What is the best-looking style of Allen Edmonds penny loafers? I rarely wear loafers -- my previous pair wore out years ago and I never replaced them -- but I'm tired of having that hole in my shoe wardrobe, especially since I'm traveling to a few casual weddings this summer and it would be nice to have loafers to wear to the rehearsal dinners, morning-after brunches, and so forth. On the website, the differences between the different loafer styles seems pretty subtle (they might be more pronounced in person). Does it just depend on which last fits your foot best? Is one style more versatile than the other? I would mainly wear it without socks in the warm months. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! My price range is flexible, but I probably wouldn't want to go much above $250 because I won't wear them all that often.
Also, though I realize this is the AE appreciation thread, if anybody has a non-AE suggestion, I would be open to it as well.
Loafers have the smallest margin for error regarding fit. Too tight and the vamp digs into your instep, too loose and your heels are flopping in and out. So it would be best to try them on at an AE store, or at one of the other retailers (Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom, etc.) that carries them. Also, what looks best on your foot might not look as good on someone else's. For example if you have small feet you can balance that with a shoe with more substantial construction. Or if most of your pants have a tapered hem, you might want a more slender shoe.
As you browse the website though, make a note of the models that describe the leather as "Polished" - that's AE's term for "Corrected Grain" leather that has been sanded down and it looks rather plasticky compared to regular calfskin.