have been out of style for years (and in my opinion rightly so, as you need to be at least 60 years old to wear gun club checks).
But like tassels, young kids are wearing the gun club pattern as if it’s the newest game in town. Yet, every time I wear something in that vein, my wife stops me and asks: “How can you wear that grandfather jacket”? I must admit that I see her point, even as I try to argue that these old checks are back in style.
The wheel of menswear just keeps on turning, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Just hang onto any piece of menswear long enough and it’s either in style, out of style or back in style again, as the cycle repeats itself as it has for more than 100 years.
Young kids have to stop imagining that any of this stuff is actually new because, in menswear, there is only revival and rarely innovation.
That’s okay, I’m cool with it. Now excuse me while I go grab that houndstooth Norfolk jacket…
All the Best,