Thursday, February 14, 2019

AD | The Penny Loafer Comeback Featuring Mod Shoes

black leather penny loafers with striped sheer socks
This post contains gifted items.

I was given a pair of brand new oxblood Bass Weejuns, the original penny loafers when I was about 12 years old from a much older cousin who had bought them, but never got around to wearing them. They were brand new, but they were hand-me-downs which wasn't so cool when I was growing up, so they collected dust for years in my closet. Then one day, inspired in part by Michael Jackson, I dusted them off and started to wear them with jeans. They were uncomfortable at best, but I loved them and suffered through... I had no idea that the whole point was to break them in and before I knew it they had softened up, formed to my foot shape and I was in love with them in every possible way. The only way they could've been better was if they were black, but I wore them until the soles started to come off the bottoms and nearly cried when I had to finally chuck them out. I never forgot how much I loved them, but at the time I wasn't prepared to drop the kind of cash required to buy a new pair. They wouldn't have been too handy for the weather in Miami anyway and I was headed south for university. That was the last time I had a pair of penny loafers... Until now!


I had never heard of Modshoes when they approached me, but I was intrigued by the brand whose motto is 'Smart Shoes for Smart People'.  The general vibe when I visited the website screamed vintage style at me, but I was immediately impressed by the quality of the shoes, so I scrolled. Vintage isn't really my vibe but there was enough variety that I found at least 5 pairs I liked. Most importantly, I discovered The Chantelle, a penny loafer style that I just knew I'd love and want to wear time and time again... Of course I chose black. While it's clear that almost nothing stays the same with every passing year, when it comes to style preferences, some things never change. 


The Chantelle is handmade in Spain, exclusively for Modshoes and the quality really shows. The whole shoe is leather, even the sole and while they're not super cheap, they're good value for money at £94. The leather smell upon opening the box is alone almost worth the price tag, but in my opinion, these shoes are lush! They look good, they feel good and they're beautifully made. Shiny and fitting true-to-size, I find these to be great whether I'm wearing them with thin socks or tights. 


Speaking of sizing, if you're ordering your own pair of this style, order your regular UK shoe size, but keep in mind that these lovely little loafers will break in after a bit, so when you're trying them on it's okay if they're a bit snug, but they shouldn't be tight. It's also been suggested that these break in a little easier if they're kept warm before wearing. Try placing them in front of your radiator for a few minutes before wearing or simply blast them with a hairdryer, especially if you're putting them on for the first time.


I'm really happy with my new penny loafers and after receiving them I was intrigued by how this style of shoe came about, so of course I googled it. Apparently, penny loafers became popular in the mid-30's and they got their name because prep school students in the US kept pennies in the saddle slots to use for making calls home from public telephones. It's a true story of how fashion became functional which then inspired the function becoming fashionable. I haven't popped a penny into my pair yet, but I just might!

Shirt: Gap (old) / Jeans: Gap (old) / Socks: Jonathan Aston [gifted] / Shoes: Modshoes [gifted]
Sunglasses: Maui Jim [gifted] / Earrings: Oliver Bonas (old)

In terms of styling, I love taking a queue from Michael Jackson and wearing The Chantelle loafers with rolled up or cropped jeans and contrasting socks. I'd also love these with a pair of structured trousers or even with a cute dress and tights. I'm looking forward to the versatility of these shoes and loving them even more as they wear in and become like second skin on my feet.

Modshoes offers a wide variety of styles from Maryjanes and loafers to boots and courts in a range of colourways. For ladies, a varied selection of tights are also available and for well-heeled gents there's a selection of accessories, scarves and even clothing in addition to shoes. For both men and women there are some styles that are a better fit for wide feet and they offer free UK shipping for orders over £25. For more information or to shop, visit modshoes.co.uk

*Shoes gifted by Modshoes and socks gifted by Jonathan Aston, however all views are my own and in no way influenced by Modshoes, Jonathan Aston or any other parties.
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