Sunday, February 7, 2010

Penny Loafers & "Penny Moccasins", Revisited

It's been a quiet weekend around Casa JCAUNCMom (I am going to HAVE to shorten my screen name) with just me and my pooch -- DH is out of town and Journey Boy's been out and about with friends, and working at his new part-time restaurant/bakery job.  (More on that another time!)

Today I want to follow up with more thoughts on the what's-old-is-new-again return of the classic Penny Loafer.  Ever since I saw the Bass Weejun in the February JC catalog and Kathy's follow up post over at her blog, I've been musing about buying a pair.  And if you're like me, boy, do you have some good options.  What's old really is new again!  Let me share a few finds with you.

The Penny Loafer (mine were Bass) and the Sperry A/O Two-Eye Topsider (also on-trend this spring -- go figure) were truly the shoes of my teens and college years, girls.  (Yeah, I know how olllllllllld that makes me. ;-))  Bass Weejuns were a staple in my high school wardrobe, and we wore them pretty much as you see them being styled by J. Crew -- with everything, with and without socks.  I had two pairs, and my favorite was in a color that reminded me of my mother's distressed walnut dining room chairs -- sort of a warm chestnut brown.  Lo and behold, they looked exactly like these beauties:

Bass Wayfarers (a/k/a Weejuns) in "Karicole Patent" (yes, patent -- but kind of a soft satin finish) available at Zappo's (in this color and several others) for $89.  

Just a quick Google search and I found this same shoe quite widely available, with prices are almost all right around Zappos' price.  Here's an example:  Shoes and Boots, where this shoe is $80 and shipping's free for anything over $79, but you'll wait longer than with Zappos' amazing free overnight shipping and free return shipping.  By the way, if you're not already signed up to be a "VIP" Zappos customer at VIP, hurry on over.  Just being a customer there guarantees you the best in all of Zappos' deals on shipping and pricing.

In case this shoe floats your boat, I'll tell you that Bass Wayfarers famously, always and still run 1/2 size big on most people.  I know Kathy has gotten a pair or two and she felt they were running big (although I think she kept her usual size to allow for a little extra width -- they do run narrow, so do what Kathy did if your tootsies are wide.)

Compare this to the nearly-if-not-identical G. H. Bass Penny Loafer being sold at JC for a defiantly whopping $120:


Now check this out:
 This one's a Sebago Plaza in a very similar color just called "Brown" (wow, who stayed up all night thinking of that one), also available at Zappos for $89, and preferred by many Zappos customers for style (a little different tongue, a bit higher on the foot all around and a stitch-reinforced heel) and fit.  These seem to fit narrower feet even better.

But wait, Loafer Lovers.  There's more.  My second pair of high school Penny Loafers was in a menswear color that guys call "cordovan" -- a gorgeous burgundy that looked sooooo good year-round with blacks and greys and cooler colors and even khakis.  Presto, here they are:

If you like this, you'll find it at Zappos, or anyplace else the classic Wayfarer/Weejun is sold.  The color's called "Burgundy Box".

But let's say cordovan/burgundy's not your thing, and you'd prefer a richer, darker brown?  With maybe a touch of shine for spring?  How d'ya like these?  Gorgeous, huh?


Another view of the same shoe:

This one's made, believe it or not, by Sperry, and it's called the Authentic Original (or A/O) Capetown.  This color is called "Dark Brown Patent Croc", and it also comes in black patent which is wicked pretty.  You'll find this shoe at both Zappos ($85 in limited sizes) and ($74 in more sizes).  Word is that it runs TTS.

So you're saying "Kath, love that glammed-up brown, but a Penny Loafer's not my thing."  How about a fantastically comfortable driving moc style in a bronzed brown metallic?  This ought to take you from winter into a very fashionable spring:
This is the Cole Haan Air Penny Driver Moccasin" in Brown Metallic, on sale for a fantastically great $99 (40% off) at Nordstrom.  

I lucked into this shoe just a week or so ago at TJ Maxx in a crinkled black patent, and honest to goodness, it puts my JC driving mocs to shame.  Look for it if you're near a Teej.  It runs TTS, it's got that Nike Air insole for cushiness, glove-soft leather and heavy-duty treads on the soles for traction and comfort.  If there's no Teej near you carrying them, you can find this shoe at Nordstrom in a smooth black patent, as well as in black calf and brown calf.  We're talking the ultimate in driving moc comfort and style.  No offense, J. Crew, 'cause you know I love me my Lizzies.

Now, last but by no means least in my book, there's the always-hard-to-resist colorful loafer option.  Y'all know by now what a sucker I am for colorful shoes, especially since I often tend to dress in a "column of color" (like, say, black or navy or grey or cream) and I don't wear many prints unless they're kind of subtle.  A pop of color in my shoes is one of my "personal style" looks -- ya know, something that my friends often see on me and seem to enjoy.  I get especially woozy when I see a good looking pair of red shoes.  Whaddaya know, I can be on-trend with Penny Loafers AND wear red shoes!  Whatcha think of these babies?

These are the same Bass Wayfarers from Zappos, in Red Patent.

Cute as a ladybug, if you ask me.  But coming in neck-and-neck, and possibly winning because of that awesome Air Nike insole, is the equally fetching Cole Haan "Air Penny Moccasin" in Lacquer Red patent:
This one's currently on sale at the marked-down price of $120 at Nordstrom

There you have it -- a few of the wonderful choices out there if you're interested in trying a classic Penny Loafer.  Or are in the market for a fab pair of driving mocs to add to your collection. :-)  I'd love to hear what you think of these, glaydies.

Stay warm, and to my Mid-Atlantic pals, be careful in all that snow but enjoy it!

See y'all later in the week!