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Belgian Loafers?

am55

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Ha ha! They’re made in Spain by, as far as I am aware, an old Spanish concern, perhaps with British connections.

What is it about them in particular that evokes images of the traditional Englishman?
In spirit, it is much more understated, designed to look from afar like a more usual loafer.

In details: a unified, dark brown instead of brighter and more textured with contrast piping; the apron is much larger, longer, wider, and with a rounder toe. In other words, Berwick took out everything that made the shoe, what this thread calls "feminine", what I would call "European", think the idea that Luca Rubinacci is trying to sell. Would you naturally wear your shirt unbuttoned to the sternum? If the answer is yes, then the original loafer may be more suitable; if not, it is a bit out of character (IMHO). Well, there is no other way to know than to try...
 

am55

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I've read that all aspects of dress that we think of as feminine now were originally made for men, except for bras. So that would include corsets, high heels, lace, makeup, jewelry, etc. @dieworkwear would know better.
My favourite such detournement is the official hymn of the Royal Navy, Heart of Oak. The original words by Garrick contained the sentence:
To honour we call you, not press you like slaves,
which were promptly changed to:
To honour we call you, as freemen not slaves,
since the awesome prowess of the Royal Navy, and indeed much of the subsequent expansion of the British Empire, did in fact rely on impressment as an essential source of manpower. In a foreboding of a later, more continental Empire, this was implied to be its own form of freedom:
For who are so free as the sons of the waves?

A contemporary hymn does thus relate manliness to constraints:
Blest Isle! With matchless beauty crown'd,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."


Wear Belgian loafers... to proudly proclaim your fairness and freedom!
(had to get this back on subject somehow)
 

crazn

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Yes, some items that are considered feminine today, such as high heels (as emptym pointed out), were once worn by men.

I think gender expression is complicated and nuanced. It changes over time. It's very contextual. Yes, Belgian shoes are somewhat effeminate. But sometimes wearing an effeminate item makes you look more masculine.

Here's Antonio wearing Belgian loafers. Weirdly, I think wearing Belgian loafers makes him look more masculine.

View attachment 1473267


But on some guys, wearing Belgian loafers can make them look more feminine. It's not just the item that counts but the ways in which you wear it, and who wears it.

Some women look masculine when they wear masculine clothing. But some women look more feminine in oversized oxford shirts, trench coats, and tweeds.

Reminds me of when young guys ask if tassel loafers are only for old men. Yes, tassel loafers are associated with older men. But that doesn't mean that young guys can't wear them. Sometimes you can wear something and play into the stereotype; sometimes you can play against it. Simply classifying things as masculine (acceptable) vs feminine (unacceptable) seems kind of boring to me.
Yups boots with heels were for horse riding first and foremost.
 

Mr Knightley

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In spirit, it is much more understated, designed to look from afar like a more usual loafer.

In details: a unified, dark brown instead of brighter and more textured with contrast piping; the apron is much larger, longer, wider, and with a rounder toe. In other words, Berwick took out everything that made the shoe, what this thread calls "feminine", what I would call "European", think the idea that Luca Rubinacci is trying to sell. Would you naturally wear your shirt unbuttoned to the sternum? If the answer is yes, then the original loafer may be more suitable; if not, it is a bit out of character (IMHO). Well, there is no other way to know than to try...
Spot on as usual @am55 ! Looking at pictures of the loafers on my feet (from a distance) they could be taken for penny loafers.
 

emptym

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Ha ha. It is just that I usually don't like any of your comments. This is a menswear forum where usually posters post "fits", at least once in a while. You never did but act as if you were a style genius. I am just curious to see how you look once, that's all. Of course i understand that if you did post a picture, you would probably be afraid to loose many of your "followers".
La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.
Cheers
It's actually just a tiny minority of members who post pics of themselves. I've met D in person, and he does dress very well, at a level that matches his knowledge, both when in streetwear/denim and coat and tie. I've been to dinner with him and a bunch of WAYWRN stars (iammatt/itsstillmatt, Parker, Gus, Binge, LA Guy, etc.) and D's easily one the best dressed in the group. He sometimes posts pics of items he might wear laid out together, and you could judge those for yourself. That reminds me that I still owe you a similar pic for your Here and Now thread.
 

Nobilis Animus

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My favourite such detournement is the official hymn of the Royal Navy, Heart of Oak. The original words by Garrick contained the sentence:
To honour we call you, not press you like slaves,
which were promptly changed to:
To honour we call you, as freemen not slaves,
since the awesome prowess of the Royal Navy, and indeed much of the subsequent expansion of the British Empire, did in fact rely on impressment as an essential source of manpower. In a foreboding of a later, more continental Empire, this was implied to be its own form of freedom:
For who are so free as the sons of the waves?

A contemporary hymn does thus relate manliness to constraints:
Blest Isle! With matchless beauty crown'd,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."


Wear Belgian loafers... to proudly proclaim your fairness and freedom!
(had to get this back on subject somehow)
You know it's a Styleforum thread when someone breaks out into poetry halfway through.
 

Eli Curt

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Reviving this as I ordered a couple of pairs from A Fine Pair of Shoes 7 weeks ago, and they're supposed to ship in 8-10 weeks. I ordered the Berwick ones @Mr Knightley was on about, in deerskin with tassels. One pair brown, one pair black.

I'll report back when they arrive.
 

Mr Knightley

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Reviving this as I ordered a couple of pairs from A Fine Pair of Shoes 7 weeks ago, and they're supposed to ship in 8-10 weeks. I ordered the Berwick ones @Mr Knightley was on about, in deerskin with tassels. One pair brown, one pair black.

I'll report back when they arrive.
Mine are still doing well, a year on. Not perhaps quite as comfortable as they promised early on - after wearing them for a few hours, my toes feel a little pinched. But great value, and I may well order a tasselled pair.
 

Eli Curt

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Wore my second pair of Berwick loafers at the weekend. Still feeling rather tight around the toes:
View attachment 1792852
I have a pair of normal black ones - they look like yours.
I also have a pair of kudu suede unlined ones. I'm waiting on the right insole inserts to arrive since they're just too big.
 

Mirage-

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Wore my second pair of Berwick loafers at the weekend. Still feeling rather tight around the toes:
View attachment 1792852
I bought a pair of the blake belgian loafers (well, originally 2) from Yanko. I had to size up to 44 (i.e. my sneaker size) since they are so short. And they manage to both be large around the heel and tight around the toes, still. Probably should have returned both pairs instead of just the worse one. They are so nice I just couldn't bear to however...
 

Mr Knightley

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I bought a pair of the blake belgian loafers (well, originally 2) from Yanko. I had to size up to 44 (i.e. my sneaker size) since they are so short. And they manage to both be large around the heel and tight around the toes, still. Probably should have returned both pairs instead of just the worse one. They are so nice I just couldn't bear to however...
I don't think I shall buy any more Belgians. If I were to go up half a size, it may cure the toe issue, but I may then find them loose around the heel (as you did). If I wear them with my thinnest socks they are just about okay, just. As long as I don't walk far...
 

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