What can be said about the Tassel Loafer, to me they are the Street MOD shoe. The tassel along with the feather exsudes MOD. Again, I think this is because so many people have had a pair. Other than the Desert Boot nothing signifies more of what the public think as MOD.
They go in and out of fashion and are definitely a throw back, but why not. They are a shoe for going out in! They are a shoe to dance in, all night. They can come with leather soles which means you slide around a dance floor.
They look excellent with jeans, and a suit. I think you get my drift.
Like the rest of the classics loads of people make them, and again buy the best you can afford. Cheap ones look cheap and fall apart. Looked after well and polish straight after an all-nighter, you don’t want the talc drying them out.
Tassel Loafers Review
Delicious Junction, Loake, Ikon and Bass Weejuns get a review. 4 different types of Tassel Loafers, including a womens pair!
Tassel loafers came into being in the post-war period of the 1940s, right when tweed jackets, Shetland sweaters, and penny loafers dominated prep schools and Ivy League campuses. As college students graduated, they wanted something as comfortable as their slip-ons, but were a bit dressier and more sophisticated for their new life in the business world. It was around this time that an actor named Paul Lukas came back from Europe with a pair of oxfords. They had little tassels at the end of their laces, which Lukas thought made them look more lively. So he took them to a couple of New York shoemakers to see if they could make something similar, and they in turn took the job to Alden. The company’s president at the time, Arthur Tarlow, came up with tasseled loafers and they were an instant success. That makes Alden’s model the original, and Paul Lukas the first man to wear this style of footwear.
Loafers are my favourite shoe. It helps that you can get plain and tasseled. Being my age, I am second generation MOD/Two Tone kid, they appeal because they looked so right, and worn by one of my favourite bands ever The Specials.
Two Tone was it MOD? But hey what it did do was bring loafers on to the feet of many young people. The proper ones cost a fortune then and still do! But the quality is so much better.
The original Loafer was designed just before the 2nd World War and has its origins in Norway. Norwegian farmers would wear a shoe when ‘cattle loafing’, hence the name. The shoe developed further in America by the company BASS, and they called them Weejuns, after the Norwaygians. They added the all important strap across the front of the shoe.
The term ‘Penny Loafers’ comes from prep school students wanting to customise their loafers, the penny being wedged in the front strap.
The Loafer look for MODS, I assume, comes from the Jazz players, meaning the Blue Notes lp etc. and because of the college boy look, ie, Harringtons, Levi’s and Loafers. A defining look even today.
There are several makers these days as you would expect. Prices in the UK vary a lot. You can buy an ok pair for about £50, but spend a bit more and go for a old school make and you can feel the difference. BASS Weejuns are a thinner shoe, where as the Loakes have a more sturdy look and feel.
There are many different types of Brogues. The pair above perhaps are the classic look. The above pair are called ‘Wingtails’ in America.
The Brogue has a long history before getting to MOD. Many companies in the UK still produce handmade Brogues: Loake, Earl Barton, Chencery to name a few. Loake make an old style look called the Chester. At the time of writing these have become fashionable with boy bands like JLS.
In terms of 60’s MODS I saw this on the Modgeneration website.
In the 60’s I bought mine from Saxones and complemented them with fringed things that covered the laces. Back in those days good shoes lasted for anything up to 20 years if you looked after them and especially put them in trees to dry after use. The leather used for the uppers was dyed of course but only waxed and one never used polish on them, only wax. The wax hasn’t been made for I don’t know how long and the company went out of business as all shoe leather now has a plastic coating instead of wax which means they will crack well before 15 years have gone – I think after 8 or so.
Churches dropped their beautiful round last for much more pointy ones around 68 or 70 I think and the other British companies followed suit so real round toes probably don’t exist today.
I now have arthritis in a big toe and can’t wear good leather shoes anymore – except for my loafers – made by Barkers and they really are the originals and the best – if you examine the way the top is attached all the other brands join them edge to edge but Barkers are folded over – which means hand-stitched!
The later two tone style that Marriot wears on the ‘Colour Me Pop’ show are more late 60’s, and have an air of Dandiness about them. I like the look on Marriott.
I think Weller had some in The Style Council, and Madness have been known to wear them.
The Skins and Suedeheads adopted the Brogue for themsleves and today the shoe is still seen widely on the Northern Soul Scene.
I like them a lot, always have, they are a really good hard wearing shoe that, if you look after, last ages. I’m not sure if this happened all over the UK or was regional, but at our school we would add Blakeys which would cause the shoe to make a clicking noise as you walked around. This was done mainly to wind up the teachers.