Loafers can be tricky to wear. Pick the wrong pair, or team them with the wrong outfit, and they can look frumpy. However, loafers are definitely having a fashion moment right now, and there are plenty of fabulous pairs to choose. This article features all the best loafers for women in stores this season, as well as giving you inspiration on how to wear yours.

Take a look below at my 10 favorite pairs of loafers, as well as how loafers were seen on all the catwalks for summer and fall 2020, and how chic 40+ women are styling theirs.

What are loafers?

Firstly, what exactly are loafers, and what differentiates them from other types of flat women’s shoe?

Well, loafers can be slipped on and off without utilizing any type of fastening, and they usually have more of a pointed or squared toe rather than a round toe, such as a ballet flat.

They’re usually flat or with a low heel, although high heeled loafers are particularly on trend right now.

Inspired by moccasins, a Norweigan shoemaker created the Aurland moccasin and the shoe style became known as loafers in the 1930s. Designers added a strip of leather across the top before Gucci created its infamous metal strap loafers in the 60s.

The best loafers for women on the runways

Below, you can see how some of the major designers styled their loafers for 2020.

Loafers on the designer runways | 40plusstyle.com

Prada – Louis Vuitton – Lanvin

Types of loafer

All loafers are not the same. There are several “sub styles” of loafer:

Penny loafers

The Weejun, or penny loafer, is apparently so-called because you can fit a penny into the gap in the middle of the leather strap which crosses the top of the shoe.

Sperry 'Seaport' Penny Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Sperry ‘Seaport’ Penny Loafer

Gucci loafers

The Gucci loafer was the first to feature the iconic horse bit-style metal bar, and it a completely timeless investment. You’ll also find plenty of high street dupes.

Gucci 'Brixton' Horsebit Convertible Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Gucci ‘Brixton’ Horsebit Convertible Loafer

Tassel loafers

Created by the Alden Shoe Company, this style features decorative tassels on the top.

Amalfi by Rangoni 'Orio' Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Amalfi by Rangoni ‘Orio’ Loafer

Heeled loafers

While loafers have been traditionally flat – given that they started as menswear – heeled loafers are bang on trend this season.

Amalfi by Rangoni 'Alvaro' Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Amalfi by Rangoni ‘Alvaro’ Loafer

Mule-style loafers

Another major trend right now is the mule-style loafer, either flat or with a heel.

Steven New York  'Jalon' Loafer Mule | 40plusstyle.com

Steven New York ‘Jalon’ Loafer Mule

My favorite loafers in stores now

Now that you’re thinking about the best loafers for women in the styles you may like best, below you’ll find some of the most stylish to choose from.

Foldable heel loafers

A pair of foldable heel loafers is a versatile option as you can wear them as regular loafers, or as mules.

Naturalizer 'Lorna' Collapsible Heel Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Naturalizer ‘Lorna’ Collapsible Heel Loafer

Animal print loafers

Animal print is a timeless classic that will never date, making it a great investment for your closet.

Jill wearing leopard print loafers | 40plusstyle.com

Jill (above) opts for a neutral outfit with her animal print flats.

Recreate her outfit with this similar mock neck top, jacket, jeans, loafers, necklace and sunglasses.

27 Edit 'Harlie' Genuine Calf Hair Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

27 Edit ‘Harlie’ Genuine Calf Hair Loafer

Snake loafers

If you already have a pair of leopard print shoes in your closet, how about a snake print instead?

Linea Paolo 'Portia' Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Linea Paolo ‘Portia’ Loafer

Canvas loafers

Woven style shoes are particularly on trend for 2020. You can take a look at more shoe trend inspiration in this article.

Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn 'Stanton' Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn ‘Stanton’ Loafer

Black loafers

It goes without saying that a pair of black loafers is a timeless classic that you can wear for many years to come.

Shelley wears chain style loafers | 40plusstyle.com

Shelley (above) teams her chain-detail loafers with jeans and a long coatigan.

Check out this similar top, cardigan, jeans, loafers, hoop earrings and crossbody bag.

Dr. Scholl's 'Faxon' Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Dr. Scholl’s ‘Faxon’ Loafer

Black metal loafers

Made famous by Gucci, there are now plenty of shoe brands providing stylish options for loafers featuring a metal bar or chains.

Chris wearing chain detail loafers | 40plusstyle.com

Chris (above) wears her chain-style loafers with an oversized jacket.

Check out this similar top, blazer, jeans, loafers and necklace.

Sam Edelman 'Lior' Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Sam Edelman ‘Lior’ Loafer

White loafers

Of course, you don’t have to opt for black. Another stylish neutral, which is a great option for summer, is the white loafer.

Tanasha wearing white loafers with a summer dress | 40plusstyle.com

Tanasha (above) is wearing a dress from Shein.

Complete her look with this similar pair of loafers, handbag, earrings and sunglasses.

