Style Pick of the Week: Jack Erwin Archie Penny Loafers

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

Not your grandfather's penny loafer -- the sleek, stylish Archie Penny Loafer in Hazelnut from Jack Erwin.

Not your grandfather’s penny loafer — the sleek, stylish Archie Penny Loafer in Hazelnut from Jack Erwin.

While sharp wingtips always work well in situations ranging from business casual to formal, it sometimes feels refreshing (literally and figuratively) to reach for something a bit different. In the case of our spring style shopping needs here at The Style Guide, that pair of footwear happens to be loafers (like the ones you see above — more in a minute). Lest we get off on the wrong foot here (sorry, had to), know that like plenty of other valuable style upgrades, there are certain iterations that move the style away from its older, slightly stuffy roots by stepping into firmly modern territory. Are we still in step with each other? (Sorry, I’m done). If you’re still following along, Jack Erwin is one brand that’s doing an exceptional job at crafting uniquely modern and stylish takes on classic footwear — and among that group, the Archie Penny Loafer in Hazelnut is … well, exceptional. The brand crafts other takes on the loafer, from a sand suede driving loafer to the moccasin-style Charlie Loafer, but the Archie in Hazelnut is Jack Erwin’s newest loafer color. After checking out a complimentary pair from the brand, the verdict is out: If I was you, I’d set aside those preconceived notions. Why’s that? Allow me…

Details like the reinforced stacked heel make these seem very unloafer-like -- sturdy and durable.

Details like the reinforced stacked heel make these seem very unloafer-like — sturdy and durable.

It’s safe to say loafers don’t normally lay claim to construction that’s every bit as tough as a sturdy winter boot — that would be the Goodyear construction of the Archie. The full-grain calfskin upper is rich in color and leather quality, handcrafted in Spain. And the reinforced stacked heel adds another uniquely sturdy element to a style that can sometimes seem a bit too sleek. Crucially, these loafers don’t break the bank for what you’re getting. It’s a loafer that can match up with a slim chambray suit later this spring, and the sleek shape won’t feel out of place beneath rolled dark denim, either. It’s another way to do high-low style — as opposed to white sneakers with a dressier combo like chinos and a classic navy blazer, you’re taking a more traditional dress shoe and mashing it up with casual staples (like the aforementioned dark denim, plus a short-sleeve henley). It can be a bit tough to make the switch at first, but with the quality and versatility of this pair, plenty more outfit combinations abound. Oh, and with the change you’ll save compared to more expensive loafers, you’ll have enough to put toward a second pair — loafers all summer long, right?

Editor’s note: Stay tuned for a full Effortless Gent feature on how to style these loafers coming at the end of the month.

Are you on-board with penny loafers? How might you style this particular pair?


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