June 13, 2011

Anatomy of a Classic...

In 1936, G.H. Bass introduced a shoe that would change his company (and American style) forever. Taking cues from a simple slip-on leather shoe from Norway, the now ubiquitous Weejun was born. Combining true hand sewn moccasin construction—requiring one large piece of leather to wrap under and cradle the foot—with a leather dress sole and heel, G.H. Bass & Co. created a shoe that was both durable and extremely versatile. The company's addition of a leather strip across the upper with a unique half moon cutout would come to define the Weejun, along with countless imitators.

Launched as a casual shoe, the loafer quickly found its way into more formal occasions. American men were quick to bring them into the office and classroom. By the 1950s, Weejuns had become a staple for college students around the US as well. A trend so widespread, that it prompted their inclusion in "The Official Preppy Handbook", and solidified their place as a staple of any true prep's wardrobe to this day. In the 1960s, young people began sticking pennies into the shoe's half moon slit, prompting the moniker "penny loafer," a nickname that has stuck around for over half a century.

Read more at ValetMag.com

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