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The right loafers can make you as stylish as a movie icon

These TV and movie icons rocked the loafer look

Sanders x Todd Snyder Clive Loafer in black.
Todd Snyder Image used with permission by copyright holder

James Bond had the tuxedo. Steve McQueen had the sunglasses. Indiana Jones had the leather jacket. Movie and TV icons drive our love of fashion and can set the trends for men for decades to come if they wear certain items with flair. But what about loafers? Can loafers make you a style icon in the form of guys like James Bond? Absolutely.

What is a loafer?

Willet Penny Loafer
Cole Haan Image used with permission by copyright holder

Loafers are laceless slip-ons with a low heel that are shaped like moccasins. They will sometimes have a buckle or pocket where the laces would be on any other shoe. Fun fact: penny loafers get their name because that pocket is where a penny would have gone.

These stylish shoes have been a staple on men’s feet for nearly two centuries and can be worn in casual situations with denim and work just as well when worn with suits. They are so versatile that they’ve adorned the feet of some of your favorite characters for years.

James Bond in For Your Eyes Only

007 For Your Eyes Only - Opening (1981) Helicopter Dropoff - Blofeld's Death [HD]

For Your Eyes Only was Roger Moore’s fifth outing as James Bond, and as it was following up the attempt to keep up with the changing times of the science fiction genre in Moonraker, it had to make a splash. The movie attempted to do this by killing off Bond’s long-time nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Sure, there was a bit of spite in the move as well, since the studio lost the rights to Blofeld and SPECTRE and they wanted to prove they could do Bond without him, but I digress. 

The scene where Roger Moore’s Bond dispatches his long-time nemesis is short and not very sweet as he tosses the man in a wheelchair and a neck brace — compassion was never Bond’s strong suit — down a chimney stack. But the most important aspect of this? He did it while wearing loafers. That’s right; he did it by hanging off the side of a helicopter in the suit world’s most stylish slip-on

Frank Sheeran in The Irishman

The Irishman (2019) | Killing Crazy Joe - 1080p

Speaking of bad dudes dispatching other bad dudes all while wearing men’s loafers, Robert De Niro’s Frank Sheeran did the dirty work for the mafia in The Irishman while donning his slip-ons. While you would be forgiven for not focusing on the man’s shoes while he talks about how he was responsible for one of the country’s most notorious mysteries, if you look closely throughout the film, you’ll see that he’s rocking the loafer. 

Maurizio Gucci in House of Gucci

HOUSE OF GUCCI | “Gucci Fakes” Official Clip | MGM Studios

The fashion world may seem like all bright lights and beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes. Still, Ridley Scott chronicled a dark underbelly of greed, corruption, and nefarious behavior in his true story, House of Gucci. Adam Driver played Maurizio Gucci, while Lady Gaga played his wife, who forged a signature to help him land 50% of his father’s company. Throughout the entire movie, you can see much of the cast, most often Driver, wearing some of the best 1970s-era loafers around. 

Saul Goodman in Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul - Saul Goodman At The Country Club

Not all of these icons are playing characters in the ’70s. None other than Saul Goodman sports his own set of stellar loafers throughout his run on Better Call Saul. Since season two of his Breaking Bad spinoff, Bob Odenkirk’s underdog lawyer has been known for wearing the most outlandish outfits with the brightest colors simply to rage against and subvert his brother’s expectations. You can be forgiven if you forgot to notice him wearing a trusty pair of loafers throughout the series. 

Loafers for men are a classic wardrobe staple that isn’t going away anytime soon. But while you may think it’s simply another shoe in the closet, it’s actually your way to the fast track to becoming a movie and TV icon.

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Mark McKee
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
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