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Choosing a suede loafer

Miles R.

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I would like to get a pair of penny loafers in brown suede---a dull medium brown, not a rich dark brown or a lighter polo color. I have found two models that look right to me in the photos on line, though one is described as "choko" (I have never seen chocolate that light in color) and the other as "dark brown" (which also seems inaccurate to me):

  1. Löf & Tung Garcia Choko Suede ($317)
  2. Alden Men's 9697F - Penny Loafer Flex Welt - Dark Brown Suede ($565)

As you can see, there is quite a difference in the price. They look about the same to me in the photos (I have not handled either shoe live), so I am wondering what exactly the Alden option offers for the additional $250.

Also, I welcome any information about fit from those who have owned either of these models. As a rule, I wear US 10/UK 9, but for years---decades, in fact---I wore Bass Weejuns in size 9.5. More recently, when I started upgrading my wardrobe, I went to an Allen Edmonds shop to try on loafers and came away with a pair of Randolphs in a size 9.5. For wearing after wearing, I would ask myself how long it would take for them to become comfortable, until it gradually became apparent to me that they were just too tight in the toe and would never become comfortable. So I don't want to make that mistake again. On the other hand, loafers that are loose in the heel are simply unwearable.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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I have that Alden. I don't think it offers anything "more" than the Lof & Tung. But the two are slightly different styles. The rounder toe on the Alden will be easier to wear with jeans and casual clothes. You can also wear it with sport coats if your style leans trad. The Lof & Tung is a little sleeker and something I would only wear with tailored clothing.

The Alden is also built on a flex welt. Just means it's very comfortable out the box.
 

Miles R.

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I have that Alden. I don't think it offers anything "more" than the Lof & Tung. But the two are slightly different styles. The rounder toe on the Alden will be easier to wear with jeans and casual clothes. You can also wear it with sport coats if your style leans trad. The Lof & Tung is a little sleeker and something I would only wear with tailored clothing.

The Alden is also built on a flex welt. Just means it's very comfortable out the box.
Thanks for the observations, and the report about the flex welt. Glad to hear its claimed comfort confirmed by a wearer.
 

jonny2box

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I prefer the sleeker toe of the Loft & Tung also the cost difference would pull me towards this as a purchase.
It is maybe a little more dressy, but that also plays in it's favour, are you really looking to wear loafers with jeans ? I would think this is for a sport jacket and chinos or tailored pants sort of dress.
I also find I'm 1/2 size smaller in Alden, whereas I'm a 8UK and 9US in almost every shoe brand for some reason the Alden's fit a bit big and I'm a 8.5 - if you do end up going with Alden make sure you try a fitting first or at least buy from a retailer that has a solid return policy.
Cant' go wrong with either of these choices. The Alden rounded toe is a matter of preference. I notice crocket and Jones is similar. J.M. Weston Mock as well.
 

Miles R.

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I prefer the sleeker toe of the Loft & Tung also the cost difference would pull me towards this as a purchase.
It is maybe a little more dressy, but that also plays in it's favour, are you really looking to wear loafers with jeans ? I would think this is for a sport jacket and chinos or tailored pants sort of dress.
I also find I'm 1/2 size smaller in Alden, whereas I'm a 8UK and 9US in almost every shoe brand for some reason the Alden's fit a bit big and I'm a 8.5 - if you do end up going with Alden make sure you try a fitting first or at least buy from a retailer that has a solid return policy.
Cant' go wrong with either of these choices. The Alden rounded toe is a matter of preference. I notice crocket and Jones is similar. J.M. Weston Mock as well.
I have not worn blue jeans since I graduated from college almost 40 years ago, so I'm certainly not concerned with that pairing! But I do associate penny loafers with the Ivy League/trad look, for which the Aldens would be a better match. I have not yet made up my mind about which shape would better suit my wardrobe choices. From the information I have gathered so far, I think that it would be wise for me to go a half-size down from must customary size in either shoe.
 

Rbpp

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If you don't mind @Miles R. I'd like to revive this thread. What was your decision eventually ?
I am too interested in suede loafers and I'm looking for some advice. In my case, being able to wear them with jeans and chinos would be great. I'm not sure about the exact color, but I think the common "polo suede" would be too strong, and the common dark brown might be too formal, any opinion ?
The loafers from Skolyx or Morjas seem to be nice, but I wouldn't mind something a bit more expensive. The one from Löf&Tung and TLB Mallorca seem to be great value but I'm not sure their last are appropriate in a really casual wordrobe.
 

Phileas Fogg

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If you don't mind @Miles R. I'd like to revive this thread. What was your decision eventually ?
I am too interested in suede loafers and I'm looking for some advice. In my case, being able to wear them with jeans and chinos would be great. I'm not sure about the exact color, but I think the common "polo suede" would be too strong, and the common dark brown might be too formal, any opinion ?
The loafers from Skolyx or Morjas seem to be nice, but I wouldn't mind something a bit more expensive. The one from Löf&Tung and TLB Mallorca seem to be great value but I'm not sure their last are appropriate in a really casual wordrobe.
are you looking for something to wear in the summer months or in cooler months?
 

Rbpp

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are you looking for something to wear in the summer months or in cooler months?
I think mostly for spring and autumn, in a mid-season wardrobe (and aside from that, more winter than summer)
 

Phileas Fogg

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Crockett & Jones has some interesting new unlined and soft loafers. Not sure how they fit however.
 

johng70

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I just wanted to add: I purchased the Alden loafers mentioned here about a month ago. They are fantastically comfortable. Can't say how they compare to the other, but I don't regret the buy. The color is a perfect versatile brown - the color, brand, comfort recommendation and availability were why I purchased the Alden's.
 

Miles R.

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If you don't mind @Miles R. I'd like to revive this thread. What was your decision eventually ?
I am too interested in suede loafers and I'm looking for some advice. In my case, being able to wear them with jeans and chinos would be great. I'm not sure about the exact color, but I think the common "polo suede" would be too strong, and the common dark brown might be too formal, any opinion ?
The loafers from Skolyx or Morjas seem to be nice, but I wouldn't mind something a bit more expensive. The one from Löf&Tung and TLB Mallorca seem to be great value but I'm not sure their last are appropriate in a really casual wordrobe.
After considering further options, I declined into indecision, compounded by anxiety about whether any pair that I buy will fit me properly (this can be difficult with loafers). So I still haven't got a pair of suede loafers!
 

Miles R.

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I just wanted to add: I purchased the Alden loafers mentioned here about a month ago. They are fantastically comfortable. Can't say how they compare to the other, but I don't regret the buy. The color is a perfect versatile brown - the color, brand, comfort recommendation and availability were why I purchased the Alden's.
Glad to have a recommendation from experience.
 

Rbpp

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After considering further options, I declined into indecision, compounded by anxiety about whether any pair that I buy will fit me properly (this can be difficult with loafers). So I still haven't got a pair of suede loafers!
I understand, not being able to try them in store is definitely a problem, especially with loafers.
 

notdos

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Bargain on loafers currently available at Meermin. Just my opinion. Have 2 pairs, lined and unlined. Very nice for the $, especially on sale.
 

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