Tassel Loafers – good or bad?

Tassel Loafers – like them or not?


I’ve always thought tassel loafers were….”uncool”. Old-fashioned. Even 35 years ago my classmates were wearing tassel loafers and I remember thinking they were old-fashioned, questioning the wearers’ dress sense (while I never questioned my own “man-pouch” I was always carrying…is it a wash-bag? What is it, what’s in it?)

As far as I was concerned, a tassel was an household item, like you buy a cushion with tassels in 4 corners…for your grandma.


Tassels I thought were quite feminine. A leather tassel can come with a purse, attached to the zipper so that a woman can pull open her purse easily. Not on a man’s shoe, these two little things are like a pigtails haircut. A man with pigtails. Ponytail rocker with a rider-jacket, e.g. Francis Rossi – cool. Imagine Mr. Rossi with pigtails…that would be something else.


History of Tassel Loafers

According to Wikipedia, tasseled loafer shoes emerged in the 1950s and gradually accepted by the American East Coast prep school culture, worn with suits and gained an association with business and legal classes.


Also an article can be found written by Neil A. Lewis in New York Times back in 1993;

The article confirms that tassel loafers were invented in the States –

During the election period back in 1980’s, one of Ronald Reagan’s aides called George Bush Sr a “private-school pedigree with tasseled loafers”, then later on Bush Sr himself slagged Bill Clinton off by saying Clinton was “supported by every lawyer with those tasseled loafers”

So tassel loafers were described as shoes worn by posh middle class boys. Basically “classy”. I think I’m beginning to understand the status & beauty of tassel loafers. Just like I never used to really understand a cricket uniform but now I can see its classiness.

The NY Times article goes on to describe how tassel loafers were invented. The Alden Shoe Company in Massachusetts used “tassels as ornaments on a moccasin-style shoe. The earliest tasseled loafers were two-toned (usually with white top panels), and they were originally popular in Hollywood. The classic style was first produced in 1952. In 1957, Brooks Brothers added a version of Alden’s shoe to its stores, fixing the tasseled loafer’s image as the shoe of the country-club set.”

It also says in the mid 1980s in France, tassel loafers were worn by young activists to demonstrate their distaste for the Socialist Government and, the loafer shoes represented American prosperity.

Interesting political background, though Mr. Lewis in the article said loafers were worn by anyone and available in all sorts of price range, when he wrote it 22 years ago.

OK so my ankles are chubby and I wish every Gucci in the world that my legs were slimmer to be able to confidently wear a pair of loafers with no socks. But without tassels, or with?

The Idle Man

idlemanThe Idle Man sells men’s clothing, footwear & accessories. It’s one of my favourite shops as they have a big selection including many famous brands such as Calvin Klein, G-Star, Levi’s, Van…as well as The Idle Man originals. They’re offering mid-season sale 20% up to 70% off.

What I found was a pair of tassel loafers.


G.H. Bass & Co Weejuns Tassle Loafers 
Was: £125.00 Now: £100.00

(Click the image to take a look at the detail)








Others including these boots;ileman-boots

Base London Brogue Boot  Brown 
Was: £100.00 Now: £80.00

(Click the image to take a look at the detail)







Converse are also in good price

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi-Top Plimsolls
Was: £50.00 Now: £40.00

(Click the image to take a look at the detail)



They’re running all shoes 20% off promotion which will end at midnight on Monday. But their mid-season sale will continue, so keep an eye on their website!




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