Borrowed From the Boys: Bass Weejun Penny Loafers

    23rd April 2013



    {I am in a total shoe mood lately, huh?}

    My father had this great pair of penny loafers when I was a kid.

    …Actually, he probably still has the same pair today.

    I remember how beat up they were, though I mean that in the best way possible. They were worn in to perfection, feeling practically like sneakers in my hands when I’d pick them up. They could bend this way and that.

    He could probably run a mile in them if he had to, and not come in last place.


    I remember too that, after staring at them for some time one day, I decided they were purple. Like the shade in Harold’s Purple Crayon, my favorite book from the days I still needed books read to me.

    It seemed to fit. They weren’t quite brown, after all, and they definitely weren’t black. But when the light hit them just right…yep, definitely purple.

    Now that I’m grown, I know that the classic shoe’s hue is actually called burgundy, (or sometimes if brands are getting fancy, oxblood), though I still like the idea of my serious lawyer father wearing purple slip-ons to work.

    Given some time, these Weejuns from Bass should shine up just as nice.

    Tell me: Do you have a pair of penny loafers in your footwear repertoire? How do you wear yours?

    • average joe

      The question is: should you wear them with the penny, or without?

      • Style Girlfriend

        Posed it to the people on Twitter today!

    • Baxter

      YES! Looking great, Megan! I just nabbed Johnston & Murphy’s Ski Moc in burgundy about a month ago. They aren’t the most fashion forward, low-profile penny around, but I’m pretty pleased with them so far. I wanted them for some sockless summer action to try to trick my wife into thinking I’m cool like Ryan Gosling:

      Until things start heating up, I’m wearing them to work with some slim medium grey pants and a light spring sweater or blazer. To keep them from looking like my First Communion shoes, I’m learning I have to be wearing some slim pants with some taper.

      • Style Girlfriend

        Sounds slick!

    • Mike Thompson

      I have the same. exact. pair. Apparently great minds think alike…

      • Style Girlfriend

        That’s what my mom always said :)

    • kellen owenby

      I don’t have any penny loafers, but I did grab my first pair of loafers (thrifted johnston & murphy tassel loafers) earlier this year. I like to wear them with slim cuffed denim and a nice gingham dress shirt. *I work in a super casual environment. So, even this amount of “dressing up” gets a head turn or two…

      I only like them without socks, but that may be because I’m in GA and socks are unnecessary about 8 months out of the year…

      • Baxter

        Kellen, do you ever wear the no-show loafer socks? If so, do you recommend any? I’m in the market.

        • Max

          Baxter, I’ve tried a few different brands. I usually wear them with Vans Authentic but as of late I have worn them with more dress shoes. The first i went with was Mocc socks. They are a brand that works exclusively on no show socks but they were a bit thick and began to wear around the toe, probably because of the canvas rubbing it from inside the shoe. I then went to Vans’ no shows but although they did not wear as quickly they were still a bit thick and uncomfortable. I then went to J. crew and I have to that in my opinion they are the best. A lighter cotton and last a bit longer.

          • Baxter

            Thank you for the information. Very helpful!

        • kellen owenby

          I never wear no-show socks, but that’s really because I’ve never found any that work for me. They’re always too thick/too thin, or they end up working their way up out of my shoe…

          • Baxter

            I’m worried about this too… but I can’t get over the shoe on skin feeling. Probably need to get over that. Thanks, though.

        • b_schwind

          I purchased these a while back, and they do a great job. I have size 12 feet, and they don’t slide up or down. They’re also not bad looking, a thicker cotton, and among the least expensive I’ve found.

          • Baxter

            I’ve seen those recommended somewhere else and I’m glad to see a review from someone using them in real life. I’m going to definitely pick some up. Much appreciated!

    • Adam Wyatt

      oh…. awkward… We’re wearing the same shoes today. I think one of us has to change.

      • Style Girlfriend

        not it! ;)

    • Natural Workwear

      Penny loafers are my default shoe option. I currently have 3 pair: one non-pickup from my cobbler (pictured below), one consigned with leather soles and one thrift find with Vibram soles that are now separating. That last pair has become my “rain beater”.

      To be honest, I really do nothing to care for any of them. I feel like the more “loved” they look, the better.

      • Style Girlfriend

        totally agree – those look great!

    • Eric

      They look good on you, but I prefer lace ups on myself. Don’t know why, but loafers just don’t feel right.

      • Style Girlfriend

        Hey, to each his (or her!) own..

    • ATLien

      Sorry…. I can’t do it. I’ve tried, and I kinda like them, but they remind me too much of these private school brats from Woodward Academy near my grandmother’s house. All they wore were these.

    • Chris Jones

      I was actually IN a Bass outlet as I was reading this article (decided to wait to get onto my computer to post, though).

      I saw the Weejuns in the store, and boy were they comfortable. BUT, I just couldn’t get over the horrible colors. They looked like they had been PAINTED odd brown-ish colors. It made them look like the kind of dress shoes you’ll find at Target or Payless.

      A shame because, like I said, they were comfortable.

      • sarah

        You have to go to Bass wholesale to find the best colors and leathers. The outlets stores are the discount price point shoes. Check out

    • Marissa Antoinette Verdon

      I picked up a pair of old US made eastland ones from the goodwill. Not as nice as the weejuns but still pretty durable. A lot more durable then the ones made today! I like wearing them with shorts and button downs, skirts, or certain dresses they look cute with too.
      It’s pretty adorable when both me and my bf wear ours at the same time.

    • Kristophere’ Owens

      Nice post. I tend to wear mine with jeans and a nice button down shirt, a bit more casually. I might try them sockless with shorts and a button down this summer. But you have a great ensemble there!

    • Jessy

      With my small feet, loafers are a tricky purchase. Someday I’ll try the Florsheim Berkeley, since they have a 6 and a 6.5.

    • Drew J

      I wear penny loafers 6 or 7 days a week. I bought my first pair of J&M Ski Mocs in burgundy shortly after grad school. A year later I added a pair in black. I basically roatated through them on a daily basis for several years. Eventually after several resoles (including sending the burgundy ones back to J&M to get put back on the lasts) I bought another pair of Ski Mocs in burgundy. Those got the everyday office duty and my old pair after another visit to the cobbler got demoted to bar/after 5/casual friday/weekend duty. I’ve since bought a new black pair from Alden, but I just don’t like them as much (plus they have a terrible squeak I can’t seem to fix).

      I love my penny loafers. While I have other nice laceups, I probably wear them 95% of the time that I’m wearing leather shoes.

    • xxx


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