Over the last few years, the loafer has become a mainstay of the modern man’s wardrobe due to its innate versatility and chic demeanour. Here at The Hand, the style is a firm-favourite of ours, and we simply can’t get enough of Edward Green’s Piccadilly at the moment. Here’s why…
Following its inception in the early 20th century as a go-to shoe for Norwegian farmers, the loafer entered the vernacular of the western world during the prosperous post-war period. It was across Ivy League college campuses in America where budding students would wear loafers on a daily basis as they to-and-froed between classes and extracurricular activities. This is because they were eminently practical, as the students could slip in and out of them throughout a demanding day in a nanosecond. Not only that, but due to the signature saddle strap on the vamp, students were able to nestle away a single penny coin which they’d then use to operate a payphone, which is where the term ‘penny loafer’ originates from.
The penny loafer is a workhorse of a shoe that exists at the intersection of formal and casual style. However, not long ago they would have been deemed too casual for business attire. But, times have changed and they’re now a more common choice in the workplace than an Oxford. That said, penny loafers have always been a go-to for smart casual dressing due to the formality of the leather being juxtaposed against the laceless construction. Today, they’re worn with everything from formal tailoring to even tracksuits and some menswear magazines are even describing them as ‘the new sneaker’.
When it comes to loafers, there’s one that we can’t get enough of at the moment: the Piccadilly, by Edward Green. The shoemaker was founded in 1890 in Northampton, England, and in addition to the Dover and the Galway, the Piccadilly is one of its signature creations. Across Edward Green’s entire range, the quality is supreme; the company uses stunning European leathers and suedes, crafts perfectly designed lasts, and ultimately delivers shoes that possess unparalleled comfort with lots of artisanal details and timeless appeal.
Constructed with a Goodyear welt, which ensures a lifetime of wear as it can be repaired time and time again, the Piccadilly is crafted on the shoemaker’s 184 last which has a slim profile and softly rounded toe. It’s perfectly balanced, as the slimness provides smartness whilst the almond-shaped toe makes it ever so slightly casual.
In response to the penny loafer’s increasing popularity, and much to our approval, Edward Green have produced unlined versions of the Piccadilly for the warmer months. With little interlining along the sides of the shoe, they’re not only noticeably lighter but they are also a touch roomier and flexible which allows your feet to live happily on a hot day. Not only that, but they also compliment cotton shorts, breezy linen trousers and unconstructed tailoring far better than the lined versions.
Take, for instance, the unlined Piccadilly in mink and raw umber suede; both have all the characteristics of a classic dark brown and mid-brown loafer, respectively, but with profound increased comfort. The same goes with the with the unlined dark brown London Grain iteration; it has a textural charm that’s normally appreciated in winter, but it can be worn throughout the seasons. Earlier this year, our love for the Piccadilly even inspired us to collaborate with Edward Green on an exclusive Piccadilly model, which is crafted from oyster suede with an unlined construction. Call us biased, but it’s simply stunning and it’s arguably the perfect summer loafer to wear near crystal-clear waters!
Whilst unlined options are aplenty, there’s also a lined version which is more traditional yet less practical in summer. Made using a dark oak antique calf leather, which will naturally develop a unique patina, the tone of this Piccadilly loafer lends itself to more formal items of clothing, such as; pleated trousers made from grey flannel and navy worsted wool.
Much like how the Piccadilly is now a mainstay of the modern wardrobe, it’s also now going to be a constant feature in our offering here at The Hand. Whether for business or pleasure, we firmly believe that it provides perennial style and supreme comfort and reliability in equal measure.
As always, if you have any questions or queries, simply get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we’d get back to you.