Fashionista Gal

A style with an old-school vibe, loafers have been given a new attitude here at Emerson. Not nearly as recognizable as the scuffed penny loafers your grandfather wears, these updated shoes have been covered in gold, silver, black studs and spikes, and come in universal styles for men and women. Leave it to the hipsters to turn preppy shoes into weapons.

These edgy shoes look best with a simple outfit that airs on the androgynous side, jeans, a button-down, and a neutral cardigan or jacket. The loafers are meant to stand out, so wearing them with an outfit that is too trendy will take away from the strong statement they make. 

For girls, a silk blouse and camel coat are just refined enough. For guys, a cable knit cardigan and military-inspired jacket are casual but put together. Stores like DKNY, H&M, Diesel, and Urban Outfitters carry basic pieces that pair well with tough shoes. The fact that most of the loafers come in neutral colors also makes them versatile with any color combination. At Emerson, the loafers can be worn just about anywhere—to class or to grab coffee—but they aren’t appropriate for every environment. In less urban settings, these loafers would be perfect for a concert or as a more reasonable option than heels when going out.  

One of the first designers to make this footwear style popular was Christian Louboutin with a Fall/Winter 2011 collection of spiked men’s loafers deemed “Rollerboys.” This style is so suitable for both men and women that he also launched pairs for women in white, pink, and blue called “Rolling Spikes.” Celebrities like Kid Cudi and Rihanna took to the trend while more accessible fashion labels around the country followed with their own versions. Emerson students can now buy them at their favorite stores on Newbury Street or from retailers like Free People and Nasty Gal. Steve Madden, UNIF, Jeffery Campbell, and Sam Edelman sell pairs for under $200, and Topshop even has a pair for under $60, making the trend available to any shoe-lover.

When freshman Kristin Brice debated what to get for her birthday in December, her first thought was a pair of Tory Burch flats. These classic ballet flats, known for the signature medallion that sits on top of them, are conservative and simple. But after seeing a pair of Sam Edelman studded flats at the Tannery in Harvard Square, she changed her mind and got them instead.

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“I think that spikes and studs have become really popular through basic trends on the runways and in magazines,” said the marketing communication major. “It might not be exact to spikes being on everything, but I think that mixing masculine and feminine…has always and will always be a huge thing.”

While these bold loafers are growing in popularity now, they may not last during summer. Once the weather gets warmer, not many people will want to suffocate their feet in loafers. However, the overall trend of studs on shoes will last a while. They are already showing up on sandals and wedges that are more appropriate options for summer. Once fall arrives, the loafers may have their comeback moment on Boylston St.