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A friend of mine recently asked me where she could find great-quality affordable leather loafers in lieu of buying the Gucci ones she really wanted. (Spoiler alert, she bought the Gucci ones anyway.) But! There are so many other options and plenty of places to buy a legit pair of shoes that aren’t going to set you back $700.
The thing about loafers is that the word “loafer” itself has a pretty loose meaning. The list below includes pairs with pointy toes and round toes; tassels and traditional straps across the tops, à la Penny loafers; and suede and leather. Which is to say, there are dozens of ways to wear these shoes, and equally as many places to find them.
I’m personally into the brand M.Gemi right now; the quality of the shoes exceeded my expectations. The signature loafer, The Stellato, has a pointy toe (unlike the Gucci loafers, which are more round-square), costs $198, and comes in six different colors.
The Pastoso (also $198) is more of a penny loafer-meets-driving moccasin, which makes them a little less precious than your standard loafer. But right now, my favorite is the metallic version of The Stellato in this bright pink.
Sam Edelman is a brand I haven’t given much thought to since I was 23, but the shoes have gotten really good — and they’re relatively cheap! There are several nice pairs of loafers on the brand’s site right now that are under $200, like the Talia Buckle Loafer ($130) and the Therese Tassel Loafer (also $130).
Mansur Gavriel’s loafers are also really good, which isn’t really a surprise. There are three styles, and each comes in both suede and leather. Because I believe red is a neutral, I think the best of the bunch is the Suede Classic Loafer in Flamma ($425). The Spazzoloto Venetian Loafers in Oxblood (also $425) are a little more chill. And of course, you can get them all in classic black, too.