Jeffrey Campbell 'Viona' Pointed Toe Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Jeffrey Campbell ‘Viona’ Pointed Toe Loafer

Cream loafers

A soft shade which will go with everything is cream. You could team with other neutral shades, or with a pop of color.

Psyche wears cream loafers with a red cardigan | 40plusstyle.com

Psyche (above) wears her cream loafers with a bright red cardigan.

Recreate her look with this similar shirt, cardigan, pants and loafers.

Tory Burch 'Kira' Stretch Travel Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

Tory Burch ‘Kira’ Stretch Travel Loafer

Red loafers

How about adding a pop of color to your outfits with your loafers. Red looks very stylish against the neutrals in your closet.

Jenny wearing red loafers and leopard print | 40plusstyle.com

Jenny (above) wears her red loafers with jeans and leopard print.

Steal her look with this similar cardigan, skinny jeans and loafers.

Bueno 'Galen' Flat | 40plusstyle.com

Bueno ‘Galen’ Flat

Monochrome loafers

If you have a minimal style personality, you are likely to have a lot of neutral shades in your closet. These black and white loafers (below) would work well with the other items in your closet.

27 Edit 'Harlie' Loafer | 40plusstyle.com

27 Edit ‘Harlie’ Loafer

How to style your loafers

Now that you’ve chosen your favorite pair of loafers, how should you wear them?

Loafers can look ultra trendy or they can look frumpy. It’s all about the way you style them. A number of celebrity fashionistas are big fans of the loafer.

The British presenter Alexa Chung, for example, has a preppy style personality and often teams loafers with her dresses, Jennifer Aniston has a pair of Gucci mule loafers which she usually wears with her jeans and Princess Diana was often seen in Tod’s loafers.

Below are some stylish ways to wear yours:

With other classics for a timeless look

Beth wearing black loafers with her jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Beth (above) keeps her look classic and classy by wearing her loafers with other timeless items.

Get her look with this similar shirt, blazer, skinnies, loafer and bag.

a classic outfit featuring loafers | 40plusstyle.com

Nanushka trench coatMing Wang sleeveless topLoveappella wide leg crop pantsSam Edelman ‘Lior’ LoaferStreet Level reversible toteTory Burch pearl drop earrings

The best loafers for women – with your slimfit jeans

Wearing your loafers with skinny jeans is a good way to keep your look modern. You can wear a relaxed fit top to add balance to your outfit.

Iona wearing silver loafers and white jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Jona (above) wears silver loafers with an on-trend lug sole along with her white jeans.

Steal her look with a Gucci handbag and match it with this similar printed top, jeans and loafers.

loafers styled for the minimal style personality | 40plusstyle.com

Stella Carakasi sleeveless sweaterTopshop camisole JEN7 by For All Mankind skinny jeansHobo leather crossbody bagKate Spade New York stud earrings

With something a little edgy

Another way to make sure that your loafers definitely don’t look frumpy is to wear them with something a little edgy, such as a pair of leather jeans.

Dahlia wearing loafers and ripped jeans | 40plusstyle.com

Dahlia (above) wears a pair of heeled loafers from Gucci with her ripped jeans.

Complete her look with this similar tee, blazer and jeans.

loafers with leather pants | 40plusstyle.com

All in Favor tunicVince Camuto notched collar blazerCommando faux leather leggings27 Edit loaferALLSAINTS leather toteEttika statement earrings

With a dress for a preppy feel

If you like a preppy look, teaming a pair of loafers with a dress will fit well with your style. Another idea is to wear your dress open as a duster jacket with your jeans and loafers.

Julie wears her loafers with jeans and a long cardigan | 40plusstyle.com

Julie (above) wewars a long shirt dress with her jeans and cream loafers.

Check out this similar t-shirt, long cardigan, jeans, loafers and belt.

wearing loafers with a dress | 40plusstyle.com

Tahari mock neck sheath dressAmalfi by Rangoni loaferKate Spade New York leather crossbody bagSet & Stones drop earrings

With a floppy hat or embroidered top for a boho feel

Loafers are traditionally thought of as being a very classic piece of footwear. However, some of the best loafers for women look fabulous styled completely differently for a bohemian look.

Great look with loafers: boho top, jeans, loafers, handbag and sunglasses.

wearing loafers with a boho duster jacket | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Kane floral wrapMing Wang v-neck dressDr. Scholl’s loaferSole Society crossbody bagBrixton floppy wool hatSet & Stones earrings

Do you like to wear loafers? How do you style yours?

Continue reading:

  1. How To Wear Flat Shoes And Not Look Frumpy
  2. Best Shoes With Arch Support – Comfortable Walking Shoes To Walk In All Day!
  3. The Best Plantar Fasciitis Shoes For Women Over 40

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The best loafers for women that are definitely not frumpy | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Jenny


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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